Visitors Welcomed To Binchester Roman Fort As It Reopens On July 1st

Visitors can once again discover what life was like in Roman times as a historic County Durham fort prepares to reopen.

Binchester Roman Fort, cared for by Durham County Council, will be reopening to the public on Thursday, 1 July.

Located on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, the site will be open daily between 10am and 4.30pm between 1 July and 31 October, offering the chance to see two restored Roman baths and one of the most well-preserved Roman heating systems in the country.

In line with Government guidance and to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, a one-way system will be in place at the fort and visitors will be asked to keep two metres apart.

Face coverings must be worn in indoor areas of the centre and hand sanitiser will be available. There will be no organised events this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Once one of the largest Roman military installations in northern Britain, Binchester Fort boasts two incredibly well-preserved bathhouses from its time as a home for Roman auxiliary cavalry.

One bath lies inside the fort and has one of the most intact hypocaust, or underfloor, heating systems in Britain.

The second bath lies outside the fort and is even better preserved, with walls still standing to a height of more than six feet above Roman floor level.

Visitors can walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers through the remains of the commanding officer’s house and learn about the importance of Roman bathhouses – and maybe even spot the infamous Beast of Binchester among the ruins.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted to be reopening Binchester Roman Fort for the public. The site has huge historical significance to the county and is a fascinating insight into what life was like in Roman times.

“We have a number of safety measures in place to protect visitors and staff from the spread of coronavirus, and we are asking visitors to be mindful of one another while they enjoy their visit.”

More information about Binchester Roman Fort can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/binchester

Durham Magazine