“A thousand roads lead men forever to Rome”; Alain de Lille, 1175

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Thursday 24 November 2022, Dr. Andrew Tibbs; The Rivers and Roads of Flavian Scotland

Thursday 8 December 2022, Bronwen Riley; Journey to Britannia

Thursday 5 January 2023, Rescheduled from 13/10/22 Dr. Chris Smart; Beyond Isca: new evidence for Roman expansion in South West Britain

Thursday 26 January 2023, Ed Peveler & Nigel Rothwell; Reinterpreting Roman Roads in the Chilterns - insights from LiDAR data

Thursday 23 February 2023, Paul Bidwell; Recent research on the bridges of Hadrian's Wall CANCELLED

Thursday 23 March 2023, Dr. Andrew Birley; Subject and title TBC

Thursday 20 April 2023, Dr. Francis Young; Charles Bertram and De Situ Britanniae

Prof. Will Bowden: “Boudica, street grids and the changing face of Caistor Roman town”

Conquest: The Rivers and Roads of Flavian Scotland

Recent research on the bridges of Hadrian's Wall



Thursday 24 November, 2022

Dr. Andrew Tibbs

Thursday 23 February, 2023. Paul Bidwell

Our 2023/4 schedule is currently in preparation. If you may be a potential future speaker, or have any suggestions for future talks and seminars, please contact us.

Title and subject to be confirmed.


Thursday 23 March, 2023

Dr. Andrew Birley

The Roman road bridges at Chesters and Corbridge are remarkable structures. New scientific dating confirms that they were built in the late AD 150s when Hadrian's Wall was reoccupied after the retreat from Scotland. Together with the bridge on the line of the Wall at Willowford, they are the only examples in Roman Britain which are known to have had stone arches. The design of Chesters and Corbridge was elaborate and highly decorative. They would not have been out of place at major road crossings in the Mediterranean and eastern provinces. This presentation will explore the reasons why so much effort was expended on the building of these bridges and will look at their relationship to the development of the road system in the Wall zone. Their later history will also be examined, ending with their demolition in the later seventh century to provide stone for Wilfrid's church at Hexham.   

Until his retirement, Paul Bidwell was Head of Archaeology and a Senior Manager for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. He has a particular interest in Roman military architecture and the supply systems of the Roman army.


Reinterpreting Roman Roads in the Chilterns - insights from LiDAR data

Thursday 26 January, 2023

Dr. Ed Peveler & Nigel Rothwell


Journey to Britannia


Thursday 8 December, 2022

Bronwen Riley

AD 130. Rome is the dazzling heart of a vast empire and Hadrian its most complex and compelling ruler. Faraway Britannia is one of the Romans' most troublesome provinces: here the sun is seldom seen and "the atmosphere in the country is always gloomy". What awaits the traveller to Britannia? How will you get there? What do you need to pack? What language will you speak? How does London compare to Rome? Are there any tourist attractions? And what dangers lurk behind Hadrian's new Wall? Combining Greek and Latin sources and archaeological evidence, Bronwen Riley evokes the journey of the new governor of Britannia and his entourage from the heart of empire to Hadrian's Wall at its north-western frontier. In this strikingly original history of travel to and within Roman Britain, she evokes the smells, sounds, colours, and sensations of life in the second century.

'An artful combination of history, archaeology and the imagination' -- Mary Beard, New York Review of Books

A brilliant idea, to describe the journey of Julius Severus as he travelled from Rome to Britain to take up his new post of governor of Britain... Well written, eminently readable... It is a must for all interested in the Roman Empire and Roman Britain' -- Prof David J Breeze

In the winter of 2018/19 high resolution LiDAR data was acquired by the Chilterns Conservation Board (CCB) to investigate archaeological features, and particularly the Iron-Age, within the Chilterns. These data, which have been made publicly accessible through the Beacons of the Past Project, have shed new light (literally and figuratively) on an intensively managed Later Prehistoric - Roman agricultural landscape.

We will look at some of the characteristics of 'known' Roman Roads within the Chilterns AONB and illustrate how these data have helped in reinterpreting the relative importance of some of them. We will also explore implications of the discovery of a new alignment of Roman Road on the likely route between Verulamium and Silchester, the so-called 'Camlet Way’.

A typical LiDAR Local Relief Model image over an area of ancient woodland, which here shows the best-preserved section of agger-built Roman Road within the Chilterns.

The front cover of Bronwen’s book, Journey to Britannia

The collapsed remains of the southern road ramp at Corbridge which took Dere Street up to the level of the bridge across the River Tyne. Excavated in 2004.  

This lecture will draw upon latest research undertaken as part of the University of Exeter's 'Unlocking Landscapes' project, which is taking a crowd-sourced approach to the mapping of archaeological landscapes in the South West using new LiDAR data. It will explore the wider extent of Roman military activity that is now apparent, its context, as well as present evidence for a far-reaching road network crossing the region.

Beyond Isca: new evidence for Roman expansion in South West Britain


Thursday 5 January, 2023

Dr. Chris Smart


The possible river crossing at Bertha

Scotland is one of the few areas of the ancient world which was never completely occupied by the Roman army, and despite numerous attempts, never fully assimilated into the Empire. Arguably, it was during the 1st century that the Imperial Army made the most successful inroads into the lands beyond the province of Britannia, reaching as far as the shores of the Moray Firth in the north. However, the full length and extent of Roman occupation in this period remains debated by scholars.

Based on the findings of his latest research, Dr Andrew Tibbs (Durham University) will explore the role and function of roads and waterways in 1st century Scotland, how they were used by Roman military and what we really know about these today.

CANCELLED: Sadly Paul passed away in early November 2022. He was very supportive of the Association and will be greatly missed. A replacement talk will be posted here soon


Charles Bertram & De Situ Britanniae (Title to be confirmed).


Thursday 20 April, 2023

Dr. Francis Young

The De Situ Britanniae and the eighteen Itineraries contained within it, supposedly compiled by Richard of Cirencester, appear frequently as source material in 18th & 19th century writings on Roman history and Roman roads in particular, and even some 20th century ones, but is generally held to be a hoax perpetrated by Charles Bertram, in the 18th century. Francis will talk about the impact of the document in the context of scholarship on Roman routes and the Antonine Itinerary from John Leland onwards.