by John Moss
unless otherwise credited
of the Wall
is located about 100 miles north of Manchester, and runs across
the counties of Cumbria and Northumberland on what was once the
England-Scotland border. It's around a 2½ hour drive up the
M6 Motorway to Junction 43 (Carlisle) and then due east along the
A69 trunk road which follows the Wall along it's entire length to
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The author verifies it to be an easily achievable
return day trip from Manchester.
Soldier of the time; The Wall at Cawfields and a reconstructed
Wooden Fort at Vindolanda
The Wall was
constructed, between AD 120 and 128, coast to coast from Bowness
on Solway, just west of Carlisle, to Wallsend on the River Tyne
estuary- a distance of 73 miles, (which the author can verify, having
walked the whole length of the wall in 1972). Hadrian's Wall is
recognised as one of the most important Roman remains in the United
Kingdom, having been declared a World heritage Site.
Constructed during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, (hence its
familiar name), It survived as a formidable frontier barrier for
300 years, until the Roman legions withdrew from Britain in 410
AD, after which time it fell into decline.
some 12 feet high and following natural fortifications and steep
escarpments on the northern side, it was subsequently pillaged for
its stones over the succeeding centuries and now is only a vestige
of its former self. Its stones can be found in many local farm buildings,
enclosures and church walls. Nevertheless, the monument is still
most impressive and well worth a trip to see it and walk at least
some of its line.
Much of this once great stark and inspiring frontier has disappeared
from view, though sufficient stretches remain to make this a fascinating
and worthwhile visit for the tourist, with extensive excavations
having taken place over recent years, with several museums and fortifications
now open to the public.
is now recognised as a World heritage Site
of Hadrian's Wall
Map Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics 2004
Wall Forts & Museums
House Museum & Art Gallery
Carlisle. Tel: 01228-534478. Website: www.tulliehouse.co.uk
Award winning museum with displays about Hadrian's Wall, border
history and the town of Luguvalium. Open 7 days a week. Entrance
fee payable with concessions and family tickets - but please check
times and prices before setting out. Closed Christmas and new Year.
Sections of Garrison Wall at Vindolanda and a typical Hadrian's
Wall Mile Castle
Fort, Study & Visitor Centre
Gilsland, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 7DD. Tel: 016977-47602. Fax:016977-47605
Email. firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.birdoswaldromanfort.org.uk.
Birdoswald, known in Roman times as Banna, was one of
16 forts on Hadrians Wall. It is one of the most impressive
locations for a Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall. Set on a high spur overlooking
the River Irthing the views are spectacular and it becomes very clear
why the Romans built a fort on the site.
Site has an interactive visitor centre complete with a full scale
replica of a piece of the wall and audio visual presentation. The
centre takes you through Birdoswalds history from the Romans
through to present day.
Birdoswald Roman Fort was now designated as a World Heritage Site.
The fort is well excavated and building remains can be clearly seen.
A superb stretch of Hadrians Wall adjoins the fort for a ½
mile to Harrow Scar Milecastle. The fort originally would have had
granaries, a large basilica (aisled exercise hall), a hospital, barrack
blocks, commandants house, a headquarters building, parade ground,
civilian settlement and graveyard. Remains of the granaries and basilica
can still be seen today.
Facilities include a car park, toilets, refreshment and tea room,
shop and bookshop. Most of the site is accessible by wheelchair, but
please phone for any special arrangements that may need to be made
in advance. Please note that there is a ¼ mile walk uphill
from the car park. Conference and Meeting Room facilities - see website
Open 10.00am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week, 1st March to 9th November -
please check times and prices before setting out.
Roman Fort & Museum
See also English heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
Located about 3 miles from Haltwistle. Well signposted from the
A69 and the B6318 which runs parallel to the wall. 2¼ miles
north-east of Bardon Mill. Ample parking, but a ¾ mile walk
uphill to the fort.
The most complete Roman Fort in Britain. Its spectacular position
commands excellent panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
It has barracks, granaries, a hospital and latrines, with excellent
views of the Wall. Open all year - closed Christmas and New Year
. Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets - but
please phone ahead to check opening times and prices. Facilities
include a Picnic Site, Toilets, Gift Shop and Refreshments. Disabled
access available, but please phone ahead.
Fort & Museum (Chesterholme)
Tel: 01434-344277. Website: www.vindolanda.com
Vindolanda is probably the largest and most important Roman Fort
excavation and Roman Museum on Hadrian's Wall. Located 1½
miles north of Bardon Mill - ¾ mile walk uphill from car
park. Multi-Award-Winning site with extensive remains of settlement,
gardens and onsite museum with bookshop and refreshments available.
Rare Roman writing tablets, pottery, weapons and domestic artifacts.
Open all year, but closed Christmas & New Year. Entrance fee
payable with concessions and family tickets - please check times
and prices before setting out.
Chesters Roman Fort & Museum
Tel: 01434-681379. See also English Heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
Located ¼ mile west of Chollerfordon the B6318. Chesters
Bridge nearby - access by footpath from Chollerford. Entrance fee
payable with concessions and family tickets. Open all year but closed
over Christmas and New Year - please phone to check times and prices
before setting out. Reputedly the best remains of a Roman Cavalry
Fort in Britain, built across the wall to protect the North River
The bath house is the best preserved of its kind on the Wall. The
Museum includes the Clayton Collection and an extensive array of
Facilities include Parking, Toilets, Summertime Refreshments, Gift
Shop and Museum.
Corbridge Roman Site & Museum
Located ½ mile northwest of Corbridge on a minor side road.
See also English heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
A supply base for Hadrian's Wall, it developed into a prosperous
garrison town. The museum contains many local finds and an audiovisual
tour. Open daily, closed Christmas & New Year. Entrance fee
payable with concessions and family tickets. Facilities include
Parking, Toilets, Summertime Refreshments, Gift Shop and Museum.
Tourist Information Centres (TICs)
Market Hill, Whitehaven CA28 7JG. Tel: 01946-852939.
- CARLISLE TIC
Visitor Centre, Greenmarket, Carlisle CA3 8JH. Tel: 01228-625600.
The Railway Station, Station Road, Haltwhistle NE49 0AH. Tel: 01434-322002.
- HEXHAM TIC
Wentworth car Park, Hexham NE46 1XE. Tel: 01434-652220.
128 Grainger Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 5AF. Tel: 0191-277 8000