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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Wheel.
© National Museums Scotland


This wheel made of wood and iron was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It is a rare survival of a wheel, and was used on a cart or chariot between 140 and 180 AD.

The hub was made of elm turned on a lathe, with iron rings at either end and an iron ring lining at one end. The 13 spokes (many missing or broken) were made of willow. The rim (felloe) was made of a single piece of ash, bent after softening and bolted at the ends with an iron plate.

The Romans built a network of proper roads in southern Scotland where there had only been tracks and paths before. Materials needed to set up and provision the forts in Scotland were hauled over short and long distances by horses pulling carts and wagons.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-037-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 476
Date: Between 140 and 180 AD
Material: Wood, elm hub, willow spokes, ash felloe; bound with iron tyre
What: Wheel, rota bitata
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Rota bitata cart or chariot wheel of wood and iron, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, p 292. 
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