Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
NE47 7JN

01434 344277

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1329 reviews
Find within approx miles of Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall



Before Hadrian's Wall

Vindolanda lies just to the south of Hadrian's Wall and has a very different ‘feel’ to other sites along the Wall. It lies upon the first Roman frontier in the north – The Stanegate Road. You will probably drive along this road to reach the fort and museum.

Vindolanda was occupied for over 300 years and was an important frontier fort and village long before the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Indeed, Vindolanda saw nine forts come and go in those three centuries when generations of soldiers and their families called this place home.


Live Excavation Experience

The excavations hugging the pretty landscape outside the museum at Vindolanda reveal the hidden stories of a mixed community of soldiers, families and traders. Witness the ancient fort of Vindolanda sprouting from the ground beneath you and feel time rewinding as each layer of soil is brushed away. See:

* Pre-Hadrianic bath house
* Several commanding officer’s residences and some barracks
* 3rd and 4th century evidence of civilian houses and workshops, latrines, strong room and a Roman Celtic temple to an unknown God
* Post-Roman mausoleum and Christian church
* Replicas of a Roman temple and shop, a Romano-British house and replica sections of Hadrian's Wall in turf timber and stone

Vindolanda is one of the few places in the UK where you can watch live archaeological excavations taking place. It's a riveting experience watching the Trust's team and volunteers from across the world uncovering the past's secrets and stories. Visit for yourself and see how it brings history to life right before your eyes!.

Roman Vindolanda Today

The Vindolanda site today contains both a modern world class museum using the latest interpretation techniques and display to tell a very old, very interesting Roman story and ancient buried forts regarded by many as one of Europe's most important and richest archaeological resources. This is why people from around the world travel to Vindolanda to experience its unique atmosphere and rare treasurers. Come rain or shine, Vindolanda, the outdoor site and indoor Museum will entertain you, your family or group.

An Archeological Journey

People come in their thousands to Vindolanda as it is a ‘live’ archaeological site. For the last forty years the site has been surrendering its thousand year old secrets on a daily basis. No other Roman site in Britain is as rich in its findings. Everything on display in the museum was found from the Roman site only yards away. These collections give us a very special insight into the normal everyday lives of our predecessors.

The Vindolanda Writing Tablets

The writing tablets are perhaps Vindolanda's greatest discovery and have been previously voted by experts and the public alike as 'Britain's Top Treasure'. Delicate, wafer thin slivers of wood covered in spidery ink writing, the tablets were found in the oxygen-free deposits on and around the floors of the deeply buried early wooden forts at Vindolanda and are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

Like postcards from the past, the tablets allow a rare insight into the real lives of people living and working at Vindolanda near Hadrian's Wall nearly 2000 years ago. They provide a fascinating and compelling insight into private and military lives from a very different time but are hauntingly familiar, covering matters - from birthdays through to underpants! Have we changed that much in two millennia?

Now, for the first time, and thanks to an investment running into millions of pounds, some of the Vindolanda Writing Tablets are on display in their home. Recently returned to Vindolanda on loan from the British Museum, the tablets are displayed in a new state of the art, special hermetically sealed case, protected from the decaying influence of oxygen, moisture and humidity.

The Collections

Objects from the deep past including textiles, leather goods, wooden objects and flora and fauna have all survived thanks to the exceptional conditions found at Vindolanda. Did you know Vindolanda has the largest collection of Roman leather anywhere in the Empire? From shoes of all sizes and styles to bags and buckets, from purses to an archer's thumb guard. Wooden and textile objects presented include everything from wagon axles to parts of furniture, tent pegs, combs and even a child's sock! Other special finds include jewellery, bronzes, weapons and animal bones.

Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall is a venue for ...
Vindolanda, Bardon Mill(Group Attraction)


Ticketing and entry prices for Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Type Entry for Guide price
(Adult - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Child - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Family - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Senior Citizen/Student - Vindolanda site)
per ticket
(Adult - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Child - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Family - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
(Concession - Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum)
per ticket
Car parking available at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Car parking available
Credit / debit cards accepted at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Credit / debit cards accepted
Toilet Facilities at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Toilet facilities
Coach parking available at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Coach parking available
Gift shop on site at Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall Historic sites Attraction Gift shop on site
Certificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of Excellence

What have the romans ever done for us pt 2

Mark D,
Again, another excellent site if you are interested in Roman history. This site is an ongoing archaeological dig as well as being open the public. Good museum, pleasant cafe, a reconstruction of part of an old fort/tower.


las_lorien, Lancashire
Great site to visit, would recommend doing in conjunction with the Roman army museum (they sell joint tickets) we did the museum first to prepare us for vindolanda, which I would suggest is useful to give you an idea of what you are looking at. The site is great and reminds me of a (much smaller!) UK version of Pompeii and Herculaneum. You can wander around and see the different parts - it helps to use your imagination. It is when wandering around you feel a guide option would really help bring the site together, but this does not appear to be an option (or wasn't when we were there). Amazing finds in the small museum on site, all very well preserved including the tablets that give a real insight into Roman life. The cafe is also very good, much better than others in tourist sites so if you are purchasing food do it here rather than the Roman army museum! It is a moderately large and hilly site, so not the best for those who would struggle with mobility.

Very well done; one of the better and more complete restorations

Tim G, Fairfax, Virginia
This a very nice site. The town/fort itself are nicely restored, with more excavations underway. There is a very good comparison of the different wall types over time. A short walk away, there is a very good (and quite extensive) museum and tea shop. Buying a pass into Vindolanda also provides an entrance in the "Roman Army Museum." This museum is several miles away, and is not within walking distance. Vindolanda is a private restoration and requires an entrance fee. It was well worth it. Vindolanda is not part of the National Trust, so having a National Trust membership will not get you in.

Superb site

Carrie E, Lincoln, United Kingdom
This is an excellent site so much info your head hurts , we were greeted by Helen on reception who was absolutely invaluable I do not walk well and gave us directions to drive to get to the second half of the site . This site is on 2 levels with a footpath between we also paid to go to the roman army museum . The site is well set up with information board and a model of the site which really helps get your bearings. We were there much longer than anticipated so leave plenty of time. A real insight to how people lived.

Ruins, reconstructions and a wonderful museum.

MFBEvans, Chester, United Kingdom
The extensive ruins of the Roman fortress and vicus are being excavated during the summers, so the exhibits in the museum are developing. I was amazed by the amount of leather shoes, etc, and the wooden tablets. Such delicate things that have survived almost 2 thousand years.

Follow us on Twitter



Search for things to do

Search for events

Search for accommodation

Sign up for our newsletter

Discover our skies at #NlandStars
Tourist Information Centres in Northumberland
Late availability noticeboard