On the border

Once the border of the civilised world, Roman Emperor Hadrian built a great protective wall across Northern England, from the Atlantic Ocean at the shore of the Solway Firth, to the North Sea at what is no known as Wallsend.

Work on this 73 mile long structure began in 122AD on the orders of Hadrian and took six years to complete.

Hadrian's wall at Greenhead Lough

Much of the wall remains in tact today, with places such as Housesteads Roman Fort, managed by English Heritage access to the public.

I can’t help but wonder what a Roman soldier thought of the cold, wind and rain of a Northumberland winter coming from the Mediterranean climate of Italy. Perhaps the views of spectacular Northumberland countryside made up for it.

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Whilst initially a defensive position, the wall was also constructed to control the flow of trade into and out of, the Roman empire. Mile-castles along the route of the wall allowed people and goods to pass through controlled points, though woe-betide anyone who did not follow the soldiers’ orders and instructions.

Sycamore Gap
Sycamore Gap

The wall has had its fair share of fame, not just through the passage of time but in the film world.

Sycamore Gap featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman.

See also:

Hadrian’s Wall Country


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