Vindolanda (Chesterholm) Hadrian's Wall

Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
NE47 7JN

01434 344277

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 1358 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

Fascinating site

dmathewYEG, Edmonton, Canada
Interesting place to visit, with lots of ongoing archeology. For those with mobility issues, be warned, the museum is at the far end of the site, down a steep valley. There is a ramp down, but getting back up could be difficult. A visit is still worthwhile however to see the ruins of the fort and read up on the archeology. The site is run in coordination with the Roman Army Museum just up the road. That facility is much more accessible, but does not have ruins. A joint pass is available for both and is highly recommended

Monumental and essential

tonyemha, Bradford, United Kingdom
A site I had imagined quite differently. I knew Vindolanda had ongoing excavations every summer (and will do for the next 200 years if all goes according to plan) but what I didn’t expect was such a massive site with such a clear visual presentation of the dynamic between the fort itself and the vicus that grew up outside the fort. It was a rainy and cold day when we visited but that played into the narrative of Pat, our excellent tour guide, who brought various parts of the site to life with a mix of funny anecdotes, dry references to quirky facts and a genuine love for the place itself. She knew her stuff! The reconstruction project of a section of stone Wall and a section of wood/turf Wall was fascinating as was the museum at the bottom of the site. The highlight for me of the museum was the remarkable discovery and presentation of writing tablets discovered quite by accident and revealing very personal details of the lives of people living in Roman Britain. A monumental site overall!


hagedd, Cavendish, United Kingdom
I visited here in the '90's as a child and I can't believe there is so much more to uncover. Very informative place, good museum. Cafe will need to expand to cope on busier days! Well worth the joint ticket with the Roman Army Museum. Great day out. A bargain compared to other places in the area.

More to see on every visit

W6886EUcharlotteb, Bath, United Kingdom
Visited the beautiful site on Easter Monday, having bought a joint ticket with the Roman Army Museum. Having visited on several occasions over the past 20 years, it is lovely to see the constant developments and additional finds. It is a very good mix of indoor and outdoor entertainment (necessary in the persistent drizzle), with the extremely large area of Roman remains of the fort and vicus outside, and the excellent museum and cafe further down the valley. We saw a recently excavated Roman shoe, dug up last Friday, and had an impromptu lesson from one of the many working archaeologists. Both adults and children alike were enthralled by the place. The gravel around the remains, steep slope to the museum and lack of Changing Place would make it a difficult prospect for anyone with mobility issues.

Well worth the visit

LKL24, Leeds, United Kingdom
This place was recommended to us - you cannot access the wall from here! It's still worth stopping off. The walk down to the coffee shop is not for the feint hearted. Very steep pathways but it is interesting to see the live dig. We were lucky enough to be able to hold a recent discovery and we would be tempted to go back to have a go ourselves. The indoor museum was really interesting and I would add this to your itinerary.

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