Haltwhistle » Places To Visit http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk Centre of Britain | Roman Wall | Tourism Tue, 15 May 2012 09:26:24 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 The History Of Hadrian’s Wall http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/the-history-of-hadrians-wall/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/the-history-of-hadrians-wall/#comments Sun, 22 Jan 2012 17:34:03 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=258 hadrianswallWe have all heard about Hadrian’s Wall but what do we know about the history of Hadrian’s Wall and what it actually stands for. The building of the wall began way back in A.D. 122 when the Roman Emperor Hadrian set about building two walls across England known as Hadrian’s Wall and the lesser-known Antonine Wall. As Hadrian’s Wall has by far and away the most physical remains still evident today it is this particular one which has certainly caught the attention of archaeologists, tourists and even the UNESCO world heritage organisation.

Why was Hadrian’s Wall built?

It is unclear exactly why Hadrian’s Wall was built in the first place but what seems certain is the fact that it was planned well in advance of the Roman invasion of Britain. There are some who believe the Roman Emperor Hadrian set about separating parts of the UK so that he could maintain control with rumours of rebellions although there are others who believe it was the fighting spirit of the Scottish people which forced the construction of the Roman Wall.

However, many experts believe that Scotland was sparsely populated at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain and therefore the creation of such a monumental wall across the country could not have been purely and simply to keep out the invading Scottish armies.

There is a more common theory with regards to the creation of Hadrian’s Wall and the fact that it was purely and simply a political issue and a show of strength. While not widely reported it is believed that the wall was covered in plaster and whitewashed upon completion meaning that it was able to reflect the sunlight and was visible from many miles around. Whatever the reason there is no doubt that the creation of Hadrian’s Wall was an amazing feat and one which has stood the test of time.

Construction of Hadrian’s Wall

The wall was constructed across a line which you could draw from Carlisle across Corbridge and through to Vindolanda and beyond the north-east of England. The original idea appears to have been a ditch with a wall and 80 milecastle fortlets across the way, each at one Roman mile intervals. However, history shows that the terrain was more brutal and more demanding than the Romans had originally thought and indeed the location of these fortlets was in fact anywhere between 200 yards east or west of the one Roman mile post.

Originally the wall was built from limestone although some areas of the sparse terrain were not easily accessible and turf was used to complete some parts of the wall. When you take into account the fact that the wall is indeed 80 Roman miles long which equates to 73 modern-day miles and 120 km it was certainly a massive project.

What happened to parts of the wall?

When you consider the wall actually goes back to A.D. 122 it is no surprise to learn that large areas of the phenomenal defence wall have actually disappeared. History shows that large sections of the stone used in the Roman Wall were taken and used for road building from the 18th century. However, it is not so well known but a gentleman by the name of John Clayton actually set about buying up vast areas of the Roman Wall between Brunton and Cawfields back in the 1800s to ensure that farmers and industrialists were prevented from dismantling this amazing spectacle.


This is just a relatively short overview of the Roman Wall and a brief history of this world heritage site. We will soon be looking at specific elements of the Roman Wall including various forts such as Vindolanda which to this day continue to attract massive tourist interest. When you take into account the fact that the Roman Wall began back in A.D. 122 it is amazing that any of the wall is still visible today.

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Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/hadrians-wall-path-national-trail/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/hadrians-wall-path-national-trail/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 14:52:03 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=228 As more and more people look to take in tourist attractions in the UK there has been specific demand for experiences such as the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. The Hadrians Wall runs from Newcastle to Carlisle although many of the more prominent attractions and exquisite views are available in and around the Haltwhistle area. As a consequence, Haltwhistle has seen a massive increase in the number of tourists from around the world as well as from around the UK.

The Hadrian’s Wall Walk is more popular today than it ever has been and is now mentioned on hundreds if not thousands of Walking and Rambler sites. Until you have actually stood on the Roman Wall and looked over the hills and meadows it is difficult to explain exactly what it feels like. The history, the presence, the beauty and the elements all available in one spot!

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Hadrian’s Wall buses http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/hadrians-wall-buses/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/hadrians-wall-buses/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 14:43:59 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=226 The number of Hadrian’s Wall buses has increased dramatically over the last few years as the number of tourists continues to grow. Many of the specific tourist buses take in sites such as Haltwhistle and the surrounding areas, giving many people the chance to enjoy the beauty of the region. There are also a number of minibuses available which can take in the length and breadth of Hadrian’s Wall from Newcastle to Carlisle with some very special scenery along the way.

For those looking to travel at their own speed there are a number of private taxi firms in and around Haltwhistle which can show you the sights, the old forts and some of the most unbelievable views you could dream of. While many tourists look overseas for their adventures it is easy to forget what is on our own doorsteps!

