week’s visitor attraction is 37 miles long and nearly 1,900 years old and
lies from coast to coast across Central Scotland, was built by the Romans
and is now a World Heritage Site. It is, of course, the Antonine Wall which
stretches from Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River
Clyde. On 7 July 2008 the World Heritage Committee meeting in Quebec
approved it as a World Heritage Site and the Antonine Wall has become part
of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site alongside
Hadrian’s Wall and the German limes.
Wall in the north of England had been constructed under Emperor Hadrian in
122AD, to keep out the Barbarians, and some twenty years later the Roman
army in the early 140s, on the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius, began
construction of the wall which bears his name. Across Central Scotland they
built a turf rampart fronted by a wide and deep ditch. Forts and fortlets
provided accommodation for the troops based on the new wall as well as
points where the wall could be crossed. They were linked by a road, known as
the Military Way. All these, together with the camps used by the wall
builders, are included in the World Heritage Site. The Antonine Wall was the
most northerly frontier of the vast Roman Empire but it was only manned for
about a generation before being abandoned in the 160s.
www.anntoninewall.org for further information about the wall and
details of where you can find it. For example you can easily combine a visit
to a modern marvel The Falkirk Wheel with seeing a part of the 1,900 year
old Roman defence against the Barbarians. As you can walk the route of the
wall, forts and camps, the new publication ‘Map of the Antonine Wall’ (£5)
published by Historic Scotland and the Hunterian Museum could well become a
best-seller. You can see artefacts from the Antonine Wall at museums along
its length – Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; National Museum of Scotland,
Edinburgh; Kinneil Museum, Bo’ness; Callendar House Museum, Falkirk and Auld
Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch. Hopefully with the new world status, the
Antonine Wall will become one of Scotland’s major tourist attractions with
crowds to rival say Kelvingrove Museum – only time will tell.
form part of the diet of the wall builders and soldiers manning the wall? It
certainly would of the local population but they would not have been able to
enjoy this week’s recipe – Salmon Cakes – as potatoes did not reach Scotland
for a long time after the Roman troops left for good!
212 gram tin salmon, drained and flaked; 3 medium potatoes, cooked and
mashed; 2 spring onions finely chopped; 1 egg beaten; 15 ml olive oil; salt
and pepper to taste
Preheat oven 375° F, 190 degrees C. Mix together the salmon, egg, mashed
potato, olive oil, green onions to form a stiff mixture. Season to taste.
Roll into a sausage, then cut off sections and form into patties about 1
inch thick. Coat these with milk and roll in breadcrumbs. Bake for 10
minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4.