24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
Art & CultureExhibitionsHistory, heritage & archeologySaturnalia Events

Frontier Voices: A Creative Exploration – Final Exhibition

The Sill, Once Brewed, Hexham NE47 7AN, United Kingdom

01 Dec 2022 - 31 Jan 2023 , 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

  • Guide dog friendly
  • Wheelchair accessibile
  • Visually impaired friendly

Delivered by Karen MacDougall Art

Over the last seven months, artist Karen MacDougall has been running an international arts and heritage project working with local community groups, schools, museum visitors, international partners and museum staff to create artworks exploring perceptions of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and landscape. The project has been funded by Arts Council England and in-kind support from the partner sites.

From 1st December 2022 until 31st January 2023, the artworks will be on display at The Sill, the Northumberland National Park’s Landscape Discovery Centre near Haltwhistle. This is the end of the year and time to celebrate the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the end of the project.

Frontier Voices is a Wall-wide project that has involved all the main Roman attractions across Hadrian’s Wall and northern frontier including Senhouse Museum in Maryport, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, the English Heritage sites of Birdoswald, Housesteads, Chesters and Corbridge Roman Town, The Roman Army Museum, Vindolanda, the Great North Museum, Segedunum and Arbeia. The project is part of the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival, celebrating 1900 years since the official ‘birthday’ of Hadrian’s Wall in AD122.

The artworks include poetry, banners, embossed metal foil art, installations and felted vessels – all brought together expressing how participants feel and think about themselves as Frontier Voices and what the Wall means to them.

Dr Frances McIntosh, Hadrian’s Wall curator for English Heritage, said ”The poems and word art produced during the creative workshops at Birdoswald are inspiring, capturing the spirit of the Wall and of people’s perceptions and connections to it. It is great to feel that we at English Heritage help look after a place that attracts and inspires such strong emotions. We will be showcasing the artworks on our website.”
Transnational participation has been an especially innovative part of the project, the first time that an arts project has reached out to include other communities across the World Heritage of the Roman Frontiers. Two communities from the Roman frontier in the Netherlands and two from the Roman frontiers in Germany (from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) have participated in the project via online meetings and workshops. Creative works produced by them are also part of the exhibition at The Sill.

Sabine Lund, LimesGemeinden (Frontier Communities) coordinator in Bavaria said “The community of Altmannstein has been delighted to be part of this project. In our area the Roman frontier runs through forests and fields and you can only see it if you know what to look for. The participants in Frontier Voices are passionate about passing on the knowledge of the Roman heritage to their children and grandchildren. Their own “frontier voices” should be heard in the future.”

Karen MacDougall is an artist who lives in Cumbria between Penrith and Appleby. She creates and delivers bespoke arts and culture projects for museums, schools and community groups, which range from short half-day workshops to long projects on multiple sites lasting years. She has over 25 years experience working in educational settings as a creative practitioner and 20 years working in and with museums, delivering arts and culture projects.

Karen MacDougall commented “Frontier Voices is an amazing project! It has run since May in eleven locations in the UK and in four locations in Europe that are also on Roman Frontiers. We have been inspired by our past and see how this affects our present – visitors and residents along Hadrian’s Wall, European borders and climate change perhaps the most pressing as we create and debate art. Thank you to everyone who has taken part you have all been fantastic!

We have connected with just over 4000 people through half-day workshops, and many thousands more with our explorations on display and following my blog. The poetry is also published in our booklet and English Heritage is publishing it online on their Birdoswald website. The Face-pots from Arbeia even made it on stage at an RSC Associates production in Newcastle. The face-pots made by the Scouts working with Corbridge Roman Town will be auctioned off after the exhibition to help them finance an International trip to Iceland for today’s Frontier Voices next summer – our project a force for good!

For more information on exhibiting content karenmacdougall@mac.com for details of The Sill opening contact 01434 341200

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Art & CultureHistory, heritage & archeologySaturnalia Events

A Batida da Rua

The Sill, Once Brewed, Hexham NE47 7AN

21 Dec 2022, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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

Delivered by A Batida Da Rua

A Batida Da Rua, Hexham’s premier percussion group, will perform an hour of hip shaking and ground quaking music. Spanning continents and cultures like the Roman empire you can expect to be invaded by the rhythm.

The band will finish the gig with the debut performance of a brand new piece titled Saturnalia, a melding of traditional Northumbrian folk with North African and Brazilian beats.

Take a break from Christmas and enjoy this taste of Saturnalia on the shortest day of the year in the beautiful surroundings of Hadrian’s Wall.

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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

Art & CultureExhibitionsFamilySaturnalia EventsWorkshops & Learning

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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Saturnalia Events

Crafty Family Fun 

The Battery Sea Brows Maryport Cumbria CA15 6JD

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


Join us at the Museum and create a range of seasonal decorations and gifts inspired by Saturnalia and winter rituals. Suitable for all ages, the sessions will see families working together. You can try it for a single session or develop your creativity over three weeks. 

The sessions are led by our experienced and supportive staff and volunteers. All sessions are FREE and include hot drinks and biscuits to help the chat and fun along. 

