Excavation of Carlisle Roman bathhouse – get involved

An exciting heritage project that aims to unearth more of Carlisle’s Roman history will soon get underway and you can be part of it.

More than 150 volunteers have already signed up to take part in the excavation.

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The Uncovering Roman Carlisle project, which recently received a £99,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant is an 18-month, programme of community archaeological investigation, exhibitions, and engagement exploring Carlisle’s Roman remains.

The project will include a community excavation of a Roman bathhouse – starting on Tuesday 31 August.

The Roman bathhouse was discovered in 2017, on a site based within the grounds of Carlisle Cricket Club in Stanwix. The excavation will be undertaken by local volunteers, with supervision from professional archaeologists.

There are lots of ways for the community to get involved in the exciting project:

Make a visit

The site will be open every day between 9.30am – 4pm if anyone would like to stop by and see what’s happening.

Volunteer

The partners are looking for volunteers to be part of all stages of the excavation – no previous experience necessary! Please visit www.tulliehouse.co.uk/urc to sign up.

Find Out More Sessions

Join staff from Tullie House every Friday and Saturday at 11am and 2pm for object handling and updates from the dig.

Family Drop-Ins

Hands on activities, crafting and object handling on Wednesday 1 September, Saturday 4, 11, 18 and 25 September between 10am and 12pm & 1pm and 3pm.

Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson, Portfolio holder for Communities, Health and Wellbeing said:

“I’m delighted that this project will soon start. It is very much a community scheme and it’s great to hear that it has sparked so much local interest. I urge communities to get involved – either to make a visit or get involved in the dig. This wonderful opportunity is not to be missed.”

Stanwix is the site of the largest fort on Hadrian’s Wall, and finds from the 2017 excavation suggest Carlisle was, for a period of time, the centre of the Imperial court, and the Roman Empire. The remains are of international significance, being discovered on Hadrian’s Wall, part of the UNESCO Frontier of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.

The site provides the opportunity to uncover and develop a wider understanding of Roman Carlisle that is largely unknown in relation to other significant sites on Hadrian’s Wall.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will include a pop-up museum and Excavation Lab on site. This will provide interpretation for visitors featuring frequent dig and finds updates from the excavation.

The project is being led by a partnership of Carlisle City Council, Carlisle Cricket Club, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery and Wardell Armstrong.

A touring exhibition will visit six community venues, tying in with the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall.

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections & Engagement from Tullie House said:

“We are delighted to be running the engagement programme for the excavation and are looking forward to getting out there and meeting people! The programme has something for all interests and abilities – we wanted to make it as accessible as possible so everyone can enjoy this unique experience in the middle of our city.”

The planned excavation will take place between Tuesday 31 August and Saturday 2 October.

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