Roman Forts Exploration

Friday, August 29, 2008
We have two nights at a B&B in Haltwhistle, an old market town smack dab in the middle of Britian. I loved the hostess’s tea set and having tea and breakfast in her glass alcove overlooking her marvelous garden.

Took the bus from Haltwhistle to Vindolanda, a Roman Fort which has a museum and a cafe where we had lunch. The only writing of a Roman woman was found preserved here under layers of mud. It is an invitation to her birthday party, addressed to another woman.

We took the bus 2 miles to Once Brewed, a tiny village, walked up to the Roman wall and turned east to walk along the wall 4 miles to Housesteads, another excavated Roman Fort on the wall itself. The base of the fort and some towers have been excavated. The top stones were robbed to build farmhuoses and villages in the 1600’s. The Wall took 7 years to build in 122AD, was occupied by Roman forces until about 350AD, then local forces took it over and finally left the country in the hand of robbers for several hundred years. There was no law and Scotland and England quarreled over the area.

Finally King Edward I lead the battle against Robert the Bruce a Scot, in 1306. Although King Edward died in the marsh we walked by, it was the beginning of victory for England. And order in this area. Eventually, by 1600, a few farmers filled in the largely uninhabitated countryside. It is still mostly farmers and not heavily populated.

My favorites today
The Roman excavations and artifacts in the museum.
Views over the open countryside
Blooming heather on the hills.
Croft reproduction (medieval cottage for seasonal work in the country)

Vicki finally found Kendall Mint Cake at a gift shop. One of our favorite treats on our previous Coast to Coast hike in 2004.

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