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Corbridge Town Defences

In the civil parish of Corbridge.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY990644
Latitude 54.97454° Longitude -2.01979°

Corbridge Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


The County History describes a defensive work at Corbridge, extending from Stagshaw Road to Orchard Vale. Taking this feature, together with place name evidence, it has been speculated that it was the defences of a 'burh' in the late 10th or early 11th century. However, the logic of this argument can be challenged by a suggestion elsewhere in the same volume that the name Corbridge is not a corruption from burh, but is a name derived from the Roman bridge (Craster 1914, 14). Whatever the true origin of the feature, it seems to have used natural watercourses and other topographical features except where following a roadway. Its defensive qualities were therefore probably slight and its purpose may have been to delimit the town, rather than defend it (Craster 1914, 30-1). More recent speculation has suggested that the ditch may have followed the line of an earlier vallum monasteri enclosing the seventh or eighth century monastery centred on St Andrew's Church" (Ryder 1992, 3), and the line of Spoutwell Lane at the east end of the town has also been described as “forming part of the limits of the old town which some think were marked by a ditch or pallisade or both” (Iley nd, 177). Archaeological observation at The Chains in 2000 recorded a noticeable 'crest' crossing the site on an east-west alignment which might possibly have been the town boundary (Event 91). (Northumberland Extensive Urban Survey)

No remains of Roman defensive circuit of earthworks reutilized by medieval town. (Bond)

King writes was ditched. PastScape reports it to be of late C10/earlyC11 date. Creighton and Higham write an oblique reference to defences made in town charter dated after 1212.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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