A UNIQUE painting which brings to life an important part of North Yorkshire during the Roman occupation has been unveiled at the county’s most northerly commercial vineyard.

The mural, which measures 18 square metres, sheds light on what the modern-day village of Aldborough looked like in the third century AD when it was the Roman Empire’s administrative centre for northern Britain.

The work, which is based on the latest archaeological evidence, is now on show at the Dunesforde Vineyard and owner Ian Townsend, who commissioned the painting, is delighted with the result.

He said: “This is the first time anyone has attempted to re-create what Aldborough would have looked like when it was an important Roman centre.

"Everyone involved has worked hard to ensure that this portrayal is as accurate as possible and we hope visitors to the vineyard will find it interesting."

Aldborough is now a sleepy village, but 1,800 years ago its population was around 3,000 and it was equal in size to York.

Working in acrylics, Leyburn-based artist Lynn Ward has taken six months to complete the Roman depiction. Spread across six boards, it features almost 1,400 people, 86 horses, 18 dogs and even a tiger fighting a gladiator in the amphitheatre.

She said: “It is one of the most challenging pieces of work I’ve done but it has also been one of the most rewarding."