When in Bignor... do as the Romans did!

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History came alive at Bignor Roman Villa when gladiators entertained the crowds and ancient arts and crafts were demonstrated.

It all came courtesy of the Raven-Tor historical re-enactment group back for a return visit to the villa by popular demand.

C120704-2 Mid Romans  phot kate''''The Gladiator, John McGloin, left, demonstrating his skills with Paul Ullson.C120704-2

C120704-2 Mid Romans phot kate''''The Gladiator, John McGloin, left, demonstrating his skills with Paul Ullson.C120704-2

Visitors young and old alike were treated to displays of gladiatorial fighting and on both days over the weekend big crowds enjoyed the blisteringly hot weather while they cheered on their favourite gladiators fighting for their honour and their lives.

“Luckily for the losing gladiators the crowds showed mercy and they were spared,” said assistant manager at Bignor Roman Villa, Karen Towns.

“There were also other ‘Romans’ for visitors to stop and talk to including ladies spinning wool and an expert on Roman herbs, medicine and make-up.”

She said the re-enactment group would be back on August 11 and 12 to demonstrate everyday life at the Roman villa.

Bignor Roman Villa was a rich working farm in Roman Britain and the land is still farmed by the Tupper family, descendants of George Tupper who discovered the site while ploughing in 1811.