Hadrian’s Wall a legacy of Roman Britain

Hadrian's wall
Hadrian’s wall in North England – Image by Flickr user Andrew Cheal Photography


As one of the most sought out tourist attractions in the UK, Hadrian’s Wall dates back to the reign of the Roman Emperor it was built and named for, in AD 122. Taking only eight years to build and come into use, the wall stretches 73 miles across the landscape of Northern England, with the majority residing in Northumberland.

In the original days and years of its use soldiers from all over the Roman Empire patrolled Hadrian’s Wall. Although it was essentially built as a defensive fortification for protection there have always been conflicting views on just how much of a threat the people of Northern Britain were at the time. With the discovery of many gatehouses within the wall, and roads leading through the wall; it is now believed the wall also served as a means of revenue for this far flung annex of the roman empire by extracting taxes from traders traveling north and south.

Hadrian’s Wall became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and one local man must take a lot of the credit for this. John Clayton was a Lawyer turned Town Clerk for Newcastle in the 1830’s. He was appalled that parts of the wall were being used extensively to build new roads, and that the decline of the walls structure was gaining speed. He bought several large parts of Hadrian’s Wall and paid for them to be reconstructed and maintained in order to keep part of the UK’s history for generations to come.


Hadrian's Wall and Fort by Flickr user jacqueline.poggi
Hadrian’s Wall and Fort by Flickr user jacqueline.poggi


But this is not just a wall, with 8 major excavated forts and several others, Hadrian’s Wall offers a wealth of education and history to inspire and excite both young and old visitors. Many of the unbroken parts are located on country walks which offer spectacular views that remain almost unchanged from it’s early days and there are archeological digs in session, mile castles and even temples to explore. In the summertime there are also full costume battles to take you back to the very old days and show you a piece of history.

The Hadrian’s Cycleway, National Cycle Route 72 is the track for anyone who wishes to walk or cycle along the route of the wall. However, you can also drive the majority of the walls path though Northern England in your car or take the Hadrian’s Wall Bus Service, which stops at all major Roman Sites of interest. There are a selection of pubs and a plethora of accommodation options for your stay all along the wall cycle path, so you are sure to find something to suit your budget and needs.

This article was a paid contribution by Emma P. a copywriter, creative writer, and PA.  You can find Emma on the People Per Hour website. Editor Matthew Richmond.

Matthew Richmond
Matthew has been writing about the Arts and culture for Interesting Everything since 2012. Having graduated an Arts History major from Berkeley in the late 60's he now spends his retirement writing about 18th century painters, surfing with his partner, and occasionally posting the odd article on Interesting Everything. He lives in oceanside, california.


  1. We need a wall on the American/Mexican boarder, and they are doing nothing about building a wall or fence or anything.

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