LATIN may not have been spoken in Herefordshire since the Romans left the county more than 1,300 years ago – but it was in full flow down The Barrels this month.

The Barrels Latin Group, who meet on the second Monday of every month at the popular pub in St Owen Street, have staged an entire play in Latin.

The comedy, called Sic Notus Ulixes, which translates as “Could this really be the famous Ulysses?”, was also translated into English. And the play left the lunchtime audience in fits of laughter.

The Barrels Latin Group is made up of adults who learned Latin at school but who now want to conquer it, as well as those new to the language.

Taught by Siobhan DeSouza, teacher of Classics at Hereford Cathedral School, members said they feel a great sense of satisfaction every time they crack a piece of prose or poetry.

“There’s just so much to explore about the Latin language,” said Jo Wells, a member of the group for over five years. “We work through exercises and translations every month, such as Horace and Pliny, which many Shakespeare plays are based on. It’s enormous fun and Latin can be so useful to understand other languages and sciences.”

Peggy Jackson, a member of The Barrels Latin Group for six years explained that the group lost their original Latin teacher at the end of 2016 but still continued to meet and work through exercises. But when they discovered that Mrs DeSouza from Hereford Cathedral School taught Classics outreach workshops in Herefordshire they asked her if they might consider teaching them, and she immediately said yes.

Their first play together took place this month in the function room of The Barrels. Both The Barrels’ venue and Mrs DeSouza’s Latin workshops are provided free to the group.

As well as adult outreach projects, Mrs DeSouza welcomes groups of primary schoolchildren from Herefordshire every term who wish to extend their love of Classics at her Classics Drama Workshops at Hereford Cathedral School.

To join or get in touch with The Barrels Latin Group please contact