First a few words about the crest that grabbed my attention. You will see in the first picture on the right a shield with what looked at first to me to be a harp on top of a sextant. It's taken me a long time to track this one down, but that's no moon! It's actually a stylized Davis Quadrant as you can see from this picture (which comes courtesy of the Invaluable website).
I've learnt that the Davis Quadrant (aka "Back-staff") was conceived by the British explorer Captain John Davis in the mid 1500s in his quest to find a northwestern passage through the Arctic Ocean (from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean). They reached the peak of their popularity in the 1700s giving way to various forms of the more portable and capable Sextant. The Quadrant is so-named because it measures a full 90 degrees, whereas the Sextant measures 60 degrees.
The basic purpose of these type of devices is to allow somebody on the surface of the earth to measure how high celestial objects are above the horizon. Typically the Davis Quadrant would have been used to measure the altitude of the Pole Star or Sun. With a few key points of reference, Sailors were able to navigate the seas with accuracy. Brilliant. Hold this thought.
Within this plot, covered by red concrete stand the lower courses of the South Face of Hadrian's Wall built in A.D. 122 from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Bowness on Solway, and afterwards extended to Wallsend. A distance in all of 80 Roman Miles*. The wall was here 10 feet wide. Built with Ashlar faces and rubble core and is considered to have been 15 feet high to the rampart walk."
I'm not going to talk about Hadrian's Wall today... I've mentioned Hadrian's Wall in previous posts on this blog.
* "The Roman mile (mille passus, lit. "thousand-pace"; abbr. m.p.; also mille passuum and mille) consisted of a thousand paces of two steps each." ~ Wikipedia
Here's a shot of some of the books peeking out. Wouldn't it be a shame to lose all of this knowledge and history?