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New project will tell story of Jewry Wall Museum

Published on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

VISITORS to Leicester’s Jewry Wall Museum will be able to glimpse its past in a new project designed to guide them through the city’s Roman history. 

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £54,500 for a project involving an interactive mobile phone app, new information panels and even Roman-themed plants to help visitors better understand the ancient site.

The work, entitled ‘Telling the Jewry Wall Story”, will help bring to life the 2nd century Roman ruins, which are among the largest surviving pieces of non-military Roman masonry in the UK.

An interactive mobile app will explain the remains and show visitors how the Roman baths complex would have worked. A special version of the app has also been devised to capture the interest of younger visitors. 

There will be new information panels replacing existing ones around the site, and improvements including new planting schemes, one of which will contain an area of Roman medicinal plants.

The project is being led by the Friends of Jewry Wall Museum, in partnership with Leicester City Council’s Arts and Museums Service.

Initial work will involve researching, devising and testing the app, as well as consultation with visitors over their key areas of interest. People will be able to find out about the project through a series of event days to be run later this year.

The app is expected to be ready to launch in spring 2018, and people will be able to try it out throughout the summer at a series of related Roman events.

In addition, a Roman Leicester trail leaflet will also be produced to guide city visitors to the key locations that would have been known to Leicester residents nearly 2,000 years ago.

Chair of the Friends of Jewry Wall Museum, Jennifer Macgregor, which is leading the project, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project to help people discover more about this wonderful site, in what would have been the heart of Roman Leicester. 

“Through the project we hope that local residents will take the opportunity to join us at the site and get involved in our activities. The Friends are very grateful for the award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, added: “I’m very pleased we have been able to support the Friends of Jewry Wall Museum in their bid for Heritage Lottery funding.  

“This is an exciting time for Jewry Wall Museum and the project will deliver what will be the first in a series of improvements at the site. 

“Jewry Wall is a nationally significant Roman site and we welcome people to come and find out more.” 

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to get to the heart of Roman Leicester, and explore these fascinating archaeological remains using the latest technology.  

“We’re delighted to be able to use National Lottery players’ money to support this worthwhile project.”

Details of project activities will be made available on the Story of Leicester website over the coming months (www.storyofleicester.info/jewrywallstory). 

The successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid comes after Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby revealed concept designs to create a world-class visitor centre incorporating the Jewry Wall Museum buildings and former Vaughan College, which overlook Jewry Wall itself.

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