Skip to main content
Select Source:

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall was a Roman frontier work of the early 2nd cent. running 70 miles from the Tyne near Newcastle to the Solway west of Carlisle. Commenced at the behest of Hadrian on his visit to Britain in 122, the wall was originally to consist of a running barrier fronted by a ditch (except on the crags of the central sector), with a gateway defended by a fortlet every mile (milecastle) and two watchtowers (turrets) between each pair of milecastles. The troops remained based in forts along the Tyne–Solway road, the Stanegate. The eastern three-fifths of the wall were in stone, the western two-fifths in turf, later rebuilt in stone. With the construction of the wall well advanced, the decision was taken to place the garrison forts actually on the line of the wall and to extend the eastern terminal from Newcastle to Wallsend. The final addition was the ‘vallum’ to the rear of the wall, a ditch flanked by two mounds with causeways only at the forts. The western terminal of the wall was at Bowness-on-Solway, but fortlets (milefortlets) and watchtowers (towers) continued down the Cumberland coast. The entire complex was built by the three legions in Britain, though garrisoned by the more mobile auxiliary troops. Apparently a frontier, it was designed to be permeable, to supervise not to deny movement. The line could not have been held against a concerted attack; in the event of a crossing Roman forces would concentrate to the south to expel invaders. North of the wall were further forts monitoring Northumberland and the Lowlands. The psychological and propaganda effect of this enormous feat of construction and of the garrison along it must have been immense, not to mention the demographic and economic impact of the thousands of troops stationed along its line.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hadrian's Wall." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Hadrian's Wall." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

"Hadrian's Wall." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall, ancient Roman wall, 73.5 mi (118.3 km) long, across the narrow part of the island of Great Britain from Wallsend on the Tyne River to Bowness at the head of Solway Firth. It was mainly built from c.AD 122 to 126 under Emperor Hadrian and was extended by Emperor Severus a century later. The wall demarcated the northern boundary and defense line of Roman Britain. Fragments of the wall, 6 ft (1.8 m) high and 8 ft (2.4 m) thick, and many of the "mile stations" (stone blockhouses along the wall constructed every Roman mile) remain. Hadrian's Wall, which has been preserved, is one of the largest and most significant remains of the Roman occupation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hadrian's Wall." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Hadrian's Wall." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

"Hadrian's Wall." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Hadrians Wall

Hadrian's Wall Defensive fortification in n England, Erected (ad 122–36) on the orders of Roman Emperor Hadrian. It extended 118.3km (73.5mi), and was about 2.3m (7.5ft) thick and 1.8–4.6m (6–15ft) high. Forts were built along its length. Extensive stretches of the wall survive.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hadrians Wall." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Hadrians Wall." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

"Hadrians Wall." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hadrians-wall

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.