Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
NE47 7JN

01434 344277

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1632 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
Certificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of Excellence

Outstanding museum.

TerraIncognito, Nottingham, England
Highly recommended. An extensive archaeological site, and the museum is outstanding, great exhibits, very well displayed, lots of interesting information. The café is also excellent - well priced, great hot chocolate & cake.

Amazing Museum

Paul M, Oxford, United Kingdom
We visited on a cold wet day but the museum was superb - interesting artefacts laid out brilliantly with a wonderful amount of information. It really brings the Hadrians Wall experience to life

Incredible museum and excavated Roman remains

BodgerDogSproxton, Helmsley, United Kingdom
What a splendid place. All pretty new but really well laid out with an astonishing array of Roman artifacts in the museum and extensive excavations of a Roman fort and village on Hardian's Wall. Highly recommended for all ages.

Fantastic collection of personal items found

William C,
This is a combination of an archeological site and a museum. The site is fascinating as it shows the lay out of the fort and village from the 4th century - a bit like Pompeii in many ways. They are still digging there and continuously finding artifacts. The museum is a short walk through the site and into a small valley. Ironically the house was built in the 1890’s using stones from the Wall and the site. At first glance the museum looks very small but it is a real Tardis and goes on through many galleries of very well displayed and laid out personal belongings. There is for example a huge collection of shoes! They also have some of the famous tablets back from the British Museum on loan. The latest find is a pair of Roman boxing gloves which are fantastic. The path down and back is a bit steep in places so people with prams and wheelchairs need to be careful but it is accessible. There is the investable cafe and gift shop. It is a very good insight into how the people at the fort lived which is a must see and complements the Roman Army Museum well. Allow a good 1.5 hours to do it justice.

Always of interest and Andrew Birley often on hand to comment

Nothard2please46, Somerset
I've reviewed Vindolanda before and if I could give it 10 stars I would! This, in my opinion is THE BEST site for anyone even vaguely interested in the Roman past. This is an ongoing archaeological dig site (not in winter) and every time we're there one of the dig team unearths something of interest. This time Andrew and everyone were very amused by a small bottle found whilst we were there which turned out to be a relic from the old farmhouse which had been on the site previously. The bottle turned out to be a mustard jar and another one just like it was found shortly after. Certainly not Roman but at least they caused much amusement. There are many sites of interest along the site of the Roman wall, but this is head and shoulders better than any other. The museum has been improved from what was already very good and replicas of the writing tablets are on display. These are without doubt the most important archaeological finds of our time as they give a first-hand insight into the day-to-day lives of those living in and around the Roman fort. If you only have time to see one Roman fort in the area, this is a must!

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