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Stretching 120 kms. (Seventy-three miles), or eighty Roman miles, coast to coast across the narrowest part of Northern England - from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the East to Bowness-on-Solway in the west - Hadrian's Wall was largely completed by AD 130.

Named after the emperor, who ordered its construction in 122, it was originally three metres (nine feet) wide and up to six metres (twenty feet) high, including a parapet to the north. At every Roman mile along its length, the builders - mostly legionaries -constructed a small guard post, or milecastle. A turret, sited every third of a Roman mile between each milecastle, served as a signal or lookout post.

Shortly after Hadrian's death in 138 his successor, the Emperor Antonius Pius, ordered the construction of a new wall almost 160 kms. (100 miles) further north. Known as the Antonine Wall, it was abandoned in about 162, leaving Hadrian's Wall - with its formidable series of defensive ditches and mounds - the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire until the final withdrawal of the legions from Britain in 410.

Most of the photographs on this page are of the central more remote sections of the Wall. It is magnificent walking country, with lovely views around every corner. One of the best car parks on the wall is at Steel Rigg, near Twice Brewed and Crag Lough. However, it's best to arrive early as it quite small and tends to fill rather quickly.

Click on a photo to enlarge it

Hotbank FarmCrag LoughCuddy's Crag

Walltown CragsWindshields CragsCrag Lough and Hotbank Farm

next page      Hadrian's Wall II

Vindolanda Fort/Museum & Roman Army Museum

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