The sounds of swords clashing, shields banging and trumpets blaring will ring out at Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens this summer as the Ermine Street Guard set up at camp in the grounds of the largest Roman home north of the Alps.
Over the weekend of 30 – 31 July, visitors can travel back 2,000 years in time to when the Romans ruled Britain, as soldiers from the leading Roman Army re-enactment society will be giving thrilling displays in the Palace’s formal garden, shooting artillery and providing live demonstrations of how the Roman Army prepared for combat.
Since its formation 50 years ago, the Ermine Street Guard has become the leading society studying the Roman Army and its equipment, with each piece of weaponry and armour produced as authentically as possible.
There will also be a range of fun Roman-themed activities on offer throughout the weekend and visitors can explore the magnificent mosaics and recreated grounds at the country’s largest Roman home, which dates to 75 AD.
Sarah Parker, property manager at Fishbourne Roman Palace, said: “Our Roman Army weekend is always popular and helps give a sense of what the Palace would have felt like when the Romans were here.
“The Ermine Street Guard’s powerful displays are an exciting watch for adults and children alike - and for the first time this year we’ll be welcoming their cavalrymen as well as the soldiers.
“There will be plenty of fun activities throughout the day too – and even the chance to try Roman-style dishes in our café.”
Owned and cared for by the Sussex Archaeological Society, Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens was once the grandest Roman Palace in northern Europe, with an incredible display of stunning mosaics. 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.
The Roman Army weekend takes place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July. Pre-booking tickets online is recommended for this event to guarantee entry, with prices starting at £15 for adults and £8 for a child. Please note that pre-booked tickets are priced at a slightly reduced rate to those purchased on the day of the event. Free entry for Society members does not apply for this event.
As well as Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens, the county’s largest heritage-based organisation and charity cares for eight Sussex Past attractions, including Lewes Castle & Museum, Michelham Priory House & Gardens, the Priest House & Gardens, and the Long Man of Wilmington.
For more information and to book tickets, see the website.