Senhouse Roman MuseumIt’s altars galore at Senhouse Roman Museum. The country’s largest collection of Roman military altar stones plus unique examples of Romano-British religious sculpture is here.
The Senhouse Museum at Maryport houses the Senhouse collection of outstanding Roman objects from the adjacent fort known as Alauna. The collection is one of the most important collections of Roman altars and sculpture in the Britain. The core of the collection is a series of 22 altars dedicated by the commanders of the fort at Maryport to Jupiter, the most powerful of all the Roman Gods.
The fort at Maryport formed part of the coastal defences created at the same time as Hadrian’s Wall, extending down the Cumbrian coast to Ravenglass in the Lake District. Maryport was probably an important supply depot for the Roman garrison in north Britain. The fort was garrisoned by a regiment from Spain and its commanders came from all over the Empire including North Africa, Romania, Austria and Italy. The first commander, Marcus Agrippa, was from an important family in Italy who were connected with the Emperor Hadrian. Maryport was an important career posting for Marcus, as for the other commanders who were stationed here for three to four years before moving on to new postings. Marcus went on to become commander of the Roman fleet around Britain, and later, second in command of the Roman Province of Britannia.
A reconstructed watch tower at the museum gives stunning views over the fort and civilian settlement to the Lake District, across the Solway Firth to Scotland and over the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man.
The Museum is run by the Senhouse Museum Trust and staffed mainly by local volunteers.
More informationApr-Jun 10am-5pm daily except Mon & WedJuly-Oct 10am-5pm dailyClosed 25-26 Dec, 1 Jan18 - 27 Feb open dailyAdmission: adults £3.00, children £1.00 family £8.00 (01900) 816168
Sat Nav: CA15 6JD
A regular service north and south along the west coast.
Other things to do
The next town down the coast is Whitehaven which hosts a number of visitor attractions including, The Beacon (galleries showcasing local history) and The Rum Story (the fascinating history of slaves, plantations, and the rum trade run from Whitehaven). If you are feeling more energetic you could start the 147 miles Coast to Coast Cycle route in Whitehaven which will take you all the way to Tynemouth in North Tyneside.
The Wave Centre, Entertainment and Conference Centre features a 234 seater theatre/cinema, (300 standing) with state of the art acoustics and lighting equipment. The Wave holds regular events, shows and children’s entertainment. The Centre is also used for local community events. There is also a coffee shop and gift shop selling local gifts, crafts and goodies.
For places to take the children, try the Lake District Coast Aquarium or for the slightly older ones, the Maryport Maritime Museum.
But if all that doesn’t tickle your fancy, simply take a promenade walk then grab some good old fashioned fish and chips and sit by the harbour to watch the world go by!
Other attractions a short hop away:
Crosscanonby salt pans
Solway Coast Discovery Centre (Silloth)