My tent is pitched for the night in the ruins of Milecastle 39, high in the Northumberland Fells where Hadrian’s Wall runs perched upon the outcropping Whin Sill. Reaching out and touching stones placed 2000 years ago by unknown hands is exciting, the wall itself still an inspiring presence in the landscape.
To sleep in a milecastle – unsurprisingly placed every mile on the wall – had been something I’d really wanted to do; a way to link back to a time when there really was an edge of the world and one could stare out over land about which little was known. I had not really come north for photography but threw my camera in my bag regardless as I knew there were a few shots worth seeking out.
The section of wall on the high Pennines is the best preserved on the entire line, being furthest from large centres of population which will have robbed away much of the stonework over the intervening years. Its also probably the most spectacular the child of the Whin Sill adding to its grandure and emphasising its place in the landscape.
I ended up with a few pictures I liked including the photogeninc Robin Hood Tree at Sycamore Gap made famous by Kevin Costner at some point in the 90's. The biggest challenge was finding thirty seconds to take the picture as people were swarming all over the wall enjoying a day out.