Minecraft Event!

Minecraft Lunt Fort builders 1So a few days ago (Sunday), I went to Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry, a small Roman fort that I really enjoyed going to, to build it in Minecraft! It’s actually amazing how they knew where the Roman buildings were. From just information about standard Roman fort models, and a few dents in the ground, they were able to recreate a large area of the fort, including a big gatehouse at the entrance. Inside, they also have a small (but scaled) model of the fort as it would have been long ago! Coming back to the gatehouse; it is the only rebuilt one of a possible three, and it is:

  • Two huge doors
  • Steps up a grass bank to the next level (you can actually go into it!)
  • This level runs around the whole fort, allowing for defending at any side.
  • Two ladders to a top level, presumably for lookouts (or possibly archers) to stand on. (This was slightly rotting, meaning I wasn’t allowed up)
  • Also, a moat/deep trench running around the fort, forcing invaders and visitors to use the main path, raised up to normal height

Minecraft Lunt Fort builders 2When I arrived (along with about 7 other people) we all connected to the internet, plugged our computers in, and joined a minecraft server. Oh, but not just any minecraft server. A dedicated, lunt roman fort server! We all quickly sorted ourselves into build teams of two or three each, and begun on a particular area, making reference to the scaled model. Some people filled in holes, others built houses, and I built a chariot racing arena. We added horses, (until someone’s computer became so slow that they had to kill them, D: ). I helped build the ‘Mystery Building’, a building that’s position and design were known, but not its purpose. It was two small buildings next to each other, with a small shed, all contained inside a large fence. We got most of the fort done, and building the gatehouse was the most fun/tedious part. How can it be both?, you say. Well, we enjoyed building it, but we had to keep checking, and fixing, and breaking and remaking it! In the end it looked great though.

Minecraft Lunt Fort

While we did this, another computer’s game was flown up high to look down on the build, and recording it. That means that soon, I will have (probably on youtube) a timelapsed video of the build! I watched it as we built, and it looks amazing! I’ll try to link to that, or at least add my own screenshots. Sadly, it is not my world, meaning I can’t leave a download link.

After we had done most of the build, however, the server was saved (ensuring our work was not lost) and restarted, and thus began the free-for-all! We all built bases and weapons (blowing up the fort in the process – don’t worry! We made a back-up world with it), then began fighting with about 3 people playing fairly, and 4 people cheating, flying and sitting in their unreachable base, as I tried vainly to get them down. In the end, we all just went on to the Hypixel server and played together.

On the whole, it was a great day with fun, building and merciless attacking of each other (in minecraft, obviously)!

Written by Jamie (11)

We came, we saw, we conquered…

Ist Night of LudiLuntFinally the weekend loomed. Final preparations were being completed on the morning of the 5th September at the Lunt Roman Fort in preparedness for those attending the weekend Roman Hackathon, Ludi Lunt.

Tents were pitched and friendships were made early in the evening. Later (as the sun set?), Culture Coventry CEO Gary Hall officially opened the event by welcoming those present. For those camping over the first night it was curry night – nice and spicy and washed down with a tipple of something.

On the Saturday, after a full English breakfast to get the creative juices flowing, Gary did the formal welcome to the site and introduced key people that were present. One of these was Matthew Ward (History Needs You and of Horrible Histories fame) who opened up with a resounding “Friends, Romans and Hackathon people….”

In the normal unconference manner, all were asked to introduce themselves before heading off to look over the site and generate some ideas. There was a wide range of people – staff from the Lunt and CultureCoventry, some from other Roman sites, students, technical people, historians, artists and performers, and those interested in family spaces – all adding up to a wonderful cauldron of experiences and suggestions for the site.

LudiLunt ideasAfter the site visit there was a “Pitch of initial ideas” – this was planned to last 30 minutes, but instead, due to the vibrant conversation and wide ranging ideas lasted for over an hour. We also had some great ideas from the younger generation representatives. The rest of the day was used to work on these ideas in groups or as individuals before the night’s festivities of Hog Roast, drinking, games such as Kubb and finally socialising around the campfire well into the night.

Most people have a lie in on Sunday. Not those attending Ludi Lunt… Many were up early to have breakfast and to squeeze in the last few hours work on finalising ideas, supporting the needs of others with their projects. To allow the judges to ponder over the great ideas, pitching was done before lunch so that the judges could deliberate, cogitate and speculate on the best ideas. 11 ideas were put forward from technical apps for smartphones to off line paper based games and using the open space for alternative uses (plays, music, performances, watching films etc) to areas for the younger audiences.

