Posted: Thu 25th May 2023

Park in the Past to host epic display of authentic Roman life

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 25th, 2023

A unique heritage and community park will host legions from across Europe in an epic display of authentic Roman life for two weekends of immersive action. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Park in the Past, tucked away on the Wrexham/Flintshire border, will hold a re-enactment for the ages which will feature captivating Roman performances, including fort construction, battle training and ancient living. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The main events will run from spring bank holiday weekend to the first weekend of June, starting 27 May to 4 June 2023. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The park’s full-size fort will be the centre point for Roman auxiliaries to establish their authority. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The flagship fort is the only full-scale reconstruction in Britain of a first century Roman military garrison and the ongoing construction has inspired a festival to recreate the day-to-day activities of Roman auxiliary soldiers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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Visiting re-enactment groups from across Europe will establish a period military camp, taking on the daily tasks such as building the rampart defences and creating a bespoke display of combat training and camp maintenance activities. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The fort was created to explore archaeological investigations and test experimental techniques in order to gather deeper understanding of Roman practices. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Project Champion, Paul Harston, said: “So much has already been gleaned from the construction so far as we’ve had to innovate and solve problems. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The majority of the materials have been, as then, foraged from our landscape. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Creating things that have no archaeological evidence to copy. This leaves us imagining ourselves under threat in enemy territory. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“How they would have felt and solved issues of defence, water, sanitation and drainage, food and cooking. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It all adds up to an exceptionally broad set of skills for us to learn.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Roman auxiliary re-enactors from Britain and Europe will provide unique insights into how multiple cultures unified to create a diverse fighting force of troops. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

All infantrymen on site will be in full roman auxiliary or legionary attire and will live on site as legitimate historical characters. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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Visitors to the site will be able to get up close and personal with troops and discover the reality behind Rome’s famous conquering invaders. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For the younger warriors, a programme of special experiences will include a ‘kids’ army’ to introduce Roman army training, a chainsaw demonstration to create a statue of Minerva, ancient painting exercises and an art exhibition from renowned artist Graham Sumner. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In recent weeks, the park has hosted educational visits from local primary schools where pupils were able to engage with the fort through practical activities; including trying on Roman uniforms; touring the newly completed fabrica building; and testing replica battle drills. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The park site will still be open to the general public during this event, including lake facilities. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For the last eleven years the site has undergone significant ecological restoration from its former life as a quarry. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

An imaginative re-wilding scheme has generated over 30 acres of wildflower meadows, bringing new foliage and gifting homes to wildlife. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

All event proceeds will be reinvested into the park to support the continued development including the conservation of wildlife and to provide funding to rejuvenate the land into interactive historical realms. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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