Vindolanda

Picture of Vindolanda

Grid Reference
NY770663
Owned by
Vindolanda trust
Opening
April - September 10am-6pm daily
October 9:30am-5:30pm daily
Public Transport
AD122 bus (2 mile walk from Bardon Mill train station if bus isn't operating)
Car Park
Vindolanda car park
Facilities
Toilets, Museum shop, Museum, Cafe

Vindolanda has revealed some of the most fascinating finds from the whole Wall and possibly from the whole Roman world. The anerobic conditions of the soil has preserved many things that in other places would have decayed years ago. This includes leather shoes, textiles, wooden combs, dog excrement and also the famous Vindolanda tablets. These are letters written in ink on postcard sized pieces of wood. They deal with a wide range of activities including troop levels, complaints about the roads, description of the enemy and even a birthday invitation. Many of these items can be seen in the museum.

As well as the superb museum the site contains the fort and remains of the civilian settlement. The fort lies a few miles to the South of Hadrians wall as the original fort here pre-dates Hadrians wall and was built on the old Stanegate road. The fort did however continue in use despite the construction of Hadrian's Wall.

There are also a number of reconstructions at Vindolanda. These include a Roman Temple, a Roman house, a Roman shop, a Northumberland croft, and short sections of Hadrian's wall itself in both stone and turf.

Vindolanda continues to throw up surprises, a large number of circular huts have been found dating from the early third century. They are not like anything found in other Roman forts, but are similar to buildings used by the local inhabitants. Possible theories include a refugee camp or a prisoner of war camp.

Excavations are often conducted here between May and September, and are fascinating to watch. It is also possible to volunteer to help in the excavations (for 1 week minimum), however places book up very fast.

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