While in Northumbria, a visit to Hadrian’s Wall seemed like a must. The Wall, stretching across north Britain marked the edge of the Roman occupation of Britain at the time. Started in 122 CE, in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, it stretches 75 Roman miles or 177.5km across the country.
Part defensive structure, part border and customs control, the Wall marked the geographical boundary of the great Roman Empire. South of wall, you were Roman. North of the wall, you were a barbarian.
We visited the Wall at Housesteads Roman Fort or Vercovicium. The Fort was a garrison but also a settlement. In addition to barracks and administrative offices, there were bake ovens, granaries with pillars that supported a raised floor to keep food dry and free from vermin and, of course, a bathhouse.
It’s amazing that these stones, built 2,000 years ago still stand. And, the influence of the Romans from roads and towns build on a grid to coins and taxes and administration, still shapes our current society. I wonder what of our modern structures will still exist in 2,000 years and what it will say about us!
After the sun and heat of both the Outer Hebrides and Seahouses, it was a treat to have traditional cool English misty rain as we wandered around. I’m not sure how the Roman soldiers kept all the grass off their feet, though!!