Birdoswald - The Timber Halls
I'm being very lazy with this post, because Carla Nayland has written such excellent essays about the Dark Age activity on the site of Birdoswald (the Roman Banna), one of the Hadrian's Wall forts, where excavations have brought to light traces of two large timber halls that made use of the Roman granary foundations.
I'm only going to add the illustrations. :)
Row of posts compared to the street and north granary foundations
The second timber hall has been excavated in 1987 and marked with timber posts in the ancient post holes so that visitors can get an image of size of the hall and its situation in relation to the granaries.
A somewhat earlier timber hall had been constructed over the south granary, but it was no longer use when the northern hall was built. This makes sense because a timber building had an average life span of 30 years and would then be rebuilt on a new place instead of undergoing repairs.View from the other side, with the foundations of the second granary in the foreground
The style reminds of a Saxon long house, and according to the description and a drawing on site it looks like some sort of Meduseld. There are also some finds of Anglo-Saxon jewelry.
It would not be the first case where a local ruler saw the advantage of the Roman remains and the strategical situation of the place. The Norman keep in Cardiff
is another example. What I'd like to know is whether the wall and trench fortifications at Birdoswald were still in maintained during the Dark Ages. Those times weren't exactly peaceful, after all.