Sunday 1 August 2010

Hadriana filmed near Walltown Crags

This is me up near Walltown crags. It's something I've been meaning to do for ages - show you this hidden treasure. Not many people know about it. It's off the beaten track and I only noticed it, myself, last summer when I was driving along a tiny road near Hadrian's Wall.

I'd like to do more short films about different features in/around the area. They won't always be about Roman things. Although my obsession is primarily the Romans I am still captivated by the sheer diversity of the North East and West regions. There is so much here. It is all inter-related.

One of the things which I point out in the short video (which is about 2 minutes long) is a feature of Roman stonework called diamond (or feather or herringbone) broaching. These carvings on the stonework, created by the Roman legionary masons, provide a rough surface for plaster in many cases. One of the lesser known things about Hadrian's Wall was that it was whitewashed from tip to toe - each side along its entire 80 Roman must have stood out like a beacon, especially up along the crags, in its heyday.

There is a little more on this broaching here (re: Corbridge Roman Bridge Stonework) which comes from this website: TWM Archaeology. This whole website is a mine of information covering different time periods in the North East. Absolutely fascinating!

Sometimes I get a bit depressed that no-one is reading my blog (I've just re-read that and thought that's not fair on your loyal band of followers and readers but you know what I mean...) but I have been fiddling around looking at a few things on Facebook and have seen that people have linked to some of my posts. I know that this short video is nowhere near perfect (I hold the camera too close, at times, to my face for example) but I am determined to just bash away at things and get something blogged up. The amount of stuff which I have lost from the last couple of years (photowise is a bit galling) but it also provides me with the excuse to go round all the sites and photo them again. If I can get permission to film at certain places then that might be an easier and quicker way to show you what I find amazing rather than leaving it all to write up one day! My new motto is: "Good Enough!" "Bona Res Satis!" or "Bene Satis!"

Sorry too for not visiting all your blogs. I've not allowed myself to do this for ages because once I start to do it I find that hours have whizzed by. As usual, with me, it's all or nothing. My new resolution is to try and visit about 3 blogs per day (perhaps more) and leave a comment. I managed it Thursday and Friday but not yesterday or today. Must try harder!

P.S.: Hope to soon get back to reminiscing about my banking days...I know I keep promising to do it but I always keep my promises! ;)


the fly in the web said...

That was must do more!
And include your assistants!

So the stones were marked to make a key for...what exactly? When we restored houses in France we would see stone marked like that to allow a better surface for that disgusting 'crepi'...What were the Romans using? Any idea?

What makes you think not many people read your blog?
I don't get many comments, but when I put on one of those site metre things I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people dropped by.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Fly,

Yes...that was a sweeping statement of mine but I am melodramatic! The Roman masons did the criss crossing to allow plaster (on interior walls) to stick better and I am guessing they did this for the whitewash as well.

What is "crepi" by the way? I could make a joke about crepes but I won't!

Just found this on a forum:
We're mixing up with Italian tradition here...
When u want to say good luck to somebody, especially for an exam or a show or things like that, you don't say "buona fortuna", because it apparently brings bad luck.
So there is another saying, which roots are very ancient and I couldn't explain them. So, if I want to wish u good luck I tell you "in bocca al lupo" (= may you end up into the wolf's mouth), and your reply will be "crepi" or "crepi il lupo" (= may the wolf die).

but for the French:
just found this:

Isn't crepi = lime (1), sand (5/6), cement (1)?

Gosh the things I'm learning tonight!

Must put the kiddywinks to bed. It's long over due. :)

the fly in the web said...

Sand and cement....sort of...and used to make lovely old stone walls 'tidy'!

Expat mum said...

I didn't know the wall was white washed!!
And love those red shoes! Bless!
(My word verification is URINA - very Latin sounding.)

Idaho Dad said...

Yes, more videos! I've been reading your blog for awhile. I walked the Hadrian's Wall Path three weeks ago and am now even more interested in learning the history of the place. Also planning a return trip in a few years, but this time with the whole family.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you, Fly, for the explanation. :)

Expatmum...white washed, yes, absolutely. There is archaeological evidence to prove it as well. My daughter has an eclectic dress sense which I've no desire to subvert. She's just spent a week at drama school in Hexham and loved it!

Hello Idaho Dad, Welcome to my blog! Nice to hear that you've been reading it for a while. I'd love to go out and cultivate more readers but I just don't have the time. Ah can't have everything.

Very pleased to hear that you've walked the Wall and that you enjoyed the experience. Please do bring the family over to have a look. I'm sure they'll enjoy it too.

I'm hoping to put up some more short videos. I've been experimenting with my tiny Olympus camera and it seems to work OK. Better, in fact, than I expected.
So watch this space!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Gosh, Idaho Dad, popped over to your site and was gobsmacked. Looks very interesting what you do. Must go and short out the B&B now but will pop over to yours again to get a better look. :)

Nota Bene said...

I feel the fly on the wall style....

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you, NB! I have to say that it is all a bit rough and ready but, to be honest, I don't want it to look too polished. The main thing is that it is fun!

I deliberately left out the clip with the children screaming in the background!!!

Carolyn Trafford Art said...

Thanks for visiting me. Your blog is very interesting.

I too get hung up on the fact that people don't seem to visit as often as I like, yet when i check Go-stats loads of people have been, but I tend to just look at followers and comments left.

I think we just have to trust in the fact that a lot of people visit silently.

ADDY said...

