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The wall in its central and best-preserved section follows a hard, resistant igneous diabase rock escarpment, known as the Whin Sill.The initial plan called for a ditch and wall with 80 small gated milecastle fortlets, one placed every Roman mile, holding a few dozen troops each, and pairs of evenly spaced intermediate turrets used for observation and signalling.), also called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian.
Once its construction was finished, it is thought to have been covered in plaster and then whitewashed: its shining surface reflected the sunlight and was visible for miles around.
Although the curtain wall ends near Bowness-on-Solway, this does not mark the end of the line of defensive structures.
The system of milecastles and turrets is known to have continued along the Cumbria coast as far as Risehow, south of Maryport.
Hadrian's Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending a short but unknown distance west of the village of Bowness-on-Solway.
The A69 and B6318 roads follow the course of the wall from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle, then along the northern coast of Cumbria (south shore of the Solway Firth).
However, very few milecastles are actually sited at exact Roman mile divisions: they can be up to 200 yards east or west because of landscape features or to improve signalling to the Stanegate forts to the south.