Birdoswald Roman Fort
The perfect place for a family day out, Birdoswald Roman Fort is set above the dramatic Irthing Gorge, with a picnic area now looking out over it. The remote five-acre remains of the Roman fort and settlement at Birdoswald is the most interesting spot in this western expanse of Hadrian’s Wall. It was built in about ad 125 when its Roman name was Banna, and at its busiest would have housed up to 500 foot soldiers. They were there to protect the wall and, in particular, the bridge across the River Irthing, from the Scots. The part of the wall that runs eastwards from Birdoswald towards Harrow’s Scar is the longest visible remaining stretch. You can explore the perimeter wall of the fort with its entrance gates and part of one turret, while the interactive visitor centre brings to life a vivid picture of Birdoswald in Roman times. Excavations have unearthed the granaries, added in about ad 200, and other finds have included an Arm Purse, containing 28 silver coins, and some delicate gold jewellery now on display in Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Access may be restricted to ground floor, lift not suitable for large electric wheelchairs
- Facilities: Ramp outside, disabled parking, lift, wheelchair loan, torches
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open Apr-Sep, daily 10-6; Oct, daily 10-5; Nov-19 Feb & 25 Feb-Mar, Sat-Sun 10-4; 20-24 Feb, daily 10-4. Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan. Tearoom closed BHs
Also in the area
About the area
Cumbria's rugged yet beautiful landscape is best known for the Lake District National Park that sits within its boundaries. It’s famous for Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, and Derwent Water, ‘Queen of the English Lakes'. This beautiful countryside once inspired William Wordsworth and his home, Dove Cottage, in Grasmere is a popular museum. Another place of literary pilgrimage is Hill Top, home of Beatrix Potter, located near Windermere. Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here.
Much of Cumbria is often overlooked in favour of the Lake Distirct. In the south, the Lune Valley remains as lovely as it was when Turner painted it. The coast is also a secret gem. With its wide cobbled streets, spacious green and views of the Solway Firth, Silloth is a fine Victorian seaside resort. Other towns along this coastline include Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport. Carlisle is well worth a look – once a Roman camp, its red-brick cathedral dates back to the early 12th century and its 11th-century castle was built by William Rufus.
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