Showing posts from April, 2023

Sycamore Gap and the "Robin Hood Tree" on Hadrian's Wall

Nestled within a gap along the Great Whin Sill, Sycamore Gap is a natural amphitheater located on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, England between Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough, about 2 miles west of Housesteads Roman Fort . This section of the 73-mile wall follows the edge of a cliff and has several sharp dips in it caused by melting glacial waters - the tree occupies one of those dips. The wall and adjacent land, including the site of the tree, is owned by the National Trust and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area not just for its fascinating history but also for its dramatic views of the surrounding countryside. Sycamore Gap - which is visible from the roadway though at a pretty good distance - gets its name from a towering sycamore maple estimated to be over 500 years old. Actually I'm rather impressed with the following photo that I took from a moving car!  Located in the middle of the dramatic dip in the landscape with Hadrian's Wall ris

Housesteads Roman Fort in North East England

Lying midway on Hadrian's Wall atop a steep escarpment of the Great Whin Sill , Housesteads Roman Fort once played a vital role in defending the Roman province of Britannia from attack along the northern border of their empire. One of the best excavated and preserved Roman forts in Britain, the fort is well worth a visit if you’re interested in the history of the Roman army and their way of life. If, by chance, you really couldn't give two hoots about the Roman army and their history, Housesteads is still well worth a visit as it's located in one of the most dramatic spots in Northumberland!   Hadrian's Wall , also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former  73-mile (80 Roman miles) long defensive fortification that ran east to west across northern England from the Solway Firth to the River Tyne.  Built by the Romans beginning in about AD 122 under the orders of then-Emperor Hadrian, the wall took at least six years to compl