Roman Britain
Illustration of Housesteads Roman Fort in Roman times

Learn about life at Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort is part of Hadrian’s Wall and is the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain. Read on for more information about this complex defensive building and then download the template below to make your very own model of the prefect’s house at the fort.

Children visiting Housesteads Roman Fort

What was Housesteads Roman Fort?

Housesteads Roman Fort lies halfway along Hadrian’s Wall, built by Emperor Hadrian in the north of England as a defence against invasion from other armies or tribes. 

Hadrian’s Wall stretches from Wallsend on the River Tyne to Bowness-on-Solway, and is 80 Roman miles long (73 miles). 15,000 men helped to build the wall, which was started in AD 122 and was mainly finished by AD 128. Housesteads was one of 15 forts along the length of the wall, which housed nearly 10,000 soldiers in total. 

Housesteads’ original Latin name was Vercovicium, meaning ‘the place of the effective fighters’. The fort included a barracks, hospital, granaries and communal toilets, all of which still exist today.

The remains of Housesteads Roman Fort in Northumberland

800 soldiers were stationed at Housesteads. They were governed by a commanding officer called the prefect. The prefect lived in a house that was part of the fort, along with his family and slaves. 

This large house was built around a central courtyard, which gave the family private outdoor space. All of the rooms were beautifully decorated and featured lots of well-made furniture, plus some serious mod-cons – the dining room even had underfloor heating.

All the cooking, cleaning and administrative work in the prefect’s house would have been done by slaves.

A model of the prefect’s house at Housesteads Roman Fort

Make your own model house from Housesteads Roman Fort

Now make your own mini model of the prefect’s house from Housesteads Roman Fort. Ask a grown-up to download the template and print it out, then just follow the instructions below to complete the house. Once you’ve finished it, put your model Roman house on display to impress your friends!

Download the template
The items required to make a model Roman house



• Your exclusive templates 
• Scissors
• Glue stick or other adhesive
• A flat surface to work on
• Sticky tape (optional)


  • Step 1

    Print out all the pieces, then carefully cut them out using scissors (or ask a grown-up to help you). Put part A (pictured) aside. This is the floor of your model and you can put each piece on it as you make it.

  • Step 2

    Let’s begin with parts C, D and E. Start by folding along the dotted lines. Try and get a nice sharp crease, as this will make construction easier. Put adhesive on the tabs and secure to the floor of the house. Keep the tabs on the inside of the house so they will be hidden.

  • Step 3

    To make the roof, fold along the dotted lines of parts C2, D2 and E2. Fold E2 in half. For C2 and D2, the inside of the L shape folds inwards (this is called a valley fold). Attach the roof parts to the tabs on the walls of your house. Line up the middle of the roof with the top of the triangles at the top of the base pieces.

  • Step 4

    Repeat step 2 with part B.

  • Step 5

    The roof for part B is made from two pieces. Begin by attaching B2 (the piece with the notch) to the west side of B. Glue B2 on to B, making sure the back of B2 is flush against B. This is because B will sit tight against part C.

  • Step 6

    Next, take B3 and fold the two tabs inwards. Glue into place at the front of your model, keeping the tabs facing inwards to hide the join.

  • Step 7

    Fold part F along the dotted lines and glue the model together to create a stable with a long wall. Remember to keep the tabs on the inside so that they’re hidden.

  • Step 8

    To create the bend in the wall, make a valley fold along the middle line and a mountain fold (a fold in the opposite direction of a valley fold) either side. Mountain fold the line on the front of the wall. Put glue on the white part and fold the whole wall inwards.

  • Step 9

    Fold the stable roof down to complete this section.

  • Step 10

    Part G is made up of two identical pieces that slot together to make the courtyard. Fold along all the dotted lines, then glue the roof down first. Remember to keep the tabs on the inside!

  • Step 11

    Next, glue the pillars in place by securing the inside corner of G. Repeat for the other piece and you’ll have two identical L-shaped pieces.

  • Step 12

    Pop some glue on the tabs and slot these two pieces slot together to create the courtyard. You can make this section more secure by adding some tape along the bottom. Lay out all the pieces on the floor (piece A). The shapes of the pieces will match the shapes on the floor. Glue them into place and you’re all done!

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