A RIBBLE Valley museum is set to hold a centenary festival to mark 100 years since it was established.

Ribchester Roman Museum will host the two-day event from Saturday, July 12, complete with re-enactment groups Legio Secunda Augusta, a first century society, and Roman Cavalry group Romanorum.

A mosaicist, lawyer, masseur, surgeon, troop of gladiators and Roman women and children will all be on hand to demonstrate ways of life in Roman Ribchester.

Children will also be able to dress up in armour, fight with Roman gladiators and participate in a range of other activities.

The museum in Riverside was established by Margaret Greenall, who was originally from Warrington, with the aim to stem the flow of artefacts out of the village that had occurred ever since it was first recognised as a site of special historic interest. The original museum, under the name Ribchester Museum of Roman Antiquities, comprised of one room before an extention was built in the 1960s.

The Ribchester Museum Trust was formed in the 1980s following the National Trust’s decision to relinquish the property after almost 70 years of ownership.

In 2001, the museum reopened following the completion of an ambitious redevelopment scheme which saw Heritage Lottery Funds, European funding and grants extend the building and construct a new wing. The museum’s curator, Patrick Tostevin, said: “Everyone here is very much looking forward to the centenary festival.

“We are very proud that the museum has reached this milestone.

“Our aim is to preserve the Roman remains in Ribchester for posterity and so that future generations can enjoy them.

“Setting up the museum in the first place was a huge achievement because it was done on a shoe-string budget with only a handful of local volunteers.”