Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Forts in Northern England
Course Date: Saturday 31st August to Saturday 7th September
Course Leader: John Wright
Early bookings received by 15th March: £695.00 per person
Bookings after 15th March: £730.00 per person
The course will cover the history of the Roman period in northern Britain, from A.D.43 to the end of the Roman period in the 5th century. The main part of the course will cover the period of the Romans in Northern Britain, the building of the Roman Wall (122A.D.--126A.D.) its purpose, and the history surrounding it, with special reference to the STANEGATE, built by AGRICOLA-Governor of Britain-80A.D - the original northern road from east to west, and its purpose.
Hadrian’s Wall is supposed to have marked the northern edge of the Roman Empire, but Roman control extended further north to the Antonine Wall, which ran from the Forth to the Clyde. During the week we shall visit parts of the Roman Wall and its forts, including Wallsend, Chesters, Housesteads Birdoswald, and the Stanegate and its forts, Vindolanda and Corbridge. Brief overviews of the areas and attractions to be discovered are outlined below;
- South Shields - the eastern supply port for the Romans, Hexham and the Museum of Roman Antiquites in Newcastle.
- Wallsend - the start of the Wall with a replica section of the wall visible to view along with traditional Roman baths.
- Chesters - a Fort later added to the original Wall. This venue has good ruins of a bathhouse.
- Housesteads - the largest and most famous of the Wall forts. Standing on a hillside with excellent panoramic views of areas to north and south of the wall
- Vindolanda - a fort originally build on Stanegate. This historical site also houses replicas of the Vindolanda Letters, recently voted the most “Outstanding National Treasure in the British Museum.”
- Hexham - a picturesque market town, south of the wall. This visit will take in the Abbey of Wilfred A.D.674 built from Roman stone.
- Corbridge - eastern end of the Stanegate. Originally a fort, the town has evolved into a prosperous garrison town; you can even walk on the original Stanegate Road.
Also to be included for 2013 are Piercebridge and Binchester. These locations are both Forts located to the south of the Hadrian’s Wall on Dere Street, one of the roads leading up to the Wall on the main road from York.
Also new for this year, there will be evening talks on Julian Caeser, his life and loves.
John Wright is a retired local teacher of history, is a member of the VINDOLANDA TRUST, and has done many excavation works on Roman forts and roads in the area, including Carrawburgh, Corbridge, Vindolanda and Ebchester.