Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

Or, With weather like this, why on Earth didn’t the Romans just go home‽

(Or see this as a full-screen slideshow.)

We followed the advice of our friend (and Erik’s college Latin teacher) Timothy, who recommended Housesteads Roman Fort, as the most complete remains of a Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall. The section of the wall here is in fine shape, and you can walk alongside it for miles if you wish. We did not do so, but explored the remains of the fort, which consists of the bases of the old buildings (barracks, guardhouses, supply rooms, cisterns, and latrines) and a wall of the fort. Several locals were there for their daily walks with their dogs, very used to the presence of the ancient site.


Regarding the photo with the sheep: though some choose to believe that our word barbarian comes from a Latin word for “bearded,” it actually is derived through Greek from Proto Indo-European *barbar-, which itself was imitative of the sound of nonsense (“bar, bar”). Regardless, Hadrian’s Wall seems still to be doing its job against the barbarians.

I wouldn’t have missed this stop for the world, but we got here at the tail end of the day, having spent really quite too much time at Abbotsford. As it was, we got caught in the beginnings of a long steady rain (see especially the next-to-last photo). At last, though, we found what I thought of that night as the Last Homely House — not to sleep, alas, but at least to sup.