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Hadrian’s Wall is generally thought of as the northernmost border of the Roman Empire in Britannia, but the Romans actually pushed further north into Scotland and built another wall, the Antonine Wall.
Construction of the wall began in AD 142 under the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius, and ran across the central belt of Scotland between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.
The wall was mainly a turf fortification placed on stone foundations, 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. The wall had a wooden palisade running along the top and a large ditch on the northern side in parallel.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them; troop movement was facilitated by a road linking all the sites known as the Military Way.
The wall was in use for only eight years before the decision was made to relocate back to Hadrian’s Wall.
In 208, Emperor Septimius Severus had ambitions of expansion and re-established the Legions at the Antonine Wall where he repaired and carried out reconstruction works. (This period refers to the Antonine Wall as the Severan Wall). Occupation only lasted a few years again, before the Antonine was finally abandoned and the Roman ambitions in Caledonia forgotten. Find out more