Hadrians Wall 1900 Lead

The year 2022 marks 1900 years since World Heritage Site Hadrian's Wall was built and to celebrate this significant moment in history, venues, attractions, communities and creatives along the full length of the Wall are taking part in a year-long festival dubbed Hadrian's Wall 1900. 

Hadrian's Wall is one of the world's most iconic landmarks and a popular destination for visitors near and far. Not only is it a UNESCO attraction and an ancient 73-mile structure tracing across the full width of North England, Hadrian's Wall is home to communities, the site of thousands of years of history and and a glimpse into centuries of life. 

Hadrian's Wall 1900 will showcase events, talks, exhibitions, family-friendly events and much more in a year-long programme which curates the work of local interest societies, individuals, community groups, visitor attractions, artists and cultural organisations. 

A full calendar of events will continue to be revealed over the year but highlights include a contemporary artwork that uses the fabric of the landscape to create intrigue and wonder, a Japanese manga series bringing Roman history to life like never before and a travelling Saturnalia celebrations; there is even a conference exploring new views and reflections on the Wall and delivered by Newcastle University and WallCAP. The year-long celebration which begins on Hadrian's birthday, 24 January and runs until 23 December 2022, will provide opportunities for everyone to celebrate and find their connection to the World Heritage Site whether it is with Roman history, dark skies, the natural environment, cultural diversity, food, music, the arts and more.

Newcastle is the urban home to some of Hadrian's Wall starting with the historic settlement and modern-day suburb Wallsend which has been a community for 1900 years. Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend and Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle City Centre are too excellent museums where visitors can discover more about Hadrian's Wall and the North East's Roman history. Whether you are staying in Newcastle for holiday or you live locally, explore what's on in Newcastle before journeying out to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland's rugged countryside and beyond to uncover more about the historic landmark. 

The full programme is available on 1900.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk, but we have picked out some local highlights to whet your appetite. 

Highlights from Hadrian's Wall 1900 year-long programme

BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Segedunum Credit Tyne Wear Museums

Image: Segedunum Romand Fort & Museum, credit: Tyne and Wear Museums

Visit Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum

  • Wallsend, Newcastle

Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum in Newcastle is a family-friendly visitor attraction and an impressive excavated archaeological site which showcases the city's roots in Roman history. A brilliant day out any time of the year, Segedunum will be hosting a couple of great additional events and exhibitions to mark Hadrian's Wall 1900. 

Building the Wall: An exhibition exploring who built Hadrian’s Wall and how
  • Saturday 2 April – Saturday 1 October 2022

Discover more about who built Hadrian’s Wall and how in this exhibition at Segedunum. It will be a chance to marvel at the substantial practical and logistical challenges that were involved as well as focus on the revealing evidence from the impressive 80-metre stretch of Wall that remains at Segedunum.

BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Great North Museum Credit Tyne and Wear Museums

Image: Great North Museum, credit: Tyne and Wear Museums

Visit Great North Museum: Hancock 

  • Newcastle city centre

Great North Museum: Hancock is a brilliant, free museum in Newcastle city centre. A broad and eclectic mix of histories, curiosities and permanent exhibitions are available to browse seven days a week - including a fascinating exhibit exploring the history of Hadrian's Wall.

Wall in Motion 
  • Wednesday 1 June - Thursday 1 September 2022 

Newcastle-based company NOVAK create a spectacular and immersive 'digital projection mapping experience' on a monumental scale. This site-specific work will explore a variety of themes celebrating the movement and motion of people, objects and stories associated with Hadrian's Wall.

BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 The Lost Fort Arbeia

Visit Arbeia Roman Fort 

  • South Shields 

Arbeia in South Shields is a Roman Fort and was a key garrison and military base situated at the mouth of the River Tyne, so ideally situated to supply other forts along the Wall. The site will be open for the spring and summer months from Monday 28 March 2022.

The Lost Fort 
    • Monday 28 March – Sunday 2 October 2022

    Discover more about the "lost fort" in South Shields at Arbeia Roman Fort from March 2022. There is tantalising evidence of a Hadrianic period fort in South Shields that predates the Antonine fort of Arbeia. This small exhibition will explore what is known, and what isn't, about the ‘lost’ fort that controlled sea and river access to the Roman frontier all those thousands of years ago.

    BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Ouseburn

    In Search of Hadrian's Wall in Ouseburn

    • Sunday 20 February SOLD OUT
    • Wednesday 18 May SOLD OUT
    • Sunday 31 July, 11am - new date
    • Wednesday 10 August SOLD OUT 
    • Sunday 4 September, 11am - new date
    • Sunday 20 November SOLD OUT

    If you wander around Newcastle's urban landscape, you might be surprised to find remnants of Hadrian's Wall and Roman life still present. Join the Ouseburn Trust on a number of dates in 2022 to discover more about Hadrian's Wall in the east-end of the city. This 90-minute guided walk will be led by knowledgeable guides Lesley Turner and George Davies who will help you to uncover the route that Hadrian's Wall took through Ouseburn. Make a stop at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, where the Byker altar will be on display during 2022 thanks to The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne.  

    BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Ermine Street Guard Credit Vindolanda Trust

    Image: Ermine Street Guard, credit: Vindolanda Trust

    Visit Vindolanda

    • Hexham, Northumberland 

    Vindolanda and Roman Army Museum is an internationally-renowned archaeological site and visitor attraction which showcases a wealth of archaeological remains and has regular and ongoing excavations.

    Vindolanda Excavations 2022 
    • Monday 28 March - Friday 23 September 2022, 10am - 4pm

    Witness the amazing remains of lives lived along Hadrian's Wall as they are unearthed at Vindolanda Roman Fort. This is a fascinating opportunity to watch live excavations which will be taking place over 6 months at the historic attraction. Stand at the trench edge and see history uncovered, question the archaeologists, see artefacts emerge from the ground and learn about the people who lived here, through the objects and buildings they have left behind.

    Roman's Return: Big Birthday Bash!
    • Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 August 2022

    Vindolanda will be hosting the world-famous Ermine Street Guard this summer to celebrate their 50th anniversary at the historic site. A brilliant weekend daytripping along Hadrian's Wall, families and heritage enthusiasts will enjoy dramatic military displays, a Roman camp and even get the chance to attend Roman soldier school.

    BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Credit english heritage

    Image credit: English Heritage

    Visit Chesters Roman Fort 

    Chesters Roman Fort is an English Heritage attraction on Hadrian's Wall. The site is centred around the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain and there are a wealth of fascinating ancient artefacts on display, telling the story of Roman life in Northumberland. 

    Hail Hadrian!
    • Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 July 2022

    Families can pop along to Chesters Roman Fort and other English Heritage locations along Hadrian's Wall to experience the thrilling times of Roman life with re-enactors, Roman artillery, archery and cavalry shows. There will be opportunities to get hands on at sword school, stop by the armour tent and try out to be a Roman soldier. 

    English Heritage: Night Attack
    •  Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 August 2022

    English Heritage will mark Hadrian's Wall's 1900th anniversary with an immersive experience and blockbuster series of events – witness reenactment of a spectacular night attack on the Roman defences of Chesters Roman Fort.

    BLOG Hadrians Wall 1900 Housesteads Roman Fort credit English Heritage

    Image: Housesteads Roman Fort, credit: English Heritage

    Gone to the Wall 

    • Saturday 26 February, 7pm (Whitley Chapel Parish Hall)
    • Friday 4 March, 7.30pm (Slaley Village Hall)
    • Saturday 18 June, 4pm (The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland)
    • Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June 2022, 11:30am & 2:30pm (Roman Vindolanda)

    Gone to the Wall is a brand-new play created by On the Move Theatre for the Hadrian's Wall 1900 festival. The innovative family performance is set in the year AD 121 at the point when the Wall was first constructed. Gone to the Wall explores with humour the harsh reality and difficulties of such a mammoth undertaking as building the frontier! Expect Romans, Celts, music, and laughs throughout!

    Visit Corbridge

    • Corbridge, Northumberland

    Corbridge is a quaintly English, small town in Northumberland which is situated just a few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall with its own English Heritage Roman Town.

    A Midsummer's Evening in Corbridge
    • Thursday 23 June 2022, 4pm - 9pm

    Let the summertime roll with a festival of music, dancing, street food and market stalls. Welcome the return of summer with an evening of special events and festival vibes as well as enjoying the array of award-winning independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Corbridge Roman Town will be marking the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall too.

    Intervention in the Landscape 

    • From July (more details to be announced)

    Experience Hadrian's Wall in a new way in 2022 with a spectacular artistic intervention which will use the fabric of the landscape surrounding Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site in a new and intriguing way to enthral and inspire visitors to the area. The large-scale artwork is expected to be in situ for a duration of at least a month as a “must see” experience in the spring and summer of 2022.

    This artistic installation is delivered by Hadrian’s Wall 1900 for Hadrian’s Wall Partnership

    Festival of Saturnalia  

    • Saturday 17 to Friday 23 December 2022

    Festival of Saturnalia will mark the close of the Hadrian's Wall 1900 year-long programme. A truly collaborative final flourish, Festival of Saturnalia will be hosted in towns and villages along the length and breadth of Hadrian's Wall with communities encouraged to add own Saturnalia festivities to the line-up. The festival will be a wonderful way to connect modern-day communities who live and love the Wall.

    Saturnalia was the ancient Roman winter celebration held in honour of the god Saturn - you can discover more about Saturnalia at Arbeia Roman Fort in a permanent activity at the venue (March - September). 

    NTCA logo blog listing

    Hadrian's Wall 1900 Festival is part of the 55-56° North events which is supported by the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

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