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Sites, Museums and Resources (G-Y)

Glasgow (Strathclyde)

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Location: on the River Clyde in west central Scotland, 75km west of Edinburgh via M8 (National grid NS575665)
Museum
The Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University has a good collection of Roman material, including all but one of the spectacular distance slabs which commemorated the construction of the Antonine Wall by the legions of Britain.
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
The museum runs school visits which include Roman question and answer sessions, and provides facilities for dressing up and role play in a Roman shop. Further information is available on: http://www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk
Contact
The Education Officer
Hunterian Museum
The University of Glasgow
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Tel 0141 3304221

Gloucester (Gloucestershire)

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Type of site: Roman fortress and town
Roman name: Glevum / Colonia Nervia Glevensium
Location: 167km west of London via M40 to Oxford and then A40 (National grid SO830180)
Stone antefix (roof edging tile) from Gloucester in the form of a gorgon. Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery
History
A Roman fortress was established at Kingsholm 1.5km north of Gloucester in about 49 when the Roman army was campaigning in south Wales. It had a short life and in the late 60s a second fortress was built where the modern town centre now stands. In the reign of the Emperor Nerva (96-98) the fortress was converted into a town with the title of Colonia Nervia Glevensium for retired soldiers. The early town buildings were converted army barracks and the town defences were the old fortress defences. In the 2nd century a large forum and basilica complex was built along with other monumental buildings and the town continued to flourish until the end of the Roman period.
What can you see?
Little of Roman Gloucester can be seen above ground today apart from some stretches of the town wall. Part of the east gate can be seen (outside Boots) at 38-44 Eastgate Street. A length of wall on the east side of the town is visible in the City Museum in Brunswick Street. The plan of the Roman town can still be traced in the city today and Eastgate, Westgate and Northgate streets are on the line of important Roman streets.
Gloucester: medieval church of St Michael at the junction of Eastgate, Southgate, Westgate and Northgate Streets. Eastgate and Westgate Streets are on the line of an important Roman street which ran along the north-east side of the Roman forum Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
The City museum has a good collection of Roman objects. Look out in particular for the tombstones of Philus found near Cirencester, who wears a long hooded cloak, and of the cavalryman Rufus Sita who rides over the body of an unfortunate native Briton. Of great interest also are the grave finds from Birdlip, including a mirror with superb incised decoration in Celtic style, which date from about the time of the Roman conquest.
Tombstones of Philus (left), a man from Gaul who was buried in Cirencester, and the cavalryman Rufus Sita (right) who was buried in Gloucester. Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery.
Resources
School visits to the museum can be arranged through the Education Officer. Available resources include themed boxes of hands-on artefacts, and Roman armour and weapons for dressing up. Publications include teachers' notes and activity sheets. Web site: http://www.gloucester.gov.uk
Contact
The Education Officer
City Museum and Art Gallery
Brunswick Road
Gloucester
GL1 1HP
Tel: 01452 524131

Hadrian's Wall

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Type of site: Roman frontier
Roman name: unknown
Location: Hadrian's Wall runs across northern England through the counties of Northumberland and Cumbria from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.
Hadrian's Wall at Walltown Crags (Northumberland). Photo Simon I Hill, Roman Britain
History
Construction of a permanent northern frontier for Roman Britain began in the year 122. As initially designed what we now know as Hadrian's Wall ran from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. From Newcastle to the River Irthing (the eastern two thirds) the Wall was built of stone and to the west of the Irthing of turf - this western third is known as the Turf Wall. In front of the Wall there was a ditch, except in the central sector where the cliffs were a sufficient defence. At intervals of about a mile there were fortlets known as milecastles which served as fortified gateways through the Wall, and between each milecastle there were two observation turrets.
Before this design was fully executed it was decided that the troops stationed in forts on the Stanegate road to the south of the Wall needed to be on the line of the Wall itself to be fully effective. As a result a series of forts was constructed on the line of the Wall between 126 and 138. The wall was extended to a new eastern end at Wallsend and the Turf Wall was rebuilt in stone. Another addition was the Vallum, a flat bottomed ditch with a mound on either side which runs behind the Wall and up to about a 1.5km from it.
Hadrian was succeeded by Antoninus Pius in 138 and he ordered the frontier to be moved north into Scotland to the line of the Antonine Wall. Hadrian's Wall became the northern frontier of Britannia once more in about 160. Reconstruction of the Wall and its forts continued to take place throughout the rest of the Roman period.
The Roman milecastle at Castle Nick on Hadrian's Wall looking north-west. Photo Patrick Ottaway
What can you see?
Remains of Hadrian's Wall and the forts, milecastles and turrets can be seen in many places along its line. Site names below are followed by the National grid reference. Sites are listed from east - west.
 
Well preserved sections of Wall itself can be seen at Planetrees (NY935694), Walltown Crags (NY674664), between Sewingshields (NY805702) and Steel Rig (NY752676), Cawfields (NY715665) and between Gilsland (NY630663) and Birdoswald (NY615663).
 
The best preserved forts are at Chesters (NY912702), Housesteads (NY790688) and Birdoswald (NY615663).
 
Milecastles can be seen at Sewingshields (NY805702), Housesteads (NY785687), Castle Nick (NY760678), Cawfields (NY715665) and Poltross Burn near Gilsland (NY634662).
 
A crossing of the Vallum can be seen at Benwell (NZ214647).
 
Other important Roman sites in the Wall region are South Shields (NZ366678), Corbridge (National grid NY982648) and Vindolanda (National grid NY771664).
 
Museums and Visitor Centres with displays relating to the Wall are at South Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Corbridge, Chesters, Housesteads, Vindolanda, Carvoran, Birdoswald and Carlisle.
Stone relief of three nymphs holding beakers and pouring water. Found at the site of Coventina's Well at Carrawburgh Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall, now in the museum at Chesters Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Resources
School visits to sites on Hadrian's Wall itself, the forts at Chesters and Housesteads and the site at Corbridge can be arranged through English Heritage. For visits to the other forts and museums see individual entries in this guide.
 
English Heritage publications include an illustrated guide book to the Wall and free information sheets for individual sites. An indispensable aid to teachers is the English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Teacher's Handbook by Iain Watson. For young children there is an English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Activity Book. For readable accounts of the Wall and its history see S. Johnson, Hadrian's Wall (Batsford, 1989) or D.J. Breeze, and B. Dobson, Hadrian's Wall (Penguin 4th edition, 2000). The Ordnance Survey publishes a Hadrian's Wall map which will assist you in finding the sites referred to above. Further information is available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or: http://www.HeritageEducation.net
The latrine at the Roman fort at Housesteads on Hadrian's Wall. Originally there was wooden seating above the drains. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Contact
Customer Service
English Heritage
Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill
Newcastle-upon Tyne
NE1 3JF
Tel: 0191 2611585

Housesteads (Northumberland)

