A legionary detachment on the march. Courtesy the Antonine Guard
People are being invited to join a FREE family fun day at the recently restored Roman Bathhouse, Strathclyde Country Park, this coming Saturday 1 July, 11am – 4pm.
An Antonine Guard goes into battle. Courtesy the Antonine Guard
The Antonine Guard demonstrate a Cuneum – a dense formation employed for crashing through thin battle lines or exploiting gaps in formations. Courtesy the Antonine Guard
Phoenix Futures volunteers clear the Roman Bathhouse site. Courtesy CAVLP Heritage
Phoenix Futures volunteers clear the Roman Bathhouse site. Courtesy CAVLP Heritage

Watch as the Antonine Guard Roman re-enactors march upon the Bathhouse and Bothwellhaugh Roman Fort for the first time in 2000 years. Dressed in military uniform with replica arms and equipment, the Guard will set up a basic military camp and put on spectacular battle drills and weaponry displays throughout the day.

But it’s not all pomp and ceremony – join the Guard for authentic Roman cooking demos around a campfire, where they will be cooking using replica pots and utensils. Children will be able to really get a feel of what it was like to be in the Antonine Guard, by trying on replica chainmail and helmets, and get to grips with wooden shields and swords.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the Bathhouse restored to its former glory, thanks to a partnership project between Phoenix Futures, North Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers and CAVLP Heritage. It is the only restord Roman remains in Lanarkshire and is one of two bath houses open to the public.
Contemporary to the Fort, the Bathhouse was in use between approximately 142AD and 162AD. It was re-discovered and fully excavated in the 1970s. Lying beneath the water table, Motherwell District Council dismantled the original site and rebuilt it above its original position in 1980, so it was protected from water damage and could be viewed by the public. The original survey revealed a carved drain cover, thought to be the best preserved of its kind in Europe, which is now housed in Glasgow Museums.
Phoenix Futures volunteers took part in site clearance of the Bathhouse through weeding, vegetation and path clearance, and litter picking in the spring time. They also mortared stonework that had become dislodged, ensuring that the amazing historical site is once again safe for the public to enjoy.
Visitors to the day will also be able to take part in an Archaeological survey of the Roman Bathhouse, helping to record a snapshot of the present condition of the refurbished site for the future. Activities will be taking place between 11am and 4pm, and people are welcome to drop-in at any time. No booking required.
The day marks the launch of a new project, Investigating the Past, which is looking for volunteers to help unearth the forgotten stories of the iron and medieval ages in the Clyde and Avon Valley this summer in two archaeological excavations. The excavations will take place at two of the area’s most enigmatic Ancient Monuments – Black Hill, Blackwood and Castle Qua, Cartland Craigs, Lanark. The excavations will be the first to explore the archaeology of the first millennia in the area since the 1930s.
The project is led by CAVLP Heritage and managed by Northlight Heritage, with support from Heritage Lottery Fund and LEADER supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Historic Environment Scotland.
Visitors to the fun day will be able to talk to the team about volunteering to take part in archaeological excavations where they can help support environmental processing or assist with washing and cataloguing of finds.  The volunteer team will be helping to answer questions such as – Who lived at these sites? What did they do there? When were these sites used and when did they go out of use?
Volunteer spaces on the archaeological excavations are limited so people are encouraged to register their interest early with CAVLP Heritage on the details below. Dates of the excavations will be announced as they are confirmed. No experience is required, as on-site training will be given, and there will be opportunities for people of all abilities. Volunteers can choose one site they would prefer to work on and should be available for a minimum of two full days of the excavation.
To volunteer to take part on the archaeological excavations, get in touch with Dr Paul Murtagh, CAVLP Heritage Project Officer, at pmurtagh@yorkat.co.uk / 01555 661 555. No experience is necessary as full training will be given.