Celebrating Chichester’s Roman history
The Chichester Roman Week is back this May half term, celebrating Chichester’s Roman history with a packed programme of district-wide events, including a re-enactment in Priory Park on Wednesday 1st June.
Led by The Novium Museum, Chichester Roman Week takes place every May half term and offers a diverse and engaging range of events and activities across the city and surrounding areas, designed to engage visitors of all ages. This year’s event will run from Saturday 28th May until Wednesday 1st June.
Chichester was first established as Noviomagnus Reginorum, which translates to ‘New market of the proud people’ after the Roman invasion in AD43. Their legacy can be found across the city, including features such as the Roman walls surrounding the city and the Roman bathhouse located in The Novium Museum.
Chichester Roman Week programme of events
New to the programme this year will be an opportunity to explore Roman Chichester by bike. Staff from The Novium Museum and Fishbourne Roman Palace will lead the tour of Centurion Way, stopping at various points of interest to learn more about the Roman heritage of Chichester and some of the archaeology that has been discovered in the area.
This year, visitors can also enjoy the chance to try their hand at life drawing in the unique setting of The Novium Museum’s Roman Gallery, overlooking the Roman bathhouse. Other events taking place throughout the week include talks, walks, guided tours, family activities, storytelling, craft and workshops.
The week will conclude with the return of a Roman re-enactment in Priory Park on Wednesday 1st June. Supported with funding from the Roman Society and the Roman Research Trust, the event will bring the Roman period to life with everything from gladiators in combat, to Roman soldiers in action. Other demonstrations will cover aspects of civilian life including home life, slavery and religion.
As well as the re-enactors, there will be storytelling, craft activities, Roman hair styling by Chichester College and the opportunity to step inside a virtual Roman villa with Wessex Archaeology. This immersive event will be free to attend, with some activities incurring a small charge.
Roman Week participating venues and events
Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council, says: “Roman Week is an established highlight in the district’s events calendar, and we are so pleased to be able to bring such a fantastic range of events to Chichester again this May half term.
“Our interactive re-enactment event has been extremely popular and a real crowd-pleaser in previous years, so it’s fantastic to be able to bring this event back to Chichester this year! The re-enactment encourages audience participation and spectators are encouraged to dress up.”
Fishbourne Roman Palace, Butser Ancient Farm, Chichester Library, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Hilly Sloan and The History Guide will also be running events throughout the week.
A full programme of events is available on The Novium Museum’s website: www.thenovium.org/romanweek