Hadrian's Wall Country
Chesters Roman Fort

Chesters Roman Fort

Set amongst fields and in a tranquil valley setting close to the bustling market town of Hexham is Chesters Roman Fort. Said to be the finest cavalry fort dating back to Roman times in the whole of the UK, this is a fascinating place to visit, where you can walk around and imagine how life was way back in Roman times. The bathhouse here is said to be one of the best preserved in Britain, and there is also an area which was originally a steam room. To get the best out of a visit, take a guided tour.  You will see the officers’ quarters and commandant’s house and other fascinating features.

Families with children love exploring here, and the kids learn whilst having fun. A Victorian-era museum, now restored, has an area for books for children all about life under the Romans. This museum also has an impressive collection of historic items, some relating back to the early archaeological excavations in the area. One of the highlight exhibits is an object called a ‘modius’, which is a large bucket made from bronze, used to measure grain.

Inscriptions at the fort have been revealed that indicate where the soldiers barracked here mainly came from. Dalmatians (from present-day Yugoslavia) and Vangiones (from upper Rhineland in Germany) are shown on these. Chesters Fort was certainly of strategic significance to the Romans, as indicated by their construction of a bridge to cross the River Tyne from this section of the wall, the foundations of which are still visible.