Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Hadrian's Wall

I will get back to wargame reports eventually, but over the weekend we visited Hadrian's Wall.  It is 40 years since I was last in the Housesteads fort area and that was for a rather rushed visit.  With more time I was able to appreciate the use of terrain and the amount of work which went into the construction of this defensive wall.

A shot from near the Steel Rigg carpark, just west of Housesteads fort.  The route of the wall can be seen on top of the Whin Sill feature and in the distance, leading up to the small wood.

With the clouds brushing the tops of the surrounding hills and late autumn shafts of sunlight failing to instill any warmth, you felt every degree of windchill from the sneaky breeze.  For the garrison of 800 men it must have been a thankless posting, I bet many wondered which God they had angered.

The guiding within the remains of the fort is useful, helping to interpret the foundations which have been excavated.  From the north wall you can see the line of the wall to the east; the gap in the valley is the location of a later gate allowing easier access for wagons.  The original north gate being bricked up.

In the museum you can see a selection of late Roman arrow heads which were discovered during the excavations.

Once the Roman troops left the wall became a very useful 'quarry' for the locals to use.  Over a thousand years later they used the ruins of the southern gatehouse to construct a Bastle House as a defence against Border Raiders.


  1. Housesteads is a wonderful place to walk, and makes you appreciate just how clever the Romans were.

  2. Seems to be a good spot for a tramp. Thank you for sharing.