Hadrian's Wall & Benwell Roman Temple

Hadrian's Wall & Benwell Roman Temple

Hadrian’s Wall is the largest and most famous Roman construction in Britain, a magnificent wall that spans the width of the entire island.

Found between Carlisle and Newcastle, it's one of only 32 World Heritage sites in the UK.

Trust us: seeing this wall should be on the bucket list of anyone who's interested in the ancient history of these isles.

A breathtaking barrier

Hadrian’s Wall is 73 miles long, stretching from the eastern coast of England near Wallsend to the western coast at Bowness-on-Solway.

Although, as you gaze upon it, you might be forgiven for thinking it was never-ending.

Built by the emperor Hadrian in around 122 AD, it took at least six years to finish, even with the colossal strength of the Roman Empire helping him out.

In its prime, Hadrian’s Wall was a truly imposing sight. It's thought to have stood 12 feet tall, and was watched over by 80 forts and over 150 turrets.

While the wall was no doubt built to serve a purpose, it also made a clear statement about the power of the Roman Empire, and even in its current dilapidated state, that message is still clear thousands of years later.

The end of an empire

Originally, Hadrian’s Wall was built to keep the southern Roman colonies separated from the unconquered northern tribes of Caledonia (modern-day Scotland).

The Romans seemed unable to conquer these rebellious northern “barbarians” as they had the southern Celtic tribes, although they tried time and time again.

By the time the Roman Empire’s rule in Britain came to an end during the 5th century, the north was still unconquered. Hadrian’s Wall was abandoned and fell into ruin.

Turrets and temples

Hadrian’s Wall was watched over by many small stone watchtowers that were built at regular intervals along the wall.

Some of these turrets are still largely intact today, giving you a clear picture of how mighty the wall would have once looked.

There are also other Roman buildings to discover near the wall, places used by the soldiers who were occupied here.

On the outskirts of Newcastle, you can find Benwell Roman Temple, the remains of a small monument dedicated to the god Antenociticus.

While you might know them best for their military, the Romans were also deeply religious. As you explore this site, you can imagine soldiers filling this place to pray to their gods.

A walk through time

Hadrian’s Wall is truly extraordinary, and the sight of it will fill you with awe.

As you walk alongside the ruins, try to imagine the countless number of builders it would have taken to complete it, placing each brick by hand.

The best way to see the wall is by tackling the Hadrian’s Wall Pass, a walk that'll take you from one end to the other.

This national trail footpath can take up to a week to complete and is only for the most confident walkers, but trust us: it's worth it for the epic views along the way!

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