Planetrees Roman Wall (Hadrian's Wall)
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: See where Hadrian's Wall changed from broad to narrow design
The first design for Hadrian's Wall designated a thickness of 10 Roman feet. Sections built to this plan are termed 'Broad Wall'. This plan was later altered to call for only 8 Roman feet in width. These sections are termed 'Narrow Wall'. Why was the plan changed? Various theories have been put forward, from lack of local building materials to expense, but the most likely theory is that the Romans simply wanted to finish building the Wall as quickly as possible and the narrower design speeded things up.
At Planetrees the east end of the wall section is set on broad wall foundations 2.8 metres wide, while the west end is a narrow wall, only 1.75 metres wide.
The broad foundation suggests that the soldiers laying the base layer for the Wall worked faster than the soldiers building the superstructure. By the time the plans were altered to build on a narrower plan large sections of the Wall's foundation had already been built on a wide base.
The Planetrees section of the Wall was constructed shortly after the wall commenced in AD 122. It is fascinating to see how the builders altered their initial plans.
Planetrees is one of the more awkward English Heritage sites on Hadrian's Wall to reach. It is fairly easy if you are walking Hadrian's Wall Path, but if you are coming by car it is a challenge. The site lies just south of the B6318 southwest of its junction with the A6079 outside Chollerford. If you use the official postcode for your satnav you will end up at a house further west along the B6318.
There is no parking near the site, so you need to continue east along the B6318 to a layby on the north side of the road, where a large wooden cross marks the start of a footpath leading to Heavenfield church. The church stands near the site of a famous battle in AD 634 when King Oswald of Northumbria defeated the armies of Cadwallon of Gwynedd.
A footpath leads from the layby, following the course of the B6318 west through two fields. You reach a gate where the path crosses the paved road and enters a field on the south side of the road. You will see the Planetrees section of Hadrian's Wall directly ahead of you in the field. From the layby to the Wall takes about 10 minutes for a reasonably fit person. Its a bit longer returning, as the path leads up a hill!
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About Planetrees Roman Wall (Hadrian's Wall)
Address: Chollerford, Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, England, NE46 4EQ
Attraction Type: Roman Site
Location: 1 mile south east of Chollerford off the B6318
Website: Planetrees Roman Wall (Hadrian's Wall)
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Heavenfield, St Oswald's Church - 0.5 miles (Historic Church)
Brunton Turret (Hadrian's Wall) - 0.5 miles (Roman Site)
Chesters Bridge Abutment (Hadrian's Wall) - 1 miles (Roman Site)
Chesters Roman Fort - 1.4 miles (Roman Site)
Black Carts Turret (Hadrian's Wall) - 2.9 miles (Roman Site)
Hexham Abbey - 3.4 miles (Historic Church)
Northumberland National Park - 3.8 miles (Countryside)
Corbridge Roman Town - 4.1 miles (Roman Site)
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