Learn Blogs FACT FILE: Vindolanda Start date: AD85 End date: at least 5th to 6th century AD How many forts? At least 9. Every time a garrison left, they would knock down their fort. A new garrison would arrive and build a new one. Why was the fort built? It was built to protect the Roman road which we call the Stanegate. This was the main east/west road and it still runs to the north of the site. What does the word Vindolanda mean? It means ‘white field’ or ‘white lawn’. How many soldiers lived at Vindolanda? When we had a smaller fort it was 500 men and when it was a bigger fort it was up to 1000 men. Where were the soldiers from? The Tungrians were from modern Belgium, Batavians from what is now the Netherlands, Vardullian Cavalry from northern Spain, Nervians and Gauls from modern France. Do you still find things? Yes, we are still excavating, most years April – September. Did women and children live at the fort? Yes, we have lots of objects which tell us they did including their boots and shoes. Child's shoe just after it had been excavated on site. Why is Vindolanda built where it is? The fort was built to protect the road running just to the north of the site, but the spot was chosen probably because it has springs and wells that provide water and it has good natural resources like clay and stone nearby.