In 1825, English scientist Michael Faraday initiated a special tradition: The Royal Institution Christmas lectures. The Christmas lectures were talks delivered by illustrious intellectuals and scientists, and covered a series of topics, ranging between Chemistry, Engineering, Astronomy and Natural Philosophy. The lectures were even televised to the whole nation from 1936!

The Vindolanda Trust, awed and inspired by generations of great minds sharing their knowledge with the world, has decided, especially for 2020, to bring to your our very own, one time only archaeology version: a Vindolanda Christmas lecture. We had lots of great events planned for 2020, the year of our 50th anniversary, and would have loved to celebrate the festive season with you in person! But chances are that you may have not been able to visit this year. Or maybe you did, but you want more!

So, snuggle up on the sofa, pour yourself a hot festive drink, and join us for a journey through Vindolanda’s history, both past and present. This lecture is suitable both if you know Vindolanda very well, or even if you have never visited. We’ll start from the first phases of occupation at Vindolanda, before the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. We will take a closer look at some of our outstanding wooden and leather objects, which are preserved in the deepest layers of the site in anaerobic conditions.


We’ll then travel through time, and look at 3rd and 4th century Vindolanda: how did the advent of stone forts change the site landscape? We will also pay special attention to the so called ‘dark ages’, between the 5th and the 7th century. Did you know what happened at Vindolanda after the abandonment of Britain as a Roman province? Did all the Romans leave? Did a brave new Christian world raise from the tumbled remains of barracks and administrative buildings? Did the new inhabitants of Vindolanda still know how to write? And what about building techniques? Was all the proficiency of Roman engineers lost forever?

In the Vindolanda Christmas lecture, we will try and answer all these questions in a way that will make you feel like we are sharing a room, talking amongst friends while sitting in front of the fire.

The lecture will be delivered live on Zoom, on the 17th of December, starting at 7:00pm and ending at 8:45. All you need is a ticket with the link, and the Zoom software installed on your pc or even your telly! Ticket holders will also receive a recording of the lecture: it will be yours to keep and play as many times as you want. By purchasing a ticket to this lecture, you will not only spend an evening in good spirits and good company, but you will also have contributed to our Final Fundraiser in this difficult year.

Friends of Vindolanda members receive a 50% discount for the lecture, please select the 'Friends Lecture Ticket' if you are a member. If you would like to become a friend or renew your membership you can do so online in our shop.

The Vindolanda Trust hopes to see you all there, to wish you a fabulous festive season!

Sorry, this event is now sold out.