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Virtual Earth map of Piercebridge Roman Fort

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Piercebridge Roman Fort (possibly originally known as Morbium) is situated in the village of Piercebridge on the banks of the River Tees in County Durham, England.

Artefacts found in Piercebridge suggest that there were Romans there as long ago as 70 AD, perhaps because there was a ford across the Tees. By 125 AD the first civil settlement had been built near the course of Dere Street.

The fort itself was built around 260-270AD and was maintained from c.290-350AD, with some later development. The fort appears to have followed the standard Roman plan, being rectangular in shape with towers at each corner.

A settlement was established to the east of the fort. The site was finally abandoned in the early 5th Century.

Parts of the ruins have been excavated. Admission is free and the site is open to the public at all times. A large proportion of the substantial 11-acre (45,000 m2) fort now lies under later buildings, but visible Roman remains at the site include parts of the east gate and defences, a courtyard building and an internal road, and a section of the eastern elevation is now preserved and on permanent public display. Some of the artefacts found at the site are on display at Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle.


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