Exploring, Discovering, Learning

I want to make the Past, both History and Prehistory, more exciting, relevant and 'hands-on'. It's a fun place with some great stories, I want to share these with everyone.
I work with schools, museums, community groups, either at their place or outdoors in the Landscape.
I develop and deliver projects. I create resources. Exploring the Past and our shared heritage, bridging the divide and Discovering the links between these artefacts, sites or museum and Us. I try to put objects back in context, helping people Learn about the past. I use objects, both orginal and replica, costume, crafts and role play, in other words - Living History.

I'm a member of a small group of like-minded people - The Deja Crew

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Epic Epiacum

May saw a new venture to a new fort - Epiacum. Known locally as Whitley Castle, the fort lies on a hillside a few miles north of Alston, Cumbria and the site could well be described as the North of England's best-kept Roman secret. There have been just two recorded excavations, about 1810 a part of the bath house was exposed and in 1957/8 a trench was dug across the northern ramparts.

From the 18th to the 21st May 2010 over 200 primary school children visited the site. The living history event was organised by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in partnership with Elaine and John Edgar, the owners of Castle Nook Farm and the land where Epiacum sits.

Firstly the children 'travelled back in time' using a train from the South Tynedale Railway. After a sort walk from the halt at Kirkhaugh up to the fort the children took part in a series of activities investigating the people who have been involved in landscape around Epiacum through the years. They discovered what life was like for the Roman soldiers stationed in the fort. Paul Mercer from the North Pennines Heritage Trust explained the lifestyle of the Miner/Farmer from the 18th Century. Archaeologist, Paul Frodsham and Naturalist, Heather McCarty brought the landscape up to date.

For Elaine Edgar of Castle Nook Farm, the event was the realisation of her dream of turning her farmland steeped in history into an education and visitor centre. She said: “This will be the first time we’ve had school groups visiting the Roman fort and bastle house. We’ve still got a long way to go, but the AONB Partnership events have got everything off to a terrific start.”

"Days like these stay with children forever and can inspire a lifelong interest.” Fiona Knox, Education Officer with the North Pennines AONB Partnership


  1. it was a great day Roy - well worth all the hard work! Hope to repeat sometime in the near future!

  2. Thanks Elaine, as you say, well worth the effort. I'd be happy to do it again.