Spend the bank holiday at Arbeia’s Roman cavalry day

Quinta soldiers at Arbeia Roman Fort.

Quinta soldiers at Arbeia Roman Fort.

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Historic soldiers will be horsing about at a South Tyneside Roman fort.

Bank Holiday Monday will see a Roman cavalry day being held at Arbeia Roman Fort, in Baring Street, South Shields,

Anglo-Saxon King of Northumberland King Oswin at Arbeia Roman Fort.

Anglo-Saxon King of Northumberland King Oswin at Arbeia Roman Fort.

Visitors – who are being encouraged to bring picnic blankets if the weather is fine – will be able see cavalrymen with their battle equipment and horses.

They will also be able to discover what training and daily life consisted of within a cavalry unit and witness the fast and skilful horsemanship during the four-horse display with sword play, javelins, lances, jumps and archery – while cheering on their favourite to win the battle.

Geoff Woodward, museum manager of North and South Tyneside museums, said: “The Roman cavalry were based at Arbeia when they first built the fort, so it’s going to be a very exciting experience to see horses and Roman troopers return to this World Heritage Site.”

For younger visitors there will be the chance to enjoy a Roman chariot ride pulled by a mini pony in Roman-style battle dress for a small fee.

It’s going to be a very exciting experience.

Geoff Woodward

Plus they will be able to take part in horse crafts in the commanding officer’s house.

Mr Woodward added: “There’s history to unearth all around the site and with plenty of open space to roam, play and make your own discoveries.

“All ages are sure to enjoy and be educated by what the site has to offer.”

The event is free and will run from 11am to 3pm.

A special Roman calvary day is to be held at Arbeia on Monday.

A special Roman calvary day is to be held at Arbeia on Monday.

Arbeia was first excavated in the 1870s and all modern buildings on the site were cleared in the 1970s.

Built around AD160, Arbeia Roman Fort once played an essential role in the mighty frontier system of Hadrian’s Wall.

It guarded the entrance to the River Tyne and was the military supply base for the 17 forts along the Wall.

The fort was occupied until the Romans left Britain in the 5th century.