Today we walked on Hadrian’s Wall! Built by the Romans in AD122, this 84 mile defensive fortification spanned the northern limits of the Roman Empire and ran from the North Sea to the Irish Sea. Hadrian, the emperor of Rome, decided that there was no value in pushing the territory any further north and had the wall designed to repel attacks from the northern tribes. It was built by Roman soldiers in a span of about eight years and it is believed that they used very little local labor. The original design had lookout turrets every few miles along the wall. However, a few years into construction, Hadrian decided that forts should also be built into the wall. Many portions of the wall had to be torn down and rebuilt to accommodate the new design. As the years went by, many soldiers were called back to Rome due to an ever increasing threat to the city. Most did not return to Britain. The forts and the wall were completely abandoned by the Romans around AD410. In the years that followed, much of the structure fell to ruin or the stone was pilfered for other construction projects. Today, a number of the fort ruins and portions of the wall have been excavated and are open for visitors to explore. The Hadrian’s Wall Pathway is a walking trail that runs along the entire length of the wall. So, if you have five to seven days of free time, this is a fun thing to do. Unfortunately, we do not have that kind of time at this point of our journey, but we were able to walk on the wall for about a kilometer. It is pretty amazing to think that this structure, built 1900 years ago, has stood the test of time. We visited two forts and it should be noted that the views from them were fantastic. Beautiful countryside – both north and south.
Following our walk back in time, we headed home for supper and reflected on another perfect day in England. Tomorrow we cross the border and head up to Edinburgh, Scotland. I wonder what kind of adventures we’ll find there.
PS. I probably do not thank you, our friends and readers, nearly enough for your support. It is always great getting feedback on something I’ve written or pictures that Richard has posted. We got two comments on our Lake District blog that I would like to pass along. The cattle with the bangs are most likely Highland cattle and the stone fences are called Dry Stone Walls. Thank you Cathy and Janet for that information. We appreciate it!