The Vindolanda Trust collection gains national quality accolade

Vindolanda Trust - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Vindolanda Charitable Trust near Bardon Mill, Hexham, has been officially awarded Designated status by the Arts Council England for its rare, unique and extraordinary collection of Roman artefacts from the Vindolanda archaeological site.


Roman Vindolanda, situated in the central sector of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site is regarded as one of the most eminent archaeological sites in Britain. The site which pre-dates the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, was home to at least 9 forts and 400 years of Roman occupation.  The ongoing annual excavations of this site have produced one of the greatest and diverse collections of material culture from anywhere within the Roman Empire, giving an insight into the everyday lives and activities of this frontier community. Highlights of the personal hoard of Roman artefacts are displayed within the modern on-site Chesterholm Museum at Vindolanda and at the Trust’s Roman Army Museum at Greenhead. An abundance of artefacts are on display from the everyday items such as well-preserved shoes and tools to extraordinary and exquisite belongings left behind nearly 2000 years ago.



Arts Council England’s Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national importance held in England’s non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance.  The Vindolanda Trust’s award proves that it delivers the highest standards, and that the Trust is committed to the continued recognition and promotion of this remarkable collection, for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Barbara Birley, Curator of Collections at the Vindolanda Trust commented: “We are extremely pleased to be awarded Designation status for our collection. It is a significant accolade, reflecting not only on the collection’s quality but also the impact that it has made, and is continuing to make, on modern archaeological research into the everyday life of the Roman people of Vindolanda.  This award supports a whole range of committed people who work, volunteer and research the site to help us understand and create fuller picture of our Roman past.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to be awarding this prestigious accolade to the Vindolanda Trust. The Vindolanda collection offers a fascinating and important insight into the history of the nation, and should be celebrated and shared with new audiences.”


Download the press release - Press Release - Designation 


For further information or hi-res photographs please contact:

 Sonya Galloway,

 The Vindolanda Trust, 01434 344277

 Follow us on twitter: @VindolandaTrust

 Follow us on Facebook @thevindolandatrust


The Vindolanda Trust

The Vindolanda Trust is an independent archaeological charitable trust, founded in 1970. The Vindolanda Trust does not receive any annual funding and relies on the visitors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum to fund its archaeological, conservation and education work.

 Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum are both situated in the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, Roman Vindolanda is just to the north of the village of Bardon Mill and the Roman Army Museum is next to the village of Greenhead.

 Roman Vindolanda is regarded as the most exciting archaeological site in Europe with its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations. Vindolanda is home to the world famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets, voted as Britain’s top archaeological treasure by the British Museum, these thin hand written wooden notes have revealed an astonishing amount of first-hand information from the people who lived at this site 2000 years ago.

 Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspire us, bring us together and teach us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, they make life better.  Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.



Vindolanda Trust - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eleven sites across Hadrian's Wall Country will stage an exhibition featuring 11 prints and photographs from the National Portrait Gallery this autumn.

'Wall Face: Portraits of people who revealed Hadrian's Wall' is being organised jointly through a partnership of heritage organisations across the Wall - Vindolanda Trust, English Heritage, National Trust, Senhouse Museum Trust, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust and the Hadrian's Wall Trust.

Nigel Mills, the exhibition project director for the Hadrian's Wall Trust said: "We're celebrating the pioneering archaeologists and antiquarians who recorded, protected and promoted understanding of the Hadrian's Wall frontier.

"Each portrait will be displayed with the life story and achievements of the individual at the site, or sites, associated with their important work. 

"Without these people much of what we see now would have been lost. Their characters, activities and achievements have earned them each a place in the archaeology 'hall of fame'.

"Archaeologists today use different methods to investigate and conserve sites across the Wall but still refer to their work.

"With this exhibition we're aiming to encourage people to visit the 11 main sites and museums across the 150 mile Roman frontier zone, which all have something different to offer.  The more sites you visit, the more you find out."

The exhibition and accompanying information leaflet, mobile app, talks and events at the sites are being funded by a £124,000 grant from Arts Council England through its Renaissance strategic support programme.

Jane Tarr, Director North, Arts Council England said: "I'm delighted that the Arts Council is supporting this project through our Renaissance strategic support programme, particularly as it is the first time that all the museums and heritage sites across the Wall have collaborated in this way.

"It is an excellent opportunity for visitors and people living along the Wall to view art from the National Portrait Gallery as well as enjoying local exhibitions and engaging with the learning programme."

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: "We are delighted that a selection of the National Portrait Gallery's collection of portraits of archaeologists and antiquarians will be displayed at some of the very sites with which their pioneering work was associated. We are grateful to the Hadrian's Wall Trust, Arts Council England and all the partner organisations for helping to make this happen."   

Each of the sites, listed east to west, will feature one of the pioneering archaeologists and antiquarians from 21 August to 9 November:

Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum, South Shields – Sir Mortimer Wheeler (1890 – 1976)
Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum, Wallsend – John Hodgson (1779 - 1845)
Great North Museum, Newcastle – John Leland (1503 – c1552)
Corbridge Roman Town – Sir Ian Richmond (1902 - 1965)
Chesters Roman Fort – Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (1857 - 1934)
Housesteads - Roman Fort Museum, William Hutton (1723 - 1815), Visitor Centre John Clayton (1792–1890)
Roman Vindolanda – William Camden (1551 - 1623)
Roman Army Museum, Greenhead – Sir Mortimer Wheeler (1890 – 1976)
Birdoswald Roman Fort – William Stukeley (1687 - 1765)
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle – Robin George Collingwood (1889 - 1943)
Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport – William Camden (1551 - 1623)

-       The Hadrian’s Wall Country Trails app provides more information about the Wall Face exhibition and characters in the portraits and where to see them. Download the app from iTunes here or Google Play here.


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