Harrows Scar Milecastle

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Harrows Scar Milecastle


Milecastle 49 (Harrow's Scar) (4) - geograph.org.uk - 1359369.jpg
The remains of Milecastle 49
Type: Roman milecastle
Grid reference: NY62036641
Location: 54°59’27"N, 2°35’42"W
Material: Stone
Owned by: English Heritage

Harrows Scar Milecastle, or Milecastle 49 is a ruined Roman milecastle on Hadrian's Wall. The milecastle is in Cumberland, close by the bounds of Northumberland, situated immediately west of the gorge of the River Irthing where along the line of the Wall is now the bridge at Willowford.

The scar or cliff and hence the milecastle are named after an ancient tenement called The Harrows which stood nearby. The tenement is shown on William Howard]]'s 1603 map of the Barony of Gilsland and on an estate map of The Shaws commissioned by John Carrick around 1800.

Today Harrows Scar Milecastle is in the care of English Heritage.


Harrows Scar measures 65 feet east to west by 75 feet north to south and no contemporary internal buildings are now visible. It is built with narrow gauge defensive walls which are bonded with the Narrow Wall curtain of Hadrian's Wall on either side. It has 'Type III' gateways.

The monument is currently in the care of English Heritage and has in its own right been designated as a Scheduled Monument.[1]


The milecastle was excavated in 1898, and in 1953 by I. A. Richmond,[2] when parts of the underlying Turf Wall milecastle (49TW) were identified.[1]

Associated Turrets

Each milecastle on Hadrian's Wall had two associated turret structures. These turrets were positioned approximately one-third and two-thirds of a Roman mile to the west of the Milecastle, and would probably have been manned by part of the milecastle's garrison. The turrets associated with Milecastle 49 are known as Turret 49A and Turret 49B.

Turret 49A

Turret 49A (TW) (NY61546628) was constructed when the turf wall was built. The turret was demolished when the Birdoswald fort was built. Traces of it were found during investigations in 1945.[3] Turret 49A was located on or near the headquarters building.[4] There are no visible remains of the turret.[3]

Turret 49B

Turret 49B

Turret 49B (Birdoswald) (NY61136620) lies 400 yards west of the west rampart of Birdoswald fort.[5] It was excavated in 1911.[5] The masonry remains have been consolidated and exposed.[5] It replaced the earlier turf wall turret (49B TW; NY61146607) which was dismantled when the stone wall was built.[6]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Milecastle 49)


  1. 1.0 1.1 National Monuments Record: No. 13987 – Harrows Scar Milecastle and Wall
  2. Richmond, I. A. 1956. ‘Excavations at Milecastle 49 (Harrows Scar) 1953’; Trans. Cumberland Westmorland Antiq Archaeol Soc N.Ser, 56: pp18–27
  3. 3.0 3.1 National Monuments Record: No. 13992 – Turret 49A
  4. National Monuments Record: No. 13993 – Birdoswald Roman Fort
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 National Monuments Record: No. 14002 – Turret 49B
  6. National Monuments Record: No. 14011 – Turret 49B (TW)