| After leaving the hospital we turn about and walk up the hill. We then come to the west gate of the fort. This gate, like that on the eastern side led onto the military way, a communications route that ran the full length of the wall. A look at the aerial photograph of the fort shows the line the military way took. Contrary to a popular misconception, the wall was very rarely patrolled, but rather troops were stationed as lookouts at the many turrets and milecastles along the wall. The military way then could be used by a detachment of troops from the fort and allow them to respond quickly to a warning signal.
|This is the view that can be seen in the present day as you look from the north west corner of the fort, west along Hadrian's Wall. This photograph shows one of the changes in the landscape that has occured since the fort and wall were in use. During the period of occupation this area would have been kept clear of trees, whilst many areas around the fort which are clear of woodland nowadays would have been heavily wooded.
|The fort was built in an excellent defensive position. Any attacker from the north would have faced this climb up to the north west turret. Housesteads shows no evidence of having ever been captured, though extensive rebuilding work was carried out under the reigns of Septimus Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine.|
Carry on with the tour:
or you can go back to the plan