Arbeia: Our Fort, Our Heritage

A new project with volunteering opportunities

Arbeia: Our Fort, Our Heritage

If you are interested in taking part in any of these activities please contact the Our Fort, Our Heritage Project Officer, Sarah Stamp at

The Arbeia: Our Fort, Our Heritage project aims to highlight the significance of Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort, as a unique cultural feature within the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Working with local volunteers staff at Arbeia will venture to bring the fort’s important heritage and collections to a wider audience, by encouraging more people to experience its unique heritage.

Also, as well as working with the local community there will be a programme of events and tours with new interpretive trails telling Arbeia’s fascinating story as possibly the most unique fort in the Roman Empire.

Whether it’s planting a Roman wildflower meadow or giving guided tours, there are lots of opportunities available. In particular we’d like to hear from 

  • People who are interested in volunteering in order to gain new skills and experience. We are looking for volunteers to give guided tours, evaluate events, support learning and community engagement and help plant our meadow
  • People who have gardening experience who could work with volunteers to provide advice and guidance to  plant our meadow and herb beds
  • Members of the local community who are interested in the history of South Shields' Roman Fort Arbeia or would like to learn more
  • People who are part of different local communities who may experience challenges to accessing culture and heritage

In 2017-18 there are a series of developments underway at Arbeia funded by the DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE).

Work will be completed in summer 2018.  Arbeia is planning to involve local people in a programme of work to increase awareness, and improve access and interpretation. This includes:  

  • New information hubs about Arbeia in South Shields town centre and sea front and heritage trails which visitors can follow to the site
  • New visitor information and directions at the entrance to the fort
  • An accessible route around the displayed fort remains with fresh interpretation
  • Updated displaying of world-class artefacts in the museum and linking them to their original find-spots across the site
  • New high-quality displays featuring a film telling the story of Roman South Shields, with members of the local community who have joined excavations since the 1960s
  • A Roman hay and wildflower meadow in the north-west corner of the site situated outside the original fort wall