After a long time deliberating over the ideas pitched, the judges finally made their decisions as to what ideas should win prizes – however, everyone was a winner as all were rewarded with some token such as a bottle of wine and Ludi Lunt has promised to take on board all of the ideas put forward.

LudiLunt gatheringWhat a great success… just under 50 people turning up to the event from not only Coventry but further afield to have a great networking experience, making new friends and connections but also to come up with 11 main ideas that are now being progressed. In fact over 60 ideas were generated online and offline during the event, many of which will be developed further in due course. And for me (Sasha) what is the overarching achievement?… this was crowd sourced and driven by those passionate about improving the Roman Fort and the space around it.

Since LudiLunt we have already started working on one of the ideas, progressing the virtual world creation of the Lunt Roman Fort within Minecraft… further details to follow soon.

You can view photos from the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sashataylor/sets/72157647369152696/

Living on the Edge

For a short period, almost 2000 years ago, Lunt was the frontline of the Roman Empire in Britain. After Boudica’s uprising was crushed nearby, the frontline moved North to County Durham and Northumberland. Vinovia and Vindolanda were constructed just as Lunt was abandoned. Vindolanda was first built of earth and timber, just like Lunt, but was later rebuilt in stone. Please study the archaeology blog about Vindolanda to learn more.

Vindolanda today has an active archaeology program, an excellent on site museum and nearby is their new and exciting Roman Army Museum. There are many interactive and engaging exhibits in both sites that will inspire ideas for Lunt. Please follow this link to find out more.

The Edge of Empire 3D film is a highlight of many visits to the museum:

Vinovia in County Durham is known as the Roman Binchester project. Constructed c79CE just as Lunt was abandoned, there is much to learn from the archaeology. Please follow this link to find out more.

Lunt was part of a line of control across Central England, a forerunner of Hadrian’s Wall. The other end of the line is at Wroxeter Roman City. It is well worth visiting this site to see the reconstructed Roman villa.

Last Days of The Roman Empire

RomanEmpire-400x243There are now just a few days left to catch the stunning Roman Empire exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry, before it leaves the Midlands to continue its national tour.

This incredible range of Roman artefacts is on loan from the British Museum, and the team at the Herbert have complemented this collection with items from regional museums across the Midlands.

Thousands of Herbert visitors have already been wowed by the displays, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see them before they’re gone for good.

Find out more and save money by booking your tickets in advance

Fantastic family fun at Lunt

If you can’t wait ‘till September to get a good look at the Lunt for our Ludi Lunt hackathon weekend, the fort will be open to families on selected dates this Summer holiday, with lots of extra activities on offer to bring your Roman experience to life! herb-03-160x240 From building and testing a catapult to clay pot-making, colouring in and special family-friendly guided tours of the site, there’s sure to be something for every kind of family to get involved with.

The Fort is open on the following dates during the Summer:

Fridays 1st and 8th August

Monday 11th to Friday 15th August

Monday 18th to Friday 22nd Augustluntsoldier-240x166

Admission to Lunt Roman Fort is £3.75 for adults, £3 for children and concessions, £11 for families (2 adults and up to 4 children) and free for under fours. Admission prices include access to a range of family activities. For the full programme, visit the Lunt Roman Fort website. 

Ludi Lunt now open for applications

We are preparing for a very 21st Century event to be held at the Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry, aimed at helping to breathe new life into the historic Fort – and applications are now open for people to get involved in a unique weekend of creativity, invention and fun.Roman Game

Ludi Lunt (roughly translated from Latin: ‘public games at the Lunt’) takes place over the weekend of Sat 6th and Sun 7th September, and is a hackathon-style event. Our aim with the event is to bring together creative people from around the UK to devise ways to improve the visitor experience, reveal more of the site’s fascinating past and breathe new life into this cultural gem, helping to re-establish the Lunt as a major Roman visitor attraction.

Ludi Lunt is being organised by staff from the Lunt and its management team, who are working with a diverse group of local historians and hackathon experts to put this very special event together. We are now looking to recruit people with a range of skills to take part in the event, including historians, artists, hackers, gamers, coders, writers, performers, designers, social media whizzes, educational professionals and craftspeople – as well as anyone who feels that they have ideas to contribute to a weekend of innovation and creativity.

In return for your efforts, you will have the unique opportunity to spend a weekend with other creative people at this amazing location, including camping, eating and working in the grounds of the Lunt. There will also be prizes for the best ideas generated over the course of the weekend, as well as the opportunity to be involved in the implementation of selected projects.
There is no charge for you to be involved in the Ludi Lunt hackathon, and applications are open now.

Find out more about the event or apply for a place.