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Type of site: Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall
Roman name: Vercovicium
Location: Approach via B6318. Take A69 from Hexham to Bardon Mill (19km) turn right and follow minor roads to B6318. (National grid NY790688).
Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall looking south over the commanding officer's house. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
History
In the original design of Hadrian's Wall Housesteads was the site of an observation turret. The fort itself was built in about 124 after the change of plan which decided that the frontier garrison needed to be on the Wall line itself rather than on the Stanegate road to the south. The fort is very dramatically sited on the crest of a ridge above a sharp drop to the north. Housesteads was built for an auxiliary infantry unit 1000 strong and it is known that in the 3rd century the garrison was from Tungria (modern Belgium). In the 4th century some of the barracks were converted to small self-contained houses (sometimes known as 'chalets'), perhaps for soldiers to live in with their families. Outside the fort on all sides, except the north, was a large civilian settlement or vicus.
Remains of the commanding officer's house (praetorium) at Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. In the centre are the pillars of the hypocaust system in what was once the dining room. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
What can you see?
Housesteads is one of the best preserved Roman forts in Britain. The defences can be followed around their entire circuit and there are substantial remains of all four main gates. Within the fort you can see the remains of many of the fort buildings. There are fine views of Hadrian's Wall to the east and about 400m west of the fort lies a well-preserved milecastle.
The remains of the latrine in the south-east corner of Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Simon I. Hill, with the kind permission of English Heritage
Museum
There is a small site museum which contains a number of interesting sculptures including reliefs of the mother goddesses and of the strange hooded gods known as the cucullati.
Sculpture of three hooded gods, the Cucullati, at Housesteads 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 and a free information sheet. See also the English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Teacher's Handbook by Iain Watson and for young children English Heritage Hadrian's Wall Activity Book. For a readable history of the site see J.Crow, 1994. Housesteads (London, Batsford). Further information is available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or: http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Granary at Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall showing the underfloor support stones. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Contact
Customer Service
English Heritage
Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill
Newcastle-upon Tyne
NE1 3JF
Tel: 0191 2611585

Hull (East Yorkshire)

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Location: Kingston-upon-Hull is on the north side of the Humber estuary about 90km east of Leeds via M62 (National grid TA095285)
Mosaic from the Roman villa at Horkstow (Lincolnshire) showing a chariot race. Kingston upon Hull Museums.
Museum
Kingston-upon-Hull museum has one of the best collections of Roman material in the north of England collected largely from the Roman town at Brough-on-Humber, and villas in east Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire. Look out in particular for mosaics from Rudston Roman villa, one of which shows charming a collection of sea creatures and another a rustic Venus. A large mosaic from the villa Horkstow, Lincolnshire shows a chariot race in progress.
Resources
School visits can be arranged by the Education Officer. There is also a schools loans service for East Yorkshire. Web site: http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museums
Contact
Hull and East Riding Museums
High Street
Kingston-upon-Hull
HU1 1PS
Tel: 01482 613902

Ilkley (West Yorkshire)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Olicana or Verbeia
Location: 21km north of Bradford (National grid SE117478)
Tombstone showing a family group from Ilkley (West Yorkshire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Olicana Museum.
History
A fort was first built at Ilkley during the governorship of Agricola and was garrisoned for much of the Roman period. One of the units here was a cohort of Lingones from Gaul. There was also a small civilian settlement.
Stone head, probably of a native British god from Ilkley. Photo Simon I. Hill, Olicana Museum.
What can you see?
All that can be seen above ground of Roman Ilkley is part of the fort's west wall.
Museum
The Manor House museum (run by Bradford Metropolitan Council) has a varied display of Roman material including two interesting tombstones, one of a woman with her hair in plaits and the other of a family group. More unusual are a number of stone heads thought to represent native British gods. There are also two Roman altars in All Saints Church.
Tombstone of a woman of the Cornovii people (who lived in Cornwall) found in Ilkley (West Yorkshire) with her hair in plaits. Photo Simon I. Hill, Olicana Museum.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Education Officer. Visits involve both artefact handling sessions and study in the gallery with worksheets. Publications include a leaflet Olicana, Roman Ilkley and information sheets for teachers. Information on the web at: http://www.bradford.gov.uk/tourism/
museums/manorhouse.htm
Tombstone showing a family group from Ilkley (West Yorkshire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Olicana Museum.
Contact
Education Officer
The Manor House Art Gallery and Museum
Castle Yard
Ilkley
West Yorkshire
LS29 9DT
Tel: 01943 600066

Lancaster (Lancashire)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: unknown
Location: About 90km north of Manchester via M61 and M6 and Liverpool via M58 and M6.
Stone heads from Roman mausoleum at Burrow Walls, near Lancaster. Lancaster City Museum
History
The hill overlooking a crossing of the River Lune, where Lancaster's medieval castle was built, was also an ideal site for a Roman fort. The fort was probably founded at the time of Agricola, but was subsequently rebuilt on several occasions. A civilian settlement grew up outside the fort and lies under the modern town. The latest fort dates to the 4th century and had very solid stone walls. It probably served as a fleet base and strong point in the defence of the west coast of Britain against barbarian raiders from Ireland and Scotland.
What can you see?
Part of the fort bath house and a fragment of the wall of the 4th century fort can be seen in Vicarage Field.
Museum
Lancaster City Museum has a display of Roman sculptures and inscriptions, including a number of milestones, stone heads from the shrine at Burrow Walls as well as objects from local excavations.
Resources
School visits to the museum and bath house can be arranged through the Education Officer who will work with the children in costume and character as a Roman. There is also a handling collection. The museum publishes work sheets suitable for National Curriculum Key Stage 2.
Contact
Education Officer
Lancaster City Museum
Market Square
Lancaster
LA1 1HT
Tel: 01524 64637

Leicester (Leicestershire)

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Type of site: Roman town
Roman name: Ratae Coritanorum or Ratae Corieltauvorum
Location: 175km north of London via M1, 55km east of Birmingham via M6 and M69. (National grid SK590040)
The 'Jewry Wall' at Leicester, originally part of the exercise hall of the Roman town baths. Photo Patrick Ottaway
History
There was pre-Roman occupation on the banks of the River Soar at Leicester before the establishment of a Roman fort. This was replaced by the civitas capital of the local tribe known as the Coritani or Corieltauvi in the early 2nd century. By the mid 2nd century the town possessed public buildings, including a bath house and forum, and large town houses. In the later 2nd century Roman Leicester was defended by a bank and ditch to which a wall was later added.
Part of a 2nd century mosaic from Leicester showing a peacock. Leicester City Museum Service
What can you see?
Little remains above ground of Roman Leicester except for remains of the public baths, the centrepiece today being the impressive Jewry Wall which formed part of the exercise hall.
The 'Jewry Wall' at Leicester, originally part of the exercise hall of the Roman town baths. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
The Jewry Wall Museum overlooks the Jewry Wall and remains of the town baths. It contains a fine collection of Roman material from excavations in the town including panels of painted wall plaster and two fine mosaics, one showing a peacock in the centre.
Resources
School visits to the Museum and Jewry Wall site are arranged through the Leicester City Council, Visitor Services Officer. Roman finds are available for hands-on sessions and there is replica of a soldier's armour which children can try on. Publications include a Teacher's Information pack which covers topics such as Roman Leicester, the Roman army, the Norfolk Street Villa and Roman foods, and includes children's activity sheets. Information on the web at: http://www.leicestermuseums.ac.uk
Contact
Visitor Services Officer
Leicester City Museum Service
New Walk Museum
53 New Walk
Leicester LE1 7EA
Tel: 0116 2473202 or 0116 2554100

Lincoln (Lincolnshire)

