Emperor Hadrian had to have sounded like a madman when he ordered his army to construct a wall the width of Britain in 122 AD. Finished in six years, Hadrian's Wall provided the Roman Empire with a controlled political boundary, and to check smuggling and other illicit activities. That is, until Emperor Antonius Pius decided 14 years later to build a shorter wall across a stretch 100 miles north of it. In between were the Pics, and Pius wanted to gain some territory and show them who was in charge. Taking 12 years to build, the Antonine Wall lasted only 20 years, with its forces finally retreating back to Hadrian's Wall. For a full description, see Hadrian's Wall.
The fort below (Vindolanda) is a great example of the periodic outposts and administrative headquarters that Hadrian also constructed. Recently, fragments of writing materials were found in the layers of flooring which provide a rich insight into life at the fort during the 300 years of occupation.
Remember in a previous post that I reported that Emperor Constantine was in York when he learned that his father had died, and that he was now Emperor? Well, during the six years that he took to get back to Rome, he rebuilt Vindolanda after finding it abandoned on a journey to the northern lands.
Here is a link to the photo taken today: Sunday, August 26th, York