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59. Geology of Hadrian’s Wall (1997)


by G.A.L. Johnson

The geology of Hadrian’s Wall falls naturally into three sectors: in the East the wall is over Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures and Millstone Grit; the Central Section is underlain by Lower Carboniferous intruded by the Great Whin Sill and in the Western Sector the Wall crosses the New Red Sandstone. Glacial drift is widespread. All three sectors are described with specific sites in detail.

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The geology of Hadrian’s Wall falls naturally into three sectors: in the East the wall is over Upper Carboniferous Coal Measures and Millstone Grit; the Central Section is underlain by Lower Carboniferous intruded by the Great Whin Sill and in the Western Sector the Wall crosses the New Red Sandstone. Glacial drift is widespread. All three sectors are described with specific sites in detail.

Eastern Sector
Start point Wallsend, on the North bank of the River Tyne, at the excavated Roman Fort and reconstructed gatehouse NZ 300 660.

Central Sector
Only in the central sector is bedrock well exposed, and this is at its most dramatic along the Whin Sill.
Start point site of a Roman bridge over the North Tyne at Chollerford Bridge NY 920 705

Western Sector
Start point Lanercost Bridge NY 554 634, then west through Carlisle, and along the southern shore of the Solway Firth.

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