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Type of site: Roman fortress and town
Roman name: Lindum
Location: 227km north of London via A1 and A46 through Newark (National grid SK970710).
The surviving (southern) arch of the north gate of Roman Lincoln, now known as the Newport Arch. Photo Patrick Ottaway
History
Lincoln stands at a point where the River Witham running west - east cuts through a ridge of high ground running north - south. The Romans recognised the value of the site for communications and at Lincoln the river was crossed by a major north-south Roman road, now known as Ermine Street, which originated in London. There may have been an early Roman fort on low-lying ground south of the Witham, but the fortress built in about 60 by the Ninth Legion was sited on the high ground to the north where the medieval cathedral and castle now stand. This fortress was occupied for some ten years by the Ninth Legion which then moved on to York and was replaced by the Second Legion Adiutrix. In about 96 the fortress was turned into a town for retired soldiers with the status of colonia. The town re-used the fortress site and took over its defences (this is now known as the 'Upper Town'). In the 2nd century Roman settlement expanded southwards, down the valley slope towards the river. This 'Lower Town' was walled in about the year 200.
The remains of the guard chamber at the base of the north tower of the Roman east gate of Lincoln. Photo Patrick Ottaway
What can you see?
You can still get a good idea of the extent of Roman Lincoln in the modern city and in places remains of the Roman defences survive. Within the Roman town look out for the site of the forum and basilica. In the Upper Town excavations have revealed part of the headquarters building of the Roman fortress and the town forum and basilica which was built on the same site. A colonnade stood on the east side of the forum facing Ermine Street and the column bases are marked out in the modern street, Bailgate. You can also see the Mint Wall, a remarkable stretch of Roman masonry still standing 9m high which formed the north wall of the basilica (town hall). In the centre of the forum the excavations found a series of churches, the earliest of which may have been built at the end of the Roman period. Its walls are now marked out in stone blocks. The Newport Arch is part of the north gate of Roman Lincoln and it was probably built in the early 3rd century. At the east gate, built in the early 3rd century replacing an earlier gate, you can see the well-preserved remains of the tower which stood on its north side. In the Lower Town you can see the remains of the lower west gate to the colonia and an adjacent stretch of the town wall. East of the site of the south gate of Roman Lincoln, where the medieval Guildhall now stands, are the remains of a Roman postern gate (visible by appointment only through the City and County Museum).
The Roman 'Mint Wall' at Lincoln. This was originally the rear wall of the Roman basilica (town hall). Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museum
There is no permanent display of Roman material in Lincoln at present, but special exhibitions are mounted from time to time at the City and County Museum.
Resources
The City and County Museum has facilities for school study sessions including handling of real and replica objects. In addition, the Keeper of Visitor and Community Services is able to make a loan collection available. Publications include an excellent Roman Resource Pack.
 
At The Lawn there is the Lincoln Archaeology Centre run by the City of Lincoln Archaeological Unit which introduces children to archaeology by means of a range of hands-on activities. A Teacher's Guide and an Archaeology Workbook (geared to 8-13 year olds) are available.
Statue of a goddess from Lincoln. Photo Simon I. Hill, City and County Museum, Lincoln
Contacts
Keeper of Visitor and Community Services
City and County Museums
12 Friar's Lane
Lincoln
LN2 5AL
Tel: 01522 530401
 
City of Lincoln Archaeological Unit
Charlotte House
The Lawn
Union Road
Lincoln
LN1 3BL
Tel: 01522 545326

London

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Type of site: Roman town and port
Roman Name: Londinium
Location: National Grid TQ304819
Reconstruction of Roman London in about the year 120. Illustration by Peter Froste, © Museum of London
History
Roman London began to develop as a town and port soon after the conquest of 43. The settlement occupied two low hills on the north bank of the Thames in the area now known as the City of London and on the south bank in what is now known as Southwark. After being burnt down by Queen Boudicca in 60, London grew rapidly and replaced Colchester as the provincial capital of Britannia. Archaeological excavations have revealed the forum and basilica, shops and houses, bath houses, and great timber wharves and warehouses on the waterfront. In the north-west part of the town a fort was built to protect the provincial governor and nearby was a large amphitheatre. In about 200 the town was surrounded by a wall on its landward side and between 240 and 360 a wall was built along the river front. Late Roman London was known as Augusta and remained an important town until the end of the Roman period.
Model of the late 1st century Roman waterfront in London with Roman London Bridge in the background. Museum of London.
What can you see?
The course of the Roman town wall can still be followed today and a few stretches of Roman work are visible, although much rebuilt in later times. They can best be located by reference to the Ordnance Survey map of Roman London. The remains of the temple of Mithras can be seen in Queen Victoria Street, but this is neither its original site nor is it a faithful reconstruction.
Museums
The Museum of London has extensive displays illustrating the whole history of London, but including a very important section dealing with Roman London. Amongst the many exciting Roman items are the sculptures from the temple of Mithras and the sculptures of gods from a monumental arch which were found re-used in the riverside wall. There is a fine mosaic with geometric patterns from Bucklersbury. In addition, there are reconstructions of two Roman dining rooms and a kitchen, and large numbers of finds of all types from excavations in and around the City.
Relief from the London temple of Mithras showing the god Mithras slaying the bull - notice the snake and dog leaping up to drink the blood of life from the bull's neck while a scorpion nips the bull's testicles. On the circular band around the central scene are the signs of the zodiac. In the upper left corner is the sun god (Sol) driving his horses across the sky and upper right is the moon goddess Luna. In the lower left and right corners are two wind gods. The inscription refers to a vow made by Ulpius Silvanus, veteran of the Second Legion. © Museum of London
At the British Museum the Weston Gallery of Roman Britain has one of Europe's most important collections of Roman material and, in addition, of the later Iron Age. The gallery shows how Roman occupation changed many aspects of British life and how a unique Romano-British culture was created. Amongst the many treasures look out in particular for the superb late Iron Age gold torcs from Snettisham, the Vindolanda writing tablets, the bronze heads of the Emperors Claudius and Hadrian, the wall painting from Lullingstone villa showing people at prayer, the jewellery hoard from Thetford and the hoard of treasure from Hoxne. There is also some material relating to Roman Britain on display in the Roman Empire Gallery.
Bone hairpin with a woman's head which has an elaborate hairstyle of the late 1st century AD. Found in London. © Museum of London
Resources
Museum of London
School visits to the Museum of London may be arranged through the Box Office. Visits can include interpretation sessions with actors in character as Romans and object handling sessions. Publications of high quality include a Roman Gallery Resource Pack which includes notes for teachers relating to Key Stages 2 and 3 in the National Curriculum and background notes on Roman London. A Roman London Gallery Pack includes 14 activity sheets. Roman London by G. Milne (London, Batsford 1996) is a good introduction for general readers of all ages. Web site: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk
 
British Museum
School visits to the British Museum should be arranged through the museum's Education Service. The Museum is also able to offer in-service training for teachers. Publications include a booklet entitled Roman Britain by T. Potter. New education and activity packs aimed at children in Key Stages 2 and 3 will be available by the end of 1998. Further information is available on the web site: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk
[Photo 0368]
Contacts
Museum of London
Box Office
Museum of London
London Wall
London
EC2Y 5HN
Tel:0207 8145777
Fax: 0207 6001058
 
British Museum
British Museum Education Department
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
Tel: 0207 323 8511 or 8854
Fax: 0207 323 8855

Lullingstone (Kent)

