Design • Construction • Everyday life
Hadrian’s Wall is the largest, most spectacular historical monument in Britain. Nothing else approaches its vast scale: a land wall running 73 miles from east to west and a sea wall stretching at least 26 miles down the Cumbrian coast. Some of its forts are as large as Britain’s most formidable medieval castles, and with its mile towers, barracks and soldier’s leisure facilities the extended site allows an astonishingly rich insight into Roman frontier life.For some 300 years around 12,000 men primarily from the auxiliary army’s infantry or cavalry manned the wall with a further 8,000 in forward forts and in reserve.
Some two millennia after its construction there are still mysteries about the wall: its precise route is not known in some locations – particularly in the urban landscape of Carlisle and Newcastle.
This book traces the concept, construction and purpose of the wall, how it was built, who worked on it and the lives lived on and around it, from Roman auxiliaries to civilian staff. The outstanding archaeological finds of sandals, weapons, writing tablets, uniform remnants, eating implements and personal effects all help to create a picture of living on the wall, while stunning aerial shots and matching cutaway illustrations help reconstruct the physical achievement of the structure itself.
Author: Simon Forty was educated at Sedbergh School and London University's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing for over three decades and specializes in military history having contributed to a large number of books. He was also general editor of World War I: A Visual Encyclopedia. Simon lives in Devon with his wife and two children.