Hadrian's Wall Country
Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald Roman Fort

One of the most interesting elements of discovering Hadrian’s Wall is the various forts along the route. English Heritage helps to preserve such examples as Birdoswald Roman Fort, located at Gilsland in Cumbria. As it overlooks the River Irthing gorge, its setting could not be more impressive. Views of the northern Pennines and woodland are well worth the trip.

Whether you’re a history devotee or just want an enjoyable day out with the family, this site is ideal. What remains of the Roman fort is substantial on what is the longest continuous part of Hadrian’s Wall. Gates, a parade block and granaries all add to an insight into the Romans that ruled over us. In fact, those stationed here would have been from the present-day countries of Bulgaria and Romania. These finds are supplemented by a well-run visitor centre. Exhibits here include a model of the wall and several artifacts, with interactive displays. You will learn about the Roman invasion, the Middle Ages border raids and archaeological excavations in the area that took place in the 19th century and 20th century. Refresh yourself in the tea room before venturing out on one of the walks described in the Short Walks Guide, a copy of which is available.

A detailed inspection of this part of the wall will reveal the original turf wall. A short distance along from the fort is Harrow’s Scar Milecastle. Walk over the new bridge that spans the River Irthing and you’ll come to Willowford, a section of wall measuring almost a mile in length, which is said to be amongst the best preserved. Souvenirs and gifts are sold in the Birdoswald Roman Fort shop to take home with you.