Fort uncovers new exhibition

Nick Hodgson, archaeologist, at the bathhouse excavation at Segedunum Roman Fort. Picture by Simon Veit-Wilson.
Nick Hodgson, archaeologist, at the bathhouse excavation at Segedunum Roman Fort. Picture by Simon Veit-Wilson.

A major new exhibition celebrating Roman life is to open at a Wallsend attraction.

Hadrian’s Wall on Tyneside uncovers the latest evidence of the Hadrian’s Wall frontier and Roman Britain in urban Tyneside.

It will open at Segedunum Roman Fort on Saturday and run until Sunday, October 30.

The culmination of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum’s three-year WallQuest project – a community archaeology project exploring Hadrian’s Wall in Tyneside – the new exhibition features the recently-discovered Roman bathhouse at Segedunum and a further 50m of Hadrian’s Wall.

Geoff Woodward, museum manager North & South Tyneside at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We’ve uncovered another important part of our history at Segedunum and I can’t wait for people to come and see it.

“The discovery of the bathhouse marked the first sizable excavation of a bathhouse on Hadrian’s Wall since the 19th century. It’s the first time the remains have been seen in more than 200 years.

“The additional 50 metres of Hadrian’s Wall was first discovered in 1998, but it’s been undercover to protect it. Following conservation, visitors will now be able to see the new section of the wall, which is really exciting.”

Opened in June 2000, Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum is the most excavated fort along the Hadrian’s Wall.

In addition to the newly-discovered Roman remains, visitors will also be able to gain direct access to the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.

Segedunum was awarded £500,000 by Government to support the conservation and development work as part of a ‘six-point long-term economic plan’ for the north east.

Geoff added: “Before the WallQuest project we knew very little about the civilian settlement outside the Fort.

“Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers, who have spent months working with the museum and conservation experts, we now know more about this unique landmark.

“Hadrian’s Wall on Tyneside will feature more of the amazing work our WallQuest volunteers have been doing at Segedunum.”

As part of the new exhibition, Segedunum Roman Fort is hosting a family day – Lost and found(ations): The original Roman bath house – on Saturday, April 30, with archaeological tours, have-a-go activities and craft experiences from 11am to 3pm.

Visitors can train to be a Roman soldier and defend the Roman Empire from invading barbarians.

Taking inspiration from the colourful wall paintings used to brighten up interiors in Roman times, budding artists can create their own fresco.

An archaeologist will also be on hand to explain more about the newly unearthed section of Hadrian’s Wall, and the rediscovered foundations of the Roman bath house.

For more information about Hadrian’s Wall on Tyneside visit www.segedunumromanfort.org.uk