We were heading back from a trip to the North East and had already visited Chesters Roman Fort when we reached Housesteads. We were looking forward to visiting this particular historical Roman site as it would allow us the opportunity to walk along part of Hadrian’s Wall (with permission, that is; more on that at later). The fort is set some way back from the road and the visitor car park requiring quite a long walk down one side and up the other of a fairly steep valley. Luckily, one half of my wife and me likes to take photos as he walks and this presented plenty of chances to rest up every couple of minutes.
Housesteads Roman Fort was built in around 124 just after the start of the construction of the nearby Hadrian’s Wall fortifications. The garrison housed a large auxiliary infantry cohort and a detachment of legionaries from Augustus’ Second Legion; in total around 800 men. It is the most complete Roman fort in Britain.
As mentioned above a big reason for visiting the Roman fort at Housesteads was because we’d read that there was an area of Hadrian’s Wall next to it that you could actually walk on. Now, of course, there aren’t guards along the wall’s length so there’s nothing to stop people from just walking on it anyway but it’s a monument of significant historical interest that often needs repairs to maintain it so you shouldn’t. Especially if there are signs up asking people not to walk on the wall any further. Especially if you’re old enough to know better. What I’m trying to say here is that we walked on the part of Hadrian’s Wall you’re allowed to walk on and we took photos of the wall and photos of the land to the north the Romans were protecting England from. Other people – older people, keen walkers from the looks of it – carried on walking on parts they’re not supposed to. Because they’re self-entitled arses.