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How Scalesceugh played an important role in the Roman empire

The Great Border City of Carlisle - capital of Cumbria - has been an important hub since Roman times. But did you know that the land Scalesceugh Hall & Villas stands on was also an important cog in the Roman machinery?

Everybody should be aware of the region’s Roman links, not least because of Hadrian’s Wall, which stretched from West Cumbria, through Carlisle and to the east coast. Much of the wall is still standing today.

In AD 122, Emperor Hadrian ordered the wall to be built, and it represented the far northern edge of the huge Roman Empire.

Today the wall has protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Carlisle - known as Luguvalium to the Romans - is rich in archaeology. Beneath the ground to the front of the city’s imposing castle, lies what was once a large Roman fort, built shortly after the invaders arrived in AD72-73.

Scalesceugh became the site of a military tile works, serving Luguvalium, as it was close to the Roman main road - now the A6 towards Penrith and beyond.

It may have been sited at Scalesceugh because of the elevated position of the land, and also because of the water supply from the River Petteril, even though it is down in the valley behind.

Over the years, as Scalesceugh Hall has been built and the estate developed, Roman coins have been found bearing the heads of Emperor Nero and Emperor Hadrian, along with tiles showing the stamp of the Ninth Legion.

Scalesceugh Hall and Villas, Cumbria, Lake District, Roman, Hadrian, Pottery
A Roman tile unearthed in the grounds of Scalesceugh Hall

It is believed that there were (and still are) about 25 kilns in fields to the south of Scalesceugh Hall. One kiln was excavated in 1970-71 and pottery was uncovered, dating from AD80-130.

The Roman pottery and tile kilns are preserved as buried remains. Excavation revealed that substantial parts of the kilns and associated structures remain intact.

To find out much more about the region’s rich history and the influence and legacy of the Romans, visit the award-winning Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.


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