A british amateur archaeologist is to walk the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall this summer – clad in full Roman military armour. Builder Duane Alexander, 38, will also enjoy authentic Roman rations as he hauls 90lbs of equipment across the 100-mile route along the wall, in the north of England.
Duane plans to sleep outdoors, and educate visitors on life in the Roman army as he conquers the wall to raise money for Cancer Research over the August bank holiday. He initially had the idea in 1996, but had to shelve plans after a near-fatal sailing accident in the Orkneys 14 years ago.
Now Duane is fighting fit to complete the Hadrian’s Wall trek, spending up to two hours a day in the gym, and pacing up and down his garden in the armour. He’ll be supported by four friends, but says his family still think the idea is outrageous. “It’s going to be hard work. Everyone thinks I’ve lost the plot and mum would think I was bonkers but I think she’d be glad I was doing it,” Duane tells the Lakeland Echo.
“There were quite a few amused looking drivers and my neighbour’s daughter got a shock when she saw me in the garden (in the armour),” he adds. Hadrian’s Wall is a huge stonework built in 122 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to mark the limits of Roman Britian. It is lined with military forts and towns, including Vindolanda, where a series of ancient tablets were found. Today the wall remains a popular tourist attraction – and was ceremonially lit earlier this year to mark the 1,600th anniversary of the Romans’ British exit.Click here for Britain’s top ten Roman walls.