The Roman fort at Hardknott Pass

Wednesday 22nd August 2012, 3.25pm (day 363)

Hardknott castle, 22/8/12

From A. Wainwright’s The Southern Fells (volume 4 of his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells): page Hard Knott 2:

“On the south-western slope of Hard Knott the rocky cliffs of Border End fall steeply to an inclined grassy shelf, which extends for half a mile and then breaks abruptly in a line of crags overlooking the Esk. This shelf, a splendid place of vantage commanding a view of the valley from the hills down to the sea, was selected by the Romans towards the end of the first century AD as a site for the establishment of a garrison to reinforce their military occupation of the district….

“One wonders what were the thoughts of the sentries as they kept watch over this lonely outpost amongst the mountains, nearly two thousand years ago? Did they admire the massive architecture of the Scafell group as they looked north, the curve of the valley, from source to sea, as their eyes turned west? Or did they feel themselves to be unwanted strangers in a harsh and hostile land? Did their hearts ache for the sunshine of their native country, for their families, for their homes?”

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