24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
FamilyHistory, heritage & archeologySaturnalia Events

Children’s Saturnalia Event

Harraby Community Centre, Edgehill Rd, Carlisle CA1 3SN

19 Dec 2022, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Delivered by Food Carlisle, Rural Regeneration Unit

On behalf of Food Carlisle, the Rural Regeneration Unit is organising a children’s Saturnalia celebration at Harraby Community Centre on Monday 19th December, between 1630 – 1830. There will be a range of games and activities for children to get involved with, from biscuit decorating to party games, linked to the Roman celebrations. All4Fun will be in attendance to provide activities and there will be refreshments for parents too.

The event is free to attend but spaces are limited – to book please contact Julie Wedgwood on 07807 003 039 or e-mail Julie.Wedgwood@rru.org.uk

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Festive Family Fun Day

13 High St W, Wallsend NE28 8JP

10 Dec 2022, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Delivered by North Tyneside Art Studio

North Tyneside Art Studio is pleased to welcome visitors to their Saturnalia art exhibition. Join them on Saturday 10th December, at NTASII in Wallsend Forum, from 11am-3pm to view the exhibition, take part in some festive Saturnalia themed arts and crafts and find out more about our well-being hub. The exhibition features work from our studio members, inspired by and developed from the artefacts on display at Segedunum Roman Fort.

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Solway Saturnalia – Crafty Family Fun

Senhouse Roman Museum, The Battery, Sea Brows, Maryport, Cumbria, Ca15 6JD

27 Nov 2022 - 11 Dec 2022 , 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Guide dog friendly
  • Wheelchair accessibile

Delivered by Senhouse Roman Museum

Family-friendly craft activities at the museum inspired by Saturnalia and the heritage of winter rituals. Get creative and have fun in this celebration of the turning of the year and the return of the sun on the edge of the Empire. Join us at the museum and create a range of seasonal decorations and gifts inspired by Saturnalia. Suitable for all ages, the sessions will see families of all generations working together. The sessions are led by our experienced and supportive staff and volunteers, are free and include hot drinks and biscuits. You will have an opportunity to include creations that you are proud of in a temporary exhibition in the museum. Saturnalia inspired crafts include a crown for the ‘King for the Day’, Sigillaria, wreaths, money and money bags and more. We like to keep the groups small and friendly, so numbers are limited to first-come-first-served.

Contact the museum on 01900 816168 or email at senhousemuseum@aol.com to book.

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Create your own Saturnalia Event

01 Nov 2022 - 30 Nov 2022

Throughout November and December 2022.

The word ‘Saturnalia’ has the meaning of ‘an occasion of wild revelry or indulgence’.

Throughout November and December we are inviting anyone and everyone to join the festivities and deliver their own Saturnalia celebrations, events and activities to make this a truly wall-wide knees up. 

We’re inviting YOU to get involved and host an event or activity for Saturnalia as part of Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival, and it could be anything from hosting a Saturnalia-themed Christmas Party in your local village hall to a banquet in your living room or local pub.

You could encourage your neighbours to decorate their windows or create lanterns for their doorsteps or nominate the most mischievous member of your community as Lord of Misrule to preside over your celebrations. 

Click here for Saturnalia Packs developed by artist, Hannah Fox, to help you with your celebrations including traditional recipes, Saturnalia Songs, and inspiration on themes, activities and making your own decorations.

Anyone can deliver activity – individuals, groups, businesses – and at any scale. 

It can be a public event with tickets, or just with a group of friends, a business venture or a solo activity. All activities will be listed on the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival website to either advertise them or document them or both. 

If you’re interested in delivering a Saturnalia activity, no matter how big or small, please complete the form below to register your interest: 

Organisers are expected to be responsible for the management, safety, local marketing, and funding for their events, so please ensure you have considered this in putting yo

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Saturnalia at Roman Vindolanda

Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum,, Chesterholm Museum, Bardon Mill,, Hexham,, NE47 7JN

01 Dec 2022 - 31 Dec 2022 , 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

  • Hearing impaired friendly
  • Guide dog friendly
  • Wheelchair accessibile
  • Visually impaired friendly

Display of a feast for the festival of Saturnalia in the Activity Centre at Roman Vindolanda.

