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Sites, Museums and Resources (A-F)

Antonine Wall

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Type of site: Roman frontier
Roman name: unknown
Location:
The Antonine Wall runs for about 60km (37 miles) from Bridgeness on the River Forth in the east to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde in the west.
Map of Roman sites in Scotland in the mid 2nd century showing the Antonine Wall. Roman Britain
History
The northern frontier of Roman Britain was moved north from Hadrian's Wall to a new line between the Rivers Forth and Clyde in about 142 on the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. What is now known as the Antonine Wall was a rampart on a stone base built of turf and earth to a width of 4.3m and height of about 3.6m. It had a ditch 12m wide and 3.6m deep in front of it. At regular intervals of 3.5km along the Wall there were forts and fortlets, largely built of timber. The Antonine Wall was probably abandoned in about 160.
Artist's reconstruction of the Roman fort at Rough Castle (Central Region) on the Antonine Wall. Drawing by Michael J. Moore, Michael J. Moore and David J.Breeze
What can you see?
The Wall itself and remains of a number forts and other related sites are visible along the line of the Antonine Wall. Two of the best stretches of the Wall are at Watling Lodge near Falkirk, Central Region (National grid NS863798 - NS866798) and at Croy Hill near Cumbernauld, Strathclyde (National grid NS725762 - 739769). Forts where remains can be seen include Rough Castle, Central Region (National grid NS835798 - 845799) and Bar Hill, Strathclyde (National grid NS706740 - 714762). At Bearsden, Strathclyde (National grid NS546720), a suburb on the north-west side of Glasgow, nothing can be seen of the fort, but you can see the excavated remains of the bath house which stood in an annexe on its east side.
The bath house at the Roman fort at Bearsden on the Antonine Wall. Historic Scotland.
Museums
Roman finds from the Antonine Wall can be seen in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow and the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Of particular interest are the spectacular distance slabs which commemorate the building of the Wall. All except the Bridgeness slab are in Glasgow.
The distance slab from Hutcheson Hill (Bearsden, Glasgow) on the Antonine Wall commemorating the construction of 3000 feet of the Wall by the Twentieth Legion. In the centre a standard bearer is crowned by the goddess Victory and on either side are tied-up native prisoners. Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
Resources
Historic Scotland publish an Antonine Wall and Forth and Clyde Canal walking tour pack. For children see F. Jarvie, 1994. The Romans in Scotland (HMSO / National Museums of Scotland, Scottie Books). For a more detailed guide see L. Keppie, 1986. Scotland's Roman Remains (revised ed. John Donald, Edinburgh).
Web sites: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk, http://www.nms.ac.uk
The distance slab from Bridgeness near Edinburgh on the Antonine Wall commemorating the construction of 4652 (IIII [bar over] DCLII) paces (M P = milia passuum) of the Wall by the Twentieth Legion. On the left side there is a cavalryman spearing some Britons. On the right side a sacrifice to the goddess of Victory is taking place. Four men watch another man in a toga - probably the legionary commander - who is about to sacrifice a pig, sheep and bull. To accompany the ceremony there is music from a flute player. National Museums of Scotland
Contacts
 
Historic Scotland
Education Officer
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH
Tel: 0131 6688600

 
Hunterian Museum
The Education Officer
Hunterian Museum
The University of Glasgow
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Tel 0141 3304221

 
Museum of Scotland
Enquiries
Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 2257534

Bath (Avon)

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Type of site: Spa
Roman name: Aquae Sulis
Location: 187km west of London, 21km west of Bristol (National grid ST752646)
Bath (Aquae Sulis). Reconstruction of the Roman baths and sacred spring (in the building left of centre at the top). Illustration by John Ronayne, Bath Archaeological Trust.
History
At Bath there is a hot water spring which was considered sacred by the native Britons before the Roman conquest. In Roman times the spring became the centre of a massive spa and bathing complex which was rebuilt on a number of occasions, each time on a more ambitious scale than the last. Alongside the baths was a great temple in traditional Roman style dedicated to Sulis Minerva, a good example of a goddess who combined a native and a Roman name.
The god's head on the gable of the Roman temple at Bath. Roman Bath Museum, Bath
What can you see?
In the Roman Bath Museum you will see substantial remains of the baths, including the reservoir for the hot spring itself, visible through a surviving Roman arch. Excavation of the reservoir produced large numbers of objects including the famous lead curse tablets, as well as coins and other valuables thrown in as offerings to the goddess. You can also visit the Great Bath, in which large crowds of bathers could take the waters, as well as other baths and parts of the temple. Great treasures of the museum include a gilded bronze head of Minerva and the temple gable with a carved face of a god with swirly hair, beard and moustaches. There are also the tombstones of soldiers who would have come to Bath for a cure.
Offerings to the goddess Sulis Minerva from the sacred spring at Bath. They include coins, handled vessels (paterae), flagons and, at the top, a mysterious face mask. Roman Bath Museum, Bath
Resources
School visits are arranged by the Education Officer.
Publications include a guide book, Key Stage 1 Teacher's Notes and Key Stage 2 Teacher's Notes which include pre-visit activities, on-site activity sheets and post-visit activities. There is also a Key Stage 3 Teacher's Pack: Bath and the Roman Empire with pre-visit notes, teacher's visit notes and activity sheets. Themes covered include development of empire, economy of empire, Roman society and Roman religion.
Web site: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk
The 'Great Bath' in the Roman baths at Bath. The 18th century spa buildings stand above the Roman remains. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Contact
Education Manager
Heritage Services
The Pump Room
Stall Street
Bath
BA1 1LZ
Tel: 01225 477785

Bignor (Sussex)

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Type of Site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: 23km north-east of Chichester via A27 and A29 and then a minor road from the village of Bury (National grid SU987146).
Reconstruction illustration of Bignor Roman villa (Sussex). Photo Simon I. Hill, Bignor Roman Villa
History
The villa is situated close to the Roman road now known as 'Stane Street' which ran from London to Chichester. The earliest buildings found in the excavations at Bignor were of timber and dated from c.190-200, but the first stone buildings belonged to the mid 3rd century. The villa reached its final form in the 4th century when it was arranged around a great courtyard. The famous mosaics discovered in 1811 are of this date.
Bignor Roman villa (Sussex) seen in a 19th century print. Photo Simon I Hill, Bignor Roman Villa
What can you see?
The most spectacular remains of the Bignor villa are the mosaics which provide fascinating evidence for the literary and religious interests of the Roman residents. In the winter dining room there is a semi-circular panel showing the goddess Venus and a group of cupids engaged in gladiatorial combat. Another mosaic shows the shepherd boy, Ganymede, being seized by Jupiter disguised as an eagle who transports him to heaven to serve the gods. Visible also are the remains of the baths in which there is a mosaic with the head of Medusa.
Mosaic at Bignor Roman villa (Sussex) showing the shepherd boy Ganymede being taken by an eagle to be a servant to the gods. Photo Simon I. Hill, Bignor Roman Villa
Museum
The site museum displays objects from the excavations and has panels describing the history of the villa and the life of its inhabitants.
Part of a colonnade at Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission Chedworth Roman Villa.
Resources School visits can be arranged by the Curator.
Publications include a site guide book, children's activity sheets for various aspects of the villa, sheets for directed walks and a colouring book. More information is available on the web site
Bignor Roman villa (Sussex): the water basin in the summer dining room (triclinium) surrounded by a mosaic floor. Photo Simon I. Hill, Bignor Roman Villa
Contact
The Curator
The Roman Villa at Bignor
Pulborough
West Sussex
RH20 1PH
Tel: 01798 869259

