North East Connected

‘Festina lente’ – make haste slowly in Roman life

Binchester RomansStep back into time as the Romans take over Binchester Fort this weekend as part of the National Festival of Archaeology.

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July, Roman forces will do live battle with native tribesmen at this year’s Roman festival, organised by Durham County Council’s Archaeology team.

Not only can audiences see the remains of one of the best preserved Roman buildings in Britain, the bath-building outside the fort, they’ll be able to visualise Roman life as various re-enactment groups give spectacular weapon demonstrations using archery, slingstaffs and a full scale replica of a Roman artillery catapult, known as a ballista.

The expert cavalryman Barbaratus and his trusty steed ‘Blue’ will be on hand to demonstrate ancient riding and fighting on horseback skills as well as artisans and craftspeople who will showcase their wares in a tented street market.

People can also take guided tours of the new excavations and learn the true history of Roman Life in County Durham.

Dr David Mason, Principal Archaeologist with Durham County Council, said: “This fun- packed weekend will give people an insight into what life was really like in Roman times.

“There is so much to see from weaponry demonstrations, live combat wonderfully recreated by re-enactors and also the well-preserved remains of part of the regimental bath-building, which has walls still standing to a height of more than 2 metres above Roman floor level.”

Audiences are welcome to come along to experience it all again on Monday 29 August as history repeats itself.

The event begins at 11am on both days and is repeated at 2pm. Adult entry is £5 with concessions £4 and children £3 (Under 4s are free).

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