Look forward to seeing more of these videos. I was not far from you at the weekend - see my blog. We went to Chesters Bridge at Chollerford and other bits of the wall. It was so great to be up that way again.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello Snowdrop (love your name BTW), thank you and welcome to my blog.

I do over go over the top. Yes...I know loads of people read my bl og but my Google Analytics counter has fallen off (I changed my template)..I must fiddle with it to get it sorted out. Hope you'll drop by again. :)

Hello Addy,

Ooh. Next time drop me a line and we could meet up! I could give you and Kay a tour of Vindolanda if you like. Be lovely to meet up and exchange some blogging stories.

Chesters is divine. I love it too bits. Huge grin from me. ;)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Idaho Dad....just figured out how you got to walk the Wall with Dan and Jo plus many more! Well done for raising all that money and have a good time into the bargain. It all seemed extremely well planned and went off without a hitch. Fantastic.

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Ave Hadriana

I've been one of your silent followers for a while but am now de-lurking to say how much I enjoy your blog and admire you for coping so well with your ups and downs. Living in God's Own Country must help make up for it, though, I'm sure. Delighted that your B&B is doing so well!

Enjoyed your video - please do more of them!

We're moving back to Northumberland (ille terrarum mihi praeter omnis angulus ridet) after 30 years down south. I can't wait, but must be patient as it's a bad time to be selling a house.

I'm especially interested in your Vindolanda connections - we've been Friends of Vindolanda since the 1970s and were volunteer diggers 2000-2005. Hope to get stuck in again in some way before too long.

Anyway, thank you for your delightful blog. Must resurrect mine soon and "follow" you properly.

Sarah (brushing up her Latin)

Harry said...

This is great! I love the detective work, and the tricks for knowing what to look for. I find the whole area just amazing, once I started really looking at it. All the layers - Roman stonework in modern fencing, medieval ridge-and-furrow ploughmarks, early mines, greenways that uses to be rail tracks. The whole landscape is just teeming with all this history.

On WeDig's "Digger's Guide" I have a section for little-known/offbeat things that visitors & diggers should take the time to see. If you'd like, I'd love to devote some pages to your videos and what you find.

(Also, do you know the site ""? It has a place called the Wayback Machine -- a huge database of snapshots of millions of Web sites over the years. (One of mine from 1999 is still in there.) There's a chance that some of what you've posted before and lost might still exist there. Longshot, but worth a look maybe?

Thx as always for your posts and pics and insights.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello Sarah,

Welcome to my blog. Thank you for de-lurking as it is always nice to chat to my readers. I've been sadly remiss on the followers front...must check them all out some time. Some I recognise and some I don't!

I've been over to your two blogs and like the look of both of them. I'll link to yours and to Anthony's. Thank you so much for popping up and brushing up your Latin. I'm incredibly impressed and I've got my Latin dictionary out to make sure I've understood you correctly! Like it a lot. :)

I'd love to dig at Vindolanda some day so would love to follow in your footsteps. Hope the house sale does not take too long. Once you're up here it would be great to meet up.

Hi Harry,

Thank you as always. I agree with you that the place is riddled with history. I find it all absolutely fascinating. It is like trying to put a giant jigsaw puzzle together.

I'll be covering (hopefully) known places and some not so known. I've been thinking about going over to video format as it can be so much more powerful than mere words at times.

I'd be happy if you linked through to me in "WeDig"...and extremely flattered into the bargain as well. No problem at all!

I've looked at the Wayback Machine and sadly nothing shows up within my time range for the blog. Thank you for the reference though...what I'll do is keep checking back every so often. I'm hoping my stuff will resurface a bit like your flotsam and jetsam.

Just as a quick update...the IT firm over at Naworth Castle have also given the thumbs down on the hard disk so I've resigned myself that it is a write-off.

Nevertheless given all the tragedies in the world this is a tiny dent and the best thing is to learn from mishaps and learn how to do it better next time. So we have a few ideas in mind. The Naworth Castle IT firm (I love saying that) are also going to help us too. :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I forgot to give a translation of what Sarah Cuthbertson said..."that corner of the country above all makes me smile/laugh". Me too Sarah!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Fame at last! Loved it, seriously, very educational.

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

I'd love to meet you when we get Oop North for good - maybe over stuffed dormice and mulsum in Cafe Lepidina? On the other hand, make it tea and cake. Hope the summer is going well for you!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you GOK! I know the camera angles are very wonky but that adds to its charm don't you think? ;)

Sarah - It would be super to meet up at Cafe Lepidina. For tea, coffee, mulsum....! I would definitely take you up on that when you are up here and settled.

The Summer is going very well at Vindolanda and RAM. We may well be upping the number of that that 2pm archaeologists' talks have finished. Fingers crossed that we can. I start again at Vindolanda this Friday. :)

Heather A said...

I found this post while googling Walltown. I had no idea the Wall was whitewashed. I am a little stunned!!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Heather,

It's amazing what pops up on Google - including me I suppose. ;)

I'm 99% certain that the wall was whitewashed. I need to check my sources again but I gather archaeological evidence has been found to back up this theory.

Nice to see you again over at the Abbey last week. It was a lovely service.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

BTW Heather - Walltown Cafe is back open again if you want to take the children. They've opened a Willow (I think) labyrinth as well...

It's a crackingly gorgeous day today isn't it? I've been in a meeting all morning but can now sit out in the sun with a relaxing cuppa!