Northumberland Holidays
Northumberland Holidays
Before 440
440 - 789
789 - 1000
1000 - 1400
1400 - 1700
After 1700
The History of Northumberland before AD 440

Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland The Romans In Britain
In ancient times, Northumberland marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. The Romans invaded the region between AD 70 and 80 and stayed for close to 400 years. They brought with them a legal and political system, coinage and literacy, and changed forever the Celtic culture of the native population.

Roman attempts to subjugate the tribes in Scotland proved futile. After abandoning the more northerly Antonine Wall, Hadrian’s Wall was built in the years after AD 121 to keep out the Picts and the Scots. This feat of military engineering spanned 73 miles from Wallsend (Wall's End) in the east to just beyond Carlisle in the west, and featured small forts or milecastles at intervals of one mile along its entire length.

Today, only ten miles of the Wall remain. One of the best sites to visit is Housestead's Roman Fort near Hexham. This was one of the larger garrison forts along the Wall and the excavations cover some five acres. Another garrison fort is Vindolanda, just a few miles farther west, where there are remains of eight successive forts. Other Roman sites include Chester's Fort, where the military bathhouse is the best preserved in Britian, and Corstopitum Fort, which was sited at the junction of the east-west and north-south Roman roads, Stanegate and Dere Street. All four sites feature interpretative museums.

When the Romans abandoned Britain, many aspects of their culture lingered on, but by the early 5th century the pottery industry had disappeared, coinage had become a rarity, and the Dark Ages were beckoning ...

Saturday 25 November 2017