Hadrian's Wall

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Hadrian's Wall

Postby Yogi » 01 Mar 2012, 12:06

[ img ]

What's that all about now?
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 01 Mar 2012, 16:33


talk about pulling teeth!

this is the best i could find:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/3607332.jpg
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 01 Mar 2012, 16:36

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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Mar 2012, 17:41

I've never seen that part of Hadrian's Wall, but its length is dotted with remains of forts, castles and look-out turrets. The word cat may come from a cathedra (Latin, "chair", from Greek, kathedra, "seat"), but also, it's said that the soldiers kept cats in the turrets, to kill off all the mice. That seems feasible, being as though they kept food and provisions there, so maybe there was a famous black cat at some stage.

Funny though - the word "black" crops up a lot in the area. Black Cat's Dyke, the Black Bull pub (which is now on a site which led directly along Hadrian's Wall). St. Bede, who was a priest and historian, was one of the first to write about the history of the Romans to the Anglo Saxon settlers, although much of it's discarded by later historians, and he mentions "black" this and that. You even have black pudding, which's obviously black, but's said to originate in Stornoway, Scotland. A part of Hadrian's Wall is approx. half a mile from Scotland, although it's a misconception that the wall was built to divide the 2 countries. It covers parts of Cumbria, Northumberland and Newcastle, but relics from the Roman era've been found on the Staffordshire Moors and elsewhere down the country.

The Hadrian's Wall Path passes a section of wall at Black Carts, so I think the reference to anything "black" probably comes from way back in history, when life was hard up there, and perhaps everything DID seem black and dismal at times.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Yogi » 01 Mar 2012, 19:32

That's quite a bit of research you did. Well done, I must say. Apparently the wall was intended to demarcate the northern edge of the Roman Empire. If that is the case, it's hard to see why they are discounting it as an attempt to keep out the Scots. Then again, if I knew anything about history I'd not be posting the question.

I had no idea such a wall existed other than in China.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 01 Mar 2012, 19:55


well, here's one version of black, although i find it funny that the usual word for black was sweart, which is a swedish meaning... well, black. [svart]

so that was the dark part. now, about the cart...

well, cart is a cart from what i can find, but it hasn't been in known use before 1200 or so.

so, i'm thinking it would have been the burning wagon tower?

just because a black cart hardly was worth mentioning...
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 02 Mar 2012, 09:13

No idea. These old place names and words which crop up fairly regularly from ancient times must all have an origin somewhere.

Hadrian built the wall, but it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.

Here's a good pic and more about it Yogi.

http://www.contours.co.uk/walking-holid ... fAodx05GAQ

The entire wall was built in England, and just separated the southern part of Scotland where very few people lived in those days, so there are conflicting ideas as to why the Romans built it at all. It's said there were trading posts along the way, as well as fortifications, so obviously they meant to keep people out!

The Antonine Wall was made of turf, laid out on stone foundations, and not made with rocks like Hadrian's was.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Wall
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 03 Mar 2012, 00:08


never heard of tony's wall, but what an interesting thing to have lasted so long.

someone suggested the walls were to keep the vikings out, but that's off by a few centuries, more like the picts, i'm guessing?
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Wonderbunny » 03 Mar 2012, 08:52

In history at school I was taught that it was a wall for lookout posts to guard against invasions from Picts and Scots from the North.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 03 Mar 2012, 14:26


yeah, all that rabble trying to bust into roman's orderly society... sheesh, the nerve!
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 03 Mar 2012, 20:27

Lol. Well actually, there are many theories that haven't actually been documented so can't be proved. Excavations along the route indicate that there were trading posts, and that the Romans possibly had an early "Customs" system. They were less hostile to the Picts, probably because there were more of them than there were Scots in the area, with whom they could do business. The Picts have been called pirates, traders and merchants and were known to have had a substantial amount of silverwear, which probably made them more acceptable to the Romans than people living north of the wall.

