Wonder of Ancient
- By about AD 105, the Romans pulled out of
Pictish Caledonia (Scotland). The border of
Britannia was set between Coria (Corbridge) and
- In AD 122, the Emperor Hadrian visited Britain and decided to build a big wall of stone with deep ditches along the border at this point. It was called Hadrian's Wall.
- The western part was wooden at
- It was 117km long,
4.5m tall and between 1.75 & 3m thick.
- It went both up over craggy mountains and down through flat valleys.
- It would keep the Picts out of Britannia.
- In the AD 140s, the Emperor Antoninus Pius sent his armies back into Caledonia. They built a 2nd wooden wall with big earth banks between the River Clyde and Forth. It was called the Antonine Wall; but they only stayed 20 years. Then Hadrian's Wall became the border again.
- Hadrian's Wall was built by the
legions. It was garrisoned by auxiliary
units. The numbers of soldiers on the Wall fluctuated (went up and down) over the years.
- The soldiers lived in forts, milecastles and turrets built along the Wall:
- There were 16 forts along the Wall,
and 5 supply forts just to the south. Each one could house a whole cohort.
- Every Roman mile
(about 1.5km), there was a milecastle. These could house up to 64 soldiers, but usually had less.
- There were 2 turrets between
each pair of milecastles. These were garrisoned by 4 soldiers. They were like
2-storeyed castle towers. Downstairs was for cooking and storage. Upstairs
was for sleeping. The roof was the lookout station.
- Beacons could be lit
to warn of attacks from the Picts. The signal could then be sent along the Wall from turret to turret.
- In the late 4th century, a Roman commander in Britain called Magnus Maximus thought he should be
Emperor. So he took a lot of the soldiers from the Wall to Europe to help him.
- After that, local soldiers tried to
protect it, led by tribal
warlords. The Wall fell into disrepair though and there were many attacks by the