The Romans once ruled over many parts of Europe. They even conquered Britain in 43 BC1
. The Hadrian's wall was built from 122 AC2
until 128 AC . All along the wall, every 7 kilometers were military forts3
to guard the wall from attacks by the Picts4
The wall is 117.5 km long and cuts across Britain. Up to 15.000 Roman soldiers in Britain had to build the wall. They started in the east at the North Sea coast and ended in the west at the Irish Sea coast. All along the wall in the south, runs the Roman Military Way. In times of the Romans, it was used by the military to move troops. Of course, also traders could use this road. This shows that the wall had influence on the locals, besides just protecting them. People settled next to the wall, traded with the soldiers and did farming.
It is not clear why the wall was build. Maybe because the Romans wanted to keep the so called „barbarians“ of the North out of the Roman Empire. Or they built it to show everyone how strong and mighty they are. No matter for what reason, 20 years later the Romans controlled the area around the wall completely. So they began building a new wall 160km north of the Hadrian's Wall. The new wall is called Antonine Wall. What makes the Antoine Wall different from the Hadrian's Wall is the fact that it was built out of earth. The Hadrian's Wall is still standing, also because it was built out of stone. Both walls are named after the Roman emperors that started the construction.
In the 18th century much of the wall disappeared. It was destroyed and reused to build roads. Sometimes farmers also took pieces of the wall to improve their own walls. Nowadays, no one can take pieces of stone out of the wall. Since 1987 the Hadrian's Wall is a World Heritage Site. Normaly World Heritage Sites are protected by guards, but the Hadrian's Wall is too big to guard. So you can visit it everyday and everytime. If you are careful you can even climb on it. But remember that the wall you are standing on is 1888 years old.
1BC = Before Christ.
2 AC = After Christ, we count our years starting with the birth of Jesus Christ. For example, This year is 2016 AC.
3fort = A military building for soldiers.
fpicts = A people who lived in what is today Scotland during the Early Medieval periods.