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  • Writer's pictureGareth Williams

Murder at Vindolanda

I am recently back from volunteering at Vindolanda, an archeological site close to Hadrian's Wall. A series of nine forts were built on the site by the Romans, resulting in extraordinary conditions of preservation.



I was there partly to put the finishing touches to my latest novel Murder at Vindolanda - a Ghost Story in Three Parts. I also had great fun digging in the dirt with a great bunch of like-minded folk.

I asked the Director of Excavations to read a draft and he was kind enough to say 'this is very well written and I am sure you will get some lovely responses from readers'. This was kind of him as I have played fast and loose with some details to make my story work.

For example, the skeleton of a murdered child was found during the excavations of 2010. However, I chose to set the murder close to the end of Roman occupation rather than AD208-211 when civil war was raging across Britain.

So why a ghost story in three parts? Because I wanted to intertwine the child's life, the rediscovery of the fort by antiquarians and the discovery of the unusual burial beneath the floor of an accommodation block.

I wanted the stories to bleed together, or at least touch each other across the centuries. This sounded easy when I was planning things but proved trickier in execution. I hope to send the manuscript to agents this summer - so I will soon find out if I have done it well enough!

If you would like to see the sort of things discovered at Vindolanda, click on this link Vindolanda collection online | The Vindolanda Trust





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Rachael and Nat Ravenlock
Rachael and Nat Ravenlock
May 04

Vindolanda is indeed an inspiring sight/site. Glad to hear it went well and gave you lots of material for the new book. Sending good wishes for the submissions this summer. It sounds like a fascinating story.

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