A Roman encampment – complete with soldiers, traders and traditional artisans – will be brought to life in County Durham next week.
Binchester Roman Fort, near Bishop Auckland, will host its final re-enactment festival of the summer on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August.
Organised by Durham County Council’s archaeology team, the event will provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in Roman life. Highlights include the creation of a Roman encampment, which will showcase how soldiers lived as they defended and expanded the empire.
A series of re-enactments, meanwhile, will demonstrate the essential military skills soldiers needed to serve their Emperor, including archery, slingshots and catapult artillery.
Barbaratus, the Roman cavalryman, will be back in camp to show off his fighting skills on horseback, accompanied by his trusty troop of foot-soldiers. There will also be battle re-enactments between Roman soldiers and barbarians, notably Roma Antiqua and the Mercenaries.
Other historic treats in store include a chance to inspect a new and elaborately decorated building surrounding the Roman baths within the fort, and opportunities to view the impressive remains of a larger bathhouse outside of the stronghold. Tours of recent excavation work will also be available.
Dr David Mason, principal archaeologist at Durham County Council, said: “Binchester already provides an opportunity to get up close to the remains of a real Roman Fort. Our re-enactment days enhance this further by bringing the fort to life, with all the sights, sounds, hustle and bustle soldiers would have experienced at the site all those years ago.
“It really is a fantastic day out for all of the family.”
The programme of events begins at 11am and is repeated at 2pm. Entry cost £7 for adults, £6 for concessions, £4 for children aged four and above and free for youngsters under four. Free parking is available. Only assistance dogs are allowed on site.
To find out more, contact 01388 663089 or visit www.durham.gov.uk/binchester