Drawing 106 : The north gate, Hardknott Roman Fort
Direction of view: N
Notes: Best taken at noon or early afternoon, to get sunlight on both faces of the masonry. Surprisingly, this picture does not appear in any of Wainwright’s other published works.
Comments: Image 1 was taken on 2nd May 1992. Andrew Amos, Peter Messenger and I started a weekend break in Eskdale Green, and after checking into our B&B, we set off for Coniston, getting a few sketches en route, including Eskdale Church (379), and both of those at Hardknott Fort, where we stopped for lunch. The day’s walk was Coniston to Boot, part of Paul Hannon’s “Furness Way”.
Image 2 was taken on digital on 18th June 2013 (see drawing 20), a glorious morning with very sharp visibility. As would be expected, the scene is completely unchanged.
Wainwright was always interested in the Roman period, and the remains of Roman buildings. His 1938 Pennine Journey walk was a hike to see the Roman Wall, and throughout his book he often comments on Roman sites, which were clearly a spur to his imagination in relation to the living conditions and the feelings and experiences of the peoples of those times. Mary Burkett told me of an occasion when he persuaded her to take him by car to Hardknott fort, going over the passes – “the way the Romans went”.