July 1st 2016 will mark 100 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme. To commemorate the anniversary we have worked closely with members of Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Archives to carefully edited our original The Battle of The Somme App (Available to download here) with pictures, videos and stories of the brave men of Northumberland who fought in the battle during WW1.
Now that we have finally been able to produce some marketing material for our Hadrian's Wall Country app it was time to deliver it. We decided to start at Bowness-on-Solway and make our way back along the wall towards Newcastle stopping at as many BnB's hotels, pubs and restaurants as we could. Every place we visited offered a warm reception and were more than happy to chat to us and let us leave posters and leaflets.
At approximately 8.00am on a cold December morning, under the cover of darkness a powerful German naval battle group negotiated the hazardous minefields of the North Sea, its target was the still slumbering north-east coastal towns of Scarborough. The bombardment lasted until around 8.30am when the ships moved north to the shores of Whitby and then Hartlepool. That fateful morning in Scarborough18 people fell victim to the German attack;
Leonard Ellis, back of Londesborough Road.
Harry Harland (30).
Harry Frith (45) 1 Bedford Street.
Christmas today is associated with Santa Claus, gift exchange, decorations and over indulgence of all the things we love. But how did the Romans celebrate during the festive season almost 2000 years ago?
Saturnalia originated as a farmers' festival and commemorated the dedication of the temple of Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture and the harvest. During this the Romans’ basically enjoyed a good mid-winter knees up! They would feast on the finest foods, drink the finest ales and celebrate with dancing, singing and everything fun!
It’s starting to feel all festive here at Pocket Tours HQ this week.
The tree is up and Christmas plans are made.
Yesterday we published our first demo tour point! This is basically an example of an actual point on our Hadrian's Wall Country app map. It is stand 6 which is house steads Roman Fort. There are several images included along with audio and text taken from the app. For the next few days we will be adding one point from each of our 6 apps to give you an insight of what each one has to offer! But dont forget there is so much more to each app than the map. There are videos, hundereds of images, audio, video and lots more supporting information.
With 2014 being the centenary of WW1 many people will have been planning visits to battlefield areas to commemorate their loved ones. As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, if your more of a DIY person our app tour of the Somme allows you to divulge the hidden history of the battlefield at your own pace, at a time of your choosing and can be tailored to your own needs.
In the run up to December here in the UK everyone is preparing for winter and of course, Christmas. But did you know the best time to visit Grand Cayman is anywhere from the end of November to April/May time?
This is because at this time of year the summer storms Grand Cayman encounters begin to diminish and the likelihood of encountering hurricanes decreases considerably. The summer season runs from approximately May through October and is the rainy season on the island, holidays tend to be cheaper at this time of the year but you’re not likely to have the best time.
Its the final day of Along The Wall In 80 Days!! Its been quite a journey and we've learned so much about the wall that we didn't know before. We've gone from the west to the south and counted down through the many milecastles all along the wall and found out more about each of the Roman Forts and what they have to offer, we even learned a great deal about the Roman people and soldiers that built the wall almost over 2000 years ago!
HADRIAN'S WALL COUNTRY APP NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES
Thousands of people visit Hadrian's Wall each year, many of these walk or cycle the wall, either for leisure or to raise money for charity. Either way why not visit www.walk-the-wall.com and grab yourself a fabulous t-shirt from a small, family run business based in the heart of Hadrian's Wall country. Help support local businesses and look great at the same time!
The Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum is an annual day-conference featuring talks for the general public about new discoveries in the Hadrian’s Wall frontier zone including the Cumbrian coast. This year’s programme features talks on excavation projects at Maryport (Steve Rowland and Tony Wilmott), Vindolanda (Andrew Birley) and Wallsend (Nick Hodgson) as well as that at Binchester (David Mason) which has revealed arguably the best-preserved Roman building in the whole of Britain.
