Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 18, Hexham and Vindolanda

In the morning, we blobbed in front of the tele, mesmerised by the appalling tv shows. By late morning we got our act together and motored off towards Carlisle on the A69 but turned off onto a minor road, then a single lane road, then a minute strip of bitumen with occasional passing places which lead us to Vindolanda.

Vindolanda is old Roman fort which is in the process of being excavated from the soil. I say in the process, it has been going on for decades and quite a bit of progress has been made. We braved the strong wind and spent a few of hours there, including lunch at the cafe and a good look around the museum that had bits that had been found.

My imagination was really working overtime. Like we are talking the site first being built on around two thousand years ago. Found in the ruins were a pair of sandals, perhaps 1800 years old. Just mind blowing. Here, so many years ago, people ate, loved, rooted, defecated......well the latrines had been uncovered. I assume it all ended up in the creek below. One thing I did not wonder about was why being posted from Rome to England was considered a punishment. The wind was strong and cold.

On the way home, we stopped off at the lovely town of Haydon Bridge for a cold ale. We needed a drink after suffering sitting stationary for cumulatively half an hour for roadworks. They need to build a bypass to bypass the Haydon Bridge bypass works.

Cumberland sausages and salad for dinner. Who cares which county they come from, but they were rather nice.


Channel from a latrine. Latrines were good places to find dropped jewellery.
Bridge in the valley below, not so old
Although it looks to be nice weather, there was a cold wind. It would be great here in the valley below the fort on a nice day.
Haydon Bridge, no longer used by motor vehicles. Well worth a click to see it bigger.
The Anchor Hotel at Haydon Bridge where we had a coldie.
The ubiquitous Foster's, spread far and wide over England.


  1. Love the photos,when's the slide night ? :P
    Those ruins aren't ruined - they look perfectly serviceable for housing recalcitrant pollies :P

  2. I can almost hear the first stirrings of the archaeologist in you waking up, Andrew. At this rate you'll be buying a four inch trowel, printing out your context sheets, building yourself a stratigraphic matrix and heading back to Pommyland with a shovel. Got plenty of Roman sites around the Wyre, you're more than welcome to join us.

  3. Ah, those Romans really knew their plumbing. Stunning photos and love the Fosters shot with the bridge. Now I'd wondered where I'd left my sandals...

  4. Anonymous6:01 pm

    Never suppress or hinder your inner sausage-addiction.

  5. What a nice idea Jayne.

    It is interesting to me, from a non participatory viewpoint. Actually, what you have found is a bit exciting Brian. You have taught me to observe the lie of the land.

    Haha LiD. They were not the sort we see on tv, thin straps criss crossing up the ankle, but a delicate and decorated flat shoe.

    I don't Reuben. I am rather fond of a decent sausage.

  6. Hi Andrew

    See - you didn't need to go anywhere.



  7. Sorry Pants, can you explain?

  8. Considering that the Romans wore those funny little skirt things instead of pants, I'm not surprised they thought being posted to places with cold winds such as Britain a punishment.

    Truthfully though, how bad is Foster's really? I've only had it once or twice, and I didn't think it was as bad as people make out. It's got to be better than that tepid English stuff...

  9. Got it Pants, the Fosters.

    True Ben, but of course the Scots like a pretty dress too. Foster's is ok, just out of fashion here. I don't often have beer now, so when I do I tend to go for Stella or Asahi.