An ancient Roman wall, 118.3 km (73.5 mi) long, across northern England. Built by the emperor Hadrian c. ad 122–130 and extended by Severus a century later, the wall marked the northern defensive boundary of Roman Britain. Fragmentary ruins of the wall remain.
(place, proper) Stone wall across N England, from Solway Firth to the Tyne: built (a.d. 122-128) by Hadrian to protect Roman Britain from N tribes: 73.5 mi (118.3 km)
We may without hesitation follow the opinion of Mommsen, who maintains that the limes was not intended, like Hadrian's Wall between the Tyne and the Solway, and like the great wall of China, to oppose an absolute barrier against incursions from the outside.
It guarded the great Roman north road from York to Hadrian's wall.
Whether the land beyond Hadrian's wall became temptingly peaceful or remained in vexing disorder, our authorities do not say.
Amid much that is uncertain and even legendary about his work in Britain, this is plain, that he fixed on the line of Hadrian's wall as his substantive frontier.
Of the English examples a few have been carefully excavated, notably Gellygaer between Cardiff and Brecon, one of the most perfect specimens to be found anywhere in the Roman empire of a Roman fort dating from the end of the ist century A.D.; Hardknott, on a Cumberland moor overhanging Upper Eskdale; and Housesteads on Hadrian's wall.