Attested: Rudge Cup and Amiens Patera BANNA; RC Banna; Inscription BANNIESS
Where: The Roman fort at Birdoswald, Cumbria, NY615663, on Hadrian’s Wall. It sits on flat ground above a steep slope down to the meandering river Irthing.
Name origin: See here about the element bann in early names. Since no real peak or rocky outcrop was nearby, Banna was probably some kind of administrative centre.
Notes: See chapter 6 here about archaeology at Banna, where there was a substantial settlement, civilian as well as military, which stayed busy into post-Roman times. The fort would certainly have received some supplies by water, and the main Roman quarry was 2 km downstream on the Irthing. Banna was near the high point of the Wall, a watershed of northern England, which prompted Selkirk (2001, p128) to wonder if the Romans dug a summit-level canal near there (roughly along modern Pow Charney Burn) to link the Tyne and Solway catchments.
Last Edited: 19 July 2016