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Haltwhistle Photographs http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/haltwhistle-photographs/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/haltwhistle-photographs/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 11:49:41 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=223 There are a whole host of new websites containing Haltwhistle Photographs from the past and the present. The history of Haltwhistle is there for all to see and contains not only some of the older pictures from the mines and surrounding businesses but some of the most beautiful countryside you could ever hope to see along the Roman wall.

Hadrian’s Wall has become a central part of the Haltwhistle economy attracting literally hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region. However, more and more people are now realising that the area has very much more to offer than just Hadrian’s Wall and is now becoming one of the central tourist destinations in the North of England. It is also the close proximity to Scotland, Carlisle and Newcastle which has helped to increase the profile of Haltwhistle as well as the vast array of Haltwhistle Photographs available on many websites.

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Vindolanda Hadrians Wall http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/vindolanda-hadrians-wall/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/vindolanda-hadrians-wall/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2009 11:05:00 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=87 Vindolanda Hadrians Wall

Vindolanda Hadrians Wall

The Vindolanda Roman fort is situated just south of Hadrian’s Wall (near Bardon Mill) and was apparently built to protect the historic Roman road which ran from the River Tyne in the north-east of England to the Solway Firth in the north west. It has become one of the more popular Roman forts with many tourists visiting the region from all areas of the world and schoolchildren regularly in attendance. Aside from the Vindolanda Roman fort the site also held what are known as the Vindolanda tablets which detail both military and private correspondence between the various members of the Roman army.

Despite the fact that the first Roman ruins at Vindolanda were found in 1586 by William Camden even to this day there are new findings being announced on a regular basis. The 14 July 2009 saw a press release from the Vindolanda Trust which confirmed the discovery of a “unique shrine to a major Roman god” which had until this year remained hidden beneath the surface.

The Vindolanda fort itself appears to have originally been built back in 122 AD but has undergone a number of major rebuilding works over the years. The Vindolanda tourist site contains the remains of many buildings which are still visible, a number of large Roman baths and an excellent museum which are proving ever more popular with tourists visiting the region.

The site is administered by the Vindolanda Trust, a registered charity, which has been in charge of the operation since 1970. We strongly recommend that you check out the Vindolanda website at www.vindolanda.com for details of the many attractions, opening times and much more background information on the venue itself.

Note : The photograph used in this post was provided by the Vindolanda Trust

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Housesteads Hadrians Wall http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/housesteads-hadrians-wall/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/housesteads-hadrians-wall/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2009 10:38:58 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=80 Housesteads Hadrians Wall

Housesteads Hadrians Wall

The Housesteads Roman fort (otherwise known as Vercovicium) is located just outside Bardon Mill and is one of the best preserved of the various Roman castles along Hadrian’s Wall. The history of this very popular National Trust tourist destination goes back to the second century AD and it was one of the first of the many Roman forts to be built along Hadrian’s Wall.

The Housesteads Hadrian’s Wall fort is slightly different to the normal buildings seen along the Roman Wall in that firstly it is built behind the wall and did not protrude into “enemy territory”, secondly the fort has never had a water supply and the many troops who have stayed in the buildings had to depend upon rainwater. An airborne survey of the site by the National Trust showed that it extends across a number of fields and the site was obviously chosen because of the height advantage and the fact you can see for miles.

The National Trust now operate the site which has become one of the most popular Hadrian’s Wall tourist destinations offering the chance to not only walk along the Roman Wall itself but also check out the various garrisons and buildings connected to it. While Housesteads Castle is just one of 16 forts along Hadrian’s Wall it did have the earliest known flushing toilet!

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Bellister Castle tourist attraction http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/bellister-castle-tourist-attraction/ http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/places-to-visit/bellister-castle-tourist-attraction/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2009 10:16:37 +0000 The Tourist http://www.haltwhistle.org.uk/?p=48 Bellister Castle is situated just outside Haltwhistle with the remains of a 13th century castle which has undergone many alterations and additions over the years. Records show that the grade 2 listed building, which is now owned by the National Trust and leased out on a long-term basis, has a very interesting history. The property itself was originally occupied by the Bellister family although the property was sold back in 1697 and has had a number of owners since then.

Records as far back as the 14th century indicate that the Castle, which is built upon a mound, was part of an old motte and bailey castle. The property itself underwent a significant rebuild back in 1826 when architect John Dobson introduced a number of new properties to the grounds and further changes were introduced in 1890 and 1905 after a serious fire cause significant damage to the property.

While many of the original buildings and older parts of the Castle have fallen into disrepair, the Castle still has a significant presence due to its position on the hill and is commonly discussed in “haunting circles” with rumours of its own ghost. The so called Grey Lady of Bellister Castle is said to haunt the property and the surrounding land with rumours that she may have been the victim of a murder hundreds of years ago!

We will be bringing you more interesting places to visit and interesting tales from the Haltwhistle area in the future.

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