Key feature set to re-open at this summer's Lunt Roman Festival

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The 30ft viewing platform on top of the Lunt Roman Fort’s gatehouse is re-opening to visitors at this year’s two-day Lunt Roman Festival on 3rd and 4th August between 10am and 4pm.

A key feature at one of Warwickshire's Roman sites is re-opening to the public for the first time in a decade at a major festival on the outskirts of the city, which is aiming for a record attendance this summer.

The 30ft viewing platform on top of the Lunt Roman Fort’s gatehouse is re-opening to visitors at this year’s two-day Lunt Roman Festival on 3rd and 4th August between 10am and 4pm.

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It follows a significant renovation to the ramparts which provide access to the top of the gatehouse – 50 years after it was initially reconstructed in 1974.

Lunt Roman Fort, CoventryLunt Roman Fort, Coventry
Lunt Roman Fort, Coventry

The gatehouse was reconstructed to mark the spot where a similar structure would have once stood to help the Romans guard the site, which is the only partially-reconstructed turf and timber Roman cavalry fort in the country.

The Lunt Roman Fort is also home to the Gyrus – a circular structure believed to be used for training cavalry, not found in any other Roman Fort – which will play host to horse-mounted battle reenactments for the first time at the festival, courtesy of ARC Cavalry.

The festival will also see other battle reenactments performed by costumed interpreters from Britannia and the Vicus – some of whom have appeared in films such as Gladiator and TV shows including Blackadder and Horrible Histories.

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Elsewhere, the site’s Interactive History Village will give visitors the chance to watch ways that the Romans made various products, including bread, jewellery and painting using earth pigment.

The gatehouse at the Lunt Roman FortThe gatehouse at the Lunt Roman Fort
The gatehouse at the Lunt Roman Fort

The Lunt Roman Fort, which is based in Baginton, is anticipating a record crowd of nearly 2,000 people for this year’s festival after seeing steady year-on-year growth on the past seven occasions.

Lisa Ford is Head of Learning and Engagement at CV Life, which operates the Lunt Roman Fort.

She said: “The gatehouse is such a symbolic part of the Lunt Roman Fort, as it was the original column posts of this structure that led to the whole site initially being discovered in Baginton – so we’re delighted to have it back operating to its full potential.

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“This year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than ever, as not only will visitors now be able to take in panoramic views of Coventry and Warwickshire just like the Romans would have done to keep watch out for the enemy, but they will also be able to see accurate reenactments of cavalry battles too.

“The fort is only open to the general public during selected days in the school holidays, so the festival is a golden opportunity for families and Roman enthusiasts to come together to find out more about the history of the Lunt Roman Fort, and what life was like during Roman times in AD60.”

The Lunt Roman Festival has a capacity of up to 1,000 people per day, so people are urged to pre-book online in advance.

Darren Tosh, Marketing and Operations Director at south Warwickshire’s tourism board Shakespeare’s England, is backing the festival to go from strength-to-strength.

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He added: “The Lunt Roman Fort is one of our region’s hidden gems, so it’s fantastic to see them expanding their offering in preparation for one of their biggest weekends of the year.

“Alongside our medieval castles in Warwick and Kenilworth, and being home to one of the world’s greatest playwrights, the Lunt Roman Fort underlines our region’s broad and proud history that is so vital to the prosperity of the area.”

Tickets for the Lunt Roman Festival are available from www.luntromanfort.org and are priced at £11.55 for adults and £6.13 for children, with discounted rates available for Go CV card holders.

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