Dates and times:

Sunday 27 November, 1pm – 3pm
Sunday 4 December, 1pm – 3pm
Sunday 11 December, 1pm – 3pm

We like to keep the groups small and friendly, so numbers for all the Saturnalia events are limited to first-come-first-served. To book a place contact the museum on 01900 816168 or email on senhousemuseum@aol.com. You can book on any number of sessions.

The Solway Saturnalia project is funded by a grant from HW1900 Community Grants and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Events may be subject to change

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Saturnalia Events

A Solway Saturnalia

The Battery Sea Brows Maryport Cumbria CA15 6JD

06 Dec 2022 - 23 Dec 2022

Saturnalia, held in mid-December, is an ancient Roman pagan festival honouring the agricultural god Saturn. Because of when the festival occurred – near the winter solstice – Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas, such as wreaths, candles, feasting and gift-giving.

Funded by a grant from HW1900 Community Grants and National Lottery Fund the Museum is offering a programme of events celebrating Saturnalia, community and creativity. These events are a series of Creative Writing sessions on Tuesdays (11am – 2pm) and a series of family-friendly craft afternoons on Sundays (1pm – 3pm). The programme will end with a Saturnalia celebration during the weekend of 16 – 18 December (details TBC) and a temporary exhibition of the writing and crafts created.

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Saturnalia Events


08 Dec 2022 - 30 Dec 2022

Experience the incredible starry skies above Northumberland with astronomers from the Stargazing team at the Twice Brewed Inn. Located within the protected Dark Sky park, the venue benefits from minimal light pollution, meaning you’ll have a clear view of the Milky Way arching across the sky and see thousands more stars than can normally be spotted from our towns and cities. What’s more, our events have been timed to ensure no bright Moon will spoil the view.

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Saturnalia Events

Leiden Park Matilo Saturnalia

17 Dec 2022 - 23 Dec 2022

After the Frontier Voices project, the Roman midwinter festival Saturnalia is a second opportunity to collaborate with the Limes friends from Hadrian’s Wall in England. During the week of December 17-23, 10 communities along the Roman border wall in Northern England celebrate this festival in a variety of ways. Are you curious? Look here!

The celebration of Saturnalia in Park Matilo is added to this series as a partner event on the European continent.

Na het project Frontier Voices vormt het Romeins midwinterfeest Saturnalia een tweede gegelenheid om samen te werken met de Limes-vrienden van de Muur van Hadrianus in Engeland. Gedurende de week van 17- 23 december vieren 10 gemeenschappen langs de Romeinse grensmuur in Noord-Engeland dit feest op diverse manieren. Ben je benieuwd? Look here!

De viering van Saturnalia in Park Matilo wordt aan deze reeks toegevoegd als partner-event op het Europese continent.

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Community GrantsHistory, heritage & archeologySaturnalia Events

Saturnalia Feast

Waterton Hall, Warwick Square, Carlisle CA1 1NG

20 Dec 2022, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

  • Guide dog friendly
  • Wheelchair accessibile
  • Visually impaired friendly

Delivered by Triple A – All About Autism

A gathering to celebrate as the Romans did by feasting on some delicious food, playing games and singing. Entry is free but there will also be raffle tickets on sale to raise money for Triple A charity.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tripleaprojectallaboutautism/ Twitter – @tripleaproject

If you would like to join, please let Georgie know on 07733818776 or georgina.telfer@tripleaproject.org.uk

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Art & CultureCommunity GrantsPerformanceSaturnalia Events

Fools Fest

Highfield Middle School, Highfield Lane, Prudhoe, NE42 6EY

10 Dec 2022

  • Wheelchair accessibile

Delivered by
Mortal Fools

Join Mortal Fools Youth Theatre for the second of two nights of creativity, festivity, and fun, as we host Fools Fest!

​Fools Fest is a celebration of all things creative; where the young people are in charge, and anything goes. These festival nights will showcase a variety of mini-performances, created and performed by our young people – across theatre, film, improv, music and more!

From folklore and fairy tales to music and monologues, there’s something for everybody at Fools Fest – plus tasty refreshments to get you in the festival mood. So join us and get ready to eat, drink, and be merry at Fools Fest!

On Friday 2nd December we’ll be showcasing work from our two Ashington-based groups and our online youth theatre group.

On Saturday 10th December, our groups from Riding Mill and Prudhoe will come together for an evening of performance curated as part of the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival.

Our youth theatre groups in the Tyne Valley have themed their performances specifically around the Saturnalia Festival, with their pieces being inspired by contemporary responses to the rich heritage of Hadrian’s Wall. Fools Fest embraces the Saturnalia element of role reversal by putting children and young people who are growing up along Hadrian’s Wall in the lead.

This event is supported by Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Community Grants, made possible with National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Performance venue is fully accessible. If you’re a wheelchair user, please let us know by emailing Rachel.Horton@mortalfools.org.uk

For more information, please contact info@mortalfools.org.uk, or phone 0191 580 1250 (please leave a message if we are not available).

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