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Type of Site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: about 1 km south-west of the village of Eynsford, a few kilometres east of Bromley (National Grid TQ530650).
Mosaic from Lullingstone Roman villa (Kent) showing the princess Europa riding on the back of the god Jupiter who is disguised as a white bull. On either side are cupids. The inscription refers to a passage in Vergil's Aeneid. © English Heritage
History
The Roman buildings found at Lullingstone in the valley of the River Darenth span a period of over 300 years. The first villa was built in the late 1st century. It was greatly expanded in about 150 and acquired a cellar in which there was a nymphaeum, a shrine to the local water spirits. In the late 3rd century the villa was enlarged again. At the same time a small temple was built nearby containing a sunken mausoleum in which two burials were found. Further improvements in the mid 4th century involved the laying of fine mosaics in two of the rooms which formed the focal point of the house. In the later 4th century the inhabitants became Christian and a room decorated with praying figures was set aside for worship.
Painted wall plaster from the Christian chapel at Lullingstone Roman villa (Kent) showing people at prayer. Licensed by the Trustees of the British Museum, The British Museum
What can you see?
The remains visible today date from various periods, but most of them relate to the villa as it was in the mid - late 4th century. You can clearly see the layout of the various rooms including kitchen, dining room, audience chamber, bedroom and baths. Of greatest interest are the mosaic pavements, one of which shows the princess Europa seized by Jupiter disguised as a bull and the other the hero Bellerophon spearing the Chimaera, a mythical beast.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through English Heritage. Publications include a site guide book and an excellent Teacher's Handbook. See also the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or: http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Painted wall plaster from the Christian chapel at Lullingstone Roman villa (Kent) showing people at prayer. Licensed by the Trustees of the British Museum, The British Museum
Contact
English Heritage
South East Region
Eastgate Court
195 - 205 High Street

Guildford
Surrey
GU1 3EH
Tel: 01483 252013
Fax: 01483 252001

Maryport (Cumbria)

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Type of Site: Roman fort
Roman Name: Alauna
Location: 40km south-west of Carlisle via A596 (National Grid NY035365)
Altar dedicated to Jupiter at Maryport Roman fort (Cumbria) by Caballius Priscus, the commander (tribunus) of a cohort of Spanish auxiliary soldiers. Jupiter is referred to by the letters IOM meaning Jupiter, best and greatest (IUPITER OPTIMUS MAXIMUS). Photo Simon I Hill, Senhouse Museum, Maryport
History
The fort at Maryport on the coast of Cumbria was probably founded during the governorship of Agricola. When Hadrian's Wall was built, a system of sea defences was continued down the Cumbrian coast from the west end of the Wall at Bowness-on-Solway to St Bees Head. Maryport probably had a crucial role in the control of this system. The fort was rebuilt in stone in the early 2nd century and was occupied until the end of the Roman period. In 1870 a remarkable discovery was made of seventeen pits each containing a Roman altar which had once stood on the fort parade ground.
Inscription on an altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus (greatest) Maximus (best), shown as IOM, by the 1st Cohort, part cavalry, of Spaniards, commanded by Lucius Antistius Lupus Verianus from Africa at Maryport Roman fort (Cumbria). Photo Simon I. Hill, Senhouse Museum, Maryport.
What can you see?
All that can be seen of the fort today is a low mound and there are some traces of the defensive ditches around it.
Relief of a Roman fort gateway and a goddess on a stone block from Maryport (Cumbria). Photo Simon I Hill, Senhouse Museum, Maryport
Museum
The Senhouse Museum at Netherhall has a superb collection of Roman sculpture from Maryport including altars, tombstones, and an extraordinary snake statue.
Stone monument with a serpent from Maryport Roman fort (Cumbria). Photo Simon I. Hill, Senhouse Museum, Maryport.
Resources
School visits to the museum can be arranged through the Manager. Publications include an Education Pack with work sheets.
A native British horned god carved on a stone block from the Roman fort at Maryport (Cumbria). Photo Simon I. Hill, Senhouse Museum, Maryport.
Contact
The Manager
Senhouse Roman Museum
The Battery
Sea Brows
Maryport
Cumbria
CA15 6JD
Tel: 01900 816168

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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Types of site: Roman forts on Hadrian's Wall
Roman names: Pons Aelius (Newcastle), Condercum (Benwell)
Location: 450km north of London via M1 and A1. Benwell is 3.5km to the west of the city centre. (National grid references: Newcastle NZ250640; Benwell NZ214647)
Remains of the Roman temple outside the fort at Benwell on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Patrick Ottaway with the kind permission of English Heritage.
History
The Roman fort at Newcastle itself guarded a crossing over the River Tyne. The name Pons Aelius means the bridge of Aelius which was Hadrian's family name. A fort at Benwell on the west side of the city dates from the time when forts were built on the line of the Wall in the later 120s.
Altar with an anchor in relief dedicated to Oceanus (OCEANO) at Newcastle upon Tyne. Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne
What can you see?
The location of the headquarters building and granaries of the fort of Pons Aelius have been marked out in the pavement near the cathedral. The location of a milecastle on Hadrian's Wall has been marked out at the Westgate Road Arts Centre. On the west side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne there are some remains of Hadrian's Wall at Denton Hall (7km from the city centre). On the west side of the city also lay Benwell fort where the remains of a temple to the native British god Antenociticus and a crossing over the Vallum can be seen.
Remains of the Roman temple outside the fort at Benwell on Hadrian's Wall. Photo Patrick Ottaway with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Museum
The Museum of Antiquities at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has a splendid collection of finds and of inscribed and sculpted stones from all the Wall forts. They include two important objects from Benwell: the head of the god Antenociticus from the temple and an inscription from a granary recording the name of Platorius Nepos who was governor at the time construction of Hadrian's Wall began. A highlight of the museum is the reconstruction of the Carrawburgh temple of the god Mithras. There are also informative models of the Wall and its milecastles and turrets.
The god Mithras slaying a bull on a stone tablet from the temple of Mithras at Housesteads fort on Hadrian's Wall © Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne
Resources
School visits to the Museum of Antiquities are arranged through the Archaeological Museums Officer. Museum publications include a teacher's guide leaflet to museum-based activities relating to the National Curriculum, a set of six Illustrated Action Sheets for children, an activity leaflet Who's Afraid of Roman Inscriptions? The web site includes a visit to a virtual Mithraeum on: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/archive/ English Heritage publish a free information sheet for Benwell.
Sculpted stone head of the god Antenociticus from the temple at the fort of Benwell on Hadrian's Wall. Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact
Museum of Antiquities
Archaeological Museums Officer
Museum of Antiquities of the University
The University
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE1 7RU
Tel: 0191 2227846/9
 
Benwell (no booking is required)
English Heritage
Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill
Newcastle-upon Tyne
NE1 3JF
0191 2611585

Newport (Isle of Wight)

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Type of Site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: South of Newport town centre in Avondale Road, a turning to the west off the A3056 (National grid SZ500880).
Walls and under floor heating at Newport Roman villa (Isle of Wight). Newport Roman Villa
History
The Roman villa at Newport stood in the good farming country of Vectis, as the Romans called the Isle of Wight, and was probably built in the late 3rd century on the site of an earlier house. It is thought to have been abandoned in the mid 4th century. Newport villa is a good example of the type which has a row of rooms in the centre with a wing at each end. The baths are in the west wing.
Walls and under floor heating system at Newport Roman villa (Isle of Wight). Newport Roman Villa.
What can you see?
Newport is an excellent site for learning about life in a Roman villa. Of particular interest are the well-preserved baths, but there are also three other rooms with tessellated floors on display.
The bath house at Newport Roman villa (Isle of Wight), Newport Roman Villa.
Museum
In the site museum is an exhibition of Roman objects from the site and there is a reconstructed Roman garden. Visitors should also note that there is a Roman section in the Guildhall Museum in Newport.
Carved stone head in native British style from Newport Roman villa (Isle of Wight). Newport Roman Villa
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Curator. Publication: An excellent Teacher's Resource Book contains a description of the building, advises on teaching approaches, gives a summary of how the villa relates to various parts of the National Curriculum and provides activity sheets.
Replica Roman garden at Newport Roman villa (Isle of Wight). Newport Roman Villa
Contact
The Curator
Newport Villa
Beckford Road
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7SG
Tel: 01633 840064

Reading (Berkshire)

