Photos by John
unless otherwise credited
Hadrian's 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.
Typical Roman Soldier of the time; The Wall
at Cawfields and a r econstructed 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.
Originally 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.
Hadrian's Wall is now recognised as a World heritage
Map Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics 2004
Tullie 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
- Birdoswald 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
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 for details.
Open 10.00am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week, 1st March to 9th November - please
check times and prices before setting out .
Housesteads Roman Fort &
Tel: 01434-344363. 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 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.
Vindolanda Fort & Museum
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 &
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 Tyne . The
bath house is the best preserved of its kind on the Wall. The Museum
includes the Clayton Collection and an extensive array of excavated
Facilities include Parking, Toilets, Summertime Refreshments, Gift
Shop and Museum.
Corbridge Roman Site &
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.
- WHITEHAVEN TIC
Market Hill, Whitehaven CA28 7JG. Tel: 01946-852939.
- CARLISLE TIC
Visitor Centre, Greenmarket, Carlisle CA3 8JH. Tel: 01228-625600.
- HALTWHISTLE TIC
The Railway Station, Station Road, Haltwhistle NE49 0AH. Tel: 01434-322002.
- HEXHAM TIC
Wentworth car Park, Hexham NE46 1XE. Tel: 01434-652220.
- NEWCASTLE TIC
128 Grainger Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 5AF. Tel: 0191-277 8000