The Romans built a number of signal stations along the Roman wall, Pike Hill is one of these and to this day remains a 2 meter long section on the South-East wall, near the Parish of Waterhead in Cumbria. This tower lies between Turet 51B and Turret 52A, west of the Banna Fort. The remains of the tower were excavated in 1931 with pottery found from the Hadrianic dates. Originally, the tower would have been about 20 feet square with very deep foundations to keep the extra height stable. The wall of Hadrian kept a close watch over the Scottish borders with all of its turrets and towers, you’d think they were trying to keep somebody out! The greater part of this impressive signal tower was, unfortunately, destroyed by modern cutting, its maximum height now stands at just 0.6 meters. As with all of the Hadrian Wall excavations and ruins, you get a sense of the shape, and with a little imagination, can piece together what the ancient spectacle must have looked like.
The Pike Hill Roman Signal Station is under the watchful care of English Heritage who maintains the site and makes it possible for modern day tourists to enjoy and study its magnificence. Any of the local museums along Hadrian’s walk have intriguing information on signal stations and turrets, often having 3-D models showing just how they looked. Anybody taking part in the Hadrian’s Wall walking route will see Pike Hill Roman Signal Station, its well worth a look, just imagine that grand tower standing high, looking out for barbarians, no doubt!