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

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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dr. John Reid (Trimontium Trust); Trimontium: a key node in the Roman occupation of Scotland

Thursday 19 October 2023      Nick Hodgson (University of Durham); The End of the Ninth Legion in Britain

Thursday 16 November 2023  Andrew Nicholson; The Romans in SW Scotland: A Review.

Thursday 14 December 2023  Prof. Jim Crow (University of Edinburgh); High Rochester and Dere Street in Northumberland: the Road to the North

Thursday 11 January 2024       Paddy Lambert (Oxford Archaeology); Roads and Industry: Navigating the Priors Hall Roman Villa

Thursday 25 January 2024       Lindsay Allason-Jones (Newcastle University); A Typical Assemblage?

Thursday 22 February 2024     Prof. Ray Laurence (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia); Title T.B.C.

Thursday 28 March 2024         Keith Abbott; Roman Roads of West Berkshire: Locating the Intersection of the Road to Bath (RR53) with Ermin Street (RR41)

Thursday 25 April 2024         John Poulter; The Military Roads of Scotland

The end of the Ninth Legion in Britain

A Typical Assemblage?

Thursday 19 October, 2023

Nick Hodgson

Our 2024/5 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.

Road Construction and Transport Infrastructure in the Roman Empire - what did they think they were doing?

Thursday 22 February, 2024 - Please note this is an 8pm start

Prof. Ray Laurence

The famous Ninth legion disappeared from history some time between its last dated appearance (in Britain, AD 107-8) and the compilation of a list of legions around AD 165. The idea that the legion was transferred from Britain before it met its end somewhere in the eastern part of the empire has become so firmly entrenched that many believe it is a matter of fact. This lecture stands back, looks at the evidence, and shows that it is possible - indeed likely - that the legion was destroyed or disbanded in Britain during serious warfare in the reign of the emperor Hadrian.

Roads and Industry: Navigating the Priors Hall Roman Villa

Thursday 11 January, 2024

Paddy Lambert

The Romans in SW Scotland: A Review.

Thursday 16 November, 2023

Andrew Nicholson

An examination of maps of SW Scotland in the Roman period in recent publications indicates that most are a couple of decades out of date. Archaeological fieldwork, research, metal-detector finds, new aerial photography flights and the public availability of Lidar data for more than 80% of Dumfries and Galloway have added considerably to our knowledge over the last fifteen or so years. Regional archaeologist Andrew Nicholson presents an overview of the current state of  knowledge along with current and forthcoming projects.

Between 2019 and 2021, a team from Oxford Archaeology completed an excavation over 4.25ha of a Romano-British villa estate at Priors Hall, Corby, Northants. The site is one of the most exciting and extraordinary discoveries from Roman Britain in recent years, the excavations going on to win the Current Archaeology Rescue Project of the Year Award 2022.

The team revealed an exciting array of features connected with the life cycle of the villa, from its beginnings as an Iron Age village, through the construction of two Roman roads to serve it and associated iron-working industry, with the landscape’s tranasformation in the fourth century into a huge industrial complex, which manufactured thousands of tiles and pottery vessels .  

and the whole story can be traced along its Roman roads. This talk will journey along the spectacular results of the excavations, highlighting the rare and important example of an excavated stretch of extremely well-preserved Roman road and its idiosyncratic connectivity to the contemporary neural network of villas, forts and towns in the Romano-British landscape.

A section across the main road looking north.

The south face of Burnswark hillfort, showing one of the Roman camps

Dere Street was the Roman Great North Road, this talk will concern the forts of Risingham and High Rocherster, the outposts of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, other forts and camps and the road itself and the link road to the Devil's Causeway. Geophysical surveys in the 1990 and 2000s has been complemented by recent community excavations to reveal greater complextity of the forts and their surroundings.

