The Society was formed in 1971 under the leadership of the late Dr. Brian Dobson together with Professor David Breeze and Professor Valerie Maxfield. The Society is made up of those having Hadrian's Wall or the Roman Army as a principal interest.

Although many society members are former extra mural or adult education students and some are professional archaeologists and historians membership is open to all those interested in the subject irrespective of experience or academic qualifications.

The Society holds an annual weekend meeting around Easter time, in part for social reasons and in part for an opportunity to gather and impart knowledge. It usually includes a full day visit to a part of Hadrian's Wall or to a nearby site and two lectures.
Eight foreign tours have also been organised to visit various parts of the Roman Limes, ranging from Katwijk on the North Sea to Aquincum (modern Budapest) and also to Rome.

Following the Easter meeting there is a four day residential Roman Army School consisting of 14 or 15 lectures, usually given by nationally or internationally recognised authorities. The lectures tend to assume at least some background knowledge of the Roman Army but beginners are always welcome and the school is open to non-members. Some non-residential places are usually available.

There are two Society publications. The Newsletters in March, June and October are largely devoted to Society matters and members' activities. The Bulletin is published early in the New Year and concentrates on articles covering more specific Roman topics. The tone ranges from the light-hearted to the academic.