The spectacular Shield Boss found near the mouth of the River Tyne in 1867 and dates back to the early 2nd century AD, it will be on display at Arbeia Roman Fort and will form the centerpiece for a new display highlighting the nationally and internationally significant collections at Arbeia, relating to this aspect of Hadrian's Wall. It is well worth a visit, find out more here.
If you havent visited Chesters Roman Fort to see Coventina's Eagle there isn't long left!
Take a visit to Chesters Roman Fort this half term, join the Imperial Army and take part in hands-on activities in line with the duties of a Roman soldier, stationed on Hadrian's Wall. From drills, swords and shields to replica armour, story telling and ancient artefacts, your little soldier will be immersed in Northumberland's Roman story. Find out more HERE
We are down to the last 20 milecastles of our #AlongTheWallIn80Days blog. The final 20 milecastles and their locations are listed below and can be easily located using out Hadrian’s Wall iPhone App, available to Download here.
This week is the last week to check out what's going on at Chesters and Birdoswald roman forts! Since July 19th both sites have held separate events running up until Monday 25th August.
On Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of August, have a trip to Housesteads Roman Fort and find out all about life as a Roman soldier..."Meet an iconic Roman Legionary stationed at the famous Housesteads Roman Fort. Our soldier recalls the building of the wall, his service in the Roman army and the pursuit of the enemy. You can also hear the words of the ancient Briton, the impact of the Wall and the “peace” it brought. Dramatic presentations with costumed actors throughout each day"
The 70th Anniversary for the battle of Arnhem is only 5 weeks away! The first app Pocket Tours ever released was the Battle of Arnhem and it has been one of our most successful .
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 68
Plantrees Roman Wall
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 67
Corbridge Roman Fort
The only Roman Fort along Hadrian's Wall we havent talked about on the Along The Wall in 80 Days Blog is Corbridge Roman Fort.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 66
Turrets 24 A & B to Turrets 20 A & B
As we already know, every milecastles has 2 associated turrets. Lets find out more about the turrets that run between milecastles 24 and 20.
After almost 2 years of Hard Work the Historic Scarborough App is now available to download!
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 65
Only 25 milecastles left to talk about along Hadrian's Wall. Here are the next 5...
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 64
The Military Road is a name given locally to part of the B6318 road in Northumberland, England, which runs from Heddon-on-the-Wall (54.9974°N 1.7929°W) in the east to Greenhead (54.9820°N 2.5344°W) in the west.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 63
As we have already found out in several previous blog posts, each milecatsle has 2 associated Turrets. Most of the turrets along Hadrian's wall are better preserved than their associated milecastle. The turrets between milecastle 29 and 25 however have little to show for them selves however some are better preserved than others.
The turrets associated with Milecastle 29 are 29A, Black Carts, and 29B, Limestone Bank. The remains of 29A are some of the best along Hadrian's Wall and are well worth a visit.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 62
All this week on our #AlongTheWallIn80Days blog were going start finding out about the last few remaining milecastles, stretching from Humbaughshaw in Hexham to the very last milecastle in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Almost all of the milecastles between 29 and 20 have no substatial remains that can be seen above ground, however a visit to these sites is always very interesting.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 61
Only 20 days to go!
Here we are on day 61 of Along the Wall in 80 Days, which means there's only 20 blog posts left to learn a little bit more about the breath taking landmark that is Hadrian's Wall..
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 60
Milecastle 31 & 30
Milecastle 31 (Carrawburgh) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. Its remains exist as a turf covered platform beside (and partially covered by) the B6318 Military Road, just to the east of Carrawburgh fort.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 59
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 58
Milecastle 33 (Shield on the Wall) was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall, one of a series of small fortlets built at intervals of approximately one Roman mile along the length of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern England.
Day 57 - Turret 34A & 34B
Milecastle 34 - Day 56 #Alongthewallin80days
Milecastle 34, also known as Grindon was a milecastle of the Roman Hadrian's Wall. There are no visible remains, but the site is within a small, tree-filled, walled enclosure located around 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) east of Sewingshields farm.