Birdoswald (Cumbria)

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Type of Site: Fort
Roman name: Banna
Location: 1.5km west of Gilsland on the B6318 (National grid NY615663)
Aerial view of Birdoswald Roman fort seen from the south. Photo Cumbria County Council
History
Birdoswald is a fort on Hadrian's Wall which lies on a spur of land overlooking the River Irthing on its south and east sides. Originally when Hadrian's Wall was built of turf in this area (the Turf Wall) there was a turret at Birdoswald which was subsequently replaced by the fort. When the Turf Wall was rebuilt in stone the Wall ran up to the north corners of the fort and the Vallum ran around the south side. Building work at Birdoswald in the early 3rd century included construction of the granaries. At this time the garrison was a unit known as the First Cohort of Dacians (from modern Romania). Recent excavations show occupation continued at Birdoswald until the end of the 4th century and into the 5th when Britain was no longer part of the empire and the fort was probably a local warlord's residence.
The east gate at the Roman fort at Birdoswald on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Patrick Ottaway with the kind permission of Cumbria County Council
What can you see?
Birdoswald is one of the best preserved Roman forts in Britain. The walls stand to near their original height of about 4m in places. Five of the six original gates can be seen and at the west gate there is evidence for the blocking of the south portal in the late Roman period. Within the fort you can see remains of the granary buildings and of part of a building thought to be a drill hall.
West gate of Birdoswald Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill, with the kind permission of Cumbria County Council
Visitors' Centre
The excellent Visitors' Centre has audio-visual displays, information panels, an interactive information point, and artefacts including an altar dedicated to the god Silvanus dedicated by a group of huntsmen. Other inscriptions and sculpture from Birdoswald are in the Tullie House Museum at Carlisle and the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle. A programme of Roman events runs through the summer months and there is a residential study centre.
Altar dedicated to Silvanus, Roman god of the woods and wild places, by the Venatores Bannienses (Hunters of Birdoswald) from Birdoswald fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I Hill, with the kind permission of Cumbria County Council
Resources
120 School visits can be arranged by the site Curator.
Publications include a fully illustrated guide book, schools information pack, study sheets and self-guiding trail leaflet. Web site: www.birdoswaldromanfort.org A readable introductory book on the site is Birdoswald Roman Fort by T. Wilmott (Stroud, Tempus, 2001)
Contact
The Curator
Birdoswald Roman Fort
Gilsland
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA6 7DD
Tel: 016977 47602

Brading (Isle of Wight)

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Type of site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: South of Brading about 2km from Sandown off the main A3055 Sandown to Ryde road (National grid SZ599862).
Mosaic at Brading Roman villa (Isle of Wight) showing a figure with a cockerel's head and two animals. Photo Simon I. Hill, Oglander Roman Trust
History
Brading was a large maritime villa which reached its final form in the early 4th century. It consisted of a main block of rooms with two wings, one on each side of a courtyard.
Brading Roman villa (Isle of Wight) display area. Photo Simon I. Hill, Oglander Roman Trust
What can you see?
The remains of the main block of the villa are visible and of particular interest are the mosaics which illustrate the literary and religious interests of the 4th century owner. One mosaic has the head of the gorgon Medusa with splendid snaky hair in the centre. She is surrounded by other characters from classical mythology including Ceres, goddess of farming. Other mosaics feature Bacchus, god of wine, and Orpheus who charmed the animals with the music played on his lyre.
Mosaic pavement from Brading Roman villa (Isle of Wight) with the gorgon Medusa in the centre and various mythological scenes in panels around the sides. Photo Simon I. Hill, Oglander Roman Trust
Museum
Some Roman finds from the site are on display, which illustrate the life of the villa's inhabitants.
Bronze lock plate from the Roman villa at Brading (Isle of Wight). Photo Simon I. Hill, Oglander Roman Trust
Resources
School visits can be arranged by the Site Manager.
Publications include a Guide to the Villa and Notes for Teachers. See also the web site: http://www.bradingromanvilla.org.uk/
Figure playing a flute (tibia) on a mosaic from Brading Roman villa (Isle of Wight). Photo Simon I. Hill, Oglander Roman Trust
Contact
The Site Manager
Oglander Roman Trust
Roman Villa
Brading
Isle of Wight
PO36 0EN
Tel:01983 406223

Butser Ancient Farm (Hants)

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Type of site: Reconstructed Iron Age Farm
Location: 7km south of Petersfield on the A3 take the turnoff for Chalton and Clanfield and then turn almost immediately right and the farm is 200m down on the right.
The Ancient Farm
The farm is an open air research laboratory where the Roman and Iron Age world is being explored by full scale experiments. The work is principally directed towards finding out about agricultural and domestic life based on evidence from excavations in Britain and northern Europe. Work is currently in progress on the reconstruction of a Roman villa.
Butser Ancient Farm (Hampshire) signboard. Photo Simon I. Hill, Butser Ancient Farm.
Resources
The farm provides the visitor with a unique experience because it is the only place in Britain where ancient livestock, cereals and plants can be seen along with fields and buildings of Iron Age type. The farm also has an educational resource centre where school visits can be accommodated. There is an informative guide book and further information can be found on the Butser web site: http://www.butser.org.uk
Children learning about early farming at Butser Ancient Farm (Hampshire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Butser Ancient Farm.
Contact
Butser Ancient Farm
Nexus House
Gravel Hill
Waterlooville
Hampshire
PO8 0QE
Tel: 023 92598838

Caerleon (Gwent)

