Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fortress of the Britons

Dun Breatann, or the Fortress of the Britons, is in Strathclyde, west of Glasgow, Scotland.

In my second book (which I have just finished editing and revising and I just sent out a query to an agent and I am so excited!!!), Eleri's Tale, the action takes place in 3 main places.

The first is this ancient fortress, which stood on this two-headed plug of basalt volcanic rock that rises out of the water to a height of 240 feet.

The Romans originally had a fort at this site and could control traffic and trade from it. Now called Dumbarton Rock, this is where Coroticus, the British chieftain, had his fortress after the Romans left.

Dumbarton Rock was still in use as a military base as recently as World War II. The buildings there now date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

For hundreds of years it was considered impregnable until the Vikings invaded around 900 AD.

Mary, Queen of Scots, hid here for several months in 1548 before being removed to France for her safety.

It is a rarity in that Dumbarton Rock has seen 1500 years of continued use as a military fortress.

It was a great place to visit in the summer of 2008 when I went to Scotland to check out the sites where my story played out.

The other 2 sites are Whithorn, in southwestern Scotland, where St. Ninian had his monastery, "Candida Casa", the white house on the hill, and modern day Carlisle, in northern England, where Hadrian's Wall stands.

In the 5th century, Carlisle was called Luguvalium, and was a Romano-British city. You can travel the length of Hadrian's Wall all across the "waist" of Scotland and visit many of the remains of the Roman forts.

Hadrian's Wall was buit in 122 AD, and large parts of are still standing today.

In upcoming posts I will write about those places. I absolutely loved Scotland and want to go back!


  1. I'd like to hear about the Candida Casa, the white house on the hill when you get a chance.

  2. Julie, I will be writing about Candida Casa soon!


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