After marvelling at the Kelpies, and the Falkirk Wheel, the next feature of their day out together came as Ike and Jane cycled up the dirt track to the Antonine Wall and Rough Castle. The Antonine Wall as ordered by Roman Emperor Antonius Pius in about AD 142 following conquest of the region. He was the adopted son of Hadrian who built the wall of the same name. Both of these walls are World Heritage Sites.
Unlike Hadrian’s Wall which was made from stone, the Antonine Wall was a turf fortification built on stone foundations which stretched across the Central Belt of Scotland from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. It was roughly 39miles (63km) long and approximately 10feet (3metres) high and 16feet (5metres) wide. There was a deep ditch on the northern side for security.
The wooden ruins of the wall have weathered away leaving only the ditches and mounds of earth. There were 16 forts and some small fortlets protecting the wall. Soldiers moved between the forts over a road which was known as the Military Way. The wall was abandoned 8 years after it was built and the troops were re-located to Hadrian’s Wall.
Ike and Jane wandered around the site before stopping for lunch, and then they cycled back along the dirt track to the Rough Castle Tunnel, which was constructed as part of the Millennium Link Project to carry the canals under the Antonine Wall.
Ike spotted a small wooden house near the canal which looked interesting.
They then travelled back through the tunnel and to get a closer look at the top of the canal leading to the Wheel. There were no boats on the Falkirk Wheel but they did get an idea of the scale of the approach to the Wheel, as they walked around the outdoors of the Visitors Centre.