Arbeia: Our Fort, Our Heritage

Volunteering opportunities

Arbeia: Our Fort, Our Heritage

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tour guide please email

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.

As well as working with the local community there is a programme of events and tours with new interpretive trails telling fascinating story of Arbeia, which is  unique in the Roman Empire for both its number of granaries and its modern full-scale reconstructions of Roman buildings.

We have worked with volunteers to deliver a range of exciting activities and volunteer opportunities on the project so far including: 

·         Volunteers working to photograph our collection therefore improving our archives and collections records which makes them more accessible to staff and researchers.

·         Planting a Roman hay meadow with a team of volunteers from Gateshead countryside rangers.

·         Crafty Romans school holiday sessions for children. Supported by volunteers who want to gain experience of working in a museum in learning role.

·         A project on Robert Blair by members of the South Shields local history group. Robert Blair was fundamental in the creation of Arbeia as a heritage site.

·         A volunteer tour guiding project we currently have team of passionate volunteers in training to become tour guides. This dedicated team will deliver tours for our visitors throughout the summer season.

·         Sessions with local community based groups who face barriers to visiting and accessing Arbeia 

In 2017-18 there were a series of developments at Arbeia, South Shields' Roman Fort funded by the DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE). Developments include:

·         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

 Work to be completed in summer 2019:

·         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