I've been to Hadrian's Wall. It's very scenic in parts, but going back all those years it must've seemed like the back of beyond. I read that it took something like 15 years to complete the building of it, so whatever the real reasons for the divide, Hadrian obviously wanted fortified areas along the way to protect it, and to keep others away.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 04 Mar 2012, 11:13


what i don't get is that it certainly didn't stop anyone from going around it, in a, say - boat?
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby cyrus » 04 Mar 2012, 12:06

cart > Old English > ceart > wild common land
http://www.oldenglishtranslator.co.uk/
Also, the Wikipedia article on the turret gives the meaning for ceart as rocky and rough.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Cart ... Turret_29A

Interesting subject.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 04 Mar 2012, 12:32

The Picts are assumed to've come from mainland Europe, and settled in the Highlands. They wanted land in northern Ireland, so probably just rode or even walked southerwards, or sailed across from the Irish areas where they'd landed.

Little's known about them, except that they painted their faces blue, and left many standing stones by the time they disappeared. This was a gradual process, so perhaps they became interwoven with the many tribal people living up there. Several of their beautiful silver pieces of jewellery've been found, but no weapons, so perhaps the Romans found them less aggressive than others they encountered, and were able to trade with them.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby pilvikki » 05 Mar 2012, 01:14


thanks for links!

still trying to figure out the cart connection...

so, am i correct assuming that the latest version of the name would have meant "a dark, rocky turret"?

naw, that doesn't make any sense either...

meanwhile, the picts. here's a page on them:

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/picts/


and how about this:
The toponymic elements "Pett" and "Pitt" are certainly a common feature of placenames in Pictish territories.



oh brad.... :lol:
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Mar 2012, 08:14

Interesting. Some of it goes against what I've learnt though, but the Pictish people left no written records of themselves, except for indecipherable markings which appear to show they had a basic written language made up of symbols.

As Emanresu said, "carts" came from "cearts", which meant rocky place, so Black Carts Turret could've been so named after the rocks or stones which were used to build it. There's also a farm by the name of Black Carts, which's close to where the foundations of old dwellings were unearthed.

No one really knows, but there's a Black Carts-on Ryehill (which could've meant one of several things) in Northumberland and not far from Hadrian's Wall.

Obviously, carts were used for transportation, and often pulled by oxen in those days. Strangely enough, I've read of there being blue-black cows in the area, which thrived on the grassland along the line of the wall - Welsh Blacks being one of the breeds, so there's a fair amount of connection to the word "black", and the expression of "black Friday" dates back to at least Roman times.

Somehow or other, the words black, and cart, seem tied in together.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby AJRC » 05 Aug 2013, 03:46

I live not far from Hadrian's Wall, some of it's remains are in the city of Newcastle itself. There is a place in Newcastle called Wallsend, for obvious reasons. It's an amazing monument to Roman engineering that nearly 1,900 years later it's still standing, in places almost intact.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 05 Aug 2013, 05:02

Brilliant, AJ.

The Romans were good at building things to last. the Fosse Way, which runs from Lincoln, through Leicestershire and down to Cirencester (I think!), was built around 48 AD. The route's pretty direct, and never more than approx. 6 miles off being a straight line - all 182 miles of it.

The stone walls are reminiscent of what you find in Derbyshire and Yorkshire today, and farmers still use this method of cordoning off land, because once the stones are in place, it takes a lot for them to fall down. Considering this's building without using mortar, it's a brilliant way of making path/roadways, walls and divides, so you can understand why parts of Hadrian's Wall still stand robustly.

I've heard about the remains at Wallsend. Are visitors allowed to visit the area?
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby AJRC » 06 Aug 2013, 03:44

It's funny to think that the biggest threat to Hadrian's Wall didn't come from the barbarians to the north but from the farmers who started taking the stones for their own walls, it took one enterprising gentleman to buy large parts of the wall to stop this happening.

And yes, Icey, you can visit the wall in Wallsend. It's called Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum. Part of the end of the wall is there, and the remains of a huge fort. Not much remains but it's still interesting to visit.
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Re: Hadrian's Wall

Postby Ice.Maiden » 06 Aug 2013, 08:04

Thanks. Maybe the boys'd like to visit during their holidays. I'd like to see it as well.

As for the farmers, I suppose you can't blame them for being tempted to pinch the stones for their own walls. LOL, it's a shame, but all the hard work'd already been done for them. Have you watched those stone walls being put up? You'd expect it to be like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together, but it takes shape surprisingly quickly, considering the multitude of angled pieces.
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