Roman Cavalry in Carlisle
The Roman cavalry was once a familiar sight in Cumbria and Northumberland as it guarded the frontier between England and Scotland. Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site has started its major new exhibition in 2017 celebrating the cavalry regiments that once guarded this famous North West frontier of the mighty Roman Empire.
Taking place from Saturday 8 April to Sunday 10 September 2017, Hadrian’s Cavalry explores the role and daily life of the Roman army’s cavalry forces in a unique wall-wide exhibition that stretches the full 150 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site area. It spans from Maryport in the west to South Shields in the east, across ten museums and venues.
The six-month exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to see a unique range of remarkable and finely decorated Roman cavalry objects including ornate helmets, armour and weapons on loan from national and international museums, which will be shown alongside objects from museums across the Wall.
Dramatic re-enactment events at attractions across Wall will also form part of Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition. From July 2017, a specially commissioned piece of contemporary art celebrating the cavalry site will be on display at English Heritage’s Chesters Roman Fort and Museum.
Turma! See the cavalry charge in Carlisle’s Bitts Park
On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, you will be able to see the dramatic sight of 30 cavalrymen performing intricate manoeuvres and showcasing their skills with spears and other weapons in ‘Turma!Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle, (see the trailer video on YouTube).
You will see Bitts Park in the centre of Carlisle transformed into a Roman Cavalry pageant. The sound of trumpets will call you from the encampment to the parade ground, entering the world of the TURMA! The show consists of 30 horses in formation, performing intricate manoeuvres. Riders will test their skills at arms while on horseback as they compete in the Hippika Gymnasia. The show will have you holding your breath as riders display their skill with spears and perform interweaving manoeuvres across the arena before a dramatic finale completes the competition.
A turma was a troop or squadron of 30 cavalrymen. Cavalrymen and their horses regularly trained on parade grounds. The training drills were performed on horseback and included javelin, lance and spear throwing as well as horse handling skills and manoeuvres.
While attending the Turma show, you will be able to visit the mini Hadrian’s Wall visitor village – with all the forts and attractions from along the Wall telling their part of the story. Food, drink and crafts will compliment the modern-day experience of the Wall. Pass through the recruiting house to discover a Roman infantry encampment.
The whole ticketed experience including visiting the Roman encampment, the Hippika Gymnasia and meeting the riders and their mounts afterwards will last around 90 minutes.
For further information click see the Hadrians Wall Country website at: hadrianswallcountry.co.uk
Download a pdf of the programme here.