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Type of site: Roman fortress
Roman name: Isca
Location: near Newport (Gwent), two miles from the M4 exit at Junction 25 (National grid ST340905)
The Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon (Gwent). Photo Simon I. Hill with kind permission CADW - Welsh Historic Monuments
History
The fortress at Caerleon - the Welsh name means 'City of the Legions' - was founded by the Roman general Frontinus in AD 74/75 to control the Silures, the native tribe which lived in south-east Wales. The garrison was the Second Legion Augusta. Caerleon was one of the three permanent legionary bases in Britain (the others are York and Chester) and it remained in use until the end of the 3rd century.
An artist's reconstruction of the Roman fortress baths at Caerleon (Gwent), Wales in about 80 with the exercise hall shown under construction (upper left). In the centre is the open air swimming pool with its fountain house (left). Illustration by Paul Jenkins, National Museums & Galleries of Wales
What can you see?
The outline of the Roman fortress can still be traced in the plan of the modern town of Caerleon and remains of the defences can be seen at the north-west corner and elsewhere on the west side of the site. Inside the Roman fortress at its north-west corner the walls of four barrack blocks have been laid out. In one case the walls are original and in the other three they are reconstructed. You can also see the site of a latrine. Outside the fortress on its west side are the impressive and well-preserved remains of the only completely excavated amphitheatre in Britain. You can see the arena, banks for seating and the massive stone walls of the entrances.
Entrance to the arena of the Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon (Gwent), Wales. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission CADW-Welsh Historic Monuments
Museums
The Roman Legionary Museum and Fortress Baths at Caerleon, together with the outdoor sites (amphitheatre, barracks and defences), make a visit to the town an excellent introduction to Roman Britain.
 
The Roman Legionary Museum exhibits weapons, sculptures, altars, inscriptions and numerous finds including a fine collection of gemstones. The displays give an excellent impression of the lives of the people living in and around the fortress, both soldiers and civilians.
 
The Fortress Baths displays the excavated remains of the monumental bath complex including a large open air swimming pool and part of a cold bath suite.
Carved stone dolphin head forming a spout, found in the fountain house in the Roman fortress baths at Caerleon (Gwent), Wales. Photo Simon I. Hill, with kind permission CADW - Welsh Historic Monuments
Resources
Visits can be booked through either Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments or the Legionary Museum. At the Capricorn Centre in the Roman Legionary Museum there is a reconstructed barrack room which illustrates aspects of Roman life. Costumes allow pupils to dress up as Roman soldiers or ladies. Publications include an illustrated guide book (published by Cadw) and an excellent educational resource pack entitled Caerleon, Roman Isca (published by Cadw and National Museums & Galleries of Wales). Web sites: http://www.cadw.wales.gov.uk, http://www.caerleon.net. For legionary museum: http://www.nmgw.ac.uk
Contact
Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments
Caerleon Amphitheatre and Fortress Baths
Caerleon,
Newport,
NP6 1AE.
Tel: 01633 422518

or

The Education Officer
Roman Legionary Museum
High Street
Caerleon
Newport
NP6 1AE
Tel: 01633 423134

Caernarfon (Gwynedd)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Segontium
Location: Approach from the east via M54 and A5 to Bangor. Near Bangor the A5 joins A55 which reaches Caernarfon after a few kilometres (National grid SH485624)
Map of Roman Wales. Roman Britain
History
A fort was built at Caernarfon in c.78 at a site of strategic importance overlooking the Menai Strait where the main northern and western coastal Roman roads meet. The fort protected the fertile and mineral rich lands of the island of Anglesey and defended the Welsh coast. The first fort had timber buildings, but it was gradually rebuilt in stone after the mid 2nd century. In the 3rd century the garrison was First Cohort of Sunici, originally recruited in Germany. A civilian settlement grew up outside the fort. The fort was garrisoned until the end of the 4th century.
Altar from Caernarfon Roman fort (Gwynedd), Wales dedicated to Minerva by Aurelius Sabinianus, a clerk (actarius). National Museums & Galleries of Wales
What can you see?
Accessible to the public are excavated remains of the fort including the headquarters building (principia) with sunken strong room, barracks and storehouse. Also visible is the commander's house and remains of a bath house.
The remains of the headquarters building (principia) at Caernarfon Roman fort (Segontium). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission National Museums & Galleries of Wales
Museum
Segontium Roman Museum on the site has finds which throw light on the life of the soldiers. Of particular interest is the altar dedicated to Minerva, a replica of a gold talisman inscribed with Greek letters and magical symbols, and a life-size model figure of a Roman auxiliary soldier.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Custodian. There is a schools' handling collection. Publications include site guide and children's activity sheets in both English and Welsh. Information also on web site: http://www.nmgw.ac.uk
Contact
The Custodian
Segontium Roman Museum
Beddgelert Road
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 2LN
Tel: 01286 675625

Canterbury (Kent)

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Type of site: Roman town
Roman name: Durovernum Cantiacorum
Location: 95km south-east of London via M2 and A2 (National grid TR150580)
Reconstruction of a Roman gate, now known as the Riding Gate, at Canterbury in about the year 300. Illustration by John Bowen, Canterbury Archaeological Trust
History
Archaeology suggests that Canterbury has its origins as a large native British settlement on the banks of the River Stour. In the late 1st century AD a Roman town grew up here which was the civitas capital of the local Cantiaci people. A number of public buildings have been discovered including the forum, temples, baths and a great theatre which must have dominated the skyline of the time. Elsewhere houses accommodated the prosperous citizens. Roman Canterbury was defended with a wall and gates in the later 3rd century.
Reconstruction of the Roman town at Canterbury. The theatre is the large semi-circular building in the centre and a temple in the centre of a courtyard is on the right. Illustration by John Bowen, Canterbury Archaeological Trust.
What can you see?
Little remains above ground of Roman Canterbury. The medieval town walls follow the Roman line, but little of what you can actually see is Roman except for a fragment of the 'Quenin Gate' in Broad Street.
Museums
The Roman Museum in Butchery Lane provides an excellent introduction to the history of Roman Britain and the life of its people. The museum is underground and built beside the remains of a large Roman town house with mosaic floors and a hypocaust. There are reconstructed Roman rooms and market place, computer generated displays and numerous finds on display including a hoard of late Roman silver objects and two Roman swords.
 
The Heritage Museum in Stour Street introduces the visitor to the whole of Canterbury's history including the Roman period.
Children learning about the Romans in Canterbury Museum. Canterbury Museum
Resources
School visits to the Roman Museum and Heritage Museum can be arranged through the Educational Visits Officer. At the Roman Museum there are activities specifically aimed at children including hands-on opportunities with Roman objects and a computer technology game. Publications include information sheets and task cards covering pottery, everyday life and building materials.
 
