A Historical Hadrian’s Wall Walk in a Day
For this content piece for Mammut, we recruited the help of author, guide and Hadrian’s Wall expert Mark Richards to take us on one of his favourite day hikes alongside the archaeological site.
Anyone with an appetite for exploring the rich tapestry of historic Britain will doubtless enjoy wandering alongside, and in the vicinity of, Hadrian’s Wall, this is certainly true for me.
With so much curious visitor attention directed upon the Roman remains, a walker seeking to sense the real essence of this important relic from the classical age will relish pacing it in the round. Personally, sticking rigidly to the National Trail has never cut the mustard. Indeed, over recent years I have tramped widely through the hinterland of the Roman Wall sensing its wild nature and history.
“The Priory plays into my walk in an interesting way – for I’d set my sights on a remote Holy Well, venerated by the Canons of Lanercost…”
With this in mind, I am about to undertake a figure-of-eight expedition from Birdoswald Roman Fort. To the Romans, this was Banna, a name derived from the Celtic ‘horn’. Some 40 years ago it was a muddy farmyard with cattle, sheep and pigs, a place of hoof and horn!
In the last 20 years archaeological research has revealed traces of a timber hall-house confirming how, no sooner than the Romans vacated the frontier, all building reverted to timber. This remained the case for secular building until about 1600 when stone-built bastle farms became the fashion, though from early medieval times castles and churches ‘borrowed’ the Roman masonry, witness nearby Thirlwall Castle and Lanercost Priory. The Priory plays into my walk in an interesting way – for I’d set my sights on a remote Holy Well, venerated by the Canons of Lanercost, situated west from Birdoswald alongside Hadrian’s Wall, a stone wall followed by a section of turf wall.
I’m now firmly on course with the National Trail leaving the fort heading west crossing a pasture – the site of the vicus…
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Continue the expedition alongside Mark Richards on the Mammut website as he guides us on a Walk Along Hadrian’s Wall. Or take a look at the other pieces of content marketing we’ve worked on for Mammut:
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