Military Road (Northumberland)
For much of its length the road is straight and displays the characteristics of a Roman road. However the term "military road" comes from the building of the road by Hanoverian forces in 1746 in order to suppress the Jacobites to the North.
The main feature of the road is that it runs alongside Hadrian's Wall for much of its length, and some parts of the road are built on the foundations of the wall.
The construction of the historical Military Road, on which the B6318 partially runs, is credited as one of the most damaging single operations to Hadrian's Wall in recorded history. General George Wade began construction of the road in 1746, in the wake of the latest Jacobite Risings, in which Bonny Prince Charlie had avoided his forces in Newcastle and been able to attack Carlisle in the west.
In light of this, the road was considered a matter of urgency, as Wade was anxious to move troops from Newcastle to Dumfriesshire and there was no route with which to efficiently transfer military forces. Much of the material from the wall (primarily limestone and sandstone) was salvaged and used for hardcore in its construction.
The topography west of Sewingshields made it necessary for the road to diverge from the wall, thus preserving what remains today.
- Smith, GH, Excavations near Hadrian's Wall at Tarraby Lane 1976, Britannia, Vol. 9 (1978), pp 19–56
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