Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
NE47 7JN

01434 344277

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1507 reviews
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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Should definitely be on the list

Gonefishingx, Melbourne, Australia
One of the best examples of a Fort I've seen. Great information boards - I'd like to say well laid out but that's down to the Romans. :) As well as the evacuations there are some bonuses like the recreated example of a complete section of wall which really adds to the trip. A good museum attached. The cafe is basic and we went elsewhere for lunch. If I could only visit one - it would be this one.

Everyone should see this site

Michael B, Bury, United Kingdom
We think we are so advanced in our living conditions but the Romans lived in comfort and with order and discipline two thousand years ago. The ancient fort has been painstakingly excavated and stabilised over about 30 years. Now it is possible to see the outlines of the many houses, offices, workshops, latrines etc. There is also a children's area depicting life in Roman times. Very modest admission fees. Good parking. Recommended.

Great day out, worth a visit

Peter N, Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Very interesting and informative, a lot to read , which might be too much certainly for children, however all ages catered for. One of the most engaging ways to learn about the Romans and realise how much is still used and relevant today

What a find!

David9800, London, United Kingdom
Actually I have been visiting Vindolanda for over forty years but never has it been better. The highlight was the talk from the lead archaeologist, Marta Alberti, beside the excavation site. She was informative, engaging and fun. She provided a real insight into Vindolanda and communicated her passion for the project. She gave her half hour talk at 2pm. She says she will be back next year (2018) The diggers were good fun too. The ruins themselves are interesting and evocative. The Chesterholm Museum has some great finds - all the shoes are good. But of course Vindolanda's real claim to fame is as the home of the writing tablets. Another 25 have been found this summer. Café is good for a lunchtime snack.(Wondered whether menu items should be linked to the people who lived there: eg Claudia [Severa]'s ciabatta?) We had a lovely time wandering around the site in the sun and then having lunch outside the museum at a table in the sun. We also visited Vindolanda's partner site, five miles away, the Roman Army Museum. Very impressive, esp the Edge of Empire 3D video. Good for a wet day.

Fabulous place with fantastic guides

121Aimee121, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Visited this after my mum raved about it. I was expecting a nice day out but was absolutely blown away by the tour we had. Our guide was informative, attentive and thoroughly professional, she made sure everyone could ask questions and was lovely with the children. (0930 tour, 16/08/17). We spent a half day here then popped to the Roman museum after. I cannot rate it highly enough. There is a lovely coffee shop at the bottom of the ruins, and staff are friendly and wonderful. There were volunteers all over all ready to share their experiences as they were staying for two week digs. Thank you for a wonderful day out ! Highly recommend this place... Tip... When you get to the Roman museum, walk down the road a little way, to the car park, then up the hill to visit Hadrian's wall ....

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