The Canterbury Archaeological Trust, which is responsible for excavations in the city and its area, has an education service which aims to help teachers implement the National Curriculum. Publications include Roman Canterbury: a journey into the past and Discovering Archaeology in National Curriculum History. Visits to excavations can also be arranged when appropriate. Web site: http://www.canterburytrust.co.uk
Contacts
For the Roman Museum and Heritage Museum:
Canterbury Museums and Galleries Bookings Office
High Street
Canterbury
Kent
CT1 2RA
Tel: 01227 452747
 
For the Canterbury Archaeological Trust:
Education Officer
Canterbury Archaeological Trust
92a Broad Street
Canterbury
Kent
CT1 2LU
Tel: 01227 462062

Cardiff (South Glamorgan)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: unknown
Location: 280km west of London on the M4. The castle is at the north end of St Mary's Street.
Map of Roman Wales. Roman Britain
History
A fort was first built here in about 55 on the east side of the River Taff to overlook south-western sea approaches to Wales from the Bristol Channel. A stone-built fort similar to forts of the same period on the south and east coasts of England was constructed in the 3rd century.
Cardiff Castle. The Roman fort of the late 3rd century, reconstructed in about 1900. Photo Patrick Ottaway
What can you see?
Little survives above ground of the Roman fort, but early in the 20th century a major reconstruction of the 3rd century fort was undertaken which gives a very good idea of what it would have looked like. This is now referred to as Cardiff Castle and within the walls there are also remains of the medieval castle.
Museum
National Museum & Gallery Cardiff has an extensive Iron Age and Roman gallery with displays on a variety of themes concerned with the Roman occupation of Wales.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the History Education Officer. There is a trolley of artefacts for handling and there are costumes for dressing up . The museum produces worksheets for teachers and children in English and Welsh. Web site: http://www.nmgw.ac.uk
Contact
The History Education Officer
National Museum & Gallery Cardiff
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF1 3NP
Tel: 02920 397951

Carlisle (Cumbria)

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Type of site: Roman fort and town
Roman name: Luguvalium
Location: 494km north of London via M1 and M6 (National grid NY400560).
Roman milestone found 1.5km south of Carlisle. It was originally set up during the reign of the rebel emperor, Carausius (white lettering), and then turned upside down after his defeat and given a new inscription in the reign of Constantine the Great (306-37). Photo Simon I. Hill, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle
History
A Roman fort was established at Carlisle in about 72, during the governorship of Petilius Cerialis. It overlooked the River Eden from a site between the museum and the medieval castle. Excavations have shown that a town grew up in the 2nd century, which by the mid 3rd century may have been the capital of the region inhabited by the local tribe, the Carvetii. Hadrian's Wall runs to the north of the modern town centre of Carlisle, and the largest fort on the wall was in what is now the suburb of Stanwix.
Statue of a genius from Carlisle. He holds a dish over an altar in his right hand and has a cornucopia (horn of plenty) in his left hand. Photo Simon I. Hill, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle
Museum
The Tullie House Museum has an impressive collection of Roman sculpture and other finds from Carlisle itself, and from sites on the western half of Hadrian's Wall. Some of these are displayed in a reconstructed Roman street. Look out in particular for the tombstone of a lady in a wicker chair holding a fan, the statue of the goddess Fortuna from Birdoswald, the tombstone of a little girl named Vacia, and a milestone erected in the reign of the usurper Carausius and then turned upside down and re-inscribed by the Emperor Constantine.
Tombstone of the Roman 'lady with the fan' from Carlisle. She has the fan in her right hand and on her left is her little boy who is reaching into her lap for his ball. Photo Simon I. Hill, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle
Resources
School visits to Tullie House Museum can be arranged through the Education Officer. There are facilities for activity and handling sessions and there is a loan collection. Further information is available on the Tullie House web site: http://www.tulliehouse.co.uk
Tombstone of a Roman girl named Vacia from Carlisle. The inscription records her age as three years although the relief is of an older child. Notice that she holds a bunch of grapes in her right hand. Photo Simon I. Hill, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle
Contact
Education Officer
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery
Castle Street
Carlisle
CA3 8TP
Tel: 01228 534781

Castleshaw (Greater Manchester)

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Type of Site: Roman fort
Roman name: unknown
Location: c.1.5 km north-east of Delph (north-east of Oldham)
The Roman fort at Castleshaw (Greater Manchester). Illustration by David Lowther, Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit
History
A fort was built by the Romans at Castleshaw in the governorship of Agricola in about 79. It guarded the main road from York to Chester as it climbed to a pass through the Pennines. This fort was abandoned in about 95, but ten years later a smaller fort was constructed on the same site.
What can you see?
Following archaeological excavations in the 1980s, the interior of the small fort has been marked out using low earth mounds to show the location of buildings. The rampart has been reinstated to a height of about 1m and a ditch dug to show the line of the Roman ditch. Interpretation panels explain the site's history. The line of the Roman road from Delph to Castleshaw is visible to the south-west of the site.
Resources
Oldham Borough Council runs the Castleshaw Centre near the site which runs courses for schools which can include a Roman Britain component.
Contacts
Oldham Countryside Service
Strinesdale Centre
Holgate Street
Waterhead
Oldham
OL4 2JJ
Tel: 0161 620 8202

 
The Manager
Castleshaw Centre
Tel: 01457 874276

Chedworth (Gloucestershire)

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Type of site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: 16km north of Cirencester via A429 (a road on the line of the Roman Fosse Way). Follow signs for Yanworth and Chedworth Roman Villa (National grid SP052134).
Part of a colonnade at Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission Chedworth Roman Villa.
History
The site lies in typical villa country, in other words fertile agricultural land on the lower slopes of the Cotswolds. The earliest Roman buildings here date from the first half of the 2nd century. The villa was enlarged in the 4th century to become a most luxurious country house with an enclosed main courtyard and an open garden court.
Artist's reconstruction illustration of Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire). Chedworth Roman Villa
What can you see?
The remains on view give a very good impression of the size and layout of a large Roman villa. Amongst the rooms which can be seen are two sets of baths and the dining room with its fine mosaics. One of these may have depicted Bacchus the god of wine in the centre, and you can still see charming pictures of dancing girls known as maenads and the spirits of the seasons. An unusual building is the nymphaeum - a shrine to the spirits of the spring which served the villa.
Mosaic at Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire) showing the spirit of winter wearing a woollen cloak and carrying a hare and a bare branch. Photo Simon I. Hill, Chedworth Roman Villa
Museum
A small site museum exhibits finds from the site. They include two simple altars to the god Mars and another depicting a huntsman god.
Altar dedicated to the god Mars Lenus from Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Chedworth Roman Villa
Resources
School visits can be arranged by application to the Curator. Publications include a site guide book. For children there is a taped audio tour and there are facilities for handling Roman objects. Information on the web site: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Dining room at Chedworth Roman villa (Gloucestershire) showing a mosaic floor and hypocaust. Photo Simon I. Hill, Chedworth Roman Villa
Contact
The Property Manager
Chedworth Roman Villa
Yanworth
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL54 3LJ
Tel: 01242 890256

Chester (Cheshire)

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Type of site: Roman fortress
Roman name: Deva
Location: 56km south-west of Manchester (National grid SJ405665)
The north wall of the Roman legionary fortress at Chester. Photo Patrick Ottaway
History
The Roman fortress at Chester was founded in about the year 79. Good communications by land and water were the key to the Romans' choice of the site. Chester is sited on the banks of the River Dee and in Roman times ships could come right up to the fortress.
 
