Visit Hadrian's Wall by Mouse
stretches for 73 miles across the width of the north of England from Newcastle-upon-Tyne
in the east to the Solway
on the border between England and Scotland in the west. Construction of the wall started in 122 AD after a visit by the Roman
, and was completed in 8 years. The Romans built other walls in Britain but this wall is the best preserved and is
the most known. We visited a section near Corbridge
in Northumberland, which is 306 miles north of London. The section we visited
had a Roman fort.
Today there are only about four or five feet showing above ground, about four or five feet thick. And
much of the wall disappears below ground. Even considering its original height of about 20 feet, this is not a very large barrier.
The Great Wall of China is much, much taller, wider, and longer and traverses much more rugged terrain--considerably more impressive.
What was of most interest to us was the Roman fort
. One gets a very strong impression of what Roman military life was like from the
remains. You get a good idea of the barracks that the ordinary soldiers slept in; you see their latrines and bath arrangements; how
they directed water and heated the buildings with hypercausts
beneath the floors. And you see the comparatively spacious and luxurious
quarters of the commanding officer. Our understanding was aided by explanations provided by an actor in the role of a Roman Legionnaire
on a stage. He demonstrated a range of subjects from fighting techniques to how Romans kept themselves clean after using the latrine.
In this he was aided by young volunteers from the audience. And there was a section of the complex devoted to displays of Roman artifacts
found nearby. Photos Slideshow Letter (from Durham)