Banks East – Pike Hill Signal Tower
Grid Ref NY 577648
Before Hadrian’s Wall was built, there were a number of Roman forts along the Stanegate, the Roman road between Corbridge and Carlisle. There were also watchtowers, built on high ground with commanding views, and used for signalling to the Stanegate forts and other towers. Here at Pike Hill was one of these early signal towers.
Because of its important position, it was incorporated into Hadrian’s Wall and used until the late fourth century AD. A small section of the wall can be seen butting up to the tower. The tower has deep foundations, which suggests it may have been higher than a normal turrett.
There is an information panel with drawings of a reconstruction of the tower as it may have looked.
The tower is in the care of English Heritage.
On Saturday 13 March 2010 an event took place – Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall, in which Hadrian’s Wall was a spectacular line of light from coast to coast.