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Tyne and Wear HER(915): South Shields Roman fort, Early medieval occupation - Details

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S Tyneside

South Shields Roman fort, Early medieval occupation

South Shields




Early Medieval


Documentary Evidence

"Evidence is accumulating for the continuation of occupation well into the fifth century and perhaps beyond". The granary north-west of the headquarters building was floored in the mid-C4, but was subsequently demolished, and its walls robbed. Later again there was quarrying of the metalling round it, and eventually a new flagged floor. There were alterations to the ditch and road in front of the south-west gate, and finally burials (HER 916) were cut into the surface of the approach road. According to tradition, the site of Arbeia Roman Fort is supposed to be the birthplace of Oswin, King of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Deira. Ordnance Survey mapwin was crowned in 642 and so if this tradition is true, he would have been born in a royal palace on the site of the fort in the early C7. King Oswin was the patron of Saint Aidan and is mentioned by Bede, who describes him as "a humble king", tall, handsome and kind. He was killed by the king of neighbouring Bernicia. No evidence of any seventh century settlement has been found at Arbeia, but several Anglo-Saxon objects have been found, suggesting that there was occupation somewhere in the area. Finds include a gilt cruciform fitting possibly from a horse harness or the cover of a book, a stylus for writing on wax tablets, a gaming piece and dress pins of copper alloy and bone. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE




<< HER 915 >> P.T. Bidwell in C.M. Daniels, ed. 1989, The Eleventh Pilgrimage of Hadrian's Wall, South Shields, Arbeia, p. 89; R. Cramp, 2005, Wearmouth and Jarrow Monastic Sites, Volume 1, p 27

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