View of section running east from Housesteads Fort.
Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland © Historic England PLB N060761
Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland © Historic England PLB N060761

New Signs at Hadrian’s Wall To Deter Illegal Metal Detection

We have teamed up with Northumbria Police to tackle unlawful metal detecting on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.

Working with Northumbria Police we’ve put up warning signs at Corbridge, the Roman fort and town, which forms part of Hadrian’s Wall. Our hope is the signs will build awareness and deter this form of criminal activity, which is damaging the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Report illegal metal detecting to Northumbria Police by calling 101

In recent years, there have been several reports of illegal metal detecting along Hadrian’s Wall with Corbridge as the worst-hit area.   

Most people who go metal detecting respect the law. However, there’s a small number – known as ‘nighthawks’ - who are damaging and stealing parts of this important historical site. They are robbing us all of parts of our national heritage as the artefacts they take or destroy could have added to our knowledge of Roman Britain.

Mike Collins, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Hadrian’s Wall, Historic England

The Hadrian’s Wall site at Corbridge is protected as a Scheduled Monument. It’s a criminal offence to use a metal detector there without proper authorisation from Historic England.

We work closely with Historic England and we are proud of the heritage sites we have in the Northumbria force area. Protecting those historic sites is a partnership effort and it saddens us that they can often attract criminal activity. We will be conducting patrols to deter criminal behaviour and if we identify anyone who has been stealing historic artefacts then they will be arrested.

PC Lee Davison, Northumbria Police
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