Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rest Day - Housesteads and Vindolanda

For our rest day, we decided after breakfast to catch the handy local bus to Housesteads. We would be walking past Housesteads on Day 5 of walking but knew we would probably not want to take the time to stop and look around properly. First thing to attend to on arrival was the WC. Not the old Roman one though ;)

The ruins of the Wall and the Milecastle at Housesteads are extensive.

Looking south 

 The Romans were very methodical and each Milecastle, where there was a manned gate between south and north, was organized in the same way, which must have made archaeological excavation just a bit easier than otherwise.

 Solid and lasting centuries. This used to be a granary.

 After our visit at Housesteads we took the bus back to Vindolanda, an active archaeological site. Vindolanda was a Roman fort that existed before Hadrian's Wall. It's especially known for the discovery of the Vindolanda tablets, early and well-preserved military and personal correspondence on wooden tablets.

Near the entry is this modern Roman fountain to set the mood. The horse on top is called a hyppocamp.

There's an excellent museum of artefacts as well as a lovely tea room and garden found in the dell below the excavations. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch.

 The volunteer crew was on lunch break when we arrived. This is one of the areas they are excavating. The second photo is the crew back on the job.

This was our Rest Day