Spectacular stretches of the Wall are still intact at Birdoswald Roman Fort, an important base for some 1,000 Roman soldiers. A fort, turret and milecastle can all be seen on this stretch of the Wall. Archaeological discoveries have revealed much about military life here. Three of the four main gateways of the fort have been unearthed, as have the outside walls, two granary buildings, workshops and drill hall.

Its Visitor Centre tells the intriguing story of Birdoswald and has a tearoom for refreshments and a well-stocked souvenir shop.




For more information click on www.english-heritage.org.uk

 

Netherby and Bewcastle

You can also venture deeper into the Debatable Lands where the Roman outpost forts of Netherby and Bewcastle once stood and imagine what life was like beyond the Wall itself, away from the safety of Birdoswald Fort.

Hadrians WallThe soldiers stationed in this buffer zone between the Wall and the hordes of barbarians were part-mounted auxiliary units recruited from tribes noted for their tracking and hunting skills.

 

The environment has hardly changed over the centuries and is further enhanced by woodland gorges on the edge of one of the largest forests in Europe.  Here you can find a variety of wildlife and birds such as buzzards, lapwings and curlews.

Here, you can also see the Bewcastle Cross, a runic monument believed to be late 7th century. The head of the cross is missing but the remainder is still 14.5 feet high. Each of the four sides of the cross is intricately carved with animals, vines and knots as well as inscriptions.

 

In 1757, Longtown was the beneficiary of Rev. Robert Graham, who inherited the nearby Netherby Estates.  He replaced 1000 acres of marshy land with roads, well-built homes for tenants and schools for the children of the town.

Bewcastle CrossGraham also built Netherby Hall by adding on to existing buildings. Many Roman antiquities were discovered during the building process.

Netherby Hall is a mid 18th century / Jacobean building with a real Pele tower that proctected the Graham family from attacks from other reiving families.

The Hall, is now privately owned and not open to the public. This famous historical landmark was made famous in Walter Scott’s novels, particularly ‘Marmion’, in which the Graham family heiress elopes with Young Lochinvar.

There is so much to see and do in The Debatable Lands Beyond the Wall.

From fishing, bird watching and nature trails to horse riding and local craft exhibitions. This beautiful and historic area also has easy access to the historic city of Carlisle, Gretna Green, the Scottish Borders and the delights of the Lake District.

For more information click on www.bewcastle.com/cross.htm

 

Hadrian's Wall National Trail - www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall
Birdoswald Roman Fort - www.english-heritage.org.uk

Hadrians Wall Country - www.hadrianswallcountry.org