The Romans are heading to South Shields fort

The Romans will be at Arbeia fort this weekend.
The Romans will be at Arbeia fort this weekend.

The Romans - and their gladiators - will once again be taking over an historic fort South Tyneside fort this weekend.

The visitors will be heading to Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort, tomorrow, from 11am to 4pm in the free annual Arbeia Festival.

Gladiator battle at Arbeia Roman Fort.

Gladiator battle at Arbeia Roman Fort.

Nestling in the residential Baring Street area, visitors will be able to witness gladiator battles, browse a heritage market, try archery or artisan crafts.

Visitors can also mingle with costumed historical re-enactment enthusiasts and trained fighters while exploring the fort site - from ancient ruins to full scale reconstructions. Free tours will be running over the course of the day too.

On Sunday, August 12 from 11am to 4pm visitors can also watch the gladiators train and battle all day with the chance for families to try crafts like candle making and leather stamping.

Cheryl McCarrick, event coordinator at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said:“The Arbeia Festival is always a highlight for us, it’s a lot of fun.

“The Historical Combat Company are all highly trained performers who will give some hair-raising authentic displays.

There’s lots for our visitors to see and do, from archery to candle-making.”

Arbeia’s full scale Roman reconstructions are regarded as the finest in the country – with an imposing West Gate that you can climb, to a realistic soldier’s barrack and the splendour of the Commander’s villa where he would have lived with his family.

Also for the brave on Sunday, adults can run the Gladiator Gauntlet and train in the Ludus at Segedunum in Wallsend. Booking is essential, visit