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Hadrian’s Wall, named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian who ordered it to be built, is a magnificent stone wall structure that was the northern limit of the Roman Empire in Britain. It spread from the Solway Firth shore to the west, to River Tyne to the east. The wall was built to separate the Roman armies from the tribes that lived in the region beyond the wall (Caledonia – now Scotland).

The design of the wall was chosen purposely to make the best use of the geography, and it was built starting from the ends and working towards the middle. The first plan called for building the wall using stone, but an eastern section was constructed using turf. A ditch is typical at the front, except for areas where rivers made it unnecessary. After every mile, there’s a gate protected by a guard post known as a milecastle. Between every two milecastles was a pair of towers (turrets) that served as observation points for the men guarding the wall.

In its heydey, Hadrian’s Wall was a marvel; the most famous of all frontiers in the Empire. Centuries later, much of it has disappeared. Many of its sections were used to construct roads in the 18th century. Preservation efforts were led by John Clayton in the 1830s, a town clerk who purchased property around the wall to keep farmers from taking stones. In 1987, the Wall was declared a World Heritage Site and by 2005 it was recognised as one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

Much of the wall remains unguarded, enabling visitors who have a passion for Roman sites in Britain like Fiyaz Mughal to see and take pictures. In Northumberland great stretches remain intact, which attract visitors to it and the countryside. There are numerous museums and archaeological sites along the wall that tell stories of the Roman Empire’s rise and fall. As well as being a source of Roman history, there are other non-Roman treasures to enjoy too. The village of Wylam, which lies along the wall’s path, is where pioneer railway engineer George Stephenson was born.

Far from being a tourist attraction, Hadrian’s Wall has also been an inspiration for modern day authors. English author Rudyard Kipling referenced the wall in his short story series On the Great Wall. George R. R. Martin, author of the bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire, used Hadrian’s Wall as inspiration for ‘The Wall’ (dramatised in the television series Game of Thrones).