Hadrian's Wall Fort

Sixteen forts were built on Hadrian's Wall, running from South Shields at the mouth of the Tyne to Bowness on Solway Firth. They were essentially the standard marching camp, with the usual praetoriumprincipia, barracks, etc., but permanent. They also possessed certain additional structures—latrines, granaries, workshops, hospitals and bath houses—that the camps lacked. The ramparts were usually of stone backed by a sloping earthen bank although occasionally they were made of turf and timber. In fact, the ‘playing card’ shape is more appropriate to the latter which were very vulnerable at the corners. The fort was usually surrounded by a ditch with a V-shaped profile but that was not always the case— sometimes the steepness of the slope made one unnecessary. The size of the forts depended on the number and composition of the units— usually a cohort of infantry (480 men) or an ala of cavalry (500 or 1,000 men + mounts)— but mixed units were not uncommon. Obviously, the cavalry units would require much more space because of the horses.

Locations of Hadrian's Wall Forts in Roman Britain