On the last weekend of the summer holidays we took a short trip to Northumberland. We drove up on the Friday night, arriving in our Travelodge quite late. On Saturday we drove up to Hadrian's Wall and visited Housestead's Roman Fort, or Vercovicium to give it its Roman name. The ruins of the nearly 2000 year old auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall are the most complete remains of a Roman fort in Britain and were once home to around 800 Roman soldiers. It is also notable for containing some of the best preserved Roman stone toilets in Britain! Set in the beautiful Northumberland countryside, the fort's elevated position provides stunning panoramic views and is worth a visit on this basis alone! It is so beautifully peaceful now it is hard to imagine the hive of activity it must have been in its heyday.
Mark and I came here many years ago and we were keen to bring the Podlings here, particularly as Tom had been learning about the Romans at school last year. The site now boasts a small museum which contains finds from the fort, as well as a model of how the fort would have looked in its heyday. We forgot how far the fort was from the car park, and it was no small task pushing the pram up the steep hill, but it was not an unpleasant walk and the aforementioned views were fabulous.
Tom, Lily and Emma had a great time at the fort, but it proved too windy for Alexander and since he was due a feed anyway, my mother-in-law and I walked back to the car, leaving the older Podlings with their Daddy and Grandad. We enjoyed a cup of tea in the warm car whilst the others apparently had a fabulous time playing round the fort!
This carving depicts three Roman spirit deities
Part of the ruined fort
These are the ruins of the soldiers' barracks