Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England



I couldn’t  let the chance to title a post Mediobogdum pass me by; Mediobogdum Is the Roman name for the Hardknott hill fort on the Hardknott Pass in the Lake District, you can read all about it here, it was built  between AD120 and AD138 (how do they know that eh?) They knew how to build wall in those days.

Roman wall 1

I suspect you must have had to draw the Roman equivalent of a very short straw to get posted here, as it has to be, even by hill fort standards the bleakest and most isolated. If you came from a land of wine, olives and hot sunny days, you’d have been in for a bit of a shock to find yourself on sentry duty up here ( and would immediately recognise the need for a longer tunic and some warm socks to wear with your sandals.) The fort did have hot baths, I imagine they would be very welcome,

Roman wall 2

there are some good photos on this site that give a better sense of the scale and isolation than my photos do, like this photo


The Hardknott pass is an exciting drive, it looks fairly benign from this angle but at the head of the valley it is very steep, narrow and single track ( it was easier driving to be in the Landrover and be able to stick it in low ratio gears.) Good photos here, (I like the night shot especially.)

Hardknott Pass

We had to wait in a traffic queue, it’s hard to imagine that, looking at this photo I know, but a driver had got in a bit of a pickle on the steepest part when she’d stalled the car the handbrake didn’t hold properly and the car had ended up skewed across the road, she panicked and the car full of kids had started to cry. Another driver had to go and drive the car out for her, not a day out she or the kids will forget in a hurry.

This blog will go to the seaside tomorrow, wrap up warm.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

9 thoughts on “Mediobogdum

  1. Wrap up warm eh…. jolly cold here already, freezing rain and the yard like glass again… feels like the winter will be too long already, so much for global warming.
    I always used to think about the cold Romans on Hadrians Wall, but was informed that the climate was better then..

    Tomorrow, will you be paddling?

  2. Hardknott Pass, ouch the memories of cycling over it.

    Very cold down here, a 6.00am run in the snow for me and the dog. Its all gone now though.
    Funny looking wall though Uphill. The stones dont look like they are tied in together.

  3. I remember my first journey over Hardknott Pass in the car from Cockley Beck to Boot… it was a fairly hair-raising experience aas it was so steep… worth it tho… although I did forgo it on another occasion returning to Ambleside from Wasdale Head in the dark.. Didn’t fancy coming down into Cockley Beck in darkness.

  4. I’m probably going to look like an idiot posting this, but the pictures just make me think of Hogwarts and Harry Potter!

    There’s something very enticing about the seaside in winter, especially if you’re wrapped up warm and tucking into a nice hot portion of chips…

  5. It’s so very nearly Medioblogdum! Terrific photos of such a wild, but wonderful, place. xx

  6. try driving hardknotts & rinos in the dark at around 11pm in the autumn with a partner who is frightened of heights, is driving and you are unable to see the road due to the headlights going up in the air on the tight corners.

    it’s been a long time since i’ve been to the forst at hardknots.

    some good memories, some not so good.

    thanks for the photos

  7. AA, it didn’t look like they used local drystone wallers 🙂
    ian, that sounds a bit hair raising.

  8. It’s just my funny brain, but I keep on reading the title of this as Medio-by-gum…
    Amazing photos, though 🙂

  9. Pingback: Conor Pass | Uphilldowndale

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