From Chester the Romans could keep an eye on the Welsh tribes to the west and the Brigantes to the north and east. The first garrison at Chester was the Second Legion Adiutrix. By 87 that legion had been withdrawn from Britain and at Chester it was replaced by the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix (Valerian and Victorious). Chester was one of the three permanent legionary fortresses in Britain (the others were Caerleon and York) and was probably garrisoned until the end of the Roman period.
 
A Roman civilian settlement grew up outside the fortress especially on its west side where it ran up to wharves on the river bank.
Tombstone of Caecilius Avitus, an Optio (deputy centurion) of the Twentieth Legion from Merida (Emerita Augusta), Spain, found in Chester. Grosvenor Museum, Chester.
What can you see?
Some remains of Roman Chester are easily accessible, but others, largely Roman building within the fortress are only visible by arrangement with property owners. The Roman fortress wall was incorporated into the medieval city walls and can be seen standing to nearly its full original height on the north side of the town overlooking the canal. On the east side of the walled town the lower part of the Roman fortress wall is visible near the cathedral. The base of the south-east corner of the fortress wall with its internal tower can be seen in Newgate. The Roman amphitheatre is immediately outside the fortress near its south-east corner. About half of the amphitheatre has been excavated and is now on display.
Museum
The Grosvenor Museum has a splendid collection of Roman objects. Of particular interest are the sculpted and inscribed stones in the Graham Webster gallery which provide a vivid picture of the people of Roman Chester. Look out in particular for the tombstones of Curatia Dinysia, the optio Caecilius Avitus and centurion Aurelius Nepos.
Tombstone of a Roman lady, Curatia Dinysia, found in Chester. She is shown reclining on a couch - notice the two pecking doves above her which are symbols of peace. Grosvenor Museum, Chester.
Resources
Visits, talks and study sessions for children can be arranged at the Grosvenor Museum through the Education Officer. Arrangements can also be made through Chester Archaeology for visits to excavations in the city when appropriate. Publications include the excellent Roman Chester, A Resource Pack which contains information on the history of Roman Chester plus drawings of sculptures, reconstructions of buildings and streets and worksheets. There is more information on the web site: http://www.chestercc.gov.uk/heritage/museum/home.html English Heritage publish a free information sheet on the amphitheatre.
Artist's reconstruction of Marcus Aurelius Nepos, a centurion of the Twentieth Legion, and his wife based on their tombstone, found at Chester. Drawing by Dai Owen, Grosvenor Museum Chester
Contact
The Education Officer
Chester Education
The Grosvenor Museum
27 Grosvenor Street
Chester
CH1 2DD
Tel: 01244 402017

 
Chester Archaeology
Address as above
Tel: 01244 402009

Chesters (Northumberland)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Cilurnum
Location: On the south side of the B6318 a little to the west of the Chollerford roundabout reached by taking A6079 from Hexham and turning left at the crossroads at Brunton (National grid NY912702).
The commanding officer's house at Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall with a hypocaust (under floor heating system) in the foreground. Photo Simon I. Hill with kind permission of English Heritage
History
Chesters fort was built astride the line of Hadrian's Wall in about 128 and guarded a crossing over the River North Tyne to the east. It was built as a cavalry fort and one of units based here was the Second Ala of Asturians from northern Spain.
Statue of the Roman goddess of Victory (Victoria) found at Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
What can you see?
At Chesters you get an excellent idea of the layout of a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. The defensive outer wall appears in some places and there are substantial remains of the principal gates. You can also see the remains of many of the fort buildings including the headquarters (principia) with its fine sunken strong room, the commanding officer's house, and the barracks. Of particular interest is the well-preserved bath house located between the fort and the River Tyne. On the opposite bank of the Tyne are some remains of a bridge which carried Hadrian's Wall across the river.
The vaulted entrance to the strong room in the headquarters building at Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Museum
The museum was opened in 1903, soon after the death of the antiquarian John Clayton who owned the site and it has hardly changed since. The museum has a huge and fascinating collection of sculpture, inscriptions and other items from Hadrian's Wall.
Statue of Neptune as the god of the River Tyne from Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through English Heritage. Publications include an illustrated guide book, a brief Visitor's Guide to Chesters Museum, and free Information Sheets on the fort and the bridge. See also the English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Teacher's Handbook by Iain Watson and the English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Activity Book. Further information is available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Building stone with a wild boar in relief. In the museum at Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Contact
Education Booking Clerk
English Heritage
Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE1 3JF
Tel: 0191 2611585

Cirencester (Gloucestershire)

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Type of site: Roman town
Roman name: Corinium Dobunnorum
Location: 153km north-west of London. Approach via M4 to Junction 15 and then A419 (National grid SP025015).
The Roman (4th century) 'hare mosaic' from Cirencester. Corinium Museum
History
In about the year 47 a fort was established at Cirencester where the Roman road now known as the Fosse Way crosses the River Churn. The fort, garrisoned by an auxiliary unit of Thracians recruited in what is now Bulgaria, was intended to keep an eye on the local British population living at a hill top settlement at Bagendon to the north-west. The fort was replaced by a town in the 70s which served as the capital of the region inhabited by the local Dobunni tribe and grew to become the second largest town (in area) in Roman Britain. In the 4th century Cirencester probably became one of the four provincial capitals of Britain and the wealth of some of its inhabitants is shown by a number of large town houses with mosaic pavements.
The tombstone of the Thracian cavalryman Sextus Valerius Genialis from Cirencester. Corinium Museum
What can you see?
There is a stretch of the Roman town wall on the east side of the town and outside the town to the north-west is the grassed-over site of the amphitheatre.
The site of the Roman amphitheatre at Cirencester. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
The Corinium Museum has a fine collection of Roman material in the Roman Military Gallery, the Hare Mosaic Gallery and the Roman Town Gallery. In the first is the tombstone of the auxiliary soldier Sextus Valerius Genialis and in the other two you will find stunning mosaics including the splendid 'hare mosaic' itself. There are reconstructions of a Roman butcher's shop, kitchen and dining room, and outside there is a reconstructed Roman garden.
Reconstructed Roman dining room in the Corinium Museum, Cirencester. Corinium Museum.
Resources
Visits and study sessions for children can be arranged through the Education Officer at the Corinium Museum. There is a school room for slide shows and handling sessions. Loan boxes are also available. Museum publications include a booklet giving information on educational and party visits and activity sheets for the galleries. There is also a 7 minute video: Introduction to Iron Age and Roman Occupation of Cirencester and the Surrounding Area. Web site: http://www.cotswold.gov.uk
Part of a mosaic floor from Cirencester showing the huntsman Actaeon being torn to pieces by his dogs after seeing the goddess Diana bathing. Corinium Museum
Contact
The Education Officer
Corinium Museum
Park Street
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 2BX
Tel: 01285 655611

