Hadrian’s Wall is the name given to an old fortification in Roman Britain. It was built since AD 122 during the rule of Emperor Hadrian. This wall had both a military and a commercial role, as it served as a defensive structure while its gates were used as customs posts.
A large portion of the wall still exists and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 in order to protect its value. It is usually followed on foot by tourists who walk along the Hadrian’s Wall Path. It is considered the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England.
Hadrian’s Wall used to run from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending near the village of Bowness-on-Solway.
In its time, Hadrian’s Wall was 80 Roman miles or 117.5 km long. East of the River Irthing, the wall was made from squared stone and measured 3 metres wide and 5 to 6 metres high, while west of the river the wall was made from turf and measured 6 metres wide and 3.5 metres high.
It is a common misconception that Hadrian’s Wall marks the boundary between England and Scotland. Actually, Hadrian’s Wall lies entirely within England, at least half a mile away from Scottish soil.
Hadrian’s Wall was probably planned before Hadrian’s visit to Britain in AD 122. It is entirely possible that, during that visit, one of the stops on his itinerary was the northern frontier, where he could have made an inspection of the progress of the wall that was being built by the time.