This formidable fortification straddles Three english counties and is One Of The most famous roman structures Of all Time
At 117.5 kilometres (73 miles) long, Hadrian’s Wall is the largest surviving Roman artefact in the world and a major tourist attraction.
When Emperor Hadrian came to power in 117 CE he wanted to separate his British lands from ‘barbarian’ Caledonia (modern Scotland) and constructed a hard border. Over approximately six years, three legions built a fortified wall, and Hadrian inspected its progress in 122 AD. The completed structure was an architectural wonder.
Hadrian’s Wall included 80 ‘milecastles’, observation towers and 17 larger forts. It was six metres (20 feet) high and sometimes three metres (ten feet) deep. Such was its enduring memory that many people assume that it marks the border between England and Scotland. However, the wall is located entirely south of the modern border.
Visitors can still see ten per cent of the original wall, and there are many places to visit. ‘Hadrian’s Wall path’ runs along its entire length and is well signposted. The best intact section is 17 kilometres (10.5 miles) between the Roman Army Museum near Carvoran and Housesteads Fort. There are also extensive remains at forts such as Birdoswald, Arbeia and Segedunum.
The most famous site is Vindolanda in Northumberland. This former auxiliary fort revealed the ‘Vindolanda tablets’, which are some of the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain and give a unique insight into everyday Roman life.
Hadrian’s Wall snakes through dramatic scenery in northern England