Milecastle 35 - Day 55
Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum
Day 53 #Alongthewallin80days
Humans have had a longer relationship with dogs than with any other domesticated animal - and that relationship began to a large extent in the ancient Roman Empire.
Day 52 - Milecastle 36
The site of Milecastle 36 is located on King's Hill, 800 metres northeast of Housesteads Roman Fort. There is little to see on the ground as most of the walls have been robbed and quarried away. The milecastle was robbed of most of its remaining stone in 1831. Part of the east and west walls are indicated by robber-trenches however the remainder of the milecastle has been destroyed by surface quarrying, and the featureless interior is overlain by Wall tumble.
Just west of Housesteads Roman Fort is Milecastle 37 (grid reference NY78506869).
The milecastle has been excavated several times over the years in 1853, 1907 and 1933. The remains have been partly reconstructed and consolidated and are now in the care of English Heritage. The wall has a maximum height of 2.2 meters internally. The milecastle has a short axis, with a Type I gateway. The milecastle contains the remains of a small barrack block in the east half, which survives to 1.0 meter high.
There is so much to do and see all along Hadrian's Wall, over the last 2 days we have learned a little about both Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, both great, fun filled, family days out. That is why they have came up with the 'Day Planner'. Visit "www.vindolanda.com/experience/day-planner" to start planning your Roman experience today!
The Roman Army Museum
The 1st of July 2014 marks the 98th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme - the blackest day in history for the British Army.
The Battle was to be the British Army's major offensive on the Western Front. Starting at 7:30am on the 1st of July 1916, the battle raged for another 148 days. There were 57,470 casualties on the first day alone of whom 19,240 died of their wounds.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 47
Not far from Milecastle 39 is the Roman Vindolanda.
Vindolanda was a Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian's Wall in northern England. Located near the modern village of Bardon Mill, it guarded the Stanegate, the Roman road from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 46
While walking Hadrian's Wall, whether for fun or to raise money for charity, your bound to come across some amazing ancient ruins. Milecastle 39 near Steel Rig is a perfect example of some of the remains left behind by the Romans!
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 45
There are always charity events going on along the wall, this one isn't till September so there's no excuses, sign up and get training and fundraising today!
"The English Heritage fundraising challenge returns with the Hadrian’s Wall Hike! Sign up today to walk 30 miles of ‘the best of the wall’ from Lanercost Priory to Chester’s Roman Fort, stopping at famed English Heritage sites – such as Birdoswald Roman Fort – en route.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 44
What better way to enjoy Hadrian's Wall than to walk it while raising money for a good cause. On 26 September 2014 the NSPCC and dedicated fundraisers will trek 26 miles along some of the most beautiful sections of Hadrian's Wall in an attempt to raise thousands for the charity.
Milecastle 41, also known as Melkridge was a milecastle on Hadrian's Wall, grid reference NY73026705. There are no visible remains above ground but the milecastle can be made out by turf-covered banks outlined by robber trenches. The milecastle lies to the west if Caw Gap and a cottage, long removed, occupied the site of, and was built from, the materials of milecastle 41.
Milecastle 41 has 2 associated turrets, Turret 41A Caw Gap (grid reference NY72556688), and Turret 41B, Thorny Doors (grid reference NY72056683).
Milecastle 42 can be found on one of the best preserved sections of Hadrian's Wall. It is situated on a steep south facing slope, 10 metres south of Cawfield Crags, and looks over Hole Gap to the west. The remains measure 17.8 metres east-west by 14.4 metres north-south internally, with walls 2.8 metres thick and 1.4 metres high.
Milecastles 43 and 44 are next on the countdown.
Milecastle 44, grid reference NY68886694, can be found about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) west of the Great Chesters fort, also known as Aesica. The milecastle survives as a small number of visible facing stones, and a turf-covered bank but not much more can be seen.
Milecastle 45, grid reference NY67716657, can be found on top of Waltown Crags. Very little remains of the milecastle due to it being robbed if stone over the centuries. Robber trenches that are flanked by spoiler banks however can be clearly seen on arial photographs.
