Whilst visitors to Wroxeter Roman City normally spend most of their time with eyes downcast to see the stunning remains of Roman Britain’s fourth largest city, on 26 & 27 June they will be invited to turn their gaze towards the skies, as the site hosts a weekend of Roman Falconry!
For two days, master falconers Mike and Emma Raphael will be joined by a selection of hawks and owls to demonstrate the early days of falconry in Europe – a Roman fashion imported from the Middle East, and which carried huge social status and kudos to those skilled in the art.
“In Europe, there is no real evidence of falconry taking place before the fifth century; although it had already been a popular pursuit amongst the nobility and commoners alike in the Middle East for over 100 years,” says English Heritage’s regional events manager, Tom Course. “At the time Wroxeter was the headquarters for a Romano-British warlord, the sport was literally taking off throughout the Empire as an exclusive pursuit which demanded patience, endurance and skill to master.”
Throughout the weekend, the Raphaels will fly some of the birds that would have commonly been used to hunt by the Romans, including hawks and kestrels. In between the aerial displays, visitors can wander into the Hawk Mews, a tent where they can see the wonderful birds at much closer quarters and hear how they would have been used by the Romans 15 centuries ago.
The event runs from 11.00am to 4.30pm, with the site open from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Admission prices are £5.40 for adults, £4.70 for concessions and £3.20 for children. Family tickets are also available (two adults and up to three children) for £14.00. English Heritage members get in free.
For more information, please call 01743 761330 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/wroxeter
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