Eboracum Roman Festival in York

Eboracum Roman Festival

Eboracum Roman Festival

York, 1 – 4 June 2017

The Romans return! After the success of the first Eboracum Roman Festival in 2016, which saw more than 28,000 people attend, the festival will be returning this June with a packed programme of displays, exhibits, events and activities suitable for all ages.

The Eboracum Roman Festival will be based in the York Museum Gardens with a number of exciting events including military parades, siege weapon demonstrations, a camp showing what domestic life was like during the period, as well as stalls selling themed goods.

The Yorkshire Museum, home some of Britain’s most treasured Roman artefacts, will be running various activities and workshops over the course of the weekend, with additional events taking place at venues across the city. There will also be a series of guided walks and talks by leading experts.

Download the festival leaflet here.

Arena Timetable

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June 2017

Visit the York Museum Gardens for a packed programme of free activities and demonstrations. There’s no need to book ahead and staff will be on hand to help you find where each activity is located within the gardens.

Sat 10.30am – The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Barbara Boyce, and the Civic Party will officially open this year’s festival

Sat & Sun 10.45am – Roll Call – Muster of the Legions

Sat & Sun 11.00am – Parade through York

Sat 11.05am & Sun 11.10am – Birds of Prey Demonstrations with Owl Adventures

Sat & Sun 12pm – Return of the Romans

Sat 12.55pm & Sun 1pm – Military Display

Sat 1.30pm & Sun 2pm – Kids Army

Sat 2.15pm – Roll Call – Muster of the Legions

Sat 2.30pm – Parade through York

Sun 2.45pm – Birds of Prey Demonstrations with Owl Adventures

Sun 3.20pm – Military Display

Sat 3.35pm – Return of the Romans

Sun 3.50pm – Festival Finale

Sat 4.10pm – Birds of Prey Demonstrations with Owl Adventures

Sat 4.45pm – Kids Army

Sat 5.20pm – Roll Call – Muster of the Legions under standards

Launch Events

Join us at the Yorkshire Museum for three special events to celebrate the start of the festival (advance booking required).

The Wold Newton Hoard – A Celebration, 1 June, 6.15pm – 8.15pm. Be the first to see the Wold Newton Hoard as it returns to the Yorkshire Museum. and in its entirety over drinks and a talk by Andrew Woods, Curator of Numismatics. £10 per person (includes a glass of wine). Book ahead here.

The Discovery of the Chester Amphitheatre & the Search for York’s Lost Amphitheatre, 2 June, 7pm – 9pm. Join Stewart Ainsworth of Channel 4’s Time Team to hear how the Roman amphitheatre in Chester was rediscovered, followed by archaeologist Tim Sutherland demonstrating how it could be possible to make a similar discovery in York. £10 per person (includes a glass of wine). Book ahead here.

Authors Evening with Ben Kane and Professor Harry Sidebottom, 3 June, 6.15pm – 8.15pm. Join best-selling author Ben Kane as he talks about walking Hadrian’s Wall and discover the life of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus with Professor Harry Sidebottom. £7.50 per person. Book ahead here.


Festival Events

Many of the events during the festival are FREE with no need to book – please see below for details. Events are based in or start from the York Museum Gardens unless stated otherwise.

Ticketed events can be booked via the links provided below or from Visit York by phone on 01904 550099 or at the Visitor Information Centre, 1 Museum Street, York, YO1 7DT.

1 – 4 June, daily – Roman Ghost Cellar Tour at Treasurer’s House. Tours take place each day at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm lasting approx. 30 minutes. Adults £4.00, children (5+) £3.50. Pre-booking advised due to limited capacity – please call the venue directly on 01904 624247.

3 June, 2.30-3pm – Fashion of the Roman Lady with Lori An Hambly. A member of Legion Six Victrix, Lori An will be hosting a talk in the Yorkshire Museum about the importance of Roman ladies fashion. Free with admission (under-16’s go free), no need to book.

