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Corbridge

Corbridge. Coriostopitum was a major Roman military base and important town in the valley of the Tyne. The first base, dating to the campaigns of Agricola (c.80), lay at Red House. Subsequently the base was moved three-quarters of a mile east to where the east–west road (the Stanegate) met the north–south road (Dere Street), just north of the Tyne bridge. A succession of forts was constructed through the late 1st and first half of the 2nd cents., one yielding two sets of Roman hoop armour, lorica segmentata. From the mid-2nd cent., the fort was abandoned and the military presence became a supply and works depot contained in two compounds at the centre of what was now largely a defended civil town. Inscriptions attest the continuing military importance of Corbridge whenever the Romans campaigned northwards. From c.200 dated an unfinished, large, square courtyard building in fine masonry at the centre of the town. Possibly a civil forum or a storehouse, similar continental buildings were markets for cross-border trade. The town consisted of buildings suggesting commercial activity tied to the military and the local populace, with little trace of high-status occupants.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

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