According to what we heard from several people during the month that we visited Newcastle, the North of England is a cold and damp place for a minimum of 6 months (and sometimes longer!) of each year. It was therefore not a great stretch of the imagination to visualise what a shock to the brain and body it must have been for soldiers from the warmer climate of Italy when they travelled north to be stationed at the remote and icy fortifications along Hadrian’s Wall.
The entry building at Vindolanda gave no clues to what was lying in the hills and fields beyond. So it was a pleasant (but icy cold!) surprise to walk through the building, pass a cluster of bundled-up school children on a class outing, and emerge into a biting wind and onto a pathway that led to a huge archaeological excavation.
The ruins were stretched out in both directions beneath the snow-covered hills. But I must admit that we were walking rather briskly through them as I took pictures and gasped with each blast of sub-zero wind.
Come back soon for Part 2 of our wintery visit to the two museums at Hadrian’s Wall and lots more photos including exterior pictures of the larger museum buildings, the gardens in winter, and the spot for our mid-afternoon meal break.
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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