Bringing the Romans back to Birdoswald
To celebrate 30 years of Hadrian's Wall becoming a World Heritage Site, we're investing over £1 million at Birdoswald Roman Fort, to bring you the best Roman experience in the region.
This year we're working to create a new exhibition with lots of hands-on fun for families. We'll also be introducing installations around the site to guide you on your way and bring the story of Hadrian's Wall to life.
Our visitor centre will undergo improvements and we'll be reconfiguring our education room and creating new resources to inspire school students too.
Once the new experience is complete in spring 2018, Birdoswald will be the perfect place to start your Hadrian's Wall adventure.
Step into the story…
March like a Roman soldier through a 4.5 meter gatehouse, created by our talented artist and team, to find the new exhibition. Big and little kids alike will be able to get creative with Lego to discover how Hadrian's Wall was built.
Take a quiz, summon your troops with a signalling game and handle Roman artefacts as you find out all about how the Roman's lived and what the wall was for. You'll even be able to take a peek through a periscope to admire the landscape outside from the original height of Hadrian's Wall.
A quest with life-sized characters, replica Roman games and fascinating facts will lead you from the exhibition as you head out to see the real fort for yourself. You'll explore and find out more about the Commander's House, the barracks and the watch tower along the way.
Fantastic new facilities
The Romans were always at the cutting edge of engineering and design so, in true Roman style, we're revamping our visitor centre with a new café and shop which will be accessible to walkers and passers-by.
Fuel up after your adventure with a hearty Cumbrian dish or a Roman-inspired refreshment. Did you know that the Romans invented the burger? Sample this historical snack to top off your Roman experience - you won't find Roman burgers served anywhere else on the wall!
You'll be able to treat yourself guilt-free in the new shop, knowing that the support from your souvenir goes straight into conserving Birdoswald Roman Fort for future generations to enjoy.
A new way to learn
We'd like as many people as possible to experience history where it happened so we're creating new resources for schools to inspire their students at Birdoswald Roman fort.
There'll be real and replica Roman objects, including jewellery, pottery and coins, for students to inspect up close. Key stage 2 and 3 students will learn through exploration and discovery as they navigate their way around the fort with a new education trail. The trail will support cross curricular learning in the historical landscape.
A new resource pack for teachers will engage pupils and a refreshed education space will enable schools to make the most of their visit.
For 300 years, Birdoswald Roman Fort was one of 16 major military installations that housed the large garrisons who lived on Hadrian's Wall.
Built at the Emperor Hadrian's orders in A.D. 122, the Wall wasn't just a wall. It was complex system of fortifications fronted by a ditch. The wall also consisted of small forts called milecastles, tall watch towers, impressive bridges and, of course, large forts like Birdoswald. You can still see the impressive remains of all of the Wall's defining features today by taking a short walk from the fort.
Hadrian's Wall had many military functions, such as defence and border control, but it was also a place for the garrisons and their families to live.