This week’s blogs are counting down from Milecastle 49 to 40 right along the centre of what once was Hadrian’s Wall, starting at Harrows Scar, milecastle 49.
Situated immediately west of the gorge of the River Irthing you will find the remains of Milecastle 49.
Todays blog is a fact file all about milecastles 52,51 and 50, starting at the farthest West milecastle 52...
Known as Bankshead
Milecastles 54 and 53 are both not visible above ground however small sections of Hadrian's Wall can be seen from both.
Milecastle 53 is situated on a west-facing hill-slope northwest of the village of Lanercost. The sections of wall that can be viewed here stands as a length of mortared wall core about 1.7 metres high. When milcastle 54 was excavated in 1934, It measured internally 19.3 metres east to west by 23.3 metres north to south. It contained a west barrack comprising two rooms, one of which had stone benches, a hearth and a millstone.
Hadrians wall was built as a barrier to control the Northen regions of what is now known as Scotland. In order for the great barrier to work effectively the Romans built forts, milecastles and turrets from east to west to constantly monitor the goings on and adequately protect themselves from the barbarian tribes.
Keeping up with the course of the wall and the milecastles, todays blog is about milecastle 55.
Milecastle 55 Fact File
Milecastle 55 is known as Low Wall
Keeping in theme, todays blog is back to the Milecastles and next on our countdown are milcastles 56, 57 & 58.
The location of both of these milecastles is still not known and both have had their locations estimated in relation to the locations of other Roman remains close by.
Yesterdays post mentioned how some of the pottery at the site of Milecastle 59 was said to be 'Romano-British'. Romano-British is how we refer to the culture that was prevalent at the time the Romans had established a home here in Britain. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and custom. The Romans effected all aspects of the once Celtic Britain from the language to the religion. After A.D. 43 the Latin language advanced rapidly, Monuments erected durning the Roman period were all inscribed in Latin.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 27
Milecastles 50 to 59 are similar to most along the western end of the wall in that there are no visible remains above ground; Some have been excavated but others have not and there locations have been estimated within relevance to other roman remains near by.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 26
The last 7 days have all been about the Roman Empire and there is still sooo much to learn about it, however, the main purpose of #Alonghewallin80days is to count down along the wall starting at milecastle 79 right down to Milecastle 0, so starting from tomorrow its back to learning all about the structure of the wall and milecastles 59 to 50.
Yesterday we found out why the Romans built Hadrian's Wall and how at the time it was an engineering high, however, Hadrian's Wall was one of many amazing things the Romans built here in Britain.
#alongthewallin80days - Day 24
So we have learnt all about the rise and fall of the mighty Roman empire so now its back to Hadrian's Wall. Why did the Romans build it? What was its purpose?
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 23
Day 22 of #Alongthewallin80days is all about the 2nd Century and the Roman Empire. Find out what was going on when on our timeline...
106: Trajan defeats Dacia that becomes a Roman province
106: Trajan captures the Nabataean capital Petra (Jordan) and turns Nabataea into the province of Arabia
The mighty Roman empire was established almost 2000 years ago. So much was going on we've split the time line down into centuaries, starting at the 1st in 27BC when the first Roman Emperor came into power. In the Roman Empires 1st centuary was a busy one; There were 9 emperors before the turn of the 2nd century and all had there own way of ruling the empire. There were wars, love affairs, murders and victories to say the least, al adding to the amazing history of what was the greatest empire on earth...
Along the wall in 80 days - Day 20
Hadrian's Wall was built in the 2nd century in 122AD, almost 2000 years ago! The Romans came to Britannia, now Britain, but they also had control over most of what is now Europe and parts of North Africa, so as you can imagine, in the years before and the years after the building of the wall there was A LOT going on. Before we can learn about what was going on when we need to know who was making all of these things happen, and that was down to the Emperors.
