Birdoswald & Housesteads, Cumbria.

Then on to Birdoswald, a fort on Hadrian’s Wall. The weather was persistently dull and a misty rain kept falling. But these seem, somehow, to be the best conditions in which to visit the Wall? After all, it was the most northern boundary of the Roman Empire. This was the gatehouse, seen from the south. It originally had a double-arched gateway, but the right-hand one was filled in, as you see.Here, the wall, much reduced from its original height, is seen running to the east, or perhaps the west? In any case, read about this amazing construction at

A few miles to the east, the large fort of Housesteads. The wall is seen running eastwards…

And here, westwards.And this is Scotland, from which fierce warriors emerged periodically to attack this northern extremity of the Great Empire, based in distant Rome. It is impossible to stand on this now much-reduced rampart – especially in a thin, penetrating cold drizzle, most unusual for July – without one’s mind being expanded and inspired with many thoughts. Of course, the soldiers who manned this 70-mile long (~110 Km) wall, the earlier echelons having built the thing (an astonishing task) were not usually ‘Romans’. The wall was begun in 122 AD – nearly 1,900 years ago. These soldiers were recruited from all over Europe, and there are examples of grave-markers which have inscriptions in many different languages. Syrian is but one, I think – read it up: you may be fascinated by the whole thing. You could join the Association for Roman Archaeology!

See: It’s great;  I’ve been a member for several years!