It’s the UK’s most famous ruin, but its popularity with visitors has caused parts of Hadrian’s Wall to wear away, leaving the foundations exposed and in danger of collapse. The National Trust, which cares for six miles of the wall, says that the damage has been caused by foot traffic, as well as wind and rain.
Named in honour of the emperor who ordered it built ‘to separate the Romans from the barbarians,’ Hadrian’s Wall is a World Heritage Site and was one of Rome’s greatest engineering projects. The enormous 73-mile-long wall was built between AD 122 and 128, and when completed, the mammoth structure ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea. A pair of turrets and a small fort were located every mile along the way. Only a tenth of the wall now remains after long sections were used for building roads during the 18th Century.
The National Trust says that the famous ruin has seen a boost in visitor numbers and staycationing Britons because sterling is weak. Mindful of this, it recently flew in 35 tonnes of stone by helicopter to repair a 250-foot section of the wall at Caw Gap, which attracts tens of thousands of walkers annually. There’s a a slope in the wall at there, and erosion from people walking up and down which has caused a large trench to appear alongside the wall, exposing its foundations.
The stones that were flown in are being used to cover the exposed parts and prevent the situation from deteriorating further. It is hoped that these measures will secure the area and solve the problem, in anticipation of the increasing number of visitors coming to see it.