A great place for kids and adults alike, the Dewa Roman Experience lets you travel back in time to the days when the UK’s city of Chester was a powerful fortified city called Dewa / Deva within the mighty Roman Empire. See Roman ruins and artefacts, enjoy a host of fun interactive activities, learn more about the city’s past, and more!
Here’s what you can expect from a visit to the Dewa Roman Experience in Chester:
Reconstructed scenes from past times
Upon entering the museum you will find yourself in the gloomy wooden bowels of a Roman galley, a type of long ship that is propelled across the water by the brute strength of rowers working their oars in unison. Get ready to set sail and listen as the booming voice of the stern-sounding Oars Master warns you of the perils ahead.
Step through the hefty doors and explore daily scenes from times gone by. Roman legions relax in their downtime in a bath-house, exhausted soldiers snore on their bunks, and market stalls show the common foods from back in the day. With an inn, a granary, and more, experience what life was like in Roman Chester. The sights, sounds, and smells are sure to transport you to a different place, far away from modern-day Chester.
Ancient exhibits found under the streets of Chester
The Dewa Roman Experience is home to a collection of ancient artefacts that were discovered in the local area. From pottery and cooking utensils to jewellery, weapons, detailed carvings, and ornaments, you can see items that were used in daily life by people from the past. Whilst there are items spread throughout the museum, you’ll find the largest collection towards the end of the museum experience.
You can also find information about other Roman sites around Chester, such as the old hypocaust, the amphitheatre, and Minerva’s Shrine, if you are eager to visit some of the city’s other historical sites.
Excavated sections of old streets
Visitors are able to peer down into now-exposed remains that were previously hidden below the streets of Chester. You can see the ancient remains of the original military fortress of Deva Victrix. The largest of all Roman fortresses in Great Britain, construction began on the fortress in the AD 70s, with further building works carried out over the following years.
It’s not just about the Romans though; you are also able to see different levels of ruins from different eras. See stonework from Roman, Saxon, and Medieval times, all clearly marked showing how the height of the city’s streets has risen quite a lot over the years. Try and distinguish the varied materials, masonry, and building techniques that were used at different times in the past.
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Interactive and fun activities for all
Have you or your kids ever dreamt about being an archaeologist? Unearth some secrets from the past as you sift through trays of sandy gravel. Ever wanted to fire a catapult? Take your aim and send (mini) balls ricocheting through the air. The catapult is just a small replica, but it’s still fun for your young and young at heart!
Step into the old gaol, collect a sign board, and hang it from your neck to show your crime to the world. Step into the claustrophobically-small cell and peer out through the oppressive bars. Recline on a chaise long and pretend you’re from the upper echelons of Roman society, and imagine you’re bravely thundering through the streets, ready to face your fearsome foes, as you stand on the back of a Roman chariot.
Test your knowledge of Roman numerals, create a mosaic, and try to identify a variety of pungent smells. Perhaps one of the most fun activities, however, is dressing up like people from Roman Britain. Whether you want to be a mighty soldier, complete with tunic, chainmail armour, helmet, and shield, or a rag-wearing peasant, dig around in the clothes box and see what you can find. The best part? Clothes come in different sizes, meaning that adults can join in the fun as well as the kids!
Useful information for visiting the Dewa Roman Experience
Admission to the Dewa Roman Experience costs 5.50 GBP (approximately 7.30 USD) for adults and 3.95 GBP (approximately 5.20 USD) for children. Family tickets, for two adults and two kids, cost 17.50 GBP (approximately 23.20 USD).
The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday between the months of February and November. The Sunday opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm during these months. In December and January, Dewa Roman Experience is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Check the website for days when the museum will be closed, such as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The Dewa Roman Experience is an incredibly popular destination for schools and educational groups. If you plan to visit on a weekday, try and time your visit for early in the morning, before the groups arrive, or else wait until they have finished their trip. Access may be restricted if there are pre-booked groups enjoying the museum.
If you want even more Roman adventures, you can even take part in a Roman patrol around the city of Chester! For just 3.50 GBP (approximately 4.60 USD) extra you can explore Chester’s Roman sites and learn more about the city’s history, led by a fully-costumed Roman soldier! Check details in advance with the Dewa Roman Experience if you are interested in joining a group Roman soldier patrol.
Whether you’re visiting Chester with the kids, on your own, or with adult friends, the Dewa Roman Experience promises a fun and educational few hours.
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