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Location: 60km west of London via M4 (National grid SU720730)
Small bronze model of a horse from Silchester (Hampshire). Reading Museum Service
Museum
The Museum of Reading has an extensive display of finds from the excavations at the nearby Roman town of Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum). Silchester, Hants (National grid SU640620) itself lies 16km (10 miles) south of Reading and is largely fields, although you can see remains of the Roman town walls and the site of the amphitheatre.
The Roman town wall at Silchester (Hampshire). Photo Patrick Ottaway
Resources
Roman Everyday Life at Calleva Atrebatum is a hands-on facility allowing children to explore the subject through the medium of real objects. It gives an introduction to many aspects of life in Roman Britain and includes a museum gallery trail. Sessions are geared to the National Curriculum Key Stages 2 and 3. A loan service gives hands-on access to real objects in the classroom. Publications include an excellent Calleva Atrebatum Resource Pack with ideas for exploring different aspects of Roman life in the town such as a visit to the baths, a shopping trip to the market, a Roman banquet, and costume and clothing. Web site: http://www.silchester.rdg.ac.uk The Silchester excavations web site can be found on: http://www.silchester.rdg.ac.uk
Contact
Education Section
Reading Museum Service
The Town Hall
Blagrave Street
Reading
RG1 1QH
Tel: 0118 939 9800

Ribchester (Lancashire)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Bremetennacum Veteranorum
Location: 8km north-west of Blackburn (National grid SD650350).
Tombstone of an auxiliary cavalry soldier from Ribchester Roman fort (Lancashire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Ribchester Museum Trust
History
A fort at Ribchester was probably founded by Agricola on his campaigns in the north of England. It lay at a crossing of the River Ribble on the Roman road from Manchester to Carlisle. Excavations have shown that the defences and some of the internal buildings were reconstructed in stone in the 2nd century. The first garrison was a five hundred strong auxiliary cavalry regiment of Asturians from Spain. By the 3rd century the garrison was a cavalry regiment of Sarmatians from what is now Hungary. A large civilian settlement developed outside the fort and lies under the modern village.
Model of the Roman fort at Ribchester (Lancashire). The barracks are the long low buildings in the foreground and the headquarters building is in the centre. Photo Simon I. Hill, Ribchester Museum Trust
What can you see?
Much of the fort has been eroded away by the River Ribble and the only building remains to be seen are parts of two granaries.
Museum
There is an excellent museum with objects excavated from the Roman site over the last hundred years or so. Of particular interest are a stone block with reliefs of the god Apollo and two female figures, a tombstone with a horseman spearing a barbarian, and a dedication to Apollo referring to the Sarmatian cavalrymen. There is a replica of the famous Ribchester parade helmet now in the British Museum.
Relief of the Roman god Apollo, shown with his lyre, from Ribchester Roman fort (Lancashire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Ribchester Museum Trust
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Curator. Visits may include handling sessions with Roman objects and the opportunity to try on replica chain mail and helmets. The museum publishes an informative guidebook. On the web see: http://www.romans-in-britain.org.uk/
ste_ribchester_roman_museum.htm
Replica of a bronze soldier's parade helmet found at Ribchester Roman fort (Lancashire). Photo Simon I. Hill, Ribchester Museum Trust
Contact
The Curator
Ribchester Museum Trust
Riverside
Ribchester
Preston
Lancs
PR3 3XS
Tel: 01254 878261

Richborough (Kent)

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Type of Site: Roman fort and port
Roman name: Rutupiae
Location: 1.5 km north of Sandwich on a minor road signposted off A257 to Canterbury (National grid TR321598).
Roman walls at the fort at Richborough (Kent). In the foreground walls of fort buildings and in the background the defensive wall of the late 3rd century. Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
History
In the Roman period Richborough lay on the coast and it is thought to have been the place at which most of Emperor Claudius's army of invasion disembarked in 43. A fort was built at Richborough to guard the landing site, but it was soon replaced by a supply base with storehouses. Soon after 85 the site was cleared for what is thought to have been a great triumphal arch which was sheathed in white marble and may have had a bronze statue on top. Richborough developed into a port in the 2nd century. In the middle of the 3rd century a small fort ringed with three ditches was built around the arch. In the later 3rd century this was replaced by a larger fort of rectangular plan with thick stone walls and projecting towers.
Richborough Roman fort (Kent) in the late 1st century showing the great triumphal arch erected to commemorate the conquest of Britain. Illustration by Ivan Lapper, English Heritage
What can you see?
You can still see defensive ditches of both the earliest fort and of the mid 3rd century fort which have been re-excavated in recent times. The most substantial remains, however, are the walls of the late 3rd century fort. On display also are the base of the triumphal arch and walls of a few other buildings. In the north-west corner of the fort stands what is thought to be a baptismal font of a late Roman wooden church.
The late 3rd century defensive wall of Richborough Roman fort (Kent). Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Museum
A small museum contains some of the finds from the excavations.
Resources
School visits are arranged through English Heritage. Publications include a site guide book and a free teacher's booklet. Further information can be found on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or: http://www.HeritageEducation.net
Brick-lined opening in a Roman building at Richborough Roman fort (Kent). Photo Simon I. Hill with the kind permission of English Heritage.
Contact
English Heritage
South East Region
Eastgate Court
195 - 205 High Street
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 3EH
Tel: 01483 252013
Fax: 01483 252001

Rockbourne (Hants)

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Type of Site: Roman Villa
Roman name: unknown
Location: 15km south of Salisbury and south of Rockbourne village close to the town of Fordingbridge (National grid SU120170).
Rockbourne Roman villa. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of Hampshire County Council.
History
A native British round house shows that the history of Rockbourne began in the late Iron Age. In the late 1st century a modest rectangular house with stone walls was built. In the 2nd century this was replaced by a larger house which eventually became the west wing of the early 4th century villa. This had ranges of buildings on three sides of a large courtyard. Two bath suites may indicate segregated bathing for men and women. Sometime after the year 400 the villa buildings fell into disrepair and a skeleton found in one room may be that of a man who died when the roof fell in on him.
View of Rockbourne Roman villa (Hampshire). Illustration by Michael Codd Hampshire County Council Museum Service
What can you see?
You can get a good idea of the layout of the villa as the bases of the walls of all the principal buildings, including the two bath houses, are visible. In the north wing look out for a well-preserved geometric mosaic.
Museum
The site museum exhibits a range of Roman finds from the site illustrating a number of themes relevant to the life of the villa.
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Curatorial Assistant or Hampshire County Museum Service. A guide dressed as a Roman soldier leads tours for children, and an archaeologist will supervise handling sessions. Other activities include classes on mosaic making. Publications include a site guide book and an excellent teacher's pack designed for Key Stage 2 history. Web site information on: http://www.hants.gov.uk/museum/rockbourne
A Roman lady and her maid. Illustration by Michael Codd Hampshire County Council Museum Service
Contact
Rockbourne Roman villa
Rockbourne
Fordingbridge
Hampshire
SP6 3PG
Tel: 01725 518541

St Albans (Herts)

