The recent donation to the nation of the last Roman fort to be built on Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most significant land transfers of recent times, regionally and nationally.

Carrawburgh Roman Fort is now part of the National Heritage Collection after being generously gifted by Northumberland landowner, Jennifer du Cane, whose family had owned the site since the 1950s.

The fort, one of 16 along the 73-mile long Hadrian’s Wall, is now in the care of English Heritage and will be preserved for generations.

Carrawburgh takes on extra significance as it was the final fort to be built by the Romans to act as an additional stronghold between Chesters and Housesteads, and housed a garrison of approximately 500 soldiers – first from South West France, later from Southern Belgium – responsible for defending the frontier of the Roman Empire from the tribes to the north. Nearby stands the Roman temple to the god Mithras, built by soldiers based at Carrawburgh.

I was pleased to lead the team which completed this transfer on behalf of Jennifer, who appointed us to handle the matter on the strength of our reputation. Legal ownership of Carrawburgh has now been transferred to Historic England, the Government’s heritage advisor, and is the first acquisition for the National Heritage Collection since English Heritage became a charity in 2015.

Jennifer, when revealing her donation earlier this month, said: “It has been a great privilege, but also a serious responsibility, to own Carrawburgh Roman Fort. The time has come to pass on this amazing site as a gift to the nation. My thanks go to Sintons for enabling this to happen.”

It attracted widespread national publicity and we are delighted to have played a role in such a historically-significant event.

By Tom Wills of Sintons Law