Thursday 21 March 2013
The event began in the morning with a visit to the school by Roman education staff, and in the afternoon the children travelled to a nearby church, where they were enlisted in the army and marched to the fort itself.
The Roman Experience Day is part of Cadw’s Changing Cultures programme. Changing Cultures is a Welsh Government initiative which aims to find new ways of encouraging young people and their families, particularly those from less well off backgrounds, to engage with museums, archives, libraries and historic places.
Once at Segontium Roman Fort the pupils were given a guided tour by the well-known North Wales Tour Guide and archaeologist, Rhys Mwyn, who taught the children about the Romans as they travelled around the site. They also carried out army drills and formations, and took part in activities such as Roman cake tasting and a Roman military recreation where they tried on armour, experienced training and enlisted in to the Roman army.
The fort was occupied by Roman staff during the day, and members of the public were also invited to come and see the armourer, handle replica finds and talk to archaeologists on site.
Erin Robinson, Cadw’s Lifelong Learning Manager in North Wales said: 'This was a great opportunity to bring this important period in history to life for local children who live in the Roman town of Caernarfon.
Through the re-enactments, training and even the opportunity to taste food similar to what would have been eaten at the time, we hoped to give the children an experience to remember, which will help them learn about their local history in an engaging way.’
Dion, aged 10: 'The day was so much fun because we learned so much and got to march with the Romans in Segontium fort which is near our school.'
Elin, aged 10: 'We got to march, wear armour and we got paid a coin at the end of it. We have learned about the Celts in school and now I have learnt so much about the Romans who had their fort in Caernarfon.'
Nia Dukes, teacher at Ysgol Maesincla added: ‘It was really fantastic to have this hand-on approach to learning about the Romans, especially when the children can associate it with their locality. The children visit Segontium Roman Fort to play, but now they know why it's there.’