[A]s part of a major consultation process, Rory Stewart MP was given a preview of English Heritage’s £1.3 million visitor centre redevelopment project at its Birdoswald site on Hadrian’s Wall this week.
In a visit led by English Heritage’s Head of Projects and Performance (North) Simon Bean, Area Manager Lynn Rylance, and Site Manager Vic Cunningham, Rory was shown the architect’s plans for the site’s upgrade – designed to make it a flagship family-friendly site which will provide an educational facility for school visits, enhanced visitor facilities, and a new interpretation scheme – and enjoyed lunch at the cafe.
The site was recently voted by Carlisle Living magazine as ‘Best Place to Visit’ in 2016.
Rory, whose connections to the Roman forts along the Wall are deep and whose recent book The Marches touches upon his many walks there, greatly enjoyed seeing the plans for the redevelopment.
“Birdoswald Roman Fort is one of the most extraordinary sites in the world, set in some of the most loveliest, loneliest countryside. That such a rich seam of human history lies so close to us here in Cumbria is truly one of the greatest things about our county. It is wonderful to see so many generations enjoying the wall and its forts, and to see the investment in making it accessible for many, many decades – even centuries – to come.”
Simon Bean said: “We were delighted to welcome Rory to Birdoswald and to show him our exciting plans in person. Early consultation with the community has been positive and we have been encouraged by the enthusiasm for the scheme. The entire scheme will be complete for Easter 2018, and we all very much look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far.”
For more information about visiting Birdoswald please visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/birdoswald-roman-fort-hadrians-wall/
Rory’s article about walking Hadrian’s Wall for the Financial Times can be found here.