Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
NE47 7JN

01434 344277

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Find within approx miles of Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall



Before Hadrian's Wall

Vindolanda lies just to the south of Hadrian's Wall and has a very different ‘feel’ to other sites along the Wall. It lies upon the first Roman frontier in the north – The Stanegate Road. You will probably drive along this road to reach the fort and museum.

Vindolanda was occupied for over 300 years and was an important frontier fort and village long before the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Indeed, Vindolanda saw nine forts come and go in those three centuries when generations of soldiers and their families called this place home.


Live Excavation Experience

The excavations hugging the pretty landscape outside the museum at Vindolanda reveal the hidden stories of a mixed community of soldiers, families and traders. Witness the ancient fort of Vindolanda sprouting from the ground beneath you and feel time rewinding as each layer of soil is brushed away. See:

* Pre-Hadrianic bath house
* Several commanding officer’s residences and some barracks
* 3rd and 4th century evidence of civilian houses and workshops, latrines, strong room and a Roman Celtic temple to an unknown God
* Post-Roman mausoleum and Christian church
* Replicas of a Roman temple and shop, a Romano-British house and replica sections of Hadrian's Wall in turf timber and stone

Vindolanda is one of the few places in the UK where you can watch live archaeological excavations taking place. It's a riveting experience watching the Trust's team and volunteers from across the world uncovering the past's secrets and stories. Visit for yourself and see how it brings history to life right before your eyes!.

Roman Vindolanda Today

The Vindolanda site today contains both a modern world class museum using the latest interpretation techniques and display to tell a very old, very interesting Roman story and ancient buried forts regarded by many as one of Europe's most important and richest archaeological resources. This is why people from around the world travel to Vindolanda to experience its unique atmosphere and rare treasurers. Come rain or shine, Vindolanda, the outdoor site and indoor Museum will entertain you, your family or group.

An Archeological Journey

People come in their thousands to Vindolanda as it is a ‘live’ archaeological site. For the last forty years the site has been surrendering its thousand year old secrets on a daily basis. No other Roman site in Britain is as rich in its findings. Everything on display in the museum was found from the Roman site only yards away. These collections give us a very special insight into the normal everyday lives of our predecessors.

The Vindolanda Writing Tablets

The writing tablets are perhaps Vindolanda's greatest discovery and have been previously voted by experts and the public alike as 'Britain's Top Treasure'. Delicate, wafer thin slivers of wood covered in spidery ink writing, the tablets were found in the oxygen-free deposits on and around the floors of the deeply buried early wooden forts at Vindolanda and are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

Like postcards from the past, the tablets allow a rare insight into the real lives of people living and working at Vindolanda near Hadrian's Wall nearly 2000 years ago. They provide a fascinating and compelling insight into private and military lives from a very different time but are hauntingly familiar, covering matters - from birthdays through to underpants! Have we changed that much in two millennia?

Now, for the first time, and thanks to an investment running into millions of pounds, some of the Vindolanda Writing Tablets are on display in their home. Recently returned to Vindolanda on loan from the British Museum, the tablets are displayed in a new state of the art, special hermetically sealed case, protected from the decaying influence of oxygen, moisture and humidity.

The Collections

Objects from the deep past including textiles, leather goods, wooden objects and flora and fauna have all survived thanks to the exceptional conditions found at Vindolanda. Did you know Vindolanda has the largest collection of Roman leather anywhere in the Empire? From shoes of all sizes and styles to bags and buckets, from purses to an archer's thumb guard. Wooden and textile objects presented include everything from wagon axles to parts of furniture, tent pegs, combs and even a child's sock! Other special finds include jewellery, bronzes, weapons and animal bones.

Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall is a venue for ...
Vindolanda, Bardon Mill(Group Attraction)


Ticketing and entry prices for Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Type Entry for Guide price
(Adult - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Child - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Family - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Senior Citizen/Student - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Adult - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Child - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Family - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Concession - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
Car parking available at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Car parking available
Credit / debit cards accepted at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Credit / debit cards accepted
Toilet Facilities at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Toilet facilities
Coach parking available at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Coach parking available
Gift shop on site at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Gift shop on site
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Best Way to Appreciate Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Army

PhilViking, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Viewing parts of Hardian's Wall is impressive, but once you see the scale of the Roman Fort needed to support the Wall, you get a view of the immense operation involved. Take you time to stroll among the excavated ruins. The stores, warehouses, stables, barracks, taverns, etc., are all labeled and marked well.The site is very large and each year they add to the excavated works. You begin to understand the size of the army there. Next, you need to spend at least one hour in the excellent Museum, which contains high quality items. Due to the nature of the soil, and lack of oxygen, numerous items such as leather shoes, textiles, wooden toys, wax tablets,and similar daily items emerged from site in excellent condition. These are well displayed and explained in the museum. There are also a wide range of metal, stone carvings, and glass objects in the museum too. Some of the items have been shared with the British Museum and need to be viewed in London. Finally, do visit the excellent Gift Shop (lots of books!), and the Cafe. After a few hours of walking around the grounds and museum, it was time to sit down and enjoy a British meal. We all had Burbushes Pie and scones for dessert. Yummy.

Worth seeing

Sari54_12, Scamander, Australia
You can see complete layers of occupation the site is very well laid out, the museum is excellent also had a very good cup of tea here. Recommend this site to everyone

Enjoyed it immensely

Gaynor W, Northampton, United Kingdom
I enjoyed this far more than i was expecting so much so that i would consider doing a dig with them one year wow i thought the concept was fantastic would go back if in the area again and am going to put the dig on my bucket list !!!

Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall replied: Thanks for taking time to review your visit. We hope you are able to join the volunteers in future years as part of the excavation team.

Mind blowing site and museum

elfreda1989, Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Allow a lot of time! You could stroll round, take in the view, pause for coffee, walk through the museum display and leave in 2-3 hours. Or you could do it justice and read all the informative signs, linger over the extraordinary exhibits and leave feeling awestruck both at the nature of Romano British life and the knowledge and dedication over decades of the Vindolanda volunteers and archaeologists.

Time spent here completes the Hadrian's Wall Experience

Konacontent, Prescott Valley, Arizona
Take one of the tours offered at Vindolanda to learn about archeology occurring there and what has been learned about the lives of the people who lived there 1600 to 1900 years ago. This experience gave me a much better understanding of the Roman way of life during the time of Hadrian's Wall and Vindolanda use. Recommended.

Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall replied: Thanks for taking time to review your visit. We are pleased you found your visit enjoyable and educational.

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