Colchester (Essex)

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Type of site: Roman fortress and town
Roman names: Camulodunum / Colonia Victricensis
Location: 101km north-east of London via A12 (National grid TL994254).
History
Colchester was the site of a very important native British royal site (Camulodunum) which grew up in the early 1st century AD at Gosbecks south of the modern town centre. This is probably one of the places where the great British king Cunobelinus lived until his death in about the year 40.
 
After the invasion of the year 43 the Romans built a fortress for the Twentieth Legion at Colchester to supervise the local Britons. In about 49 this was converted into a town (Colonia Victricensis) for army veterans. The fortress defences were removed and the town expanded to the east where the temple of the Emperor Claudius was built. The colonia was burnt down by Boudicca in 60-1. After the revolt the town was surrounded by a wall - the earliest Roman town wall in Britain . The town grew rapidly in the late 1st and 2nd centuries and excavations have revealed many fine houses and other buildings both inside and outside the walls.
What can you see?
There are a number of sites worth visiting in Colchester which will give you a good impression of what the area was like immediately before the Roman conquest as well as during the time of the Roman fortress and town. In the Gosbecks area, where King Cunobelinus probably had his residence, you can visit the site of a Roman theatre and temple. The wall lines have been marked out on the ground. Long stretches of the 'dykes' (banks and ditches) survive, largely on the west side of Colchester. They are mostly pre-Roman and defended Cunobelinus's capital, although some of the dykes - including the Triple Dyke - are early Roman and may date from the time of the revolt of Boudicca in 60-1. About 2km west of the town centre in Marlowe Way there is a prominent Roman burial mound known as The Mount. Another burial mound nearby called the Lexden Tumulus, which is hardly visible today, is pre-Roman and probably dates to about 15BC. You can still see some remains of the west gate of Roman Colchester, now known as the Balkerne Gate. Nearby are some fine stretches of the Roman town walls built of an unusual type of stone called septaria. The Norman castle, which houses the Castle Museum, stands on the foundations of the Roman temple dedicated to the Emperor Claudius.
Remains of the west gate of Roman Colchester, known today as the Balkerne Gate. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
The Castle Museum has one of the finest collections of Roman objects in Britain. Amongst the highlights are the tombstones of the centurion Marcus Favonius Facilis, and the cavalryman Longinus Sdapeze. There are also some beautiful mosaics and extensive collections of pottery, jewellery and other objects. Under the Museum are the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius, now known as 'The Vaults'. Information on the web at: http://www.colchestermuseums.org.uk
Tombstone of the Roman centurion Marcus Favonius Facilis from Colchester. Colchester Museum
Resources
School visits to the museum are arranged through the Education Officer. Publications include a Roman Resource Pack which contains suggested activities with preparation, on-site and follow-up stages. Visits to excavations, when appropriate, can be arranged through the Colchester Archaeological Trust. The Trust also produces an annual magazine, The Colchester Archaeologist, with accessible articles on local archaeology. There is a Trust web site http://www.catuk.org
 
Other publications include City of Victory by P. Crummy (Colchester Archaeological Trust, 1997), a full colour detailed account of the history of Colchester for the general reader. English Heritage publish Historic Colchester, a Teacher's Handbook by Janet Lumley
A group of clay models of people and animals found in a grave, possibly that of a child, at Colchester. Colchester Museum
Contacts
The Education Officer
Museums and Visitor Services Division
Resource Centre
14 Ryegate Road
Colchester
CO1 1YG
Tel: 01206 282937
 
The Director
Colchester Archaeological Trust
12 Lexden Road
Colchester
CO3 3NF
Tel: 01206 541051

Corbridge (Northumberland)

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Type of site: Roman fort and town
Roman names: Coria / Coriosopitum
Location: 27km west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne via A69. The Roman site is on the west side of the town. (National grid NY982648).
The Roman site at Corbridge (Northumberland). Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
History
The first fort on the site now open to the public was built in about 84/85 when it lay on the northern frontier of Roman Britain. The fort was at the east end of the road, now known as the Stanegate, where it met the important north - south road now known as Dere Street, near a crossing over the River Tyne. After the construction of Hadrian's Wall the fort served as a supply base having particular importance at the time of the Emperor Septimius Severus's campaigns in the early 3rd century. From about 163 a town developed at Corbridge and is known to have occupied a substantial area, although it has not been extensively explored.
The Roman road now known as the Stanegate looking east at Corbridge (Northumberland). Photo Simon I. Hill, with the kind permission of English Heritage
What can you see?
The excavated remains on display to the public include a stretch of the Stanegate and on the north side of the road there are two fine granary buildings with colonnaded porticoes. There is also a grand fountain house and a large courtyard building of uncertain function. On the south side of the Stanegate are two enclosed compounds thought to have been for army use which include a number of buildings. The most impressive is, perhaps, the headquarters building in the western compound with its well preserved strong room in which military funds and valuables were kept.
The underground strong room in the army headquarters building at Corbridge (Northumberland). Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum The site museum has a very fine collection of material excavated from the site. Of particular interest are pieces of armour - lorica segmentata - and other items of military kit found in a chest buried on the site. Stone sculpture includes a relief of Hercules, the tombstone of a young girl called Vellibia, an altar to Jupiter and the sky gods of Brigantia, and the famous Corbridge Lion from a tomb monument. There is also a large collection of Roman pottery and glass ware.
The 'Corbridge Lion' - a sculpture of a lion devouring a stag from a tomb monument found near Corbridge (Northumberland). Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through English Heritage. A handling collection is available through the English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Curator and there is a pre-bookable tape tour. Publications include an illustrated guide book and a free Information Sheet. See also English Heritage's excellent Hadrian's Wall Teacher's Handbook by Iain Watson and the Hadrian's Wall Activity Book suitable for younger children. Further information available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Tombstone of a Roman girl named Vellibia shown holding a ball. Found at Corbridge (Northumberland). Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Contact
Education Booking Clerk
English Heritage
Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill
Newcastle-upon Tyne
NE1 3JF
Tel: 0191 2611585; school visits: 0191 2691227/8

