Scotland's biggest Roman festival returns this September and it's promising to be something for everyone.
The Big Roman Week will deliver heritage events right across the Falkirk Council area – at the eastern end of the Roman Antonine Wall.
Walks, talks, films and family events are planned to encourage people to find out more about their Roman roots, see below at what's on offer.
- Saturday 16th - A family event in front of Kinneil House with lots for the children to get involved in. Kinneil House is open to the public and you can now get into the Tower House for the first time since 1936 when they were demolishing the building.
- Sunday 17th - Roman Community Conference is taking place in the historic Hippodrome where you are then welcomed over at the library for a mingle with the speakers over a cuppa and a sandwich.
- Tuesday 19th - Geoff Bailey will be delivering a talk about the Antonine Wall in Bo'ness Library.
- Saturday 23rd - Back by popular demand - you can meet TV Chef John Crouch who'll be demonstrating what the Romans ate when they were in Bo'ness. He will be at Kinneil Museum in the afternoon and at Bridgeness Miners Welfare Club in the evening: 7:00pm.
You are in for a great treat. He will be making a 3 course meal, which we will all get to taste at the end, as he tells us about what the Romans brought to Britain and what countries the food we eat originated from. There will also be a light buffet at this event. (All we ask is a small donation on the night. AND the bar will be open too).
All of the events listed above are free events. We do however have an Italian Night organised in the Corbie Inn on Thursday 21st. The event asks attendees to arrive at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.
The new chefs will be making a special Italian 3 course meal for £17.50 per person. We will also have a talk from Geoff Bailey and of course a raffle for all to be involved in. This was a fabulous night last year so you're in for a treat. Tickets can be bought from the Corbie Inn.
Throughout the week there will also be events at libraries and museums across the Falkirk Council area; and walks to Roman sites along the Antonine Wall - at Carriden (Bo’ness); Rough Castle (near Bonnybridge), Croy Hill and Bar Hill (near Kirkintilloch).
Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the above events can do so at www.bigromanweek.org.uk
The festival is the idea of the charity, The Friends of Kinneil in Bo’ness. It wanted to raise the profile of the Antonine Wall which runs from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick near Glasgow. The Wall became Scotland's fifth World Heritage Site in 2008.
With the support of partners such as Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust and Historic Environment Scotland, the festival has grown in recent years – attracting people from across the country.
Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil said: “Our big aim is to encourage more people to find out about Scotland’s Roman past. The Antonine Wall became a World Heritage Site in 2008. But its stories are still unknown to many people across the country. Activities like Big Roman Week help people to discover local heritage sites, meet great experts and find out more about heritage. We also try to have fun in the process.
“Printed programmes for this year’s festival will be distributed across the Falkirk Council area in August. We’ll also publicise events at www.bigromanweek.org.uk and through the Friends’ social media accounts including @BigRomanWeek.”
Liz Buchanan MBE, Regional Partnerships Director for the Falkirk area at Visit Scotland, says the festival is particularly appropriate this year, as Scotland celebrates its themed year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“This year we’re delving into the past and discovering Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide variety of new and existing activities across Scotland. Events like Big Roman Week encourage people to visit venues, spend money in local economies and boost tourism. They also get people to appreciate the history – sometimes hidden – on their doorsteps. I wish the organisers every success with their plans for this year’s festival.”
She added: “The themed year continues until Hogmanay and there are lots of great things going on. Look out for the hashtag #HHA2017 and get heritage updates on social media. Scotland has wonderful heritage. Get out and enjoy it.”