Along the wall in 80 days - Day 19
The roman Empire was established after the 500-year-old Roman Republic destabilised through a series of civil wars. Several events marked the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator in 44 BC; the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; and the granting of the honorific Augustus to Octavian by the Roman Senate 27 BC.
The Empire stretched over most of what is now Europe including Britain (not Scotland), Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Egypt, and the north coast of Africa.
The milecastles we've been posting about recently have all been to the west end of Hadrian's Wall but there is so much more to see and do than just the remains of what was the Northern Frontier. Resplendent with heather moors and delightful dales, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies just south of the Wall in Cumbria. Reflecting its important heritage this is the country’s only Geopark.
At the begining of #Alongthewallin80days we talked about the amazing national trail and walking Hadrians Wall, however if your more of a pedals and 2 wheels kind of person, then read on...
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 15
Did know that every yard of the 150-mile long World Heritage Site costs £5 each year to look after?
Alongthewallin80days - Day 14
Day 14 of our #Alongthewlin80days blog is all about the milecastles. We've blogged quite a bit about some of the western milecastles, many of which are no longer visible. Milecastles 69 to 60 tell a similar story...
Milecastles stretched from the east to the west all along Hadrian's Wall. Conveniently named, Milecastles were built at intervals of approximately one Roman mile along Hadrian's Wall.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 13
Corbridge Roman Town, previously known as Coria was a fort and town, located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Hadrian's Wall, in the Roman province of Britannia. A fort was originally built on the site around 84AD and was occupied by a 500-strong cavalry unit called the Ala Petriana, but was destroyed by fire in AD 105. Around AD 120, when Hadrian’s Wall was built, the fort was again rebuilt to house infantry troops away from the Wall.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 12
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 11
The Hadrian's Wall Festival kicks off today, visiting any, if not all, of the 3 forts is sure to be as exiting as it is educational for the kids and the adults!
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 10
Hadrian's Wall Festival is TOMORROW! The final Roman Fort we need to learn more about Chesters...
Built in 123 AD, just after the wall's completion, Chesters Roman Fort is the best-preserved Roman cavalry fort in Britain.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 9
With the Hadrian's Wall Festival just around the corner we plan on finding out a little more about Housesteads Roman Fort.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 8
Along with all of Hadrian's Walls milecastles there are also some pretty amazing forts! The Hadrian's Wall festival starts on Saturday the 24th May and continues for a week up until the 1st June with many exiting things to do and see at 3 of the major forts, Birdoswald, Housesteads and Chesters. Over the next 3 days we will learn more about each one starting with the farthest west, Birdoswald.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 7
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 6
#Alonghthewallin80days - Day 5
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 4
A Vallum is unique on any Roman Frontier. Although there is no definitive historical evidence as to why the Roman army built this unusual barrier along the length of Hadrian's Wall, it is thought that the Vallum established the southern boundary of a military zone bounded on the north by the wall itself, this zone would have been "out-of-bounds" to civilians and those with no valid reason to be there.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 3
Possibly the best way to experience Hadrian's Wall is to walk it...
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 2
Milecastle 78, also known as Kirkland, is one of 80 milecastles along what once was Hadrian's Wall. Milecastle 78 lies halfway between the villages of Glasson and Port Carlisle, grid reference NY245613.
Milecastle 78 was first located and partially excavated in 1934 where only the west wall was examined and was found to be 2.8 metres wide; one course of masonry stood upon the inner face, the outer face had been robbed.
#Alongthewallin80days - Day 1
Let the count down begin! Everyday for the next 80 days Pocket Tours will bring you interesting facts and information on Hadrian's Wall, its history and what it has to offer! Day 1 is all about Milecastle 79 and the wall before it all began...
Pre Hadrian's Wall
Every mile of Hadrian’s Wall is bursting with amazing facts and historical tales. Starting from the far west of the wall at milecastle 79 and counting down through battles, archeology, Roman soldiers and politics till we finish up at the furthest east ‘mystery’ milecastle 0.