Coventry, Baginton (The Lunt)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: unknown
Location: 3km south of Coventry (National grid SP344752)
A replica rampart and timber palisade at the reconstructed Roman fort at the Lunt near Coventry. This probably resembles the Turf Wall section of Hadrian's Wall to the west of the River Irthing. Photo: Simon I Hill, Coventry Museums and Art Galleries.
History
The fort at the Lunt was probably built after the revolt of Boudicca in about 60-1. It is strategically located on high ground overlooking a crossing over the River Sowe. After initial construction the fort was rebuilt on two occasions, each time being reduced in size. After the first rebuild (64-78) the fort is thought to have been used for training cavalry.
The palisade on the defensive rampart at the reconstructed Roman fort at the Lunt, Baginton near Coventry. Photo: Simon I Hill, Coventry Museums and Art Galleries
What can you see?
At the Lunt there is one of the most extensive reconstructions of a Roman fort in Britain which is of particular interest as it shows timber structures, and earth and timber defences. A stretch of the defences includes the east gate built in 1971 by the Royal Engineers. A most unusual structure is the reconstructed gyrus, a circular stockade thought to have been used for the training of horses.
The gyrus - a circular arena for training horses - at the reconstructed Roman fort at the Lunt, Baginton near Coventry. Photo: Simon I Hill, Coventry Museums and Art Galleries
Museum
In reconstructed timber granary there is a display of Roman objects from the excavations.
Replica timber granary building at the reconstructed Roman fort at the Lunt, Baginton near Coventry. Photo: Simon I. Hill, Coventry Museums and Art Galleries
Resources
Visits are arranged through the Interpretation and Outreach Officer, Coventry Museums and Galleries. On site taped tours guided by 'a centurion' are available. Publications include a good Teacher's Pack containing activity sheets and information on themes relevant to the site including military life, history of the Lunt, Roman names etc. Web site: http://www.coventrymuseum.org.uk
Contact
Interpretation and Outreach Officer
Coventry Museum and Galleries
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Jordan Well
Coventry
CV1 5PQ
Tel: 02476 832381

Dorchester (Dorset)

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Type of site: Roman town
Roman name: Durnovaria
Location: 195km south-west of London via M3 to Southampton and then M27, A31 and A35 (National grid SY690900).
Remains of a Roman house at Colyton Park, Dorchester (Dorset). Photo Patrick Ottaway
History
The origins of Roman Dorchester probably lie in a fort built during the Second Legion Augusta's campaigns in the west country immediately after the invasion of 43 and possibly after the capture of the nearby Iron Age hill fort of Maiden Castle. In the later 1st and 2nd centuries Dorchester was developed as the capital of the civitas of the Durotriges, the local tribe. In the late 2nd century the town was surrounded by a bank and ditch, and later by a stone wall. A number of town houses with fine mosaics suggest that the town flourished in the 4th century. Many of the residents were buried in the extensive Roman cemeteries outside the town. Archaeological excavations have revealed several hundred burials to the west of Dorchester near Poundbury hill fort.
The Iron Age hill fort of Maiden Castle (Dorset) from the air. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments for England
What can you see?
The principal Roman site in Dorchester is that of the excavated remains of a Roman town house at Colliton Park in the north-west part of the town. Heated rooms, a mosaic and an unusual window opening can be seen. The site of the amphitheatre, known as Maumbury Rings, lies to the south of the town centre. The line of the Roman town wall can be followed in the town's Walks and a fragment survives in West Walk.
Museum
Dorchester County Museum has a large archaeological collection including material from Maiden Castle, Roman Dorchester and villas and settlements in its region. A particular feature are the large mosaics re-laid in the museum.
Roman mosaic showing a bust of the god Oceanus or Neptune from Dorchester (Dorset). Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
Resources
School visits to the Roman house and the County Museum, where children can have hands-on sessions with Roman objects, are arranged by the Museums Education Adviser. Useful publications for children by Dorset County Museum Service include The Romans in Dorset by Maureen Putnam and Mathematical Exploration of Roman Mosaics at Dorset County Museum. Information about the museum is also available on the web site: http://www.dorsetcountymuseum.org
Contact
Museums Education Adviser
Dorset County Museum
High West Street
Dorchester
Dorset
DT1 1XA
Tel: 01305 262735

Dover (Kent)

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Type of site: Port and fort
Roman name: Dubris
Location: 124km south-east of London via M2 and A2. (National grid TR325415)
The Roman lighthouse at Dover. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
History
In the 2nd century one of the bases of the Classis Britannica, the British fleet, which patrolled the Channel, lay at the mouth of the River Dour at Dover. A civilian settlement to the north of the base included a mansio, or inn, its rooms decorated with painted wall plaster. In about 270 a new ('Saxon Shore') fort was constructed which covered over the original fort and the mansio ('painted house') allowing the remains of the latter to survive in good condition.
Painted wall plaster from the inn (mansio) at Dover showing the bases of columns. Painted House Museum, Dover.
What can you see?
A Roman lighthouse or pharos stands next to the church of St Mary in the grounds of Dover Castle. Roman work still stands 14m high, the upper 6m being medieval.
The Roman lighthouse at Dover. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Museums
Dover Museum and the White Cliffs Experience stand over the remains of the Roman Classis Britannica fort and Saxon Shore fort, and parts of both can be seen. There is a reconstructed Roman street in the White Cliffs Experience with interactive treadle crane, road building and town planning exhibit.
 
The Painted House Museum displays five rooms of the mansio, the walls of which are elaborately painted. The overall theme appears to be a dedication to Bacchus, god of wine - appropriate in an inn! Also visible is the later fort wall with an added bastion.
View of the rooms in the 'painted house' at Dover during excavation. Dover Painted House Museum
Resources
Dover Museum
School visits are arranged through the Education Officer who can be booked to give talks and handling sessions relating to the Romans. More information on the web site: http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum
 
Painted House Museum
School visits can be arranged through the Curator. At the museum are 'touch tables' with Roman finds, a video, an audio tape commentary and a 'faces from the past' exhibition based on locally excavated human skulls. Publications include a Museum Guide, Teacher's Information Sheet, Junior Quiz and Colouring Book. A set of colour transparencies is also available.
 
