Last chance to see Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition along Hadrian’s Wall

Minerva at Vindolanda_image credit_The Vindolanda Trust

Last chance to see Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition along Hadrian’s Wall

There are just five weeks left to experience one of the biggest exhibitions of the year before it closes on Sunday 10 September.

Hadrian’s Cavalry, a unique exhibition spanning ten museum and heritage attractions across the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall, has been wowing audiences since it opened on 8 April.

Exploring the role and daily life of the Roman army’s cavalry forces, Hadrian’s Cavalry brings together a unique group of Roman cavalry objects including ornate helmets, armour and weapons on loan from national and international museums, shown alongside objects from museums across the Wall.

Bill Griffiths, head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and chair of the Hadrian’s Cavalry steering group, said: “This is the first time many of the objects have been displayed at Hadrian’s Wall. The Roman cavalry were known for their striking helmets and armour and we have some of the best examples in the world, including the beautiful Crosby Garrett helmet at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

“Since the exhibition opened in April we’ve welcomed visitors from across the world and staged one of the biggest Roman cavalry re-enactments ever seen in the UK; seen by more than 3,000 people.

“There’s still time to experience this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition and enjoy many of the events at the participating museums and heritage attractions.”

Visitors to Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum, Great North Museum: Hancock and Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum will be able to get up close and personal with riders from the Roman cavalry at three special events in August. ‘The Romans Ride Again’ sees troops from the infamous Hadrian’s Cavalry demonstrate their skills on horseback with mount and dismount gymnastics and skills of arms. The events take place on 5 & 6 August (Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum), 19 & 20 August (Great North Museum: Hancock) and 27 & 28 August (Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum).

Family craft events are also planned at Senhouse Roman Museum, Cumbria, throughout August. Design and make your own cavalry shield, horse puppet or harness pendant. 

For full details of all the events taking place as part of Hadrian’s Cavalry, visit

The Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition continues until Sunday 10 September at the following ten museums and heritage attractions along the full 150 mile length of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site area. For more information visit

·         Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum (South Shields)

·         Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum (Wallsend)

·         Great North Museum: Hancock (Newcastle upon Tyne)

English Heritage venues:

·         Corbridge Roman Town (Corbridge, Northumberland)

·         Chesters Roman Fort (Chollerford, Northumberland)

·         Housesteads Roman Fort (Haydon Bridge, Northumberland)


·         Roman Vindolanda (Bardon Mill, near Hexham)

·         Roman Army Museum (Greenhead, Northumberland)

·         Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery (Carlisle, Cumbria)

·         Senhouse Roman Museum (Maryport, Cumbria).


Notes to editor

·         Hadrian’s Cavalry is funded primarily through Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund and inspired and managed by a partnership of heritage organisations from across Hadrian’s Wall. The partnership includes Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, English Heritage, Vindolanda Trust, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Senhouse Museum Trust and Northumberland National Park Authority, which is the accountable body providing financial administration.

The main funder of Hadrian's Cavalry is Arts Council England's Museum Resilience Fund.

Project delivery partners include:

-           Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

-           English Heritage

-           Vindolanda Trust

-           Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust

-           Senhouse Museum Trust

-           Northumberland National Park Authority

Carlisle City Council, Christian Levett and the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Partnership are proud sponsors of Hadrian’s Cavalry. 

Hilton is a proud supporter of Hadrian’s Cavalry

Exhibition loans from:

-           British Museum

-           National Museums Scotland

-           Musee d’Art Classique de Mougins

-           Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg / Limes Museum

-           Archaeological State Collection

-           Landesmuseum Württemberg

BBC Newcastle, BBC Radio Cumbria and ncjMedia are official media partners of Hadrian’s Cavalry.

·         The cavalry and part-mounted units were the elite of the auxiliary forces of the Roman army and were the backbone of the frontier garrison. The role and importance of cavalry to the Roman army and Empire is often neglected in public presentation of the Roman frontier. Alongside presentation of the training, equipment, daily life and military operations of cavalry troopers and their horses, the exhibition will explore the role of the regiments in projecting the Roman imperial image through their impressive armour and other equipment. The exhibition programme will include live re-enactment, learning and community engagement activity.

·         The 150-mile Hadrian's Wall frontier area runs from the western Roman coastal defences at Ravenglass, through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway, along Hadrian's Wall through Carlisle and Hexham to Newcastle, Wallsend and South Shields.

·         There were over 30 forts on the Roman frontier across the north of England, including 16 along the line of the 73-mile wall itself (Bowness-on-Solway to Segedunum at Wallsend) plus coastal, outpost and supply forts. Along the wall there were around 80 milecastles and 160 turrets, a ditch to the north and the great defensive vallum earthwork to the south.

·         2017 is the 30th anniversary of the inscription of Hadrian’s Wall on the UNESCO World Heritage List, one of the very first World Heritage Sites to be created. 2017 is also the 1,900th anniversary of the accession of Hadrian to the Roman Imperial throne. Today the Hadrian's Wall frontier is part of the transnational World Heritage Site - Frontiers of the Roman Empire - which includes the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the Upper German/Raetian Limes. This represents the borderline of the Roman Empire at its furthest extent in the 2nd century AD. It stretched from the west coast of northern Britain through Europe to the Black Sea and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast.

·         Hadrian’s Wall Country is the brand used to promote the World Heritage Site to visitors. The brand was introduced in 2002 by the Hadrian’s Wall Tourism Partnership and conveys and reinforces values that encourage visitors, linking the World Heritage Site to the rural and urban landscape through which it runs. Larger than the official boundary of the World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall Country covers an area approximately 10 miles north and south of the frontier and five miles in from the Cumbrian coast. The Hadrian’s Wall Country identity helps to locate and promote the World Heritage Site via information on the website, and the Hadrian’s Wall Country bus, railway line, volunteers, walking and cycling routes, and local produce sub-brands.

·         Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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