The above Statue of Jupiter holding a staff was found in the aedes (chapel in the headquarters building) at Corbridge Roman Fort. Although much of the statue is missing, Jupiter can be identified by his staff or sceptre, and the drapery over his shoulders and round his waist, leaving the torso bare. Jupiter was the great Italian sky-god, the forms of whose name are etymologically connected with other Indo-European sky-gods, including Zeus. Known by many titles, as sky-god he directly influenced Roman public life in which the weather omens of thunder and lightning, his special weapons, played an important role. His many titles indicate his supreme importance in all matters of the state’s life in war and peace (Morford, Lenardon & Sham, 2011). The role of Jupiter in Roman religion became increasingly important and he was seen as the ‘president’ of the council of gods and the source of all authority. During the Empire, the emperors placed themselves under the protection of Jupiter and every provincial city had a Capitol similar to the one in Rome; the Triad (Jupiter, Juno & Minerva) would be installed with Jupiter enthroned in the centre. With each of the daughter cities imitating a small copy, Jupiter represented the political bond between Rome, the mother city (Grimal, 1991). As king of the gods and patron of the empire, this would have been an appropriate statue for the location in which it was discovered.
The Romans erected gravestones and tombs for their dead just as we do today. Often inscribed with the letters DM, Dis Manibus (To the Spirits of the Departed), not all Romans believed in an afterlife and there was a wide range of religious beliefs. The earliest graves found at Rome date to the 10th century BCE and include both urn cremations and inhumations. The bulk of the population was disposed of relatively informally across most of Europe in the 5th-3rd centuries, often by exposing the body on platforms. By the 1st century cremation was the norm and Roman nobles began building elaborate tombs around the same time. Modelled on those of the Greek east, such tombs featured monumental sculptures and elaborate stone architecture. The Roman tradition relating to the disposal of the dead led to a strict separation between the space of the deceased and that of the living. It was illegal to bury the dead within the boundaries of a settlement so cemeteries are always found outside towns and forts (Hornblower & Spawforth, 2004). It was widely believed that the souls of the dead lived on in their tombs or graves and so gifts were often brought to placate these spirits. At Corbridge there are tombstones which detail the names of individuals who lived at the Fort. The lion above was discovered when the mausoleum at Shoredon Brae was excavated and was originally placed on top of the outer wall of the monument. Lions were often associated with funerary monuments as they were seen to symbolise either the inescapable ravages of death or man’s triumph over death. As very few have been found in direct association with mausoleum buildings, the lion is an important find.
Corbridge Roman Fort lies to the south of Hadrian’s Wall which incorporated milecastles, or small fortlets, every Roman mile. Each of which had a gateway to the north and south with two small square turrets between each milecastle (Andrews, 2015). The soldiers stationed along the Wall and at the early forts at Corbridge were mostly auxiliaries: non citizens initially recruited from the enemies Rome encountered on her frontiers and later from Rome’s provinces (Hodgson, 2015). Organized into famous legions, the Roman citizen troops were heavy infantry units with trained craftsmen contained within the ranks – accounting for the high quality religious sculpture and architectural stonework found at Corbridge. Inscriptions provide an accurate means of dating events at Corbridge and the movement of troops can be traced through the dedications they leave. Stone survives very well and provides extremely useful evidence. Stone sculpture can be dated according to its style and the techniques used to carve it with inscriptions providing information relating to building activity, religious practices and linking people to places. The letters cut into stone would have been painted red, relief decoration and sculpture was also brightly coloured. The above inscription was dedicated to Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) who was an eastern god whose worship spread through the army from the 1st century AD and was especially encouraged by the Emperor Elagabalus (AD 218-22). The son of Sextus Varius Marcellus, Elagabalus took the cult of the god by whose name he is known to Rome and which he reached in July 219. His intention in late 220 to make Elagabalus (deus Sol Invictus) supreme god of the empire aroused hostility at Rome and ultimately led to his murder on 11 March 222 (Hornblower & Spawforth, 2004). He was subjected to damnatio memoriae – essentially an eradication of his public memory which is evident from the first line of the inscription being chiselled out. The above inscription would have adorned an undiscovered, yet substantial, temple dedicated to Sol which was built by a detachment from the 6th Legion, stationed at Corbridge in about AD 158. The dedication is flanked by peltae (crescent shaped shield) and adjacent panels would have depicted winged Victories.
