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Point Pleasant, the Site of a Roman Dock?

The old Riverside Branch Line, which preceded the Tyne & Wear Metro, included the station ‘Point Pleasant’ between Wallsend and Willington Quay, which is now Smulders’ Hadrian Yard. But the name is very curious, especially with it being so close to Segedunum.

The line originated in the 1840s, making it one of the oldest passenger lines in the world.

This what the archaeological theorist, Raymond Selkirk (1931-2006), wrote about the name in The Piercebridge Formula: A Dramatic New View of Roman History, p66 (1983):

“for reasons not understood, the names ‘Cold Harbour’ and ‘Mount Pleasant’ are found very frequently on Roman roads or Roman sites. On the ridge north-west of Corbridge and just south of the Roman wall at map ref NY 975 667, there is a farm called Mount Pleasant and this farmhouse stands on a mound which looks very much like the ruin of an ancient building. It is an ideal spot to be the site of a Roman signal station.”

Surely, given this context, Point Pleasant represents the site of a major Roman port on the Tyne serving the fort at Wallsend.

Photo from

If a dock stood here at the confluence of the Wallsend Burn and the Tyne, then you’d presume a similar arrangement existed at North Shields Fish Quay, where the Pow Burn meets the river opposite Arbeia. While up river at both the Lort Burn (bridge site) and the Newburn Gut (navigable limit) similar docks or wharfs would have been in use.


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