High Rochester and Dere Street in Northumberland: the Road to the North

Thursday 14 December, 2023

Prof. Jim Crow

Building inscription of the 9th Legion from York

We are pleased to announce another outstanding list of speakers for our fourth season. As usual, all talks are online, open to the public and free of charge, although donations towards running costs are always welcomed. Booking can be made through Eventbrite, with links posted on this page as they become available. Talks will be recorded and made viewable after the event on YouTube.

Roman Roads of West Berkshire: Locating the intersection of the road to Bath (RR53) with Ermin Street (RR41)

Thursday 28 March, 2024

Keith Abbott

Currently studying for a MA in Archaeology at the University of Reading, Keith has been leading a project to research the archaeology of Roman West Berkshire and in particular the area around Wickham with colleagues from the Berkshire Archaeological Society. To date four extensive geophys surveys have been undertaken to better understand the route taken by the Roman Road to Bath (Margary 53) eastwards from its last known location towards its  intersection with Ermin Street (Margary 41), and also to explore possible Romano-British settlement close to this road intersection.

Thursday 25 January, 2024

Lindsay Allason-Jones

Roman roads cut across landscapes heading towards sites or by-passing them. All these sites, whether military or civilian, produce finds but the day we held in Berwick recently on the matter of the Devil's Causeway led to the question: is there a typical assemblage that one might expect to find on a fort or on a Romano-British settlement?

This talk looks at the finds that might be discovered in a Roman fort and on a Romano-British settlement site but also discusses the assemblage that might identify the Roman equivalent of a motorway service station. What has been found along Roman roads and why do artefact discoveries tend to cluster around river crossings will also be considered.

Gold coin of Hadrian

The archaeology of road construction in Roman Britain rightly has a focus on the documentation of evidence, and we need to recognise how the actions of road building after 43 CE shaped the structure of England and to some extent Wales. This paper sets out to use the evidence for road building within Italy with a view to setting out what might have been the thinking of the Roman elite about communications, and how they may have seen the place of roads in the ideological structure of Rome's colonial project. The intention is not to explain everything in one lecture, but to think about how we should see their pre-conceptions of what was "good communications" and what was "absolutely awful communications". Obviously, in applying these concepts - we may establish intentions, but of course (as we all know all too well) intentions are not always delivered in major construction projects - roads fail as well as succeed. We may also begin to contemplate what compromises need to take place and to contemplate this aspect, the talk will draw on some examples from the 19th century British colony in New South Wales.  In addition, the talk will provide an introduction to key concepts for understanding the wider transport infrastructure of the Roman empire.

Trimontium: a key node in the Roman occupation of Scotland

Thursday 28 September, 2023

Dr. John Reid

Before 1697, Scotland's only Roman milestone was found near Cramond on the Forth. The ansate panel recorded the distance to Trimontium, the Roman name for the vexillation-sized fortress sited close to modern day Newstead in the Scottish Borders. The fort, lying on Dere Street, had been a major frontier fort and also a supply depot for the Antonine Wall, occupied until its destruction sometime in the reign of Commodus. This talk presents something of the enigmatic history of this important site and highlights its key role in the Roman invasion of the North.

Artist’s impression of Trimontium

The re-excavation of the headquarters building at High Rochester in 1996









Roman Road to Bath (RR53) at Stibbs Wood near Hungerford Newtown

The Military Roads of Scotland


Thursday 25 April, 2024

John Poulter

There will be lots of photographs of the Military Roads in Scotland, largely as built in the 1700s under General Wade and his successor, as Inspector of Roads, Major Caulfeild. A comparison will be made with Roman Roads, which were planned and constructed quite differently, albeit with similar purposes for their existence. The historical background will also be presented, along with the subsequent history of the Military Roads, and consideration will also be given to the personalities involved - or not! - including not only Wade and Caulfeild but also General Roy and Thomas Telford..

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

This recording is of a previous presentation of the same lecture

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube


Looking back to Knockcarrach, on the road from Fort William to Inverness.