Callendar House, Falkirk

May18th to October 6th 2019

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a NEW EXHIBITION from the creators of jorvik Viking centre

Gladiators: A Cemetery of Secrets

In 2004-5, eighty burials, dating from the early 2nd century to the late 3rd century AD, were unearthed in York. This site was part of a large cemetery on the outskirts of the Roman town of Eboracum, across the river from the legionary fortress.


The discoveries displayed evidence that so intrigued the archaeologists that further investigation was needed. This search for answers, which is ongoing, has suggested that these people could have been a group of gladiators, who lived and fought in York during the Roman occupation.


Were these men Gladiators, soldiers, criminals or slaves?

You decide.

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Exhibition Experience

Gladiators: A Cemetery of Secrets is an exhibition that features the skeletal remains of six of the men, all of whom were decapitated and suffered injuries prior to death, buried in this cemetery alongside other Roman-age material from excavations across Northern Britain. Recent research has added to the story and uncovered more about who these men were, where they came from, how they died and why.

To accompany the exhibition is an engaging hands-on play-area based on a Roman market where families can have fun exploring what life was like a Roman town


Gallery of Images


Images of the Gladiators Exhibition when on display at the BEacon Museum, Whitehaven

Images of the gladiators exhibition on display in other venues

gladiators in durham

gladiators in york

gladiators in york

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The Beacon Museum


 The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven

The newly refurbished Beacon in Whitehaven offers an interactive experience for all the family.

The purpose of the Beacon, which was completely refurbished in 2007, is to illustrate the history and development of the Copeland Region by collecting, preserving, displaying and interpreting or making available for study artefacts, maps, pictures and other relevant material.

For more information visit the Beacon Museum website.


How to find The Beacon Museum

West Strand, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 7LY.

Getting here

Whether it be by car, bus, train and bike, there are many easy and convenient routes to get to us. Feel free to call us if you would like any help or advise when visiting.

By Car

Travelling north from Millom and Muncaster, follow the A595 North. When approaching Whitehaven the Museum is signposted by brown AA heritage road signs.
Travelling South from Carlisle or across country from Penrith and Keswick, follow the A66 to Cockermouth which then joins the A595 straight through to Whitehaven. The one way system in the town centre, leads direct to the Harbour and the Beacon Museum.

By Bus

Whitehaven is easily connected to by bus. Timetables can be downloaded from here.

By Train

Whitehaven’s train station is 15 minutes gentle stroll around the picturesque sea harbour, around to the Beacon Museum. A stunning journey with the train line hugging close to the coastline as it travels north to Carlisle and south to Barrow-in-Furness and Grange-over-Sands. Timetables can be found here.

By bike

Whitehaven is host to the start of the famous C2C cycle route an epic 140miles cross country cycle route from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. Many visitors call into the Museum the day before the epic cycle ride the Museum can be seen from the starting point on the harbours edge. Many local cycle paths lead to Whitehaven. The C2C route can be found here.

Gladiators is a touring exhibition. Click here to find out more about hosting it at your venue.