The Pigeon House above forms part of a cluster of outbuildings to the south east of Mirehouse and is linked by way of a covered pavillion to the Garden Hall. The building is a three storey structure with store rooms at ground and first floor levels with a dedicated pigeon loft above. Constructed in the 18th century, this building is one of only two listed pigeon houses in the Lake District. Pigeons and their eggs were kept as a source of food for the estate but their numbers had to be regulated due to crop decimation. This pigeon house was thus constructed pursuant to the special right of the Lord of the Manor to keep pigeons. In a state of disrepair and requiring substantial works to be undertaken, the building was made structurally sound and refurbished in 2010 with generous help from the Country Houses Foundation. The Pigeon House is Grade II* Listed.
The Triumph Tiger range was introduced by Edward Turner following his installation as Chief Designer and General Manager at Triumph Engineering. The motorcycle producing arm of Triumph hadn’t been performing well in the early 1930’s and was sold off in 1936 to JY Sangster of Ariel. Valentine Page was a British motorcycle designer who worked for several of the UK’s leading marques, including Ariel, Triumph, and BSA. Edward Turner took Page’s range of 2/1, 3/1 and 5/1 (250, 350 and 500cc single cylinders) adding chrome petrol tanks, upswept exhausts and polished crankcases, and gave them Tiger 70, 80 and 90 models names relating to their top. This particular model above is on display at Lakeland Motor Museum and was bought new in October 1937 by Sydney Waterfield of Manchester. He used the motorcycle extensively for commuting as well as pleasure trips including visits to the Isle of Man TT, Silverstone and other race circuits. After WWII, rear suspension became popular on new motorcycles and the bike was converted from the original rigid rear end to a swing-arm and dual seat. It is believed that this is a McCandless design, produced under license by Feridax, who still produce motorcycling accessories and clothing. Continuing to use the motorcycle throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, Mr Waterfield made a note of all maintenance work undertaken. He had a second engine which he refurbished and swapped over every summer. Upon his retirement in 1980, it remained untouched in his garage until his death in 1999. His family arranged its restoration to the fantastic condition seen today.
British brothers William and Edward Douglas founded the Douglas Motorcycle company in Bristol in 1882. The firm was founded as a blacksmiths and iron foundry, producing their first motorcycle, a 2.75Hp flat twin, in 1907. The company won an army contract during WW1 and produced 25,000 machines for the use of dispatch riders on the worst terrain of the front. The above rare model is on display at Lakeland Motor Museum and features a horizontally opposed engine – also known as a flat twin or boxer, mounted longitudinally – in line with the length of the frame (See the two cylinder heads, one behind the front wheel and the other towards the back wheel). The Fore and Aft description is the nautical term for a boat with its sails in line with its keel, such as on a sloop or a schooner. Later motorcycles used this engine configuration but mounted transversely (across the frame). The design meant the motorcycle was longer than others with single cylinder, or v-twin engines, and is more suited to riding on straight roads than twisty ones. That said, Douglas had success in motorcycle racing, speedway and trials events – even securing wins at the Isle of Man TT races with various sporting models. For almost three years, the Dirt Track Douglas was the supreme dirt track machine selling around 1200 in 1929 alone. In the 1920’s, Douglas built the first disc brakes and had a Royal Warrant for the supply of motorcycles to the Princes, Albert and Henry. Following bankruptcy in 1935, Douglas reappeared after WWII with a range of motorcycles that were far less successful than the Vespa scooter they imported and produced under license. The 1955 350cc Douglas Dragonfly was the last model produced by the company. Westinghouse Brake and Signal bought Douglas out and production of Douglas Motorcycles ended in 1957. Douglas continued to import Vespa scooters into the UK and later imported and assembled Gilera motorcycles.
Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo began in 1910 as A.L.F.A – Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. During the First World War, entrepreneur Nicola Romeo took over the firm and in 1920 they returned to car production with the new company name. The Milan based factory only made vehicles in left hand drive except for a small batch of 404 Giulia Spiders, all produced in 1963 and sold to right hand drive markets, including Britain, Australasia and South Africa. The above example was one of the last produced, only selling in September 1964.
Spider is the name Alfa Romeo and Ferrari used to describe its cabriolet/roadster models. Many vehicle body styles come from horse drawn vehicle descriptions, both Cabriolet and Roadster are used to describe a vehicle with only one row of seats, a folding hood and no window frames – a convertible differs in that it can have two rows of seats and possibly fixed side window frames.
This model was based on the previous Giuletta Spider – rather than the new Giulia’s underpinnings, but using the Giulia’s larger and more powerful 1600cc twin overhead camshaft 4 cylinder engine – the only external difference in the two models is the raised bonnet centre which is to clear the taller engine. This fabulous vehicle is on display in the Lakeland Motor Museum and is 1 of 404 made in right hand drive.