Rebuilt in Stone

SW corner tower of the fortress

120AD - 200AD

In about 120 AD the Ninth Legion departed, to be replaced by the Sixth.  With the title Victrix – conqueror – reflecting many impressive military successes.

The Sixth Legion remained in York until the end of the Roman Empire and was responsible for much of the reconstruction of the defences.

The Romans used several types of stone in their buildings including limestone, tough millstone grit and elland stone, now better known as York stone, which was used for floors and roofs as it splits naturally into flat slabs.

But it was not so much the stone but the use of mortar to hold it together that was the real Roman revolution. This allowed for the creation of far larger buildings than ever seen before.

Archaeologists date the replacement of the timber fortress structures in stone to the second and third centuries. It was an immense undertaking.

The fortress wall was built 5m high. At the west corner stood what we now know as the Multangular Tower, which may have been well over 10m high.  A matching tower stood at the fortress’s south corner, with six interval towers in between, projecting from the wall.

This was a military innovation, as the towers enabled soldiers to fire along the sides of the wall as invaders tried to scale them.


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