Learn about the winter festival celebrated by the Romans and how our celebrations today have been shaped by these ancient gatherings.

One of the most famous, and perhaps the most popular, of the Feriae Statiuae was Saturnalia, the feast now most closely associated with Christmas. Saturnalia was celebrated from 17th to 23rd December in the Julian calendar, and it probably originated as a farmers’ festival to mark the end of the planting season, and grew more elaborate as Rome became more powerful and confident.

On the 23rd December the final day of Saturnalia it was tradition to give gifts, usually small, simple and cheap tokens, which most could afford, so as not to distinguish the rich from the poor. Gifts included combs, candles, purses, small lamps, wax figurines and cheap pottery. These gifts were called sigillaria, and in the days leading up to the festival, the shops would be filled with cheap trinkets sold especially for Satunalia.

In keeping with this tradition we will be giving away small gifts to any visitors we receive on the 23rd December 2022. If you visit that day you may choose a small token to take away with you from our sigillaria.

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Food on the Frontier

Slack House Farm, Gilsland, Brampton, Cumbria. CA8 7DB

29 Oct 2022, 11:30 am - 2:30 pm


Delivered by Food Carlisle and The Rural Regeneration Unit Ltd.

Join us at a free event – To celebrate Cerelia (Roman Harvest Festival) at Slackhouse House Farm, which is close to the picturesque village of Gilsland.

Sample food Roman people would have would have enjoyed when celebrating Cerelia (Roman Harvest Festival dedicated to Ceres, the goddess of corn and harvests). Find out about the deliciously different types of wild food growing in a hedgerow close to your home, from blackberries, apples and nettles to hazelnuts, damsons, mushrooms and garlic – all of which are free for the picking. Then learn how to use these foods creatively in easy recipes, ranging from jams, jellies and chutneys to starters, main courses, cakes, cocktails and cordials.

Light refreshments will be available and the farm shop will be open where you can purchase Birdoswald Organic Cheese which is handcrafted, on the farm, from milk produced by the farms pedigree herd of home bred Ayrshire cows.
The event is free of charge, but numbers are restricted. To book a place contact: – Julie Wedgwood on 07807 003 039 or email Julie.Wedgwood@rru.org.uk

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1900 Bunting Exhibition

Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum, Chesterholm Museum, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7JN

22 Oct 2022 - 30 Oct 2022 , 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Hearing impaired friendly
  • Guide dog friendly
  • Wheelchair accessibile

Delivered by Vindolanda Trust

Celebrating the 1900th anniversary of the building of Hadrian’s Wall we set ourselves and everyone around the world a challenge. To create by knitting, crocheting or sewing 1900 flags of bunting which will decorate our replica section of Hadrian’s Wall at Roman Vindolanda in an exhibition between 22nd-30th October 2022.

This was an opportunity for everyone who has been inspired by Hadrian’s Wall, no matter where they are in the world, to become part of the celebration of this iconic landmark and its impact over the 1900 years it has stood.

We soon discovered that everyone was up for the challenge! Flags arrived at Vindolanda in their droves from Corbridge to Canada, and beyond! You will be able to see all the submissions in a special display over October half term as we stitch them together to dress our replica section of Hadrian’s Wall with the most colourful and uplifting display.

The bunting flags will be on display for the whole week and will be a riot of colour and celebration. In addition in the Vindolanda Activity Centre you can view the beautiful postbox topper made by Laetitia Loops as well as an assortment of letters from people around the world who have sent in their creations to be part of this international event.

This event is free with admission to Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum. For more information visit www.vindolanda.com or call 01434 344 277 or email info@vindolanda.com

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Hadrian Forest School

Gee's Wood, Haydon Bridge: NE47 6AH

15 Sep 2022 - 29 Oct 2022

  • Hearing impaired friendly
  • Guide dog friendly

Delivered by The Nurture Project CIC

The Nurture Project CIC will facilitate a 6 week programme of forest school activities inspired by Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman ways of life, culminating in a family fun day at the end of half term to celebrate and showcase the project.

