Newcastle University: Exhibition showcases the geological history of Hadrian’s Wall

The Stories in Stone exhibition, which is on display at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, looks at the unique geology of the Hadrian’s Wall Corridor and how the connection between the natural and cultural landscapes has helped to shape the area from pre-Roman times before the Wall was built right up to the present day.

Human interaction and processes have helped to shape the natural landscape over time, and through natural features such as rocks, minerals, landforms and soil, the Stories in Stone exhibition will help visitors to visualise a society 4,000 years before the Romans.

The exhibition will have a number of geological pieces on display, with pop up events running throughout the summer at The Sill and Walltown Visitor Centre, including ‘Northumberland Rocks’ Walk and Talks and Young Archaeology Club sessions.

The exhibition will also highlight some of the work being carried out as part of the WallCAP project. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the WallCAP project aims to improve the heritage of Hadrian’s Wall, understand the risks to the area, and engage with the local community to help secure and protect the heritage and cultural significance of Hadrian’s Wall.

WallCAP Community Geologist Dr Ian Kille said: “Through WallCAP, we have explored the incredible geological history of the rocks that have shaped the landscape of the Hadrian’s Wall Corridor over millennia and the way this ancient material has been used in Hadrian’s Wall and re-used by the communities along the Wall.

“We are delighted to be working with the National Park on the exhibition and to give people the opportunity to explore the intimate relationship between our heritage and the landscape and to learn more about the beauty of rocks and the extraordinary stories of their geological history.”

Head of Engagement at Northumberland National Park, Sarah Burn said: “We’re delighted to be working with the WallCAP team within Newcastle University to bring the Stories in Stone exhibition to The Sill and help visitors discover the details of the natural features that make up our landscape.

“The Hadrian’s Wall Corridor holds thousands of years of history, even well before the Romans arrived and built the Wall – we hope this exhibition will help people understand the connection we have with our landscapes and the part we all have to play to protect it for future generations.”

The Stories in Stone exhibition will be on display at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, Once Brewed, from 5 July until 5 September, 2021.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the WallCAP project can register at wallcap.ncl.ac.uk. Volunteers receive regular updates to alert them of forthcoming opportunities and events – including fieldwork – to investigate and protect the Wall.

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