Reading list

Essential Reading

Breeze, D. J. and Dobson, B., 2000: Hadrian’s Wall, ed.4, Penguin: Harmondsworth [AMAZON]
Simply the best overview (but beware the Kindle edition)

Breeze, D. J. 2006: J. Collingwood Bruce’s Handbook to the Roman Wall, ed.14, Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle [AMAZON]
The best detailed description


Bishop, M. C. 2011: An Introduction to Hadrian’s Wall: One Hundred Questions About The Roman Wall Answered, The Armatura Press, Darlington [AMAZON]

Breeze, D. J. 2006: Hadrian’s Wall, English Heritage Guidebooks, London [AMAZON]
Sometimes easier to buy on site than through bookshops but good value

Fields, N. 2003: Hadrian’s Wall AD 122–410, Osprey: Oxford [AMAZON]
Colourful faux-naïf reconstructions and useful text

Johnson, S. 2004: Hadrian’s Wall (Batsford), London [AMAZON]
Workmanlike introduction

Moffat, A. The Wall. Rome’s Greatest Frontier, Birlinn: Edinburgh [AMAZON]
Popular and slightly quirky account


Wilmott, T., 2001: Birdoswald Roman Fort. 1800 Years on Hadrian’s Wall, Tempus: Stroud [AMAZON]
Popular account of the history of Birdoswald

McCarthy, M., 2002: Roman Carlisle and the Lands of the Solway, Tempus: Stroud [AMAZON]
Popular account of the history of Roman Carlisle, but short on maps and plans

Crow, J. 2004: Housesteads: A Fort and Garrison on Hadrian’s Wall, History Press: Stroud [AMAZON]
Popular account of the history of Housesteads

Birley, R., 2009: Vindolanda: A Roman Frontier Fort on Hadrian’s Wall, Amberley: Stroud [AMAZON]
Popular account of the history of Vindolanda

Unusual aspects

Ewin, A. 2000: Hadrian’s Wall: A Social Cultural History, University of Lancaster: Lancaster [AMAZON]
Grockling the Wall through the ages

Hill, P. 2006: The Construction of Hadrian’s Wall, Tempus: Stroud [AMAZON]
Informed discussion and technical insight by a stone mason

Hingley, R. 2012: Hadrian’s Wall: A Life, Oxford: OUP [AMAZON] Hadrian’s Wall after the Romans left

Jones, G. D. B. and Woolliscroft, D. J. 2001: Hadrian’s Wall from the Air, Tempus: Stroud [AMAZON]
Does what it says on the tailplane

Leach, S. and Whitworth, A. 2011: Saving the Wall: The Conservation of Hadrian’s Wall 1746–1987, Amberley: Stroud [AMAZON]
Fascinating account of how the Wall we see (only just) survived

Poulter, J. 2010: The Planning of Roman Roads and Walls in Northern Britain, Amberley: Stroud [AMAZON]
Opinionated but (or, perhaps, ‘therefore’) fun and thought-provoking


English Heritage 2010: An Archaeological Map of Hadrian’s Wall, English Heritage: Swindon [AMAZON]
The latest information but unhelpfully the base mapping is greyed out and the folds are abysmal

Ordnance Survey 1967 & 1972: Map of Hadrian’s Wall, Ordnance Survey: Southampton
Rare (but sometimes on Ebay: most have dark green covers) with brilliant fold design; later (orange) editions are sublimely awful

Ordnance Survey Explorer 1:25,000 sheets 314 (Solway Firth), [AMAZON] 315 (Carlisle), [AMAZON] 316 (Newcastle upon Tyne), [AMAZON] OL43 (Hadrian’s Wall) [AMAZON]
To make up for the fact the English Heritage map has obscured its base mapping

National Trail Hadrian’s Wall Path XT40, Harvey: Doune [AMAZON]
Strictly for Trail followers, but the folds are nicely thought-out

National Trail Guides

Burton, A. 2003: Hadrian’s Wall Path, Aurum Press: London [AMAZON]
Official, with nice pictures and OS mapping; better in the armchair than on the hoof

Richards, M., 2004: Hadrian’s Wall Path, Cicerone: Milnethorpe [AMAZON]
Best all-rounder with provision for eastbound walking and includes the Denton sites

Stedman, H. 2008: Hadrian’s Wall Path, Trailblazer: Hindhead [AMAZON]
Detailed, but the muddled layout and parish-newsletter typography can be annoying

Latest work

Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology, issues 1 (2010), 2 (2011), 3 (2012), and 4 (2013) [DURHAM CC]
Glossy, full-colour magazine reporting newest discoveries on and around the Wall

And finally

Thomas, M. 2011: Extreme Rambling. Walking Israel’s Separation Barrier. For Fun, Ebury: London [AMAZON]
If you thought walking Hadrian’s Wall was bad, try this! Both funny and poignant

2 thoughts on “Reading list

  1. We’re planning a trip with a couple of days on the wall. Not enough time to walk, even if we had the physical ability. Seems to me there’s a desperate need for a “Driving Tour” guide!

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