Chester was initially founded as a castrum (Roman fort) in 79CE with the name Deva Victrix during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. This was one of the main Roman Army camps in Britain at the time. The Romans stayed about until 410 when they withdrew from Britain altogether. During this time, they made their mark on Chester and you can discover this history at the Dewa Roman Experience.
The Dewa Roman Experience offers you the chance to explore and experience the life of a Roman soldier. Visit the galley, see the reconstructed granary, barracks, bathhouse, taverna and market stalls that formed the fortress that was once home to the 5000 strong “brave and victorious” Twentieth Legion. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Roman Britain.
Located on the site of the original legionary fortress, the Dewa Roman Experience is a living archaeological site. Remains of the fortress were discovered in 1991 and the site and other excavations are still open and viewable by the public. A collection of artefacts from Chester and further afield in the Roman Empire are on permanent display.
There is also an interactive “hands-on” area where you can try your hand at living the Roman soldier life. Try on a suit of Roman armour, fire a catapult, build a hypocaust (a Roman central heating system) or create a mosaic. You’re also able to get your hands dirty and pick through ancient pottery and bones. Once you’ve had your fill of Roman life, pick up some souvenirs in the gift shop.
The centre is open 9 am-5 pm Monday to Saturday and 10-5 on Sundays during peak season and 10 am -4 pm during off season and costs £5.95 for adults, £4.25 for children and £5.25 for Senior Citizens and students. There is also a family ticket available for £20.