Visiting Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads Roman Fort

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Jedburgh and drove south, stopping at the Scotland-England border for photographs.

England-Scotland Border


Next stop was Corbridge Roman Site which has its origins in a pre-Wall frontier fort dating from the AD80s. This later evolved into a civilian settlement. The site was  extensively excavated in the early 20th century although much remains under adjacent farmland. Here there are granaries, a civic fountain, military barracks and more including an underground safe for soldiers pay.

Civic Fountain at Corbridge Roman Site


Corbridge Roman Site


Granaries at Corbridge Roman Site

Next to Vindolanda, a very extensive Roman site which is subject to on-going archaeological excavation. Like Corbridge, Vindolanda commenced life as a pre-Wall frontier fort and developed into a combined civilian and military site. Vindolanda is famous for the ‘Vindolanda Tablets’ small writing tablets which have been preserved in the anaerobic conditions.The tablets, written in Latin, provide a unique insight into day-to-day Roman life on the frontier. We were able to watch archaeologists at work excavating Romano- British, civilian, wooden dwellings dating from around AD105-120 which were preserved in the waterlogged conditions.

Military baths at Vindolanda

Vindolanda Roman Site, England

Archaeologist at Vindolanda

Happy archaeologists at Vindolanda

Excavations at early 2nd century AD Romano-British site.

Next to Housesteads military fort located on the line of the Wall. This is, perhaps, the best site to connect with the Wall and the Roman military. Here there are granaries, barracks, H.Q., barracks and an exceptionally well preserved latrine for the soldiers. The landscape vista at Housesteads was augmented by superb sunny weather conditions.

Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads


Granary at Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort


Housesteads Roman Fort

Our final site visit of the day was Birdoswald, another military fort on the line of the Wall, although less extensively excavated than Housesteads. This was a base for a unit of auxiliaries, the backbone of the Roman Army.

Entrance Gate at Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall

Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall


Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald


Finally, we drove on to Carlisle and our lodgings for the night. Tomorrow we visit Caerlaverock Castle and Ayr.

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