Saturday, 4 October 2008 The plan for today is to see more of Hadrian's Wall, perhaps walking west from Steel Rigg; but when I
awake this morning, I'm not feeling much like a walk. Thanks for all the Highland Parks, Bob (and hold the ice next time). Mercifully, the
full bedtime dram of Glenmorangie is still at bedside, untouched--down the sink with it. Fortunately, it's a dank and drizzly morning, so I
don't have to agonize over dragging myself out.
I've found three different routes into town from the B&B: up the street to the west end of town; down the street, and up Market Street, into the market square at the center of town; and across a small stream and up a path through the woods, into the open grounds behind the abbey. This latter has become the preferred route, and I'm just starting up the hill when I pass an elderly lady. She turns to me and says, "Th' j'ints're compl'inin' t'day!" "Mine too," I smile. I should stay out of the j'ints. I browse the market and buy a couple of pairs of socks. My head feels really heavy, so I go and get a haircut at a barbershop in the Shambles. Much better.
Decide to visit Corbridge Roman Site (Corstopitum or Coria) [Wikipedia]. It's a good choice--I kill time looking at artifacts in the little museum while the rain blows sideways outside. Then it eases up considerably while I walk around the remains of the Roman garrison town. It lies well south of the wall, at the junction of two major Roman roads, Dere Street and Staneygate. There was a bridge across the Tyne here, but at some point it collapsed, apparently causing the town to shift eastward to its current position, near a ford. But for that, this site would likely be buried beneath a modern town.
A stroll around Corbridge proper doesn't take long--it's a small town. Spend more time in St Andrews Church, where I saw Kathryn Tickell a few years ago, than in the rest of the town. There's a Roman arch inside the medieval church; a local architecture buff thinks the church was built around the existing arch, in its original placement, but the archeologists are quite sure it was reconstructed. Small as Corbridge is, it has at least three good pubs, and I have a pint at the Blue Bell, then dinner and another pint at the Black Bull.
I drive back to Hexham and rest up at the B&B before heading up to the Heart. Karaoke night. Oh, the humanity....