Discovering our Museums – Vindolanda

St Oswald’s Farm is so well placed for days out in Northumberland and there really is so much to see and do across the County and the whole of the North East. So whether you stay for a weekend, a week or two weeks you won’t be short of places to visit and enjoy. If you like to soak up the history and enjoy discovering museums during your time away then you most definitely won’t be disappointed!

The wealth of museums is endless from the Aviation Museum at Bamburgh Castle to the National Trust property Cherryburn which was the birthplace of artist Thomas Bewick, to Blyth Battery, the Grace Darling Museum and of course the many museums along Hadrian’s Wall boasting more Roman artefacts than you can begin to imagine. The Ferryman’s Hut in Alnmouth is said to the be the country’s smallest museum and the nearby town of Hexham boasts the oldest purpose built Gaol in England with the market town of Morpeth holding claim to a dedicated bagpipe museum!

Of course any trip to Northumberland wouldn’t be complete without delving into our vast Roman history and we are lucky enough to have the Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum only a short 20 minute drive from St Oswald’s Farm. This is one of Europe’s most important Roman archaeological sites and is situated on the Stanegate Road, one mile south of Hadrian’s Wall and is set in a stunning landscape which really allows you to feel and connect with this inspiring historic site.

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Vindolanda – Nine forts over nine centuries

Vindolanda comprises of nine forts built on top of each other over nine centuries with the visible stone fort dating back to the third century. The site includes a modern world class museum which tells the vast and interesting Roman story and the museum is constantly updated and changes with annual archaeological finds added as a result of the ongoing excavation programme.

The Vindolanda tablets are perhaps Vindolanda’s greatest discovery and have been voted as ‘Britain’s Top Treasure’. These delicate, wafer thin pieces of wood covered in spidery writing were were found in the oxygen-free deposits in the floors of the deeply buried early wooden forts at Vindolanda and are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

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Replica Roman Temple at Vindolanda

The Vindolanda Excavations take place every year between April & September and attract hundreds of volunteers from all over the world and visitors are welcome to watch the excavations as they take place, you might be lucky enough to be there when the next major Roman artefact is discovered and dug up from the ground. Of course if you want to get stuck in yourself you can book to take part in the excavations but they do book up quickly. More details can be found here with the 2021 dates released at the end of this year.

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Excavations underway at Vindolanda Image credit :Vindolanda

You could easily spend more than half day embracing all that’s on offer at Vindolanda and with an on site café offering a range of hot and cold drinks as well as snacks, lunches and afternoon tea it’s the perfect way to spend a day out come rain or shine! 

Whatever your interest you’ll be sure to find so much to see and do in Northumberland and of course if you need any help or guidance on where to visit you just need to ask and we’ll be happy to help.

For all availability and details of Heavenfield Cottage please go to our website. We hope to see you soon.

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