Building the Wall

This is a historic exhibition. It is no longer available to visit and this page is only retained as a record of the previous event. For current and future exhibitions, visit our What's On page.

Exhibition exploring who built Hadrian's Wall and how

Roman pottery in exhibition case


Until 11 March 2023 (historic exhibition)

About the Exhibition

This exhibition explores who built Hadrian’s Wall and how, and considers the substantial practical and logistical challenges involved. It also focuses on the revealing evidence from the impressive 80 metre stretch of Wall remains at Segedunum.

In AD122, Emperor Hadrian visited Britain and ordered a wall to be built. This exhibition explores how this command was actually carried out on the ground.

It looks at questions such as: where did they get the stone? What tools did they use? How did they transport everything? How did they deal with the rivers and streams that needed to be crossed?

Many details of the design of the Wall varied over its great length. This exhibition mainly looks at the section of Wall between Wallsend and the original end of the Wall in Newcastle. It includes ground-breaking new research from the excavation of the section of Wall just outside the fort at Wallsend, including how water was supplied to the fort and bath-house, and the original appearance of the fort’s west gate. 

Watch Keeper of Archaeology Alex Croom talking about the exhibition

This exhibition took part in the Hadrian's Wall 1900 Festival, a year-long event in 2022, celebrating 1900 years since the building of the Wall.