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Type of Site: Roman town
Roman Name: Verulamium
Location: 37km north of London via the A5183 - on the line of the Roman road now known as Watling Street (National grid TL134074)
The Roman theatre at Roman St Albans (Verulamium). The remains of the banks which supported the seating are in the foreground and the stage is in the background. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of the Gorhambury Estate
History
Roman Verulamium lay immediately to the north of an important late Iron Age settlement at Prae Wood. The town began to develop in about 50 when a grid of streets was laid out and surrounded by a bank and ditch. In 60 or 61 the town was burnt down by Boudicca's army, but growth resumed in the late 1st century and continued during the 2nd century. Public buildings included the forum and basilica, temples and theatre. About 270 a new circuit of defences, enclosing an area larger than that of the earlier town, was constructed making Verulamium the third largest town of Roman Britain. It is thought that St Alban was martyred here, possibly in about 210, and buried in a cemetery close to the present day Abbey. Excavations have shown that occupation continued well into the 5th century.
Part of the Roman town wall at St. Albans (Verulamium). Photo Patrick Ottaway
What can you see?
Verulamium was largely abandoned after the Roman period and so it is easy to appreciate the extent of the walled town, about half of which is in Verulamium Park. Substantial stretches of the town walls survive and on the south-east side of the circuit there are the foundations of the London gate through which the Roman road known as Watling Street once passed. A mosaic floor and under floor heating system (hypocaust) from a Roman house can also be seen in Verulamium Park. At the site of the great Roman theatre you can see the stage and well-preserved remains of the outer walls and banks of seating.
A column which originally formed part of the backdrop to the stage at the Roman theatre in St Albans (Verulamium). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of the Gorhambury Estate
Museum
Verulamium Museum has an outstanding collection of material illustrating the story of the town and everyday life in Roman Britain. The galleries are ideal for school visits with themed discovery areas covering Recreation and Rites, Merchants and Markets, Making a Living, Food and Farming and Death and Burial. Artefacts, graphics panels, hands-on features and touch screens are used in each of these areas. A series of reconstructed rooms, with life-sized figures, include those of a merchant's house, a carpenter's workshop and a kitchen. The mosaics and wall paintings are some of the best from Roman Britain.
Painted wall plaster from a house in the Roman town of St Albans (Verulamium), Verulamium Museum.
Resources
School visits to the Museum can be arranged through the Education Administrator. A teacher's guide to the Museum, worksheets for various age groups on a range of topics and a guided walk leaflet are available. It is possible to book object handling sessions and talks by a Roman legionary. See the web site at: http://www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk/verulamium_museum.htm An introduction to Roman St Albans can be found in Verulamium, Roman City of St Albans by R. Niblett (Stroud, Tempus, 2002)
Replica Roman kitchen in Verulamium Museum, St Albans. Verulamium Museum.
Contact
Education Administrator
Verulamium Museum
St Michael's
St Albans
Herts
AL3 4SW
Tel: 01727 751820
 
The Roman Theatre stands on the Gorhambury Estate. Tel: 01727 835035

South Shields (Tyne and Wear)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Arbeia
Location: South Shields is on the south bank of the Tyne 18km east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the fort is on the north side of the town centre (National grid NZ366678)
The reconstructed west gate of the Roman fort at South Shields (Tyne and Wear). Photo Patrick Ottaway by kind permission of Tyne and Wear Museums
History
Arbeia stands on the south side of the Tyne estuary and throughout its life the Roman fort probably guarded a port used to supply the northern frontier of Roman Britain. It is thought that there was a fort at South Shields at the time Hadrian's Wall was constructed, but its location is not known. The fort site which can be seen today originates in the 160s. It was extended to the south in the early 3rd century to accommodate a large number of new granaries, presumably built to supply the Emperor Septimius Severus's campaigns in the north in 209-11. In the 3rd century the fort remained a supply base for Hadrian's Wall until about 300. At this time a fire engulfed part of the fort. After reconstruction many of the granaries were turned back into barracks. The 4th century garrison was a unit of Bargemen from the River Tigris in what is now Iraq.
The reconstructed west gate of the Roman fort at South Shields (Tyne and Wear). Photo Patrick Ottaway by kind permission of Tyne and Wear Museums
What can you see?
Almost the entire circuit of the fort defences can be followed, although the walls are not well preserved. Within the fort you can see the remains of buildings of various periods and an ongoing excavation programme can be guaranteed to give your visit to the site added interest. The most spectacular part of the fort is the full-sized reconstruction of the west gate which shows very clearly how it would have looked in Roman times. There are also reconstructions of the 4th century commanding officer's house and of a 3rd century barracks based on recent excavations. The remains of granaries are evidence for the fort's role as a supply base for Hadrian's Wall. The headquarters building was moved from the centre to the southern part of the fort in the 3rd century and excavations discovered a well-preserved sunken strong room used for storing the soldiers' valuables.
The underground strong room found in the 3rd century headquarters building at South Shields Roman fort (Tyne and Wear). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission Tyne and Wear Museums
Museum
An excellent site museum has a collection of Roman finds from the excavations. Of particular interest are the tombstones of Regina, the former slave who married a Syrian flag seller, and of Victor, a Moor from north Africa who also started life as slave.
Tombstone of a Roman lady named Regina, once a British slave from the Catuvellauni tribe (who lived in Hertfordshire and Essex) , who married her Syrian master, Barathes. On her right is her jewellery box and on her left balls of wool. Found at South Shields (Tyne and Wear). Photo Simon I Hill, Tyne and Wear Museums
Resources
School visits can be arranged through the Education Officer. A feature of the site is the TimeQuest interactive exhibition which has a mock-up excavation on which children can work. There are also Roman activities such as writing and tablet weaving, and archaeological activities such as pot sherd fitting and use of a microscope. Loans of Roman material may be made to support visits. A Roman garden has a number of plants known to the Romans including the acanthus. Publications include an illustrated site guide book, a teacher's Activity Pack with sheets covering a wide range of topics, and an Arbeia Activity Book for children. On occasions, the Arbeia Society hold re-enactment days to recreate aspects of the world of the Fifth Cohort of Gauls, the unit which garrisoned the fort in the 3rd century. More information is to be found on : http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/arbeia/
Detail of Roman sword from South Shields Roman fort (Tyne and Wear) showing a soldier with a spear and shield inlaid into the blade. Tyne and Wear Museums
Contact
The Education Officer
Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum
Baring Street
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE33 2BB
Tel: 0191 4568740

Taunton (Somerset)

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Location: 80km south-west of Bristol via M5 (National grid ST230250)
Museum
The County Museum displays Iron Age and Roman material from Somerset. Roman themes include the mining of lead in the Mendips, domestic life, and religion and burial. The highlight of the museum is the mosaic - one of Roman Britain's finest - from Low Ham villa which shows the story of Dido and Aeneas from Vergil's Aeneid.
Mosaic from Low Ham villa (Somerset) showing scenes from the story of Dido and Aeneas in the Aeneid by Vergil. Right: the ships carrying Aeneas and his men arrive at Carthage. Top centre: Aeneas (left) and Dido (right) are brought together by Cupid disguised as Ascanius, Aeneas's son, sent by Venus. Left: Dido and Aeneas go out hunting on horseback. Bottom centre: Dido and Aeneas embrace in the cave while sheltering from a storm. Centre: Venus flanked by cupids holding lighted torches. Somerset County Museum Service
Resources
School visits can be arranged to include the study of the material on show and work with handling collections. A Teacher's Guide to the collections, entitled The Romans in Somerset, is available, which suggests ways of preparing for a visit and gives useful examples of activities designed to meet attainment targets in the National Curriculum. Roman artefacts can be borrowed from the Schools Loans Service to support work in the classroom. Information on the web at : http://www.somerset.gov.uk/museums/
Contact
Somerset County Museum Service
Somerset County Museum
Taunton Castle
Taunton
Somerset
TA1 4AA
Tel: 01823 320200

Vindolanda, Chesterholm (Northumberland)

