This fantastic World Heritage site is to be found in the seaside town of South Shields on the south bank of the River Tyne.
In the 2nd century AD the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a wall stretching from the Solway Firth in the west to within two and a half miles of the northeast coast. Arbeia was built as a military supply base for the Roman army who were based along the length of Hadrian’s wall, which at the time marked the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire. It was originally constructed as a garrison and the excavated remains of the Barrack Block, the Commander’s House and Centurion’s House can be seen, bringing to life what it must have been like to live there. It’s an incredibly important site for archaeological reasons.
Many finds have been made and these are housed in the Museum. They include jewellery, weapons, armour and coins, and rank among the most important ever found on this World Heritage site.
You can even see a reconstruction of the original West Gate, which you’re allowed to climb, and where there are stunning views of the surrounding area.
Arbeia is an exciting place for children, with lots to do, but one activity that will capture their imagination is Time Quest. Here they can be archaeologists, make finds and discover what they were used for (It’s educational too, but don’t tell them that!).