The Roman Wall

Twisting 73 miles (80 Roman miles), reaching six metres in height and around eight foot wide it took 15,000 men just six years to build Hadrian’s Wall, a formidable show of Roman power.

A view of the Roman walls near Sycamore Gap

A view of the Roman walls near Sycamore Gap

It was AD122 when the Roman Emperor Hadrian gave orders that work should begin on the Wall, the most ambitious building project the Roman Empire had ever undertaken.

Milecastles punctuated the Wall every mile or so, with a brace of observation turrets in between. Heavily garrisoned forts such as Housesteads or Birdoswald stood guard a few miles apart. This was a defence of epic proportions.

While 2,000 years have passed since Hadrian gave his orders, sections of the Wall running through Northumberland are largely intact. Today Hadrian’s Wall is the nation’s greatest Roman monument.

Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort

Five of the eight remaining Roman Forts visible today are in Northumberland, the most well known being the carefully excavated sites of Vindolanda, Housesteads and Epiacum, as featured on Robson Greens Further Tales from Northumberland.  Discover just what Roman life was like 2,000 years ago and wonder over Roman treasures from military helmets topped with local red moss to the famous Vindolanda Tablets.  

Take the children to become the Roman Army’s latest recruits at hands-on family events taking place throughout the year on the Wall.

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