Forty years after Emperor Claudius conquered southern Britain in 43 BCE, the Roman governor, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, led a force of 20,000 troops north toward Scotland.
Defending their newly won territory in England, Roman armies built heavily armed fortifications all over the island. The most famous of which is Hadrian's Wall, winding its way along on the northern edge of their British territory.
Built under the command of Emperor Hadrian who travelled extensively across the Roman Empire, making improvements to defences and consolidating borders. This coast-to-coast defence line was to protect Roman England from the marauding Picts.
Unlike the rest of Britain, Scotland was never considered part of the Roman Empire. Despite several invasions defeating the northern tribes, the Romans would never control Caledonia. (the Roman name for Scotland)
Photographing Hadrian's Wall
From the coast of Northumberland in the east to the western seaboard of Cumbria, this 2000-year-old wall is 73 miles (117km) long. Sixteen forts were built into the wall and a number of them have been preserved. These are accessible only after paying an admission fee, but other, barely visible sections will cost you nothing if you can find them.
If you're into history and the outdoors then you're in for a treat. A road trip along the length of Hadrian's Wall passes through some of England's finest countryside, spitting you out in the Lake District (If you're heading west)
The best-preserved and most dramatic stretch of Hadrian’s Wall intersects an epic walking route called the Pennine Way. This stretch not only includes the best-preserved fort on the wall at housesteads but also puts you up on the high ground at Winshields offering spectacular panoramic views. Furthermore, the Sycamore Gap is only an axe throw from here.
Lace-up your boots, pack your gear, grab a brolly and head out for a 2000-year-old historic trip via a famous sycamore tree and more than fair few sheep.
Completely Useless Facts about Hadrian's Wall
- When the Romans first arrived, Britain was home to numerous warring tribes. Some rebelled against the invaders, but others, such as the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe residing in the north of Britain, would become close allies.
- It's thought to have taken 15000 soldiers six years to complete the wall.
- Many soldiers and civilians travelled great distances to reach Hadrian's Wall, including people from modern-day Syria, Romania and North Africa.
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