A HISTORICAL festival with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages is officially underway.

Flintshire's Park in the Past is currently hosting its major annual heritage festival ‘Auxilia: Rome's Cutting Edge'.

The nine-day event, which began on Saturday, brings 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.

Paul Harston, Roman fort project champion and director of Park in the Past, said: "This is only our second annual international Roman festival at the Park and it's even better this year. 

"The festival celebrates the rich diversity of peoples, cultures and faiths present in Roman Britain nearly two thousand years ago. 

"Visitors are transported back in time to the Roman Conquest during the clash of cultures between the mighty Roman Empire and the equally formidable Celtic tribes who resisted the Roman war machine. 

"All things Roman is incredibly popular today of course and we're delighted to share this heritage with visitors at our festival held in our full-size reconstructed Roman fort. 

"It's the only complete authentic Roman fort to be built in Britain since Roman times and offers a remarkable experience of what it felt like living on the frontier. 

"We have re-enactors from all over the UK and Europe coming to represent Rome's specialist auxiliary troops, their families and the multicultural traditions they brought with them from their lands. 

"The UK's top Roman experts are on-hand to demonstrate Roman military techniques like weapons training and show how these tough troops lived and survived in what was a very hostile environment. "Visitors can get 'stuck in' as well - we have a range of activities to give people of all ages a real feel for Roman and Celtic heritage. Add Roman food, music and drink and you'll have a fantastic day out too!"


Phil Hirst, Media director at Park in the Past said: "Our festival is a unique experience for visitors - no one else in Britain can offer this level of detail or authenticity about Roman Britain in a fully-functioning reconstructed Roman fort.

"We're very proud and feel privileged to share this heritage and help boost tourism in Wales. 

"Future plans will include Roman heritage tours, Celtic art activities and craft workshops so people can experience ancient life and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors."

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 who fought in Britain against Boudicca and protected the frontier up on Hadrian’s wall for 350 years during the Roman occupation.

There are 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.

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 in the village of Hope.

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