Hadrian’s Wall is the largest Roman artefact in the world. It marches for a total of 73 miles across Northern Britain, from the North Sea in the east to the Irish sea in the west. The wall marked the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. The fortification was built on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, following his visit to Britannia in AD122, and took about 15,000 men around six years to complete. The wall, flanked by a ditch to the north, was built to deter attacks from the native Britains along with controlling trade and immigration. It boasted 80 milecastles, one every Roman mile, 158 turrets, used as observation posts and 15 large forts. Chesters Roman Fort was built on the bank of the River North Tyne. And once built became home to a 500 man cavalry unit and provided a vital role in patrolling and protecting the wall. Romans loved bathing and life on the frontier was no different, a trip to Chester’s bath house, as seen here, meant a break from the military routine, and possibly an opportunity to mingle with civilians living outside the fort. From inside the commanding officers house, you can see that life on Hadrian’s Wall was far from austere for the elite. A flagged floor is still visible here, and underfloor heating, known as hypocaust, would have kept out the worst of the Northumbrian winters. Lots of the drains at Chesters survive, revealing a sophisticated system for dealing with storm water and sewage. Housesteads is the most completely excavated and visible example of a Roman fort in Britain. It covered 2.2 hectares and was garrisoned by 800 soldiers. It contained a hospital, granaries, baths, barrack blocks and flushing latrines. Inside the fort, inscriptions show that soldiers came from all over the Roman empire, some from as far away as Syria. The main garrison were the Tungrians, who came from an area of what now is Modern Belgium and The Netherlands. You can see here, how 300 years of wagon wheels have carved deep ruts in to the stone. Housesteads affords an impressive panorama across some of the most dramatic countryside in Britain. It’s easy to imagine a Roman soldier standing in the Northumbrian wind, probably far from their native land, looking out at the commanding views across the landscape.