Chesters Roman Fort, originally known as Cilurnum is located on Hadrians Wall, close to the village of Walwick in Northumberland.
The fort was built just after Hadrians Wall was completed on the banks of the River North Tyne in 123AD. It was used as a Roman cavalry fort housing a garrison of 500 cavalry troops and was used for about 300 years. One of the primary functions of the fort was to protect Chesters Bridge. It also served as a platform to launch retaliatory raids into the wild areas north of the wall
Cilurnum was covered over by Nathaniel Clayton in the early 19th century, when he landscaped his estate. He moved hundreds of tons of earth to form a smooth uninterrupted grassland sloping down to the river. He collected many artifacts, which inspired his son John Clayton to take up archaeology. After Nathaniel died, John removed the earth from the fort, as well as creating a small museum. John also made excavations at Housesteads Fort, Carrawburgh Mithraic Temple, and Carvoran.
The museum was commissioned in 1895 and opened 1903. It is now a grade II listed building and is in the care of English Heritage.