Hadrians Wall

This is night No.3/2020 living in a caravan. This is the third night at the Lidalia C&MC Site in the village of Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders.

I had received a very good book on the history and construction of Hadrians Wall, and part of the reason for coming this far south was to give me the opportunity to visit some of the remains of the wall and it's structures. I've visited a site before, but with what I'd learnt from the book, I was keen to see it for myself. A bit of real living history.

My first sighting of the wall was from besides the approach to Birdoswald. It's been robbed over the years, but a surprising amount still stands and looks pretty sturdy!

The Roman Fort at Birdoswald is closed for the winter, but the wall continues east from here to Gilsland.

I could see some foundations over the fence into Birdoswald Fort.

From here, we took the short drive to Gilsland.

A fair bit of the wall remains here.

The remains of a Roman Watchtower.

Incredible stonework, particularly when you appreciate that it was constructed by hand 1900 years ago.

One feature I read was that the outer stones were flattened top, bottom and front, but the sides were tapered inwards to allow for the filling with lime mortar and rubble.

From here, we continued along the road to Cawfield Crags. Unfortunately, some of the wall was lost to modern quarrying for whin stone (for road building), but a very impressive hilly section of the wall remains.

The remains of a mile castle.

Very foggy, so I couldn't make out the wall in the distance.

Looking back at the modern, now disused, quarry. We then headed further east to our last visit, at Steel Rigg.

The wall look in remarkable condition here.

Hard to make out in the fog, the wall climbs steeply up the sides of the gorge on the left. I didn't go any further as the gorge looked really dodgy with sheer drops, and I couldn't see anything for the fog. The famous 'Sycamore Gap' which featured in the Costner Robin Hood film is on the other side of the gorge.

After returning to the van for something to eat (it's about an hour away), we headed out over the Moor road to Langholm. It's about 10 miles, but took ages due to the thick fog.

There's a great walk around the remains of Langholm Castle, along the riverside.

Langholm across the Ewes Water.

This place, Castle Holm, must be something to do with the Buccleugh people. A procession of range rovers passed as we walked. A fine path and walkers are welcome, but as we got nearer the building, the spaniels went berserk. They had stumbled across the biggest number of Pheasants I've ever seen! Maybe 100 birds on the grass. It must have been the prize stock out for a graze. And not just the common ones, there were silvery looking ones and whitish ones. The dogs didn't know what to do and it took me 10mins to get them back under control!


  1. Glad you saw the wall. It does look in good condition - in fact, it's in better trim than my own wall that keeps Sid in a full-time job! Impressive civil engineering. Although it has a price, the fog does add some poignant historical atmosphere. Wondered if you sensed the "chilli status" of Langholm on your trip. Finally, I do hope you retrieved the dogs without any sacrifice of birds. They might have thought it was all their Xmas times at once but you could have risked some "blunder-bust shot" a la The Beano, circa 1973.

    1. I'm happy to report that no pheasants suffered as a result of the spaniel 'barny'!


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