On the 26th of October we were over the moon to have a visit from the British Army.  A group of officers and NCOs joined us on site to look at the weapons, armour and accomodation of soldiers operating in the forest of Arden in the aftermath of the Boadican revolt.

Arriving at 10:00am our guests had a talk given by one of our guides in which he demonstrated and compared the equipment of both the Celt and the Roman soldier.  Despite some very rude comments about the man modelling the Roman -height and nose- the soldiers found it informative and facinating.  Of particular interest was the endurance of the Roman soldier.

After the talk we had coffee and a chance for the army to try on the Roman armour and the guides to try on Osprey body armour which led to some very incongruous images.  After coffee we looked at the site and the landscape archaeology which can be interpreted to reveal a more “robust” interpretation than the conventional interpretation of the site as a horse training facility.  In short by linking the fort to others using the Foss way and Watling street it is possible to imply a ring of steel around the ancient forest of Arden.

Arden may have been a centre of Celtic resistance which took the Romans a decade to reduce.  Lunt is the most southerly of these forts and possibly took on the role of a interment camp for captured Celts.

After a quick walk around the site we introduced the Army to the testudo.  This is the famous strategy of the soldiers holding their shields together to protect themselves from archer fire.  And to introduce an element of fun we produced our bows.  The Army started from the granary building and advanced upon the gateway where we were waiting for them.  From the start they were good.  A very big WO1 began organizing them and they advanced quite frankly like pros.  Didn’t stop us getting them though… At one point all I could hear was bow tanging, soldiers yelping and Megan giggling.

Rob the Celt sees off the assorted elite British Army Soldiers

I don't care if you are Paras, SAS or even the Catering Corp if your not dressed in your 1st Century best you aint coming in

Quite frankly it was an excellent day, the sun was shining, the audience receptive and its not everyday you get to loose arrows at the British Army.

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