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Vindolanda
Location: Via B6318, turn left at Once Brewed, 5km west of Housesteads (National grid NY771664)
The Roman fort at Vindolanda (Northumberland) seen from the west. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission Vindolanda Trust
History
A fort with timber buildings and earthen rampart defences was established on the Stanegate road in about 85. The fort was reconstructed on several occasions in the next 50 years resulting in an accumulation of up to 6m of archaeological deposits. These deposits contain very well-preserved remains of timber structures and have produced a mass of Roman objects including the world-famous wooden writing tablets. They provide a fascinating picture of life in the fort in the years around 100 when its garrison was the 9th Cohort of Batavians. A new fort was built in stone in the mid 2nd century and rebuilt in about 225. It is primarily the remains of this rebuilt fort which are visible today. In the 3rd - 4th century the garrison was the 4th Cohort of Gauls.
Wooden writing tablets with ink writing from Vindolanda Roman fort. (Northumberland). The fragment of a tablet at the top is a passage from Book 9 of Vergil's Aeneid, possibly a schoolboy's exercise. The pair of tablets in the centre reads '…the Britons are unprotected by armour (?). There are very many cavalry. The cavalry do not use swords nor do the wretched Britons mount in order to throw javelins.' The pair of tablets at the bottom is a birthday invitation from Claudia Severa to Sulpicia Lepidina (wife of the commander at Vindolanda). Licensed by the Trustees of the British Museum, The British Museum
What can you see?
You can see remains of the stone fort with its defensive wall standing in good condition and three of the four principal gates. Within the defences the remains of the principia (headquarters) with its well-preserved strong room can be seen. The fort commander's house has recently been excavated and its remains are also on display. To the west of the fort are extensive remains of the vicus with numerous buildings, including the bath house, exposed on either side of a paved street.
In another part of the site there is a replica of Hadrian's Wall with a turret. Adjacent to this is a replica of a milecastle gateway on the Turf Wall.
The vicus at Vindolanda Roman fort (Northumberland) looking west from the fort. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of the Vindolanda Trust.
Museum
There is an excellent site museum with numerous finds from the excavations attractively displayed. Of particular interest is the leatherwork including numerous well-preserved shoes and a unique chamfron or horse's face mask. Outside the museum is a garden area with a reconstructed temple dedicated to the 'nymphs of Vindolanda' and a reconstructed Roman shop, both with audio commentary. There is also the replica of an altar dedicated by a Prefect of the 4th Cohort of Gauls and a group of replica tombstones.
Replica of an altar from Vindolanda Roman fort dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus (IOM) and to the other immortal gods, and to the Genius of the Praetorium by Quintus Petronius Urbicus, Prefect of the 4th Cohort of Gauls. Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of Vindolanda Trust.
Resources
With its extensive remains, replicas and superb artefact collections, Vindolanda is one of best sites in the country for introducing children (and adults) to Roman Britain. Visits to the site and museum can be arranged through the Education Officer. On occasions, it will also be possible to see the excavations in progress. Publications include an information pack for teachers with activity sheets and trails. Also available from Vindolanda is an information pack for the Carvoran Roman Army Museum. Further information is available on the Vindolanda web site: http://www.vindolanda.com
Reconstructed stretch of Hadrian's Wall at Vindolanda Roman fort (Northumberland). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of the Vindolanda Trust.
Contact
The Education Officer
The Vindolanda Trust
Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
Hexham
Northumberland
NE47 7JN
Tel: 01434 344277

Wallsend

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Type of site: Roman fort
Roman name: Segedunum
Location: Wallsend is 5km to the east of Newcastle city centre
The reconstructed Roman bath house at Wallsend fort (Tyne and Wear).
History
The fort at Wallsend was built in about the year 125 at the eastern end of short extension to Hadrian's Wall from the fort at Newcastle. The Wall met the fort at the south tower of the west gate and continued for a short distance from south-east corner of the fort to the River Tyne.
What can you see?
About two thirds of the fort has been laid out following extensive excavations. Although little walling survives, the plans of the headquarters, commanding officer's house, hospital and two pairs of barrack blocks can be clearly seen. Outside the fort on its west side is a splendid reconstructed Roman bath house which gives the visitor a very vivid impression of what would it would have been like to bathe and relax in Roman style. There is also a reconstructed section of Hadrian's Wall itself to the west of the fort.
Museum
There is a superb museum with imaginative displays and interactive information points ideal for children. Above is a tower offering a panorama of the fort and surrounding area.
Resources
There is an excellent site guide book to the site, and a teacher's pack, KS2 literacy pack and discovery boxes are also available. A workshop programme allows children to learn about Roman life by means of interactive stories. For information on the web see: http://www.winchester.gov.uk/heritage
Contact
Segedunum
Buddle Street
Wallsend
NE28 6HR
Tel 0191 2955757 (opening times); 0191 2369347 (bookings)

Weston Super Mare (Somerset)

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Location: 30km west of Bristol via M5 and A370 (National Grid ST320610)
Romano-British carved stone head from Steep Holm Island, Bristol Channel. Stan Rendell, Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust
Museum
The museum at Weston-Super-Mare displays objects found at a variety of Iron Age and Roman sites in north Somerset including material from local villas, temples and from Worlebury Hillfort whose inhabitants may have been massacred by the Romans.
Resources
There is a Family Archaeology Trail which offers a fun way for young children to explore the gallery and there are colouring sheets on a Roman theme. Interactives include flip up questions and answers, and a handling table with Roman pottery and mosaic. Curatorial staff offer talks and guided walks. Publications include a Teacher's Pack which contains help and ideas for planning a visit. There is Roman material in a handling pack and a video 'Discovering Roman Britain' is available.
Contact:
Archaeology Officer
North Somerset Museum Service
Burlington Street
Weston-super-Mare
Somerset
BS23 1PR
Tel: 01934 621028
Fax: 01934 612526

Winchester (Hants)

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Type of Site: Roman town
Roman name: Venta Belgarum
Location: 20km north-east of Southampton via M3 (National grid SU480290)
Wooden model of the Celtic goddess Epona from Winchester - notice the keys in her left hand. Photo John Crook, Winchester Museums
History
Winchester's origins lie in a late Iron Age enclosed settlement located at the point where an east - west land route across the South Downs meets the valley of the River Itchen. In about 75 a town was founded on the west side of the river to serve as a capital for the native population of the area. Development of the town involved the laying out of the street grid, and the construction of public buildings and houses many of which have been revealed in excavation. The western half of Roman Winchester was defended from the time of foundation with an earthen bank and ditch. In the late 2nd century the whole town was surrounded by a stone wall. On the main roads out of town lay the cemeteries which have been extensively studied by archaeologists.
Roman cremation burial (late 1st century) from Winchester. The burnt remains of the body were in the central grey pot and there are 22 other pottery vessels. Photo Patrick Ottaway Winchester Museums
What can you see?
Nothing substantial of Roman Winchester survives above ground although the medieval city walls follow the Roman line.
Museum
Winchester City Museum displays Roman material in the Venta Gallery which has been specially designed to cater to the needs of the National Curriculum. Displays include a mosaic excavated at Sparsholt Villa and finds from the Winchester Roman cemetery excavations.
Two 4th century Roman crossbow brooches from Winchester. Winchester Museums
Resources
School visits to the Museum are arranged by the Education Officer. Handling sessions and loan collections are also available for schools. Publications include a very comprehensive Teacher's Information Pack, an Information Pack for Roman Winchester, and a leaflet entitled Roman Winchester, Official Guide. Web information on: http://www.winchester.gov.uk/heritage
Wooden model of the Celtic goddess Epona from Winchester - notice the keys in her left hand. Photo John Crook, Winchester Museums
Contact
Education Officer
Historic Resources Centre
75 Hyde Street
Winchester
SO23 7DW
Tel: 01962 848269

