Vindolanda – 9 August 2007

During the visit from Michèle and Brian that I mentioned the other day, we took a trip into Northumberland to look at some Roman remains. As with so many other things, I hadn’t got round to visiting Hadrian’s Wall before, so it was a new experience for all of us.

Our first stop was the quite remarkable Roman fort and settlement at Vindolanda[1], which has a museum, a live archaeological dig (which I think they said has about another century or so to go…), and lots of Roman ruins. This is the site where huge numbers of Roman tablets have been found – pieces of wood covered in writing made by ordinary Roman soldiers and citizens, which have given researchers huge amounts of information. The museum on site has a lot of detail about the discovery of the tablets and how they have been preserved and read. Good stuff.

The fort is not actually on Hadrian’s Wall, but it was a remote outpost of the Roman Empire. All the pictures in the album were taken with my wide-angle lens, which emphasises the scale of the open countryside around the fort, and helps explain why the Romans pretty much gave up trying to expand once they got that far…

[1] For reasons that made perfect sense at the time, we kept calling it Vindaloo, which is something I suspect the Romans didn’t have.