Milecastle 48

Milecastle 48, Hadrian’s Wall

Location Gilsland
Grid Ref NY 634662


Milecastle 48 is located to the south west of the village of Gilsland, and is one of the best preserved milecastles on the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall.


Milecastles were built at every Roman mile along the wall, to enable control of people crossing from one side of the wall to the other. Between each milecastle were two turrets, equidistant between the milecastles, which were designed for temporary occupation by soldiers patrolling the wall. There are good examples nearby – Banks Turrets 51B and 52A.



Milecastle 48 nestles between a swift-running stream, and the Tyne Valley railway line. It has always been known locally as “The King’s Stables”, but about 100 years ago, archaeologists such as Simpson began to call it “the milecastle at the Poltross Burn”, which evolved into “The Poltross Milecastle”.


The Poltross Burn is a tributary of the River Irthing, which rises on Denton Fell and flows north-east, joing the Irthing at Gilsland. The milecastle stands on the south bank, and a water mill within the village used the burn’s water to grind corn throughout the 19th century.


The milecastle, is in the care of English Heritage.




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