Hadrian's Wall. Walking beside the turf-topped wall (on the right), from Steel Rigg car-park. Photograph 2006 and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [This image may be freely used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

This border fortification, begun by the Romans in 122 AD and finally abandoned in 383 AD, traverses England from the Solway Firth in the west to the River Tyne in the east, and is punctuated by "milecastles" and forts. This scene in the open countryside occurs in the Northumbrian part of the wall — about its midpoint — after it has already passed through Cumbria.

Hadrian's Wall has a special relevance to Victorian studies because a Victorian, John Collingwood Bruce (1805-92), the proprietor of a school in a Newcastle and a keen antiquary, first drew the general public's attention to the importance of these remains by putting together the various findings about it in The Roman Wall (1851) and The Wallet Book of the Roman Wall (1861). Collingwood began the fashion for making pilgrimages to the wall, and walking or cycling the length of the wall are both popular pursuits now, for the countryside along it, not far south of the modern border with Scotland, is very beautiful.

Related Material


The Macmillan Encyclopedia, London: Macmillan, 1986.

Oxford dictionary of national biography: in association with the British Academy: from the earliest times to the year 2000. Ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. New York: Oxford UP, 2004.

Last modified 6 August 2006