Sunday, 16 December 2018

History of Hadrian’s Wall

ROBIN SHERRY was the speaker at this week’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club at the Plowden Arms in Shiplake.

ROBIN SHERRY was the speaker at this week’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club at the Plowden Arms in Shiplake.

Mr Sherry, the club’s speakers’ secretary, told how a recent holiday with his wife Jean had made him think about a trip to Hadrian’s Wall.

The couple were on the Strada Regina (Queen’s Way), a walk round Lake Como, when they were told how the Roman armies had built rest and recreation centres for the soldiers to recuperate before they went into northern Europe.

Britain was first invaded by Julius Caesar in 55BC but it was not until the reign of Claudius in 43AD that a larger invasion was undertaken and England and Wales were conquered as well as part of Scotland.

At the time, the Roman Empire extended from Scotland in the north to Egypt in the south and from Portugal in the west to Iraq in the east.

The Picts and Scots were always causing trouble for the occupying Roman armies and, when Hadrian became Emperor in 117AD, he decided to consolidate the empire and ordered the construction of a wall 80 miles long to separate the Romans from the barbarians.

This was started in 122AD and finished in 126 and ran from Wallsend in the east to Bowness in the west. Gateways were built along its length and there were forts with garrisons at several points.

Mr Sherry said that he and his wife hoped to walk along much of Hadrian’s Wall this summer.

He was thanked for his talk by Poul Plougmann.

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