Wroxeter (Shropshire)

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Type of Site: Roman fortress and town
Roman Name: Viroconium Cornoviorum
Location: 8km east of Shrewsbury on B4380 just after Atcham (National grid SJ566088).
The 'Old Work' at Wroxeter (Shropshire), part of a wall in the Roman town bath house. Photo Patrick Ottaway with the kind permission of English Heritage
History
A Roman fortress was built by the Fourteenth Legion at Wroxeter in about 55-6 at an important site close to a crossing over the River Severn. At a later date the fortress was garrisoned by the Twentieth Legion, but was then abandoned in about 87. In the early 2nd century a town grew up on the site which became the capital of the local Cornovii people. Public buildings included the forum where an inscription commemorating its construction in the reign of Hadrian was found. On the east side of the main street, opposite the forum, stood the public baths which have been extensively excavated in recent years. Still standing is a wall known as the 'Old Work' which divided the exercise hall from the baths proper. One of the most exciting results of the excavations is to show the fate of the baths site in the late Roman period and immediate post-Roman period. After repairs in the late 4th century, the baths were in disrepair in the early 5th, but in the mid 5th century a great timber building was erected in the ruins. It was, perhaps, the home of some local chieftain who had inherited Roman power in the area.
Reconstruction of the centre of the Roman town at Wroxeter (Shropshire), the capital of the native British Cornovii people. You can see the bath house (upper left) and the forum and basilica (upper right). Illustration by Ivan Lapper, English Heritage
What can you see?
The principal remains on display are those of the public baths, dominated by the 'Old Work'. You can follow the route taken by a typical Roman bather from the exercise hall through various types of hot room to the cold room and out to a swimming pool. On the west side of the modern road opposite the baths column bases mark out the line of the portico which stood in front of the forum.
The Roman town baths at Wroxeter (Shropshire). Photo Patrick Ottaway with kind permission of English Heritage
Museum
Shrewsbury Museum has a large collection of Roman material from the excavations at Wroxeter including the great Hadrianic inscription from the forum, tombstones, part of a Jupiter column and a famous silver mirror.
Resources
Wroxeter
School visits to Wroxeter are arranged through English Heritage. They may include the use of the Education Centre which has handling collections, costume and an interactive exhibition. Publications include a site guide book, teacher's notes and a free information booklet. Further information is available on the English Heritage web site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk or: http://www.HeritageEducation.net
 
Shrewsbury Museum
School visits can be arranged by the Marketing and Interpretation Officer which offers an award-winning education service for pupils at Key Stage 1 and upwards. Publications include a comprehensive teacher's resource pack: Wroxeter and the Romans at Rowley's House Museum, Shrewsbury.
 
Birmingham University are conducting a survey of the archaeological landscape of Wroxeter and its hinterland and information is available on the web site: http://www.bufau.bham.ac.uk/research/wh/base.html The University have also created a virtual Roman fortress on: http://www.bufau.bham.ac.uk/research/bt/default.htm Wroxeter: Life and Death of a Roman City by R.White and P.Barker (Tempus, 1998) is an excellent introduction for the general reader.
The remains of the Roman bath house at Wroxeter (Shropshire). Photo Patrick Ottaway with the kind permission of English Heritage
Contacts
For Wroxeter site:
English Heritage (West Midlands Division)
112 Colmore Row
Birmingham
B3 3AG
Tel:0121 6256820
 
For Shrewsbury Museum:
Marketing and Interpretation Officer
Shrewsbury Museums Service
Rowley's House
Barker Street
Shrewsbury
SY1 1QH
Tel:01743 361196

York (North Yorkshire)

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Type of Site: Roman fortress and town
Roman name: Eburacum / Eboracum
Location: 336km north of London via M1, A1 and A64 (National grid SE600520)
The 'Multangular Tower' at the west corner of the Roman fortress at York. The smaller stones in the lower half are Roman work and the larger stones above are medieval. Photo Lesley Collett
History
York owes its origins to the Roman Ninth Legion which built a fortress here in 71. In about 120 the Ninth Legion was replaced by the Sixth which remained the garrison until the end of the Roman period. The first fortress buildings were of timber, but the majority were rebuilt in stone in the middle of the 2nd century. The fortress defences were rebuilt in stone in the later 2nd and early 3rd centuries and some remains can still be seen today. A civilian town on the south-west side of the Ouse developed rapidly in the second half of the 2nd century and early 3rd century. This was given the honorary title of colonia, probably in the reign of Caracalla (211-217) when the town also became capital of the province of Lower Britain. The Emperor Septimius Severus stayed in York while campaigning in Scotland and died here in 211. In 306 the Emperor Constantius I died in York during a campaign in Britain after which the army in York acclaimed his son Constantine as emperor.
Reconstruction of Roman York in the late 2nd / early 3rd century. The town (colonia) is in the foreground and the fortress is at the top beyond the River Ouse. Illustration by Tracy Croft, English Heritage
What can you see?
The course of the north-east and north-west sides of the Roman fortress defences can still be traced in the modern city because the medieval city walls in the Minster area have the Roman walls buried below them. You can also see some well-preserved remains of the fortress wall above ground. At the east corner a well-preserved stretch of the late 2nd century fortress wall and part of the corner tower can be seen. At the west corner of the fortress in the Museum Gardens is the 3rd century Multangular Tower, with adjacent stretches of Roman fortress wall which in places stands to near full height. North-east of the Multangular Tower there is a tower set into the fortress wall which is known as the 'Anglian Tower' but is probably late Roman. In York Minster Undercroft there are the remains of Roman walls from the basilica - great hall - of the fortress headquarters (principia). A number of Roman objects and a panel of elaborately painted wall plaster are on display.
The wall of the Roman fortress at York at its east corner. Photo Patrick Ottaway
Museums
The Yorkshire Museum has an excellent collection of Roman material from York and its region, including statues mosaics and jewellery, imaginatively displayed to tell the story of how the Romans came to the north of England. Of particular interest are the Roman tombstones and finds from Roman burials.
Roman tombstone of Flavia Augustina and her family from York. Yorkshire Museum, York
Resources
Yorkshire Museum
School visits to the Yorkshire Museum are arranged by the Education Booking Clerk. Publications include the illustrated booklet Roman Life at the Yorkshire Museum. There are also children's activity sheets. Web site: http://www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk
 
DIG - "An Archaeological Adventure"
DIG is run by the York Archaeological Trust with the aim of teaching visitors about archaeological methods and techniques through 'hands-on' activities including the handling of finds of the Roman and other periods. Web site: http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk
 
York Minster
The York Minster Centre for School Visits offers a service for schools covering a number of topics relevant to the National Curriculum including the Romans. A staff of qualified teachers is available to lead school groups through a number of learning and 'hands-on' activities. Publications include the booklets Roman Rule and Religion and Information for Teachers. The web site is at: http://www.yorkminster.org
 
Roman York by Patrick Ottaway (London, Batsford 1993) is a book for general readers of all ages.
Medallion made of jet showing a betrothed couple, from York. Yorkshire Museum, York.
Contacts
Yorkshire Museum
The Education Booking Clerk
Yorkshire Museum
Museum Gardens
York
YO1 7FR
Tel: 01904 551800
 
DIG
St Saviourgate
YORK
YO1 8NN
Tel: 01904 654324 or for bookings 01904 543402
 
York Minster
Education Officer
The Centre for School Visits
St William's College
6 College Street
YORK
YO1 7JF
Tel: 01904 - 557224
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