Exploring nature in a beautiful ancient woodland located in Haydon Bridge, within close proximity of Hadrian’s Wall. Activities will include survival skills and crafts inspired by the Romans: fire lighting, campfire cooking, shelter building, exploring crafts such as felt making, weaving, charcoal, natural dyes and more. This project was awarded funding through the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival’s Community Grants scheme.

Thursdays: 10-30-12.00 Under 5’s Hadrian Forest School
Thursdays: 3.30-5.30 Over 5’s Hadrian Forest School
Fridays: 9.45-10.45 Nature Tot’s Tales
Fridays: 10.45-11.45 Nature Tot’s Tunes
Sun 2nd Oct 1.00-2.30 Hadrian Family Forest Fun
Sat 15th Oct 1.00-2.30 Hadrian Family Forest Fun
Tue 25th Oct: 10.00-12.00 + 1.00-3.00 Over 5’s Hadrian Forest School
Sat 5th Nov: 10.00-13.00 Family Fun Day

It will take place over the wooden footbridge at the top of Whittis Hill. what3words location: intestine.alleyway.submit

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Saturnalia On Tour

28 Aug 2022 - 29 Aug 2022


Join us as we celebrate 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall.

During the summer of 2022, Hannah Fox and Zoe Lambert will be out and about along the length of Hadrian’s Wall meeting the folk who live and work in the towns, villages and neighbourhoods from coast to coast. To get involved, come along to meet the pair. With songs and silliness, they will bring pop-up activities for the entire family!

All welcome and all free.

Fixing the Wall; Crafting with clay.

Digging For Treasure; Dig into the bucket and see what you find!

What do you Relish?; Imagine your perfect recipe for a winter tonic.

Saturnalia R&D by Hannah Fox.

Commissioned by Northumberland County Council, on behalf of the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership for Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival.

Funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Find these two friendly farmers and share your stories, memories and anecdotes.

Sunday 28th August – Muncaster Castle ( West Cumbria) https://www.muncaster.co.uk

Monday 29th August – Newcastle Mela  https://newcastlemela.co.uk

Later in the year, we will be creating a magical, theatrical Saturnalia-inspired performance with live music, fire, performers and projections which will travel the wall during December, adding to the celebrations.

A wall wide knees up inspired by The Roman Festival of Saturnalia. Keep an eye out here for how to get involved or contact us here: festivalofsaturnalia@gmail.com

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FamilyOutdoors & Nature

Slackhouse Organic Farm Open Day

Slackhouse Organic Farm, Gilsland, Cumbria, CA8 7DB

17 Sep 2022, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Delivered by Food Carlisle & Slackhouse Organic Farm

Dianne and Eric Horn at Slackhouse Organic Farm, together with Food Carlisle, are hosting a Farm Open Day to celebrate both Organic September and HW1900. Slackhouse Farm has an organic dairy herd of pedigree Ayrshire cattle from whose milk the delicious Birdoswald cheese, yoghurt and crowdie are made on the farm. Fruit and vegetables are grown organically and the entire farm is dedicated to low carbon living, down to Herdwick wool carpets and insulation and solar-panel-operated irrigation in the polytunnel. Families are very welcome. Slackhouse Farm lies on the route of the Roman road from Birdoswald to Bewcastle and is visible from Birdoswald fort. There will be farm walks describing organic farming methods, how the farm is dedicated to caring for the soil and increasing biodiversity, underlying geology and Roman activities and influence. There will be children’s activities, meet the animals and Roman-inspired food and drink as well as tea and cake and light lunches, when you can sample produce from the farm. Birdoswald cheese will be on sale in the small farm shop.

The Open Day will take place on September 17th from 11am until 4pm. Booking is not required and everyone is very welcome. There is on-site car parking and level access in the farmyard. It is recommended to wear stout shoes or wellies and bring wet-weather gear for the farm walk which is over fields and rough tracks.

The day will be funded by Slackhouse Organic Farm with a little help from Food Carlisle and Carlisle City Council.

Do not use Satnav. The farm is on B6318 and visible across the field from Birdoswald Fort. From fort, go past car park, turn left at T junction, farm is up hill on right.

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