After a good few centuries, the Romans will once again be marching on County Durham – for Binchester Roman Fort’s annual festival.

The festival – on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July – will give visitors the chance to see what life was really like in Roman Britain.

Festivalgoers will get to meet Cavalryman Barbaratus while the Roman Antiqua re-enactment group will be demonstrating archery, slingstaff and catapult techniques. Roman Antiqua will also be doing battle with Rome’s enemies.

Visitors will have the opportunity to examine weapons and armour and to check out the stalls of civilian traders and artisans.

Guests can also take a guided tour of the site, during which they can get a feel for the size and importance of the Roman base of Vinovia (as Binchester Fort was called) and inspect its well-preserved buildings.

An archaeological excavation at the north-east gate of the fort will be open to visitors, where people will have the chance to admire some recently discovered Roman artefacts.

Binchester 2
The Roman Weekend will include a demonstration of a full-sized replica of the artillery catapult known as the Ballista

Binchester Roman Fort’s annual festival is organised by Durham County Council’s archaeology team and supported by Northern Archaeological Associates and by volunteers from the Architectural Society of Durham and Northumberland.

The council’s principal archaeologist, Dr David Mason, said, “Our annual Roman weekend always proves extremely popular with visitors as there is so much to keep the whole family entertained.”

“Visitors can take a closer look at some genuine Roman items found right here on the site while the re-enactment sessions really do bring the site to life.”

Entry to the weekend festival costs £7 for adults, £6 for concessions and £4 for children aged four and above. Children under four get in for free.

To learn more about Binchester Roman Fort, please go to

(This article’s main image shows a scene from a previous weekend festival at Binchester Roman Fort.)

Get Durham Magazine direct to your inbox

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here