Hamish visited on a cold and showery April 08 day. There was a lazy northerly wind blowing so, despite global warming, it was easy to imagine how cold it must have been here in January during the second and third centauries! Hamish didn’t seem to mind (he still had a good coat after the winter) but we were glad to keep out of the wind at least some of the time; it would have been good to spend a little time in the commandant’s heated room but, sadly, even though the under-floor pillars and wall vents were still in place little of the walls and none of the roof remain. The site is served by a National Park car park (£2 for 3 hours or £4 for all Hadrian’s Wall car parks for the day). The substantial fort’s remains are a short, but uphill, walk away. The site has an information centre but dogs are not welcome (we can’t imagine why as most things are in display cabinets and the room has a rubberised floor). The site itself is quite extensive and it is easy to gain a good impression of how things once were. Clear and interesting information boards help paint the picture. The Hadrian’s Wall National Path runs immediately outside the fort on its northern side. We walked a section of this and made the most of some excellent views north from Whin Sill escarpment. It is obvious why the wall and fort were built here.
Housesteads Roman Fort (Hadrian's Wall)
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DogPeople Says : Housesteads Roman Fort (Hadrian’s Wall)
2.75 miles North East of Bardon Mill on B6318 (OS Map 87; ref NY 790687. The fort lies uphill from the car park (a ten minute walk).
Housesteads is the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain, and now the most popular site on the Wall. It stands high on the exposed Whin Sill escarpment, commanding breathtaking views. Like Chesters, it was one of 12 permanent forts added to his new frontier by Hadrian in about AD 124. Known as 'Vercovicium' ('the place of effective fighters'), it was garrisoned by a cohort of around 800 infantry (for most of its history Tungrians from Belgium), later reinforced by Germanic cavalry. Entry is through a small museum, displaying a complete model of how Housesteads once appeared. Excavations at the fort have revealed four double-portal gateways, the turreted curtain wall, three barrack blocks and of course the famous and well-preserved latrines. At the centre are the most important buildings: the commandant's house, head-quarters building and hospital.
Check the English Heritage website for details.
Dogs on leads are welcome - contact site for any restrictions. Assistance dogs are welcome everywhere.
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