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Hadrian's Wall dubbed a gay icon by English Heritage


English Heritage has been mocked by academics for saying Hadrian's Wall is a symbol of England's queer history.

The Roman Empire built Hadrian's Wall to protect Britannia from the 'barbarians' north of the border, in present-day Scotland.

But English Heritage marked the end of LGBT History Month last week by claiming the 1,900-year-old military fortification was 'linked to England's queer history'.

In an article emailed to its membership, it claims Emperor Hadrian enjoyed several gay relationships despite being married.

Professor Frank Furedi, author of up-coming book The War Against The Past, accused English Heritage of trying to appear 'hyper trendy'.

He said: 'English Heritage appears to be in the business of reading history backwards and discovering LGBTQ culture in the most unlikely places.'

Jeremy Black, an emeritus professor of history at Exeter University, added: 'The idea that Hadrian's Wall is an exposition of what can be seen as queer history is totally misguided.'

English Heritage also listed Chiswick House, Walmer Castle, Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Eltham Palace and Rievaulx Abbey as sites linked to England's 'queer history'.

English Heritage said: 'To understand Hadrian's Wall, you have to understand the Roman emperor who built it – his career, his life and the times in which he lived.'