Cash boost paves way for Vindolanda letters to return home
IT will be a case of return to sender as a cash windfall to be announced today paves the way for the return of priceless Roman letters to Northumberland.
The first letters, or thin wooden writing tablets, were found at Vindolanda fort in 1973 and since then around 1,600 have been stored at the British Museum.
It is more than 20 years since any of the Vindolanda tablets have been on show at the fort near Bardon Mill.
But that is set to change after an award of £4m today from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
That means a £6.5m project to upgrade both Vindolanda and its twin Roman Army Museum seven miles away at Carvoran will now go ahead.
In June One North East awarded £1.8m to the scheme.
The project will see the museums at both sites transformed, with the improved display conditions at Vindolanda allowing some of the precious Roman letters to return on loan.
It is hoped that from spring 2011 the first batch of letters will return from the British Museum on a three to five-year loan, which can then be refreshed.