A UNIQUE heritage project site in Flintshire is set to host its annual Roman-themed festival.

Park in the Past, in Hope, is set to host ‘Auxilia: Rome's Cutting Edge' for nine days over the May Spring Bank holiday this year.

For only the second year running, ‘Auxilia’ will bring a dramatic taste of life two millennia ago - with re-enactors coming from all over the UK, Ireland and as far as Italy to put on an international ‘living history’ display for visitors.

The Leader: The Park in the Past site in Hope. The Park in the Past site in Hope. (Image: Park in the Past)

Complemented by archaeologists and heritage experts, ‘battle-hardened’ soldiers will descend on the park’s unique attraction – ‘Britain’s Big Fort Build’ – the first full-size authentically reconstructed Roman fort to be built in Britain for nearly 2,000 years.


Auxilia were Rome’s specialist troops - a vital and formidable force of warriors in the pay of Emperors and recruited from conquered tribes on the edge of the Roman Empire. They fought in Britain against Boudicca and protected the frontier up on Hadrian’s wall for 350 years during the Roman occupation.

There’ll be tons of things to see and do: the ever-popular kids’ army, Celtic art activities, talks by experts, parades and weapons displays, archaeological artefacts from Rossett’s Roman villa - all set in the fort’s unique ‘living history’ camp populated with muscle-bound soldiers and Celtic civilians.

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And this year’s festival promises to be better than ever with extra fun-filled activities such as axe-throwing, ‘have a go’ archery, Roman games, Roman painting, food and music.

The festival is based at the park’s beautiful 120-acre site off Fagl Lane in Hope. Visitors are welcome to explore the park and kayak or paddleboard on the estate’s 35-acre crystal clear lake. The estate has been rewilded to create a 1st century landscape boosting the biodiversity of the area. Keystone species include peregrine, osprey and new visitors like beaver.

The park's family favourites will be on show in the fort too – four authentically Roman Namibian goats who’ll be up to their usual antics to entertain visitors - hide your sandwiches. 

‘Auxilia: Rome’s Cutting Edge’ Festival starts this Saturday (May 25) and is open every day from 11am – 6pm including Bank Holiday Monday until Sunday, June 2.

For more information, please visit the Park in the Past website www.parkinthepast.org.uk