Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s wall was built to keep the Picts and Barbarians (Scots) away from Roman England.

Scotland did attack the wall on occasions, but each time, the Romans just rebuilt it.

The wall runs from Wallsend on the East Coast of England, to Bowness-on-Solway on the West Coast.

It was built on the orders of Emperor Hadrian and named after him.

Building commenced on the wall in 22AD. The wall was built of stone. It was 6 metres (16-20 feet) high, 3 metres (9.5 feet) wide and stretched for over 73 miles (80 roman miles).

Every 1500 metres (one roman mile), a castle was built (named a mile castle). These castles housed 20 soldiers. They were often made of wood. Between mile castles where 2 evenly spaced turrets that were always made of stone. The turrets were 4.5 metres (15 feet) high and 2.5 – 3 metres (8 – 10 feet) wide. Soldiers would stand on these turrets and watch over the countryside for enemy attack.

Along the length of the wall were 16 forts. These ranged in size from 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) to 3.75 hectares (9 acres) and could house up to 800 soldiers. The forts would be fully functioning and include a bakery, hospital, stables and even a prison. There would also be the Commanding Officers House where he would entertain guests and Barracks for the soldiers.

The wall was built by 3 Roman Legions and much of it was built in as little as 6 years, although building work is likely to have continued through to the end of Hadrian’s rule.

Following Hadrian’s reign, the wall was abandoned over time.

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