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Tullie House to welcome Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrims

The group are set to explore the Roman Frontier Gallery and other major sites along the route

Living Wall – Roman Frontier Gallery

Tullie House will be hosting an evening reception on 25th July 2019 for 218 pilgrims as part of the 14th Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall. The pilgrims are exploring the Roman frontier from East to West, paying attention to new research and developments since the last pilgrimage in 2009.

The first Hadrian’s Wall Pilgrimage took place in 1849 and was attended by 24 people. It is now organised by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. Since 1949, the pilgrimage has been staged every ten years, with people now attending from as far afield as China, America and countries across Europe.

The Roman Frontier Gallery at Tullie House

The Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site being honoured is over 150 miles long and comprises much more than the Wall itself. The frontier zone runs from the western Roman coastal defences at Ravenglass, through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway, along Hadrian’s Wall through Carlisle and Hexham to Newcastle, Wallsend and South Shields. There were over 30 forts on the Roman frontier across the north of England and around 80 milecastles and 160 turrets along the wall.

Tullie House is one of the 11 main Roman sites and museums running coast to coast across the frontier zone. Gabrielle Heffernan, Curatorial Manager at Tullie House, will share with pilgrims how the museum is working with students from Sapienza University in Rome to research their leather and pottery collections to make fascinating discoveries.

Andrew Mackay, Director, says: “Our collections tell many fascinating and important stories about life on Hadrian’s Wall during the Roman period, brought to life in our award-winning Roman Frontier Gallery. We are honoured to be part of the 14th Pilgrimage and delighted to be welcoming old friends and new visitors to share these stories this July.”

The Pilgrims will travel in four coaches, usually with two coaches visiting a site at a time, although the Pilgrims will visit some of the larger sites together. There will also be walks to explore key stretches of the frontier, many of which are set in stunning countryside including the Northumberland National Park and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Professor David Breeze, Chairman of the Organising Committee, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with recent work on Hadrian’s Wall as well as explore some of its lesser known sections”.

Professor Sebastian Sommer, Chairman of the German sections of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site, of which Hadrian’s wall is a part, said: ”in the memory of my first Pilgrimage 1989 there were not only archaeologists and historians, but also economists, carpenters, stone masons, i.e. all sorts of interested and interesting people – who come up with questions we professionals would perhaps never have thought about”.

The 14th Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall will take place from 20th to 28th July 2019.

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