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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Durnovaria Lives Again! - Dorchester Roman Festival - 30 Aug 2008 to 31 Aug 2008

Dorchester celebrates its Roman history next weekend (Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 August) as Durnovaria rises once again!

The Roman Festival will bring Ancient Rome to life and highlights include major re-enactments, music, story-telling, literary readings, activities and Roman games.

There will be expert guided walks around Maiden Castle and Roman Dorchester, Roman soldiers marching through town on their way to demonstrations and re-enactments at Maumbury Rings, a Roman extravaganza at the Roman Town House and lots of fun and activities for all at Dorset County Museum.


Children must be accompanied by adults at all festival events


The Romans are coming!

A South Dorset Ridgeway Project Walk at Maiden Castle


Meet at Maiden Castle car park for a one hour walk led by Claire Pinder, DCC Senior Archaeologist. Free, but please call the South Dorset Ridgeway Officer 07500 078351 to book a place as numbers are limited. Please wear long trousers and sensible footwear. Dogs must be on leads.


In the Town Centre

11.00am start from the Roman Town House

Soldiers from Legio II Augusta will march through the town on their way to Maumbury Rings. They will be accompanied by Roman musicians from Praecones Britanniae

Legio II Augusta


Praecones Britanniae


At Maumbury Rings

2.00pm. Free admission

Watch soldiers in action and marvel at some Roman technology.

If you are under 16 and think you have what it takes to join the Roman army report to the recruitment tent at 2pm sharp. Legio II Augusta will put you through your paces with an afternoon of marching and games.

Come in costume and you could win one of our ‘on the spot' prizes!

West Dorset Diostrict Council's 'Action Van' will be assisting with activities.

Come for lunch: Local, free range pig roast from 12 Green Acres available from 12 noon.


At Dorset County Museum, High West Street

Opening hours: 10.00am - 5.00pm

Admission: £6.50 adult, £4.50 concessions, accompanied children free

Festival special

10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm

Drop-in workshops for children including weaving and making Roman bullas or lucky charms.


Roman Walk


Join Blue Badge Guide, Christine McGee, for a stroll around the ancient town of Durnovaria. Christine will give you a fascinating glimpse into the past in this easy two-hour walk.

£3 per person, accompanied children under 16 free

To book call Christine on 01258 817751 as numbers are limited

Dogs must be on leads

The walk is suitable for people using wheelchairs


Meet Author Lindsey Davis

Dorset County Museum, 6.30pm

Tickets £6 from the Museum. For reservations call 01305 262735

Lindsey Davis, author of popular Roman detective novels, will talk about her hero Marcus Didius Falco and his adventures throughout the Roman Empire.




Tickets for Sunday

The Sunday all-inclusive festival ticket costs £2, accompanied children under 16 free. This covers entry to both Dorset County Museum and the Roman Extravaganza at the Roman Town House. Buy your ticket at either location and hang on to it!

At the Roman Town House

A Roman Extravaganza

Watch everyday life in Durnovaria unfold

10.00am - 4.00pm

The Roman Town House is in the grounds of County Hall, near the town centre. The grounds are accessible for people using wheelchairs


Come and join Legio II Augusta and talk to soldiers, slaves and aristocratic ladies.

  • Military drills, including new recruits!
  • Displays on weaving, cooking, medicines, midwifery and children's toys
  • Storytelling with Tim Laycock
  • Mosaics and clay pots workshops by the Family Learning Team (10.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm)
  • All day activities with the DCC Historic Environment team including face painting, archaeological finds identification quiz, colouring in activities and mosaic making
  • Dorset County Council Historic Environment team archaeological excavation at 11am and 2.30pm.

There will be a local, free range pig roast from 12 Green Acres and ‘Roman' foods to buy and take away from Wyndhams of Poundbury



Bring an artefact

Finds identification 'surgeries' with the Portable Antiquities Scheme's Finds Liaison Officer. Have you found something interesting in your garden, a field or a hole in the road? Bring it along for identification

at 10.30am and 2pm


Throughout the day musicians from Praecones Britanniae will be playing Roman music.


At Dorset County Museum, High West Street

Opening hours: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Festival special

10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm

Drop-in workshops for children including weaving and making Roman bullas or lucky charms


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