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Chichester Roman Week returns this May half-term!

The award-winning Chichester Roman Week is back this May half term, celebrating Chichester's vibrant Roman history with a packed programme of district-wide events, including a spectacular re-enactment in Priory Park on Tuesday 30 May.

Roman soldiers

Led by The Novium Museum, Chichester Roman Week takes place every May half term and offers a diverse and engaging range of events and activities across the city and surrounding areas, designed to engage visitors of all ages. This year's event will run from Tuesday 30 May until Saturday 3 June.

Chichester was first established as Noviomagnus Reginorum, which translates to 'New market of the proud people' after the Roman invasion in AD43. Their legacy can be found across the city, including magnificent features such as the Roman walls surrounding the city and the Roman bathhouse located in The Novium Museum.

New to the programme this year is the opportunity to learn traditional clay techniques, which date back to the Roman times, guided by local sculptor Kate Viner. The full day workshop explores portraiture and figurative relief sculptural processes and each participant will create a clay artwork of their own.

This year, visitors can also experience poetry and sound project 'Ovid with Reverb'. Performed overlooking The Novium Museum's Roman bathhouse, this Chichester Fringe event performs, recites, updates, interprets and plays with poems by the great Roman Poet Ovid, in translation by the great English poets John Dryden and Christopher Marlowe.

Other events taking place throughout the week include talks, walks, guided tours, family activities, storytelling, craft and workshops.

The week begins with the much-anticipated return of a spectacular Roman re-enactment in Priory Park on Tuesday 30 May. The event will bring the Roman period to life with everything from gladiators in combat, to Roman soldiers in action. Other demonstrations will cover aspects of civilian life including home life, slavery and religion.

As well as the re-enactors, there will be static displays, craft activities and demonstrations. Fishbourne Roman Palace will be offering a range of activities from traditional Roman crafts to mini archaeological excavations, and Chichester District Archaeological Society will be talking about their archaeological digs in Priory Park, with the opportunity to watch a dig in action! 

This immersive event will be free to attend, with some activities incurring a small

charge. Food and drink will be available to purchase in the park.

Amanda Rogan, Manager of The Novium Museum, says: "Roman Week is an established highlight in the district's events calendar, and we are so pleased to be able to bring such a fantastic range of events to Chichester again this May half term.

"Our interactive re-enactment event has been extremely popular and a real crowd-pleaser in previous years, and it promises to be a fantastic start to this year's Chichester Roman Week! The re-enactment encourages audience participation and spectators are encouraged to dress up."

Fishbourne Roman Palace; Butser Ancient Farm; Chichester Library; Pallant House Gallery; West Sussex Records Office; and, Chichester Cathedral will also be running events throughout the week.

A full programme of events is available on The Novium Museum's website (opens new window)

Date of Release: 11 May 2023

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