New Lower Price - Western Weekend at Vindolanda:
Experiencing Roman Britain with Western Classical Studies
Alumni Western is pleased to offer an extraordinary opportunity to our alumni living in or visiting the UK. Experience Vindolanda — one of the best preserved archaeological sites of the Roman Empire — with Western faculty and students.
Come and explore Roman life 2,000 years ago at the edge of empire.
Roman Vindolanda is a UNESCO World Heritage site located within the Hadrian’s Wall heritage area. Vindolanda is home to what The British Museum calls “One of Our Top Ten British Treasures: the Vindolanda Writing Tablets.” We invite you to join Michael Milde, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Professors Elizabeth Greene and Alexander Meyer, and nine Western students, to watch archaeology in progress, take part in excursions, and be inspired by Western’s commitment to international student experiences.
Vindolanda lies just to the south of Hadrian’s Wall and is located on the first Roman frontier in the north, the Stanegate Road. Occupied for more than 300 years, it was an important frontier fort long before the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. Vindolanda saw nine forts come and go in the three centuries in which many generations of soldiers and their families called it home.
The ongoing excavations — including those underway by Western’s Vindolanda Field School — reveal the hidden stories of a mixed community of soldiers, families, and traders. We invite you to experience:
- The well-preserved 3rd century stone fort, complete with headquarters, commander’s house, granaries, barracks, latrines, gates and Roman road system
- The 3rd century village with bath house, residences, shops and a Romano-Celtic temple to an unknown deity
- The commanding officer’s residence, workshops and barracks from earlier forts
- Replicas of a Roman temple and shop, a Romano-British house and replica sections of Hadrian’s Wall in turf, timber and stone
- Post-Roman mausoleum and Christian church
- World-class museum housing the Vindolanda Writing Tablets and the largest collection of Roman leather artifacts in Britain, plus Roman pottery, jewellery, tools and inscriptions
The new, lower price is $565 Canadian/person and includes: accommodations; travel during the course of the weekend; daily breakfasts; private reception and dinner on Friday night; traditional pub lunch on Saturday; all entrance costs to sites and museums; Friend membership to the Vindolanda Charitable Trust; and Friends Night on Saturday night.
Schedule of Events (tentative)
Friday, June 28 - Excavation Site Visit and Private Reception and Dinner
Alumni will make their own way to Newcastle. Please note that transportation to Newcastle is not included in the registration fee.12:45 p.m.
—Meet Professor Elizabeth Greene Meet and greet with Professor Elizabeth Greene and other Western staff at train station. Travel to Vindolanda by chartered mini-bus. One stop at a farm shop for a break and a snack at own cost.1:30 p.m. —
Check-in at the Ashcroft Guest House B&B
(accommodations included)2:15 p.m.
—Group travel to site2:30 p.m.—Visit Western’s excavation siteSee students at work on a guided tour led by Professors Alexander Meyer and Elizabeth Greene, the Western archaeologists on site. Meet Dean Michael Milde. Learn about the overview and history of the Roman site and the background of Western’s involvement. Meet students and share their experiences, which may include viewing artifacts found that day as well as learning about other recent discoveries on site.4:30p.m.—
Return to the Ashcroft for relaxation and change of clothing6:15 p.m.
—Group returns to site for a private reception and dinner (Vindolanda Hedley Conference room)Enjoy a talk of the highlights of the collection and the site with Dr. Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations and Research for the Vindolanda Trust. Dr. Birley is a renowned archaeologist who regularly appears on the BBC, National Geographic and The Discovery Channel.7:00 p.m. onwards—Drinks and buffet dinner at the Vindolanda MuseumAs guests of Patricia Birley, Director of the Vindolanda Charitable Trust, senior staff and trustees, you will have an exclusive opportunity to view the collections, in a private setting. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide context.
Saturday, June 29 - Adventures in Roman Britain and Friends Night at Vindolanda
9:30 a.m.—Group travel to The Roman Army Museum
10:00 a.m.—Morning visit at The Roman Army Museum
View the acclaimed short film “Edge of Empire,” which digitally reconstructs Hadrian’s Wall and many of the monuments in the area, including the fort at Vindolanda. Afterwards, dig into “A Taste of the Roman Empire” with chef John Crouch, who will prepare a sample of Roman recipes for your enjoyment.
Before noon—Walltown Crags walk
Led by Professors Elizabeth Greene and Alexander Meyer and accompanied by Dean Michael Milde, this one-hour walk will showcase a beautifully preserved section of Hadrian’s Wall. The tour will feature a signal tower and the highest standing section of the wall in existence.
1:00 p.m.—Traditional pub lunch
Lunch at the Greenhead Hotel (included). Greenhead is a historic village at the edge of Northumberland National Park. Both Hadrian’s Wall and the 12th century Thirlwall Castle are located nearby.
After lunch to 6:00 p.m.—free time
6:00 p.m.—Friends Night at Vindolanda
Join the annual gathering of the 200 friends, patrons and volunteers for a night to remember. Activities include a site tour, reception at the museum, a Roman reenactment and pig roast. Your Friends membership is included and gives you year-long free access to Vindolanda, The Roman Army Museum and Friends newsletters.
Sunday, June 30 - Departure Day
8:30 a.m.—Farewell breakfast hosted by Dean Michael Milde at the Ashcroft
10:30 a.m.—Depart for Newcastle
Travel via Corbridge for an excursion to an exceptionally preserved Roman town. Sights include granaries, a central forum, the Corbridge Lion as well as the chest of military equipment and other personal effects of a Roman soldier.
1:00 p.m.—Arrive at Newcastle train station
Travel to Newcastle
Please note that transportation to Newcastle is not included in the registration fee
Travel times by train from London to Newcastle are flexible and advance purchase tickets are reasonable. Train travel to and from Newcastle is not provided in the cost of the excursion. Should you choose to drive to Haltwhistle (location of the Ashcroft Guest House), please meet the party at 1:30 pm on Friday, June 28.
Stay in the Vindolanda Area
We have reserved rooms at the Ashcroft Guest House: well-appointed, traditional English guest house, centrally located in Haltwhistle. Close to shops and transportation. Full breakfast provided on Saturday (no set time) and Sunday (hosted breakfast with the Dean). Cost of room is included in price.
Group travel during excursion
All transportation is provided between Friday 28 June at 12 pm to Sunday 30 June at 1 pm: to and from the Newcastle train station, to and from the Ashcroft to the Vindolanda site, all daily excursions.
We predict the weather will be unpredictable. All activities take place rain or shine as they do for the students who are here (modifications will be made as needed for severe weather). Please bring appropriate footwear and outerwear. Friends Evening and the Friday night reception and supper require smart casual dress, but participants should dress for comfort, warmth, and activity at all other times. Sensible and sturdy shoes are recommended for daytime excursions.
Please bring pocket money for snacks. There are gift shops at the Vindolanda site and at the Roman Army Museum, as well as shops in Haltwhistle. All costs to enter sites and museums are included.
Please register online by Friday, June 14, 2013.
For more information, please contact Natalie Devereux.