Tracing the Busy Gap Rogues

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Busy Gap is one of the earliest attested place names located along the line of the central sector of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, yet in Newcastle during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was a term of abuse, applied collectively to those who came from upland Tynedale and was synonymous with the Border Reivers. Archaeological and historical sources indicate that throughout the Middle Ages the place was located in a zone of seasonal settlement, characterized by groups of shielings probably associated with townships located in the valley of the South Tyne. The question is how to understand the role of Busy Gap, a place identified with a triangular earthwork on the north side of the Roman Wall. This paper will consider the results of recent archaeological investigations carried out by the author on the site and will investigate the place and its setting within the archaeological and historical context of early-modern Northumberland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-335
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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