Dover Castle
School visits to Dover Castle can be arranged through English Heritage. Publications include a guide book and Teacher's Handbook. Further information available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Tile fragment from Dover stamped CLBR which stands for Classis Britannica, the British fleet. Dover Painted House Museum.
Contacts
Dover Museum and White Cliffs Experience
The Education Officer
Dover Museum
Market Square
Dover
Kent
CT16 1PB
Tel: 01304 201066
 
Roman Painted House
The Curator
New Street
Dover
KENT
CT17 9AJ
Tel: 01304 203279
 
Dover Castle
Education Centre Manager
Dover Castle
Dover
Kent
CT16 1HU
Tel/Fax: 01304 225229

Edinburgh (Midlothian)

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Location: The capital of Scotland stands on the south bank of the Firth of Forth, 75km east of Glasgow via M8 (National grid NT255735)
Museum
The new Museum of Scotland opened in December 1998. It is a museum of the whole of Scottish history but has a superb display of Roman objects from Scotland. Amongst the many wonderful things to look out for are the newly discovered stone lioness from Cramond, the hoard of Roman treasure from Traprain Law and finds from Newstead Roman fort including three beautifully made bronze helmets. Look out also for the boar's head which was probably part of a Caledonian war trumpet found at Deskford, near Aberdeen.
Roman treasure found in a hoard at the Pictish hill fort at Traprain Law (Dumfries and Galloway), Scotland. National Museums of Scotland
Resources
Services for schools include workshops linked to galleries and temporary exhibitions, pre-service and in service training courses for teachers, 5-14 curriculum resource packs linked to the Museum of Scotland galleries and special exhibitions, and a newsletter distributed to all schools in Scotland. For further information contact the Schools Officer for the National Museums of Scotland and also visit the National Museums of Scotland web site: http://www.nms.ac.uk
A boar's head made of bronze which was part of a trumpet, possibly used by a native Caledonian army. From Deskford (Grampian), Scotland. National Museums of Scotland
Contact
Enquiries
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 225 7534

Exeter (Devon)

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Type of site: Fortress and town
Roman name: Isca Dumnoniorum
Location: 274km south-west of London via M3 to Junction 8 and then A303 (National grid SX919925)
A geometric mosaic under excavation in the Roman town at Exeter. Exeter City Museums and Art Gallery.
History
The Roman Second Legion Augusta built a fortress on high ground on the east side of the River Exe in about 55. From here the soldiers could supervise the river crossing and keep an eye out for hostile Britons. In about 75 the legion left Exeter and a town was founded on the same site within the fortress defences. This was the capital of the region inhabited by the Dumnonii, the native people who lived in Devon and Cornwall.
 
Excavations in Exeter have revealed the fortress barracks, defences, and other buildings. A dig near the cathedral showed how the legionary fortress bath house was converted into the forum basilica (town hall). In about 200 a new circuit of defences was built enclosing a larger area than that of the fortress. At first there was a bank and ditch around the town and later a stone wall was added.
Reconstruction illustration of the Roman legionary fortress at Exeter. Exeter City Museums and Art Gallery
What can you see?
Exeter's medieval town wall, parts of which still stand, follow the line of the Roman town wall and some Roman masonry can be seen in places, especially just to the south-west of the South Gate.
Part of the Roman town wall at Exeter. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
In the Royal Albert Museum there are collections relating to Roman Exeter and its region.
Antefixes (roof edging tiles) with frightening faces found at Exeter. Exeter City Museums and Art Gallery.
Resources
School visits to the museum are arranged by the Education Officer. Guided interpretation of Roman displays is also available. The Connections Discovery Centre includes a reconstructed Roman kitchen and dining room, and has facilities for handling sessions. Publications include Teacher's Notes which have handouts and drawings of soldiers to colour in. The web site is at: http://www.exeter.gov.uk/tourism/museums/museums.html
Replica Roman kitchen in Exeter museum. Exeter City Museums and Art Gallery.
Contact
Education Officer
Exeter City Museums and Art Galleries
Rougemont House
Castle Street
Exeter
Devon
EX4 3PU
Tel: 01392 265360

Fishbourne (West Sussex)

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Type of site: Roman Palace
Roman name: unknown
Location: 2km west of Chichester on the A27 (National Grid SU839048)
Model of Fishbourne Roman palace (Sussex) in about 75. The entrance hall is in the foreground and the north wing, of which remains can be seen today, is on the right. Fishbourne Roman Palace
History
In Roman times Fishbourne lay on an inlet from the sea which has now silted up. This inlet may have been used by the Romans at the time of the invasion of 43 and the earliest Roman building found in excavations was probably an army supply base. After this a large and elaborately decorated building known as the 'proto palace' was erected. This was replaced in about 75 by the palace of which remains can be seen today. This was one of the largest and most luxurious Roman buildings north of the Alps and consisted of four large wings arranged around a central garden. The palace may, at first, have been the residence of the British king Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus (or Togidubnus). It was finally demolished in the 3rd century.
Box hedges in the reconstructed Roman garden at Fishbourne Roman palace (Sussex). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission Fishbourne Roman Palace.
What can you see?
The excavated remains of the north wing of the palace can now be seen in the museum. In many of the rooms there are mosaics of 1st - 2nd century date. Particularly fine is a mosaic with a central motif of a cupid riding on a dolphin.
Mosaic from Fishbourne Roman palace (Sussex) showing, in the centre, Cupid riding on a dolphin and on the sides other sea creatures - notice also the urns (in Latin canthari). Fishbourne Roman Palace
Museum
The story of the site is illustrated by display panels, artefacts and a reconstruction model. There is also an audio-visual introduction. Outside the palace the Roman garden has been recreated on its original plan. There is a small museum of Roman gardens, and a Roman plants display area.
Box hedges in the reconstructed Roman garden at Fishbourne Roman palace (Sussex). Fishbourne Roman Palace
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Education Officer. There are two rooms available for archaeological workshops and activities. Visit the Fishbourne web site on http://www.sussexpast.co.uk
 
Publications include a site guide book and the leaflet Essential Information for Teachers. In addition, there are booklets: Looking for Clues, and Cluefinders (Key Stage 2), Exploring the Palace and Exploring the Mosaics (Key Stage 3) the latter two have background information for teachers, follow-up activities and photocopiable record sheets. Fishbourne Roman Palace by B. Cunliffe (Tempus 1998) is an excellent introduction for the general reader
Hypocaust - under floor heating system - at Fishbourne Roman palace (Sussex). The floor itself has been removed. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of Fishbourne Roman Palace
Contact
Education Officer
Fishbourne Roman Palace
Salthill Road
Fishbourne
Chichester
Sussex
PO19 3QR
Tel: 01243 785859
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