Bardon Mill, is the smallest village with a station on the Tyne Valley Railway. Properties are grouped around the railway station that was built in 1836.  Henshaw and Thorngrafton are older settlements perched higher on the hillside; they include some traditional Northumbrian bastle houses, some of which are still inhabited.

The Errington Reay Pottery

The nearby pottery produces a range of traditional salt-glazed stoneware, popular for the home and garden.Open 7 days a week, you can call in to its visitor centre to learn about pottery making.  Find out more at

Bardon Mill is, however, the perfect access point for those wishing to visit Hadrians Wall, in particular Vindolanda, and the National Trust woodland at Allen Banks.

Allen Banks

Allen Banks - photo courtesy of

Within a two mile walk of  Barden Mill railway station is Allen Banks, a Victorian garden and ancient woodland area in a gorge of the River Allen. This National Trust property has a long history dating back to the 16th Century.  The southern end at Stalward Gorge has been a designated a site of special scientific interest for its rich flora and fauna. 

Open dawn to dusk, you can find more information at

Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum

Vindolanda - photo courtesy of hadrianswallpictures.comVindolanda is one of the country's most important Roman archaeological sites. It was originally an auxiliary fort which was under Roman occupation from roughly 85 AD to 370 AD. It was built to guard the Stanegate, or “stone road” which ran through the natural gap formed by the valleys of the Tyne and Irthing and linked the two forts that guarded the important river crossings on the Tyne in the east and the Eden on the west.

On visiting Vindolanda you can observe the remains of nine Roman forts as well as the headquarters building, granaries, barracks, a tavern and a bath house. There is also a museum on site in which gives you an interesting insight into various aspects of Roman life. Excavations by volunteers from all over the world take place throughout the year and many interesting artifacts have been discovered, the most famous being the Vindolanda writing tablets which were awarded the status of ‘Britain’s Treasure’.

The Roman Army Museum is an authentic and dramatic tribute to Rome’s extraordinary military legacy. Here you can learn about the life of a Roman Soldier and experience life on the front line of Emperor Hadrian’s formidable British frontier.

The exhibits bring to life the organisation and discipline of the Roman Army, the many different roles and duties of the soldiers, their equipment and training as well as their daily life. The artefacts on display come from the excavations at Vindolanda and include unique collections of wooden artefacts, leather shoes, military amour, jewellery, pottery, carved stone and religious objects. The most important exhibits are the Vindolanda writing tablets, which are rare, small postcard sized documents on which are recorded the daily lives of the people who used to live there, eg requests for payments, birthday party invitation, inventory of goods etc.

The opening times for the Museum is between 10am and 6pm between 1 April and 28 September

For more information about Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, click here