3 June, 5.30-7pm – Waking the Dead: A Walk through the Cemeteries of Roman York with John Oxley, City Archaeologist, City of York Council. Discover how and where the Romans buried their dead in, or rather outside, Roman York. Learn about Roman burial practices and the way the Romans thought about death and the afterlife. £6, book ahead here.

3 June, 10.30am & 2.15pm & Sunday 4 June, 11am – Roman Parades. See the spectacular sight as six Roman Legions and Roman Civilians march through the centre of the historic city of York.

3 June, daily – The Hunt for York’s Roman Amphitheatre. Join Time Team’s Stewart Ainsworth, Tim Sutherland of the University of York, Mitch Pollington of Lanpro Archaeology + Heritage and Jon Oxley, City of York Archaeologist, as they begin the search for York’s lost Roman amphitheatre in the grounds of the Kings Manor in the centre of York.

3 & 4 June, 10am-4pm – Authors Tent. Meet with subject specialists including Ruth Downie, Jane Finnis, Alex Gough, Penny Ingham, Ben Kane, John Salter, Professor Harry Sidebottom, SJA Turney and Brian Young.

3 & 4 June, 10am-5pm – Living History Camp. The sights, sounds and smells of Roman Eboracum come to life! Come and meet the Legionary soldiers and their families in a colourful tented camp and learn about their weapons, armour, lifestyle, beliefs, food and more.

3 June, 11.05am-4.10pm & 4 June 11.10am-2.45pm – Birds of Prey Displays. Spectacular flying displays by Owl Adventures featuring owls, hawks, kestrels and falcons in free flight.

3 June, 10am-5pm & 4 June, 10am-4pm – Archaeology Tent. Come along and take part in a range of archaeological activities with the professional archaeologists from Archaeological Services WYAS. Have a go at digital 3D modelling of Roman objects and geophysical surveying of the York Museum Gardens.

3 & 4 June, 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm – A Legionary’s Life. Visit the Yorkshire Museum to be put through your paces as you take part in our recruitment process to see if you measure up to be enlisted into the Roman Army. Aimed at age 7 – 12, but all are welcome. Free with admission (under-16’s go free), no need to book.

3 & 4 June, 11.30am-12pm – Kids Curator Talk: Life in the Legions. Visit the Yorkshire Museum to find out about the lives of the 5,000 Roman soldiers who lived in the fortress at York – from what they wore and what they ate, to how they relaxed. Aimed at age 7 – 12, but all are welcome. Free with admission (under-16’s go free), no need to book.

3 & 4 June, 2.30pm-3pm – Kids Curator Talk: Roman Children. Visit the Yorkshire Museum and discover what we know about the lives of Roman children. We’ll look at what children got up to in school, work, play, and at home through the objects found from Roman York. Aimed at age 7 – 12, but all are welcome. Free with admission (under-16’s go free), no need to book.

4 June, 1-2pm – Occult Objects and Supernatural Stuff: Magic in Roman Britain. A Yorkshire Museum curator’s talk with Adam Parker, Assistant Curator of Archaeology, introducing the subject of Roman Magic using examples from the museum’s collections. Free with admission (under-16’s go free), book ahead here.


The Wold Newton Hoard

Don’t miss the return of the largest Roman hoard of its kind ever found in the North! The Wold Newton Hoard was acquired thanks to public donations in 2016 and, following conservation, will go back on display at the Yorkshire Museum during the Eboracum Roman Festival 2017 (free with admission, no need to book).

Visitor Information

Located close to the Railway Station and other key attractions, the York Museum Gardens offer over ten acres of botanical gardens in York city centre. The Yorkshire Museum is located within the gardens, along with the Multangular Tower, believed to be the best example of standing Roman remains in York. The nearest public toilets are located on Bootham Bar.

Entry to the gardens is free and it is fully accessible. For information on opening times, admission prices and accessibility at the Yorkshire Museum, please visit the website here.

For further information on visiting the festival please call York Museums Trust on 01904 687687 or email enquiries@ymt.org.uk.

This festival has been project led by York Museums Trust (Charity number 1092466), working in partnership with Lanpro.

With thanks to the Roman Bath Museum, Owl Adventures, The National Trust, Make it York and City of York Council.