Transport and Harness

IN some of the forts on the Wall of Hadrian there can still be seen upon the threshold of the gateways the ruts that tell of wheeled vehicles. At Newstead the destruction of the buildings has been far too complete to afford any parallel, but the evidence of wheeled traffic comes to us in a different, but not less convincing, form. Two wheels, almost entire, were found in Pit XXIII, and a third in Pit LXX. Spokes of wheels or other wooden fragments came from Pits LIV, LXV, and LXXXII, while among the hoard of iron objects in Pit XVI were twenty-three hub-rims, three hub-linings and some broken fragments. A portion of a wheel tyre in process of being manufactured into something else was taken from the same receptacle. A rusted tyre came from the ditch of the South Annexe, and a portion of another from Pit LVII at the Baths. Both hub-rims and hub-linings were found in the ditch of the early fort, and they not infrequently occurred, more or less corroded, near the surface.


The wheels from Pit XXIII, one of which is illustrated in Plate LXIX., Fig. 2, have an outside diameter of three feet, while the nave measures 15½ inches from end to end, and has a diameter of 8½ inches at the centre and 578 inches at the ends. The felloe is made of a single piece of ash, bent through artificial softening so as to present only a single joint; the ends are bolted together with an iron plate (Fig. 2 b). The spokes, probably of willow, are eleven in number. They are fitted into the felloe with a round tenon and into the hub with a square tenon (Fig. 2 a); they are beautifully formed and show a neat bead, half an inch from the point of insertion into the hub. The hub, which is of elm, appears to have been turned on a lathe (Fig. 2 c). At both ends it is fitted with an iron ring 3 inches deep, and at one end a strong iron ring forms a lining inside the hub to protect it from wear. This ring is kept in position by a pair of curved loops projecting from