Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Sewingshields is an area in Northumberland, England, located near Hadrian’s Wall. The name is often associated with a section of the wall and the surrounding landscape.

There used to stand a castle beneath Sewingshields which ArthurGuinevere and Arthur’s knights were allegedly asleep, awaiting the call to return in the hour of Britain’s greatest need. A bugle and a garter were said to lie nearby, and it was necessary to blow the bugle and cut the garter with a stone sword in order to raise the sleepers.

Sir Walter Scott calls the fortress Castle of the Seven Shields.

Sewingshields | History

The history of Sewingshields is closely tied to its location along Hadrian’s Wall, a monumental Roman fortification constructed in the second century AD. Here is a brief overview of the history of Sewingshields within the context of Hadrian’s Wall.

Roman Construction | 2nd century AD
Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans to mark the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire in Britain and to provide defense against invasions from northern tribes, particularly the Picts. The construction of the wall began around AD 122, and it extended across the width of northern England, from the east coast to the west coast.

Milecastle 35
Sewingshields is associated with Milecastle 35, which was one of the series of small forts or milecastles spaced along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Milecastle 35 served as a key element in the Roman defensive strategy, providing a garrisoned post and facilitating communication along the wall.

Occupation and Roman Presence
Sewingshields and the surrounding area would have been occupied by Roman soldiers during the active period of Roman rule in Britain. The presence of the Romans in this region had a significant impact on the local landscape and communitites.

Decline of the Roman Rule | 4th – 5th centuries
The Roman Empire began to decline in the fourth century, and by the early fifth century, Roman rule in Britain came to an end. With the withdrawal of Roman forces, the structures along Hadrian’s Wall were gradually abandoned.

Medieval and Later Periods
Following the Roman era, the region went through various phases of medieval and later historical developments. The remains of Hadrian’s Wall, including the section near Sewingshields, stood as a witness to the ancient Roman presence and became part of the historical landscape.