Hadrians Wall Country: Pt 5 – Banks, Cumbria

Moving on from the impressive Lanercost Priory just outside Brampton, we arrived in Banks, 1 of only 2 places in England to hold the name, with the other being my own home village…

Banks:

Status: City of Carlisle District, Cumbria (historically Cumberland), Village, England

Date: 28/12/2014

Travel: Car

Eating & Sleeping: N/A

Attractions: Hadrians Wall, Banks East Turret etc

Banks C 1

Banks is only a small village, however it packs a lot into a small space. From the summit of a hill just outside the main portion of the village you can see towards both the Lake District and the Northumbrian Hills as well as an incredible sunset.

As I said in the introduction to this post, the Cumbrian village of Banks is 1 of only 2 in the whole country to hold this title, with the other being a pleasant Victorian village which I call home back in Lancashire, which you can read about here. Whereas the Lancashire version is a large village that acts as a dormitory town for Southport/Preston, the Cumbrian Banks is much smaller, mainly geared around farming and the countryside. They are both unique, and there is plenty to see here in Cumbria.

Banks C 2

The most obvious landmark here is “Banks East Turret”, a ruinous defensive turret that is part of the famous Hadrian’s Wall, which runs from Bowness-on-Solway on the West coast in Cumbria through Banks, Haltwhistle and then on to its terminus in Wallsend, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the East coast.

Construction of Hadrian’s Wall was started by the Roman Emperor of the same name in 122 AD, and was mostly completed by 128 AD. As building work started at the Newcastle end, it is likely that the Banks section wasn’t completed until around 125/126 AD. This area of the wall, including the turret, was in regular use for the following century, and were only discovered in 1933 during local excavation work.

Another nearby Turret was never found, but there are records to indicate that it did exist at some point.

Banks C 3

I can see why the Romans chose this location as a vantage point, as you get some incredible views, starting with the local countryside, where we spotted a train bound for Newcastle from Carlisle on the Tyne Valley Line illuminated in the evening sun.

Banks C 4

I took this panoramic from the far end of the turret, with the local hills in the centre, twisting round to look towards the Lake District National Park where the borders of the historic English counties of Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland meet around the great lakes of Windermere and Ullswater.

Banks C 5

We soon got our final view of the day, at the end of another epic road trip which had taken us from the town at the Centre of Great Britain, Haltwhistle, round Featherstone & Blenkinsopp Castles to Lanercost Priory, and finally Banks. We gazed at the disappearing sun, slowly dipping its head behind the peaks of the Lake District, and our road trip was complete…

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