A step back in time: Romans set to return to Chester House Estate in Northamptonshire

Chester House Estate is making history this summer – stepping back in time to welcome the return of the Romans.
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A two-day Roman Festival, organised in partnership with the University of Leicester’s Heritage Hub, is a FREE event taking place on Saturday, 24th and Sunday, 25th June. It will include Roman-style military demonstrations, Roman pottery and craft demonstrations, and Roman themed stalls and craft activities from a host of different heritage organisations working in Northamptonshire and beyond. The festival also includes the unique opportunity to see an excavation in progress and ask questions of the experts.

Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Culture, Heritage and Tourism: “As well as a fantastic venue for events and days out, the Chester House Estate has a fascinating history, including 400 years of Roman history and this is a unique opportunity to see that history come to life.

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“Our two-day Roman Festival is an incredible event, providing a fun day out for the whole family, while also providing a great insight in the world of Roman Britain. I hope that you will be able to join us across the Festival and don’t forget - entrance to the Chester House Estate is free.”

Romanfest at Chester HouseRomanfest at Chester House
Romanfest at Chester House

Roman Festival visitors will be able to visit the Estate’s Northamptonshire Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) and see some of the amazing Roman objects found in the county and will also be able to view a live excavation, which is taking place during the month of June at Chester House Estate.

Sarah Scott, Professor of Archaeology, at the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, explained: “The University of Leicester Heritage Hub is delighted to be working with the Chester House Estate to deliver this exciting event. Come along to the festival and view an archaeological excavation in progress, learn about everyday life in a small Roman town, and talk to the archaeologists involved.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity to find out more about a nationally significant Roman site within an archaeologically rich landscape, hear about recent Roman discoveries across the region, and experience the amazing sights and sounds of life in the Roman army with a full cohort of the Ermine Street Guard.”

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Claudius Way is the estate’s main visitor car park and is accessed through the Prologis Park Wellingborough. Visitors are advised to use the NN8 2DH postcode to find this entrance.

Due to the popularity of Roman Festival visitors are advised to access the site via this main car park. The Lime Avenue A45 entrance will strictly be for blue badge holders only.

Although tickets are free visitors still need to book. Visit https://chesterhouseestate.org/roman-festival-2023/

Chester House Estate is overseen by North Northamptonshire Council and opened to the public in October 2021, following an extensive £17m Nationally Lottery Heritage Funded restoration project.