This morning I departed my Gilsland lodgings and re-connected with the Hadrian’s Wall Path, heading West. Although this stage was only 8 miles/13 km, the gradient was easy and the route well populated with physical remains including:

  • Sections of the actual Wall
  • Turrets.
  • A Watch Tower.
  • A Mile-Castle.
  • Remains of a Roman bridge.
  • Birdoswald Fort.
  • Earthworks ( ditch and vallum).

I also took the opportunity of a short diversion to visit Lanercost Priory, an impressive and largely intact medieval structure, part of which is still in use. Much of the masonry used in the construction of the Priory was re-cycled from Hadrian’s Wall.

As regards Birdoswald:

  • It  was one of the 16 forts constructed as part of the Hadrian’s Wall frontier system. Today, it remains an extensive site with well-preserved defences. This fort was in operation for some 300 years, from the second to the fifth centuries during which time it was the base for about 1000 soldiers. For about 200 years a unit from Dacia (modern-day Romania) was stationed there.
  • There is evidence of occupation after the Roman departure in AD 410, during the ‘Dark Ages’, and again in medieval times.
  • A fascinating site with a good visitor centre run by English Heritage.

The weather today was  mixed comprising wet periods interspersed with dry spells but very windy. Underfoot, the terrain was very wet in places.

 Poltross Burn Milecastle

Willowford East Turret 48a

Line of Wall to

Archaeology at Birdoslwald

Birdoswald Roman Fort

375

Leahill Turret 51b

 Frothy Stream

Hare Hill

Lanercost Priory

Dovecote Bridge

 I finished the day’s hike in Walton from where I was transported back to my overnight lodgings in Gilsland.

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