Following on from the last blog, The Edge of Empire, which focussed on the Roman Army Museum as a potential starting point to visiting the Hadrian’s Wall area, we are going to be looking at 4 of the best-preserved Roman forts (of the original 16) in a series called Forts of Hadrian’s Wall).
For selection purposes, we viewed ‘best preserved’ as the ones that had the most notable visitor’s centre and associated museum. Most are managed by either the National Trust or English Heritage, except for a handful that are privately run.
We’ll be starting with Birdoswald which is the furthest west we travelled.
Birdoswald was the location of the Roman Fort called Banna and the majority of the soldiers stationed here between AD 117 and AD 400 were from Dacia or modern-day Romania. The site still displays the distinctive playing card shape layout of Roman forts, which entry gates to east, west, north and south.
There are also a headquarters building, granaries and barracks with a rather interesting inclusion of an indoor training building – obviously the Romans figured out that the weather conditions in Northern England were not always the best for outdoor exercises!
English Heritage maintain the site and there is an excellent museum well worth having a look around before walking around the fort and the surrounding countryside.
Don’t miss the opportunity to build a replica stretch of the Wall, a bridge or turret out of the Lego (hand sanitising is required) 😊
More information on the site can be found on the English Heritage site here. Remember to pre-book a slot as it is still timed entry.
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All images used are personal photographs taken during a visit to Northumberland and Cumbria in October 2021.
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