To make the most of our vacation time, we’ve had a pretty packed schedule so far on our trip, and have been rushing from one place to another. Even though we’ve seen a lot, it’s been exhausting, and we’re starting to feel like we need a vacation from our vacation. Today, we finally take some time to just sit and appreciate nature near Hadrian’s Wall, one of the final attractions between England and Scotland. It’s a serene setting, and among other things we see plenty of sheep. Naturally, we also see part of the wall.
Hadrian’s Wall, another UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized as the best preserved Roman frontier, was built by the Romans to protect their territory, which at the time included England, from the barbarian tribes that lived in what is now Scotland. The Romans had conquered most of Britain, but they weren’t able to subdue the Scottish tribes. The wall is huge, stretching from one coast to the other across the narrowest portion of Britain, which is still a distance of about 80 miles!
The wall was planned, as the name would imply, by Hadrian, who became Emperor of Rome in 117 A.D. He wanted to make the borders of the Empire easier to defend and control, and as part of that plan, he ordered a wall to be built at the northern edge of the Roman-controlled portion of Britain. Some historians believe Hadrian himself visited the wall around 122 A.D to check on construction progress.
The wall includes forts placed at regular intervals of about 11 miles, from which the Roman Empire could be defended from invasion or attack by the barbarians. Between these major forts, smaller forts appear about every mile. The wall also includes gates, probably for passage by Romans who had reason to travel outside of the territory occupied by the Empire, including those trying to conquer Scotland.
Even though centuries have passed since the Romans left Britain, their influence and evidence of their occupation of the area remains through things like Hadrian’s Wall. Nowadays, visitors come to the wall to learn more about the history of the area and the Roman Empire, as well as to take walking or bicycle tours along the wall. Because of the length of the wall, there are a lot of attractions along it, including museums, reconstructions of Roman buildings, and of course the forts that are part of the wall itself.
|Hadrian||I sit and reflect on the Universe.|
|One of the Roman forts at Hadrian|