#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.
Birdoswald Roman Fort is thought to be one of the best preserved forts along Hadrian's Wall, The fort is situated in a commanding position on a triangular spur of land bounded by cliffs to the south and east overlooking a broad meander of the River Irthing in Cumbria. In Roman times, the fort was known as Banna (Latin for "spur" or "tongue"), reflecting the geography of the site.
The fort was occupied by Roman auxiliaries, from what are now Bulgaria and Romania, between approximately AD 112 to AD 400. Inside were built the usual stone buildings, a central headquarters building , granaries, and barracks but unusual for an auxiliary fort, it also included an exercise building, perhaps reflecting the difficulties of training soldiers in the exposed site in the north of England. Extensive remains of the Roman fort including a complete circuit of Walls and gates, the granaries and the parade block, and, at over two meters high, the longest continuous stretch of the Wall can be found here. There are also milecastles, turrets, a river crossing and clear evidence of the turf wall that preceded Hadrian’s Wall itself.
Birdoswald is the ideal place to visit to see the Wall itself and one of the best preserved forts that housed the troops who garrisoned the frontier. The site is set in stunning countryside with extensive views across wooded farmland to the hills of the North Pennines.
Check back tomorrow for more information on Housesteads Roman Fort