Life on Hadrian's Wall

Harsh northern winters, the threat of conflict never far away and living side-by-side with hundreds of fellow soldiers; life for a Roman soldier was no picnic. However, the Roman emperors valued their men and, with the ingenuity and resourcefulness they’re renowned for, created an impressive standard of living on the Wall.

When Emperor Hadrian decided to have a cross-country boundary wall built across northern England, he ordered all the extras - a north ditch, a south ditch (the vallum), forts, fortlets, milecastles and turrets. This military zone was about law and order and trade. It was policed by auxiliary soldiers who would have gone hungry without efficient supply bases, who would have been bored without lively, local villages to have fun in and who would have gone smelly without a good bath.


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