Monday, 10 August 2009

Roman Northumberland

This is Lobster Pot Cottage where we stayed for the week. I am going to do my version of a slide show of some of the holiday photos this week-if you are old enough you will remember those-my dad used to do fancy ones with music! I took rather a lot of photos so although seventeen in one post may seem a lot-it's not! I am going to do a post each day to mirror the day of the holiday last week-it will help me to relive it a little while getting down to jobs such as sorting out the shed. These dogs belonged to our neighbours on the right and were very friendly. The little one on the left was the guard dog but he was a pushover really! Below are the lobster pots.
Monday was a day of visiting Roman Forts-the first was Chesters. This is the bath house-the little arches were possibly to put statues in. It was at the bottom of this site-near the river. This fort was built to defend a bridge-part of Hadrian's wall.Chesters has a great little museum with lots of stoneware and pottery. I would like to have a lintel like this. I wonder if this was in the bath house?
Our next fort was Housesteads-situated on Hadrian's wall-built to stop Pictish raiders from Scotland-started in AD122 (-that was the number of the bus we saw on the way to our third fort!)

This was my favourite fort because of the location and the chance to have a look at a Roman toilet-and to listen to lots of people telling their friends or children about Roman toilets, toilet customs and Roman plumbing. Most amusing!
Windswept! I was standing on top of the wall here and was slightly concerned about keeping my balance!
Looking up the hill towards the fort it is hard to tell which are sheep and which are people. If this photo chooses not to enlarge then it will be even harder!
Children enjoying the chance to climb on some ancient ruins.

Andy admiring the toilet. The two women on the right were having a conversation in which they wondered why the custom of communal toiletting had died out. I for one am glad it has though I have been in a toilet for two before-in some nightclub or other. That didn't catch on.Lots of people received this postcard from us as we thought it was funny!

The view was just stunning.
Finally, we visited Vindolanda-I think I am beginning to get Roman Fort hysteria here-or Andy is being funny. I am walking down a Roman road!
Maybe I was laughing at Andy's hat. Not sure!

Vindolanda is an amazing site-both for its size and for the amount of well preserved remains found. It is an ongoing excavation and we had the chance to see some archaeologists at work. Because of the building method of just pushing over what was left before, covering it with turf and starting over again, things have been preserved in anaerobic conditions-meaning that writing on thin wooden tablets has survived. This is a selection of highlights from the tablets. Click on the tablet for a translation. Number 12 is particularly interesting! It is a birthday invitation and is the earliest known example of writing in latin by a woman. These really bring the people alive in my imagination. Added to these there are loads of shoes, bronze artefacts that are still shiny and gold coloured, a glass painted with a gladiator scene and even a very strange wig.
Here are the archaeologists-it looks like quite hard dusty work but with such great rewards. We stood and stared at them for a while before going for a much needed cheese toasty in the Vindolanda cafe.
I have to mention the roads around this area too-they were great-some of the most exciting and satisfying roads I have ever driven on-straight but hilly with stunning views. I loved them!

Each day we had one or two beach walks-we were 2 minutes from it which was fantastic-I love beach walking, beach combing too-of which more later! This ball was most satisfiying to kick along the wet sand.
A lobster pot man!


Poetikat said...

That was fun! The dog on the right looked a bit like a pot-bellied pig.

Thanks for the shots of Hadrian's Wall. I've never seen that before.

Looks like a fascinating place to visit.

In the Maritimes over here, we call them lobster traps. (I think I prefer "pot").


Sonia ;) said...

Sarah I loved it..wanna go next time....Love the photos...

xoxox S

Anonymous said...

Wow Sarah, that sounds so interesting. How neat to see that kind of history.

kendalee said...

I've never spent time in Northumberland and already, after only one post, I'm adding it to my list! Roman ruins, museums, cheese toasties and beach walks... HEAVEN!

Can't wait for the rest of the week to unfold!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos- yes, Andy looks great in his hat!! Must come back to look at all your links - I've got a busy morning before I head off to the hairdresser! Oh - Terry Wogan has just played Englebert Humperdinck and the sun is shining - bliss!!

Renee said...

You are beautiful. I knew it.


Anonymous said...


How exciting! That looks like some awesome places to visit! I think I'll pass on the public communal bathroom. Ick.... it's bad enough only having a stall between you...LOL!

Anne said...

Hi, Sarah! Fabulous photos! Thanks for sharing them! :-)