Isle of Wight Guided Tours

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Roman Wight – A Tale of Two Villas

Roman Wight

Vectis Archaeological Trust (VAT) is made up of archaeologists, historians and experts in heritage and education. Chairman David Reeves has devised 2 Roman tours for Isle of Wight Guided Tours. We are very excited to work together with him on these.

Tour 1

We start this tour at 10 a.m. at Newport Roman Villa.

(Please note - even when Newport Roman Villa Museum is officially closed, David can have it opened exclusively for your party!)

1. Newport Villa was discovered in 1926. Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient remains led by the curator.

2. Carisbrooke Castle. From the Villa we then travel the short distance to Carisbrooke Castle to see evidence of Roman remains built into the outer medieval Castle walls. Just below the Castle are the remains of another Roman Villa, which has sadly been re-buried.

A visit to Carisbrooke Castle is weather-dependent and does not include Castle entrance.

3. We then proceed to Landguard Manor, Shanklin. The Manor is over 300 years old and itself has a link to British Roman History. It is the birthplace of Charles Roach Smith, born in 1806. He was a well-known antiquarian, whose catalogued collection contained over 5000 objects. These were eventually transferred to the British Museum and formed the nucleus of its national Romano-British collection.

We will be greeted at Landguard by one of the present-day owners, who will give a brief history of its Victorian past. This will be followed by a talk on the Roman way of life by another expert.

Followed by a seasonal buffet lunch (meaning ‘winter warmers’ where appropriate!).

After this, you will have the opportunity to handle genuine Roman artefacts.

4. Depart for Brading Roman Villa (discovered in 1879). The modern museum covers and preserves the West Range of a courtyard Villa complex built around AD 300, housing some of the best mosaics in the UK.

The foundations of two earlier North and South Ranges are now outlined in chalk outside.

The Chairman of the Friends of Brading Roman Villa will give you a tour which takes you from prehistory right through to the modern day.

The tour finished at 4 p.m. when the Museum closes.

(Please note - the start and finish locations are different)

The tour is priced at £49.50 per person for groups of a minimum of 10 people (5% discount for groups of 15 plus, with charges on application for smaller groups).

Price includes guide, all talks throughout the day and entrance fees for both Museums. It also includes the lunch at Landguard Manor. (N.B. as always, transport costs are not included.)

It should be noted that the 2 museums are quite different.

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Tour 2

1.Tour starts at Newport Roman Villa at 10 a.m. A guided tour of the ancient remains by the museum curator (as per Tour 1).

2. Carisbrooke Castle. Travel the short distance from Newport Villa to Carisbrooke Castle. (As per Tour 1)

3. From Carisbrooke, proceed to a local historic pub where we will stop for lunch. (Cost of lunch not included for this one.)

4. On to Brading Roman Villa. A guided tour with the Chairman of Vectis Archaeological Trust.

This tour finishes at around 3 p.m.

(There is a tea/coffee shop at the museum which is open until 4 p.m. should you wish to visit it – cost not included.)

Please note that the start and finish locations of the tour differ.

The price is £37.50 per person for groups of 10 or over, with a 5% discount for groups of 15 plus. Price for groups of fewer than 10 people given on application.

Guide, any talks and entrance fees for both Museums are all included in the price.

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