The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

1.18. Of the wall ſometime buylded for a parti|cion betweene Englande and the Pictes. Cap. 17.

Of the wall ſometime buylded for a parti|cion betweene Englande and the Pictes. Cap. 17.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 HAuing hitherto diſcourſed vpon the title of the kings of england, vnto the ſcottiſh kingdome. I haue nowe thought good to adde hereunto the deſcription of the wall that was in times paſt, a limite vnto both the ſayde re|gions, & therefore to be touched in this firſt booke as generallye apperteinent vnto the e|ſtate, EEBO page image 57 of the whole Iſlande.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The firſt beginner of the Picts walThe firſt author and beginner therefore of this wall was Hadriane the emperour, who as Aelius Spartianus ſayth, erected the ſame of foure ſcore miles in length, to deuide the bar|barous Brytons from the more ciuile ſort, which thẽ were generally called by the name of Romaines.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The fini|ſher of the wall.After hys tyme Seuerus the emperour cõ|ming againe into this Iſle, (where he had ſer|ued before in repreſſion of the tumultes here begun, after ye death of Lucius) amongſt other thinges he finiſhed the wall that Hadriane had begunne and extended it euen vnto the the weſt ſea, that earſt went no farder then foure ſcore myles, from the eaſt part of the Ocean, as I haue noted already. It is wor|thy ye noting how that in thys voyage he loſt 50000. men in the ſcottiſh ſide, by one occa|ſion and other, which hinderaunce ſo incen|ſed him, that he determined vtterlye to extin|guiſh theyr memory from vnder heauen, and had ſo done in déede, if his life had indured but vntill another yeare. Sextus Aurelius wri|ting of Seuerus, addeth howe that the percell of the wall,The wall goeth not ſtreight by a line but in and out in many places. which was left by Hadriane, and finiſhed by this prince, conteyned two & thir|tye miles, whereby the bredth of this Iſland there, and length of the wall conteyneth on|lye 112. miles, as maye be gathered by hys wordes, but chiefly for the length of the wall Spartianus who touchting by it among o|ther thinges ſaieth of Seuerus as followeth,

Brittaniam (quod maximum eius imperij de|cus eſt) muro per tranſuerſam inſulam ducto, vtrin ad finẽ Oceani muniuit,
that is, he for|tified Brytaine (which is one of the chiefe acts recorded of his time) with a wall made ouer|thwart the Iſle, that reached on both ſides e|uen to the very Ocean.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 The ſtuffe of the walThat this wal of ſtone alſo, the ruines ther|of which haue miniſtred much matter to ſuch as dwell nere therunto in their buildinges is triall ſufficient. Hereby in lyke ſorte it com|meth to paſſe, that where the ſoile about it is leaſt inhabited, there is moſt mention of the ſayde wall, which was wroughte of ſquared ſtone, as vnto this day may euidently be con|firmed. Howbeit this Wall was not the one|lye partition betwene theſe two kingdomes, ſith Iulius Capitolinus in vita Antonini Pij doth write of another that Lollius Vrbicus did make beyond the ſame, of Turffe, which ne|uertheleſſe was often throwen downe by the ſcottes,Two o|ther wals. and eftſoones repayred againe vntill it was geuen ouer and relinquiſhed altoge|ther. The like mudde wal hath bene ſéene al|ſo within the wall about an arrow ſhot from that of ſtone, but how farre it went, as yet I cannot finde, this onely remayneth certaine, that the wall made by Hadrian and Seuerus was ditched with a notable ditch, [...] and a ram|pire made theron in ſuch wiſe, that the ſcot|tiſh aduerſary had much adoe to enter & ſcale the ſame in his aſſaults. Betwixt Thirlewal, and the Northe Tine, are alſo in the waſte groundes, manye parcelles of that walle yet ſtanding, wherof the common people doe babble many thinges. Beginning therefore with the courſe thereof, from the weſt ſea, [...] I finde that it runneth frõ Bolneſſe to Burgh, about foure miles, and likewiſe from thence within halfe a mile of Caerleil, and leſſe on the north ſide, and beneath the confluence of the Peder and the Eden. From hence it go|eth to Terreby a village about a myle from Caerleil, then thorow the Barrony of Lin|ſtocke, and Gilleſland, on the north ſide of the riuer Irding or Arding, & a quarter of a mile from the Abbey of Leuercoſt. Then 3. myles aboue Leuercoſt, and aboue the confluence of Arding, and the Pultroſe becke (which deui|deth Gilleſland in Cumberlande, from ſouth Tindale in Northũberland) it goeth to Thirl|wall caſtle, thẽ to the Wall towne, next of all ouer the riuer to Swenſheld, Carraw (per|aduenture Cair [...]ren) tower, to Walwijc, and ſo ouer ſouth Tine, to Cockely tower, Portgate, Halton ſheles, Wincheſter, Rut|cheſter, Heddon, Walhottle, Denton, and to Newcaſtle, where it is thought that ſ. Nicho|las churche ſtandeth on the ſame. Howbeit, Leland ſayth, that it goeth within a myle of Newcaſtle, and thẽ crooketh vp toward Tin|mouth vnto Walleſende, ſo called becauſe the aforeſaid wall did ende at the ſame place. And thus much I read of the Pictiſh wal. As for the Romaine coyne that is often found in the courſe thereof, the curious brickes about the ſame nere vnto Carleil, beſide the excel|lent Cornellines and other coſtlye ſtones al|ready entailled for Seales oftentymes takẽ vp in thoſe quarters, I paſſe thẽ ouer as not incidẽt to my purpoſe. In like maner I wold gladly alſo haue ſet downe the courſe of Of|faes ditch: but foraſmuch as ye tractatiõ ther|of is not to be referred to this place, becauſe it is not a thing generall to ye whole Iſland, I omitte to ſpeake of that alſo. Yet thus much will I note here by the reporte of one (who ſaith how he did tread it out) that he followed it from the Dée to Kyrnaburgh hill thorow Treuelach forreſt, by eaſt af Crekith, Cauch hil, Mountgomery caſtle, the new caſtle and Diſcoid, & hauing brought it hitherto, either loſt it, or ſought after it no further, & ſo much of ſuch thinges as concerne the generall e|ſtate of the whole Iſland.

Previous | Next