Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Historical Wanderings - Hardknott Roman Fort

While in the Lake District I walked the 5 mile round hilly journey with my brother up to Hardknott Roman Fort which stands next too Hardknott Pass.  It rained.  Correction; it rained a lot, and we got fairly wet.  Luckily it was still relatively warm, and the effort was worth it for the stunning views and interesting site.  The fort itself is small; the information suggests that a cohort of Dacians was based here for much of its use, and it was meant to protect the trade route from a hostile population.  The route ran from the sea, and the Roman fort, bathhouse and port at Ravenglass (approximately 10 miles away), up over the pass.  

Standing in the rain it really felts like you must have annoyed someone to get posted there at the time; wet, remote, hostile territory, and with only a bunch of sheep to keep you company.  The remains of the fort includes the outlines of walls, corner towers, the commandants quarters and the central HQ building.  For comfort a small bath house was just outside the gate on the roadside of the fort (cold room with plunge pool, warm room, hot room, and even a sauna - they were way ahead of us!), and a parade ground of naturally flat land was a couple of minutes walk through boggy ground just above the remains.  Unsurprisingly the fort had the characteristic 4 entrances, at least one of which was out onto a cliff side.

For those who don't like walking you can drive up and park in a lay by by the fort, but its a challenging drive with 25% gradients, and the Wainright walk we followed was very rewarding.  I took a few pictures, although the scale of the views and site is difficult to convey.  There are also some pictures of the best way to get there - the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway!

Inside the fort looking up at the pass.

North (cliff) side.

Centre of the fort - stepped up with the land.

Two very wet foolish people laughing - this was the second attempt at taking this picture, the laughter is caused by the camera being blown over by the wind first time out!

Looking back on the return journey the road up towards the pass can be seen.

Douglas Ferraria.

Wroxham Broad.



  1. Excellent photos. A place I've always wanted to visit but not yet had the opportunity.

    Cheers, Andy

  2. Well worth it, but it takes some time to get to Eskdale due to the only ways in being over the various 25 degree gradient passes.