The northern tribes were a serious problem in Roman Britain. They were unruly, highly mobile, had no real wealth to speak of and were proving very resistant to being civilised. What was emperor Hadrian to do? The tribes needed to be controlled and the province protected, but war was an expensive business. His solution turned out to be rather remarkable.
Rather than chase the natives all over the countryside, his soldiers were going to build a wall across northern Britain. But where precisely was the Wall to be built? The setting Hadrian chose for his ambitious scheme was the dramatic and varied countryside of the Tyne-Solway Isthmus. Being a practical, hands on emperor, he may have even explored the area himself. Who knows? Perhaps he thought the rolling hills, lakes, wild moorlands and spectacular escarpments the perfect place for the edge of his empire.
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