Object of the Week: The gorse which grows thick near a Roman turret on Hadrian's Wall

By Ben Miller | 08 July 2015

We bring you an unwanted object this week, seen off by rangers along the famous Roman route of Hadrian's Wall

A close-up photo of a labelled bag of plantation
A close-up of an encroacher removed from Hadrian's Wall© Dawn Felicia Knox
This gorse grows thick in a field near Black Carts Turret, a 460-metre stretch of Hadrian’s Wall.

It narrows the path, forcing walkers to walk single file and eroding the grass and soil to leave the unexcavated archeology exposed and vulnerable.

Northumberland National Park rangers and volunteers worked through the day recently to cut down the thorny branches and haul it away.

Dawn Felicia Knox, an artist and curator, has been keeping a careful eye on their progress. “Miles away, in my studio, my assistant and I set about the task of preparing the gorse for my archive,” she explains.

A photo of a man carrying plants and flowers over a hill in the countryside
You can see photos of the gorse and the work at three sites in the north-east© Dawn Felicia Knox
“We cut each branch, numbering the sections as we went. Each section is labelled, placed in a perforated plastic bag and then into the airtight box with silica gel to remove excess humidity.

“This is the way Roman finds are conserved by English Heritage.”

A cyanotype record of the gorse and unintentional photograms from Chesters Museum are on display at Vane Gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne until July 25 2015. You can see some of the images of the work done at Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, in Cumbria, until September 13. Knox is holding the gorse in statis in her archive, which you can see until September 14 at Birdoswald Roman Museum.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More Objects of the Week:

Wallis Simpson's nightdress at the Allhallows Museum of Lace in Honiton

A mystery terracotta head found on a tomb in an Ipswich churchyard
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