John McGloin, one of the gladiators
John McGloin, one of the gladiators

Roman history: Gladiators stomped into Bignor Roman Villa 10 years ago

Gladiators stomped into Bignor Roman Villa ten years ago as history came alive, courtesy of the Raven-Tor Living History Group.

By Elaine Hammond
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:12 am

The 'Roman' visitors entertained the crowds and ancient arts and crafts were demonstrated during a special weekend, with Raven-Tor making a return visit to the villa by popular demand. Visitors young and old alike were treated to displays of gladiatorial fighting and on both days over the weekend of May 26 and 27, 2012, 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 Karen Towns, assistant manager at Bignor Roman Villa at the time. "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.”

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.

Page 1 of 2