Today, I collected my guests from Edinburgh and took them on a day trip to visit some of the key sites on Hadrian’s Wall. I selected three key sites, namely Corbridge, Housesteads Roman Fort and Vindolanda.

Granary at Corbridge

Corbridge pre-dates the construction of Hadrian’s Wall and lies a little to the south of the line of the Wall. It started as a military site around AD80 and subsequently evolved into an important combined military and civilian site with a long period of occupation. I always describe  Corbridge as a “mini-Pompeii”, possibly an exaggeration but it is exciting to walk along the Roman streets, visit the important granaries and even the safe where the payroll was kept. On site there is a good museum featuring many of the finds from the site.

Municipal Water feature at Corbridge

After Corbridge, we drove along to Housesteads, which is probably the iconic fort and sits on the line of the Wall. The high elevation affords good views of the local landscape.  The remains are in good condition and include granaries, latrine, water cisterns, Living quarters, etc. This would have been a hardship posting for the Roman soldiers, especially in winter time.

Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads

Latrines at Housesteads

After Housesteads we had a spot of lunch at nearby Twice Brewed pub and then drive round to Vindolanda, a huge site which lies south of the Wall ( and pre-dates the Wall) which is very managed. Here we witnessed on-going excavations at this combined military and civilian settlement. Vindolanda is perhaps best known for the Vindolanda Tablets which are well preserved postcard type communications written on wood veneer and which provide us with a fascinating insight into the routines of daily life almost 2000 years ago.

Replica of Hadrian's Wall

Temple decoration at Vindolanda

Excavations at Vindolanda

Granary and Stores Building at Vindolanda

Overall, a good day which weas aided by clement weather.

Refer yesterday’s post for background facts on the Wall.

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