Chapter

Whin Sill: Defending Ancient Springs

Richard Hingley

in Hadrian's Wall

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641413
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745720 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641413.003.0013
Whin Sill: Defending Ancient Springs

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This chapter focuses on two disputes that arose in 1930 and 1957 respectively, events that drew attention to the protection of the archaeological remains of the best-preserved section of Hadrian's Wall. The first of these public arguments was over the threat posed by quarrying. Large-scale extraction had commenced during the nineteenth century at several sites along the central section of the Wall and in some areas this substantially destroyed the fabric of the Wall. In 1930 it was proposed that stone should be extracted on a large scale at Shield on the Wall, six kilometres to the west of Housesteads. These works, if permitted, would have created a very serious impact on the physical fabric and setting of the best-preserved and most atmospheric part of the Wall, and the growing public appreciation of the importance of these remains gave rise to a strong resistance to the scheme. The chapter assesses the popularity of the Wall and the response of the establishment to the threat of quarrying, which swiftly led to a strengthening of the ancient monument legislation in order to protect the monument. It also explores the subsequent designation, management, consolidation, and display of this increasingly famous section of the Wall, including an assessment of the current significance of this iconic landscape.

Keywords: Hadrian's Wall; quarrying; ancient monument legislation; Housesteads; Shield on the Wall

Chapter.  8211 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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