Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hadrian's Wall

Today we drove to see Hadrian’s Wall Country there is no better place to understand the story of the northwest Frontier of the Roman Empire than Hadrian's Wall Country. Hadrian's Wall (Latin: Vallum Aelium, "Aelian Wall" – the Latin name is inferred from text on the Staffordshire Moorlands Patera) was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.  The wall was the most heavily fortified border in the Empire. With a Milecastle every Roman mile (1.48km) and two turrets equally spaced between each it spanned a distrance of 80 Roman Miles (120km approx.). In addition to its role as a military fortification, it is thought that many of the gates through the wall would have served as customs posts to allow trade and levy taxation. A significant portion of the wall still exists, having been rescued in the 19th century by John Clayton, who, alarmed at the destruction by quarrying, bought a number of sections. For much of its length, the wall can be followed on foot by Hadrian's Wall Path

Countryside on the way to Harian's Wall

An amazing bridge spanning the valley.
The recently refurbished Roman Vindolanda is renowned as one of Europe's most important archaeological sites and allows the opportunity for visitors to explore Roman life on the edge of the Empire.

The Roman Vindolando Museum

Small replica shrine dedicated to Water Nymphs 

The inscription above the door translates to - The villagers of Vindolanda dedicated this temple sacred to the nymphs. Water nymphs were always popular in the celtic world and some of the shrines dedicated to them attracted important worshippers.

The wall paintings inside the temple are all based on roman examples from Pompeii.

A seated Statue of Fortuna was found in 2012 with a missing head, rudder shown at her side symbolising her steering the destiny of people in her left hand and a cornucopia in her right hand. In 1717 a stone altar of the goddess was found inside the fort and read "To the future of the Roman people Gaius Julius Raeticus Centurian of the Sixth Legion victrix ....."  

Statue of Fortuna


The Roman Fortification of Vindolanda

Head Quarters building with well.

Granary and Store Building.


The Commanding Officer's home where an extremely rare temple to the god Jupiter Dolichenus (ancient weather god) built around AD220 was found 

An example of the different ways Hadrian's Wall was built over the years first in wood then in stone.

A butcher's shop with drainage and counter/bench

Bath House

A Roman Celtic Temple built high above the fort and village

Hadrian's Wall at Steel Rigg

Sycamore Gap famous for its appearance in the Hollywood film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sycamore Gap provides stunning views across the acres of countryside. At Steel Rigg you can view the remains of three well-preserved milecastles, in addition to soaking up fantastic views of the Wall and surrounding areas.

Brocolitia Mithraeum - Roman Temple dedicated to the worship of Mithras
 Mithras was the Sun God born of the heavens who captured and killed in a cave a bull the first creature created on earth and from the blood that flowed all manner of creatures gained new life.

Three altar stones
 We then drove to Hexham a village near Hadrian's Wall.

Old Goal

Hexham Abbey

Killhope Lead Mine 
Home in time for another wonderful dinner, the food that we have been having is mostly in adorable English Pubs and it is wonderful home cooked meals with vegetables etc no dying to get home to some vegetables etc this holiday. I tried my first mulled wine this evening which was really nice which surprised me as I do not like red wine but with the addition of all the herbs and spices and the fact that it is served hot it was really nice.


Miz Storge said...

I run, where I blog about modern Hellenic, Roman, and Norse polytheism, along with related history, art, and archaeology. I hope you'll be so kind as to permit me to share your photos of the inside of the Temple of the Holy Nymphs (yours are the clearest, most detailed I've discovered), giving you credit and linking back here, of course. Thanks for posting this informative article!

Lee-Anne said...

Thank you for reading my blog and your interest in the photos of the Temple of the Holy Hymphs. I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to have visited these historical places, and feel it is only right to share with everyone who may not be able to do the same. I am more than happy for you to share these photos on your blog and wish you every success with your work.