15/03/2011

Hadrian's Wall: Willowford Bridge

There's a circular walk I do from my home in Gilsland up to Birdoswald Roman Fort and back.
Following the Hadrian's Wall Path from Gilsland as it heads downhill at Willowford you can see the abutments of the Roman Bridge.

Hadrian's Wall at Willowford, the wall ends at the bridge abutments but, unlike the new bridge to the left in this picture, the Roman bridge headed straight up the cliff in front of you, an amazing feat of engineering.


The line of the River Irthing has changed since Roman times, leaving the remains several metres from the river, there are interperative boards that show you how the bridge would have looked then.

The River Irthing by Willowford Bridge, great place for a picnic, and for a fossil hunt.

Once you pass this point going west you head uphill, in spring the edges of the track are lined with wild primrose.
It's a fair pull uphill and the track had quite large loose stones so you must take care.


The view east from Birdoswald towards Walltown Crags

This is almost the view you get straight out of the car park so it's a good place for anyone who can't walk far. During the season you can also visit Birdoswald Fort.


The view over the valley from the road, I am trying to show just how much difference in level there is between the two ends of the Roman Bridge, it must have been such an impressive sight joining the two parts of the bits of Hadrian's Wall that are left, from the Irthing Valley to the plateau above.

2 comments:

David Richardson said...

Thanks Joan for this insight. A part of the wall I have never seen
David

Jeff said...

Some good pictures of the Wall and a good shot of the height difference.