The Clayton Wall: ‘A New Era in Antiquarian Research’

Richard Hingley

in Hadrian's Wall

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641413
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745720 | DOI:
The Clayton Wall: ‘A New Era in Antiquarian Research’

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This chapter explores the contributions of John Clayton and John Collingwood Bruce to knowledge of the Wall. It draws upon the section of curtain Wall reconstructed by Clayton along the central upland section of its course — the so-called ‘Clayton Wall’. While William Bell Scott was painting the canvas for Wallington Hall, Clayton was engaged in uncovering and rebuilding the physical fabric of the Wall. The chapter examines the idea of the metaphorical and physical rebuilding of the Wall through an assessment of the contributions of Clayton and Bruce to Wall studies, by selecting themes related to the way that knowledge and understanding were built up during the second half of the nineteenth century. The development of knowledge about the history and structure of the Wall at this time resulted in a fundamental re-conceptualization of its significance and a growing international appreciation of the monument.

Keywords: John Clayton; John Collingwood Bruce; Hadrian's Wall; rebuilding; ancient monuments

Chapter.  8498 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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