09-Jun-2004 -- This morning we left Keswick in Cumbria and drove via Carlisle along the
Hadrian's Wall towards East.
In 43 A.D. Britannia (roughly today's England) became a part of the Roman
Empire, and since then the Romans had begun to secure the border against the
Celtic tribes in the North (especially the Brigantes). In 122 A.D. Emperor
Hadrian had visited Britannia and on this occasion he gave the order to
built a strong fortification, extending from the North Sea to the Irish Sea,
and consisting of a ditch and a wall equipped with turrets and a chain of
small castles. In 124 A.D. it had already a length of 118 km and in 138 A.D.
the wall was completed. According to an ancient writer the purpose of this
wall was to separate the Romans from the barbaric tribes, and contrary to a
similar construction in Germany ("Limes") no major conflicts on this wall
have been reported for a long period, except when in 180 A.D. the
Caledonians attacked the Romans. But they could be rejected successfully.
After 260 A.D. the Pictes arrived from Scotland and from this moment the
Romans had to permanently defend themselves.
Due to the troubles and civil wars in the continental Roman Empire more and
more Roman troops were withdrawn from Britannia and in all likelihood there
were no longer any left after 400 A.D. Thus, contrary to the Limes in
Germany, the Hadrian's Wall was never subject to destruction due to warlike
activities. Most castles along the Hadrian's Wall, however, have been
destroyed by fire.
Passing through this wonderful scenery we finally arrived at the confluence
area near Halton, where we saw a beautiful poppy field.
We parked the car in a small forest close to a small river.
After a short walk we arrived at the confluence, from where
we saw Aydon Castle.
The views to North, East, South and West look
quite similar, and on the way back to the road to Hexham we passed two
horses - a white and
a brown one.
At 6 p.m. we arrived at the "Royal Hexham Hotel" for overnight.