43AD The Romans
The Romans invaded, and stayed for around 350 years!

There is evidence of the Romans throughout Northamptonshire from 43 AD onwards, particularly in places like Towcester and Irchester. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a major iron industry and a rich agricultural landscape with villas (homes) and vineyards (growing grapes for wine). The first walled and unwalled towns were also created in the Roman period. The walled town of Irchester is found within the Chester Farm Complex near Wellingborough. There are extensive Roman remains at this site as well as the walled town, remains of a cemetery, settlement outside the walls and a causeway dating to the Roman period have all been discovered at this site.

Durobrivae, near Peterborough, was a fortified Roman town situated where Ermine Street (the Roman road that connected London with the north of Britain) crossed the River Nene. It was one of the richest small towns in Roman Britain because of its commercial potteries. The town was famous for its castor ware pottery which was produced from the late 2nd century AD, the industry reaching its peak by the 4th Century. Pottery was exported from the potteries along the Nene Valley to other parts of the Roman Empire. Castor ware has been discovered as far away as Germany The road network connected Northamptonshire to other parts of Britain and beyond with major Roman roads such as Watling Street running through the county. The River Nene would have been useful in transporting goods to the North Sea and beyond.

The high quality pottery bowls from Gaul (France) and glass flasks in the photograph were buried as grave goods with two early Roman cremations nearly 2000 years ago. They were found in 2006 at excavations at Pineham Barns in Northampton. The second picture shows archaeologists excavating a mosaic floor at the Roman villa at Croughton.

Find out more about Durobrivae:

Why not visit Piddington Roman Villa Museum? www.unas.org.uk
The museum delivers KS2 sessions and also offers loan boxes.

See also:
878: Watling Street established as Danelaw boundary.



Someone who makes discoveries about the past by excavating and examining material evidence.

Agricultural landscape

The way the countryside looks as a result of farming.

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