A contemporary artwork that uses the fabric of the landscape to create intrigue and wonder, a Japanese manga series bringing Roman history to life like never before, exhibitions and events for all the family, a Roman themed city of light and travelling Saturnalia celebrations are just some of the things that will await visitors to Hadrian’s Wall in 2022, with plenty more to be revealed as the year goes on.
Throughout 2021, the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership has been rallying the troops to bring together a festival which celebrates 1900 years of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. Hadrian’s Wall 1900 has worked with local interest societies, individuals, community groups, visitor attractions, artists and cultural organisations to encourage them to join in the celebration and deliver their own activity to make up the year-long programme of events.
With activities celebrating life on the Wall from Roman times to the present day, this yearlong festival promises to whisk you back in time and celebrate 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall.
A packed and ever-growing year-long programme is being planned and developed by communities, attractions and organisations along the Wall and during 2022 visitors can enjoy a range of thought-provoking talks, themed walks, exhilarating exhibitions, flavoursome food festivals and spell binding re-enactments.
Jane, Lady Gibson, Chair of Hadrian’s Wall Partnership said: “After many months of planning and consultation it is a great pleasure to be announcing more information about the festival. We are looking forward to celebrating in such a diverse and exciting way and shining a light on the Wall and the communities that live and work alongside it. There is a real mix of activity on offer; from traditional Roman themed events to more contemporary offerings. It has been fantastic to see how the Wall has provided so much inspiration to people and how activity organisers have found new and exciting ways to tell its stories.”
Cllr Glen Sanderson North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural said: “We are really pleased to be supporting such a fantastic festival. It is great to see such a varied programme of activities and events. Hadrian’s Wall is known throughout the world and celebrating its 1900th anniversary is a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase our region and tell our story.”
The Festival will launch on Hadrian’s birthday on Monday 24 January 2022, with a yearlong programme, culminating with Saturnalia on 17-23 December 2022.
Today, the festival is providing a snapshot of activity, which will be added to in the coming months and right the way through 2022, with the first phase of a brand-new website for Hadrian’s Wall Country.
Andrea Selley, Historic Properties Director at English Heritage in the North said: “We are delighted to be involved in this partnership celebrating one of England’s most iconic heritage attractions. Hadrian’s Wall is a remarkable monument, rightly designated by UNESCO as part of a wider world heritage site, its many miles of earthworks, forts and milecastles attract thousands of visitors every year. The Wall is intertwined with the lives of local people, and this festival has a big focus on those communities. In response to this we have been working to identify the anonymous local labourers who uncovered the remains of Corbridge Roman Town, prior to WW1. An exhibition, opening in April, will explore the labourers’ lives, their local family connections and follow their story through the tumultuous years ahead.”
Individuals, groups, venues and organisations along the length of the Wall are being encouraged to get involved and be part of this incredible year by visiting https://1900.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/ and submitting their own activities to the programme!
The HW1900 Festival programme to date is available to view at https://1900.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/