Reenactment soldiers at Housesteads Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall.

This evening, I am posting information on Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall in England.

Housesteads is located on a ridge known as the Whin Sill escarpment about 25 miles east of Carlisle which itself is on the line of the Wall. Access entails a 10 minute walk up a rough path passing through fields with farm animals (mainly sheep).

It is believed the Roman name for the fort was Vercovicium.

Summary information on Housesteads as follows:

  • One of twelve permanent forts built by Hadrian on the Wall and one of the few examples of a complete Roman Fort in Britain.
  • The site extends to five acres and is strategically situated on what was the northern edge of the Roman Empire, facing enemy territory to the North.
  • Constructed around AD 124 but subject to various changes over the succeeding centuries through to departure of the Romans in AD 410.
  • Within the Fort’s curtain walls were four imposing gates facing North, South, East and West plus interval towers.
  • Within the confines of the Fort were standard buildings: H.Q., Commandant’s House, Barracks, Granaries, Hospital and Latrines. Just outside the South Gate can be viewed remains of a civilian settlement known as a Vicus.
  • The Fort was home to a unit (cohort) of auxiliary soldiers, comprising infantry and cavalry,from what is now known as Belgium and spoke a Germanic language. This unit was known as the First Cohort of Tungrians (Cohors Tungrorum) and totalled about 800 men.
  • Image at foot of this post shows Knag Burn Gate. This gate and flanking towers were constructed in the third century to provide an alternative access through the Wall after the Fort’s North Gate fell out of use.
  • At the site are refreshment facilities and a small museum.

Landscape view of Housesteads Roman Fort

Carving of Hooded Gods on display at Housesteads Museum.

  • Hypocaust heating system at Housesteads

View south from Housesteads Roman Fort

Granary at Housesteads Roman Fort

Hadrian’s Wall stretching east from Housesteads Roman Fort.

Latrine Block at Housesteads Roman Fort.

Video clip of Housesteads Roman Fort.

Knag Burn Gate to east of Housesteads Roman Fort

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