From Monday (October 23) to Friday (October 27), there will be fun activities every day for the trainee Roman soldiers at the heritage site near Chichester, West Sussex.
Once signed up, soldiers will take part in military exercises in the Palace gardens and must complete a range of tasks to earn their day’s pay, under the watchful eye of the drill officer.
From writing their name in Roman letters to mastering sword and shield practise and spear throwing, the new recruits will learn all about what life was like for a Roman soldier and the skills they needed for combat.
As well as dressing up in uniform, other activities include having a wound painted on and learning about medicines used 2,000 years ago, trying Roman food and learning how soldiers would spend their leisure time with Roman board games. The soldiers will receive a replica Roman coin at the end of the day as a reward for completing all their tasks.
Annie Wills, head of operations and commercial activities at Sussex Past said: “Our Roman Army Week is a fun way for children to learn about the Roman era, with lots of supervised hands-on activities to transport them back to the early years of the Roman conquest of Britain.
“Those taking part always enjoy parading around our Palace gardens in costume and showing off their new skills.
“As well as getting involved in the activities, visitors can explore our fascinating collection of artefacts in the museum, learn about the discoveries made here and the history of the Palace – and marvel at our beautiful mosaics of course.”
Owned and cared for by the Sussex Archaeological Society, Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens was once the grandest Roman Palace in northern Europe and dates to AD 75. Visitors can stroll around the recreated Roman gardens – the earliest Roman gardens found anywhere in the country – and enjoy the largest collection of mosaics in situ in the UK.
Roman Army Week activities take place from 10am to 4pm every day during half term. Activities cost just £1 in addition to general admission tickets, with ticket prices starting at £13 for an adult, £6.50 for a child and £12 for senior concessions. Family tickets are available at £22 for one adult and up to three children, or £35 for two adults and up to four children.
Parking on-site is free and food is available from the café, which serves locally sourced cakes, sandwiches and drinks all day.
Members of the Sussex Archaeological Society can visit Fishbourne Roman Palace and the Society’s other Sussex Past heritage sites and museums, including Lewes Castle & Museum and Michelham Priory House & Gardens, free of charge, with the added benefit of half price entry to more than 50 English Heritage sites in the South East.
Annual membership starts at £47 for standard membership, £75 for joint membership and £80 for a family.
For more information or to book tickets, please visit https://sussexpast.co.uk.