Roman Wales

Roman Wales

Roman Wales

Roman Wales


The Roman period in Wales was of exceptional importance in the development of the country and left a lasting historical and archaeological legacy. This fully-illustrated Pocket Guide: Roman Wales is the first study of this period aimed at the general reader.

Beginning with the Iron Age background, this wide-ranging and accessible book traces the history and development of Roman Wales from the conquest to the collapse of the Roman administration and the rise of the independent Christian kingdoms of Wales. It also looks at the military occupation, the cities, especially Caerwent, smaller rural settlements, life in the countryside and villas of south-east Wales, and the evidence for industry including mining and pottery production.


In writing this book my aim was to provide an introduction to the history and archaeology of Roman Wales which would interest both general readers and students. As it is not possible to cover all aspects of the subject in a book of this length, I have concentrated on those things which seem to me to characterize Roman Wales, and to give enough background information to enable the reader to understand how a Roman province functioned, and, in particular, how Wales related to the rest of Britannia. Wherever possible I have avoided using Latin and other technical terms, but this is not always possible and when I have used them their meaning is explained where they first appear.

I have used the old pre-1974 counties of Wales to explain geographical positions of the sites referred to in this book, save for the few cases where their replacements have very similar boundaries.

Anyone writing a work such as this is indebted to too many people, living and dead, to be able to thank them all by name, although no one is more conscious of the debt I owe them than I am. I must, however, thank my wife, who read much of the text to its great benefit, and, in particular, Dr Peter Webster who, despite many other commitments, found the time to read the typescript and whose suggestions and corrections have been of the greatest help to me.

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