In a nutshell

The Romans built two towers between milecastles to act as observation and signalling posts.

Look out for

  • Projecting wing walls
  • Doorway in south wall
  • Recessed north wall
  • Reconstructed turret at Vindolanda

Mini gallery



How could the scattered troops patrolling the Wall stop a huge army crossing the frontier? In truth, they probably couldn't, but the soldiers back at the forts could. Therefore, spotting trouble and alerting the forts were top priorities for those manning the Wall.

To help with this, the Romans built two stone towers between every milecastle. Rising to a height of maybe 30 feet or more, they provided an elevated view across the land to the north. As most turrets were easily seen from the valleys below, they also gave a good place to signal for help once danger was spotted.

As no turret has been left in tact, there is controversy over what they actually looked like. The soldiers entered through a doorway at ground level, probably climbing a ladder to reach the upper storey. However, nobody really knows what the top looked like.

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The Experts say