Roman Makeovers, Sword Fighting and Horse Show at Leeds Royal Armouries this Bank Holiday Weekend

The Royal Armouries in Leeds is holding a series of Roman events this bank holiday weekend and, with the emphasis on arms, there is plenty of action for children and adults. The activities to get involved with include workshops on gladiatorial sword fighting, a chance to meet two Roman legionaries (Stilicho and Quintus) as well as arts and crafts sessions on how to make Roman swords and helmets.

The aim of the events is to teach children of all ages about life (and particular the army) in Roman times as well as to showcase some of the Royal Armouries’ huge collection of arms and armour. The museum’s collection of weapons throughout the ages boasts 8,500 pieces altogether.

How to Look 2000 Years Younger

For anyone who’s a fan of make-over programmes on TV (Ten Years Younger and such like I love to hate them, but they are compulsive viewing) there is also the chance to watch a Roman-style makeover with an archaeologist and specialist in ancient cosmetics, Sally Pointer. She will be using historically authentic products to see if she can transform one of the museum’s staff into a fashionable Roman lady. Nicky Hambleton-Jones eat your heart out. Sally, if you need any more models, I’ll happily offer myself to be transformed into a Roman lady for a day… maybe Galla Placidia or Livia?

Also on offer this bank holiday (1-3 May) is a display of birds of prey and a special themed Roman horse show. There will also be an opportunity to handle replica artefacts. Events will run each of the three days between 11am and 4 pm.

Entry to the Royal Armouries in Leeds will be free, but there are some small fees for each of the events. The timetable of events is listed below and for more information about the event click here, or visit the museum’s website.

The Leeds Royal Armouries takes an active role in the community and holds events like this one on a regular basis with the aim of educating people about the use of arms through the ages. They also work on knife and gun crime prevention and seek to provide a special insight into how and why people use weapons.

Timetable of Events

  • Roman Themed horseshow: Daily at 2pm, 2.50 adults, 1.50 con, approx 20 min – Tiltyard
  • Falconry: Daily at 12 noon, 1.50 adult, 1.00 con, approx 20 mins Tiltyard
  • Interpretations: Daily 11am-4pm, Free
  • Have a go sessions (Sword fighting): Daily 12.45, 3 per child, 12 children per session, 8years minimum or above 4 foot Dojo/Oriental Gallery
  • Tours: Daily 11am, meet at Hall of Steel – Free
  • Arts & Crafts: Daily 11am 4pm, make Roman swords and helmets, 1 Oriental gallery (teahouse area).
  • Handling: Daily 12noon to 4pm, free Oriental Gallery Gallery
  • Roman Makeover: Join archaeologist and specialist in ancient cosmetics Sally Pointer as we transform a member of the Armouries staff from a 21st Century woman into a fashionable Roman using accurately reconstructed perfumes and cosmetics. Between the makeover sessions, look out for Sally in the war gallery and have a closer look at the equipment and ingredients found on the Roman dressing table. 12.45 & 3pm War Gallery (Fireplace)
  • Meet 4th Century Roman legionaries Stilicho and Quintus: A chance to handle replica Roman items and find out about what life was like on the northern frontier of the empire, 1,650 years ago 11am 4pm (Sat & Sun only) The Street