NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Hadrian’s Wall

Latin: Vallum Aelium, Vallum Hadriani
Pict’s Wall, Roman Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is a historic Roman defensive fortification located in northern England.

The construction started around 122 AD under the orders of Emperor Hadrian, and it is believed to be mostly finished in six years. The wall was intended to serve as a defensive fortification and a symbol of Roman power and authority. It marked the northern boundary of Roman-controlled territory in Britain.

The wall stretched approximately 73 miles (117 kilometers) across the narrowest part of northern England, from the North Sea in the east to the Irish Sea in the west. It consisted of a stone wall, typically about 10 feet (3 meters) wide and 15 feet (4,5 meters) high, along with a series of defensive ditches, forts, and watchtowers.

Hadrian’s Wall was designed to control movement across the frontier and regulate trade and migration. It also served as a means of defense against potential threats from the north, particularly the Pictish tribes that inhabited the region beyond the wall. Throughout the length of the wall, a series of fortified structures, including forts, milecastles, and turrets, were constructed at regular intervals. The wall was constructed with a stone base and had a complex system of gates and watchtowers.

Numerous forts were established along the length of Hadrian’s Wall, housing Roman soldiers tasked with maintaining the defense and order along the frontier.

The construction of Hadrian’s Wall had a significant impact on the local population and landscape. It brought Roman culture, engineering skills, and trade to the area. The wall also facilitated the movement of troops and goods along its length.

Hadrian’s Wall remained in use as a defensive structure for several decades. Over time, however, the Roman Empire’s presence in Britain began to decline. The wall gradually lost its strategic significande, and by the fifth century, the Roman legions had withdrawn from Britain.

Today, Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction, where the Hadrian’s Wall Path allows visitors to walk along much of the wall’s length.

The term vallum generally refers to a defensive wall or fortification.

See also
Antonine Wall | The Legend of King Arthur
Birdoswald Roman Fort | The Legend of King Arthur
Picts | The Legend of King Arthur