Hadrian's Wall, England

by Stuart And Barbara Robertson July. 01, 2018 383 views
Hadrian gave the order for his soldlers to build the Wall after his visit to Britain in 122 CE. Stretching from Wallsend near Newcastle to Bowness on Solway on the west coast, it is 74 miles long.  At Cawfields milecastle a farmer's wall runs bottom to centre, but the Roman Wall runs  left to right.

Hadrian gave the order for his soldlers to build the Wall after his visit to Britain in 122 CE. Stretching from Wallsend near Newcastle to Bowness on Solway on the west coast, it is 74 miles long. At Cawfields milecastle a farmer's wall runs bottom to centre, but the Roman Wall runs left to right.

The 19th century Cawfield quarry left half a hill and a small lake, but the Wall runs off to the left up the hill and across the ridge.  The Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 19th century Cawfield quarry left half a hill and a small lake, but the Wall runs off to the left up the hill and across the ridge. The Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After scrambling up the hill, the modern height and width of the Wall can be seen.  The length is hinted at if you look at the crest of the hill in the distance.  It just goes on and on.

After scrambling up the hill, the modern height and width of the Wall can be seen. The length is hinted at if you look at the crest of the hill in the distance. It just goes on and on.

With stones hand cut by Roman soldiers, and the Wall built by them as well, there must have been thousands of men involved.  The Wall was built in about 6 years. The Wall in this area ranged from knee height to shoulder height (most common) to over 2 metres.

With stones hand cut by Roman soldiers, and the Wall built by them as well, there must have been thousands of men involved. The Wall was built in about 6 years. The Wall in this area ranged from knee height to shoulder height (most common) to over 2 metres.

In this area, there are outcroppings of rock which show the source of the building material.

In this area, there are outcroppings of rock which show the source of the building material.

A couple walking towards me gave scale to the height and width of the Wall here

A couple walking towards me gave scale to the height and width of the Wall here

There seems to be a natural escarpment which runs for miles in an east-west direction.  Having the Wall at the top edge makes perfect sense.  I read that originally it was between 3 and 3.5 metres tall.  Dressed Roman stone can be found in many churches, farm buildings and castles of the area.

There seems to be a natural escarpment which runs for miles in an east-west direction. Having the Wall at the top edge makes perfect sense. I read that originally it was between 3 and 3.5 metres tall. Dressed Roman stone can be found in many churches, farm buildings and castles of the area.

Taken from the Wall at an edge of Cawfield milecastle.  A small fort was built every mile, hence the name. The quarry lake and adjacent parking lot are in the distance.  Hiking along the path beside the Wall is a great pleasure.

Taken from the Wall at an edge of Cawfield milecastle. A small fort was built every mile, hence the name. The quarry lake and adjacent parking lot are in the distance. Hiking along the path beside the Wall is a great pleasure.

I have climbed the hill where the quarry was dug and am looking back up to where I have walked.  The foundation of the milecastle shows clearly here

I have climbed the hill where the quarry was dug and am looking back up to where I have walked. The foundation of the milecastle shows clearly here

This watercolour was at the museum at the Housesteads Roman Fort.  I thought others might find it of interest.

This watercolour was at the museum at the Housesteads Roman Fort. I thought others might find it of interest.

Foxgloves growing wild.  Digitalis purpurea, I believe

Foxgloves growing wild. Digitalis purpurea, I believe

 Originally built in 124 CE, Housesteads was one of 16 forts built along the Wall.  The site itself is 5 acres and has a wonderful view on both sides of the hill once you have climbed up.

Originally built in 124 CE, Housesteads was one of 16 forts built along the Wall. The site itself is 5 acres and has a wonderful view on both sides of the hill once you have climbed up.

There are many foundations to be seen, both inside the fort and outside.  Soldiers would have lived inside but forts always have villages which grow up nearby for families, craftsmen, shopkeepers, etc.

There are many foundations to be seen, both inside the fort and outside. Soldiers would have lived inside but forts always have villages which grow up nearby for families, craftsmen, shopkeepers, etc.

The sign for this indicated it was the foundation area for a granary.  The children were having a wonderful time leaping about.

The sign for this indicated it was the foundation area for a granary. The children were having a wonderful time leaping about.

A second fort not far away is Vindolanda.  Privately owned, three generations of archeologists have been working here aided by a team of professionals and a well organized volunteer program.

A second fort not far away is Vindolanda. Privately owned, three generations of archeologists have been working here aided by a team of professionals and a well organized volunteer program.

Owing to the type of soil here, fragile items made of textiles, leather, wood and even paper have survived.

Owing to the type of soil here, fragile items made of textiles, leather, wood and even paper have survived.

part of the display of shoes

part of the display of shoes

A horse's chamfron or head protector, was found in the residence of  Flavius Cerilius, Prefect.  The modern example shows how decorative this piece may have been.  Last photo but I could have taken many more.  The tablets are the true treasure.

A horse's chamfron or head protector, was found in the residence of Flavius Cerilius, Prefect. The modern example shows how decorative this piece may have been. Last photo but I could have taken many more. The tablets are the true treasure.


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Andi Saw 1 year, 11 months ago
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1 year, 11 months ago Edited
Stuart And Barbara Robertson Replied to Andi Saw 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, in this case I have to disagree.  The wall is made of the rock of Whin Sill, an igneous extrusion of dolerite which will withstand wear and tear for millennia. I felt at the time that the motion and laughter brought life to the place.  Everything I read indicated that the wall was in use well after the Roman occupation, and that it was more because the stones were very useful to those who wanted building materials than because of general deterioration that the buildings are no longer there. 
Were the ruins made of a more delicate stone such as sandstone, I would not disagree with you.  For this, we can agree to disagree.
Glad you enjoyed the journey.  I did!

1 year, 11 months ago Edited
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