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THOMAS WEIGHT, M.A., F.S.A., Hon. M.RS.L., &c., 

c0bresp0>t1ing member of the national institute of fttance, 
(academie des inscriptions et belles LETTRES.) 
















It was on a Saturday, rather late in the summer of the 
year 1858, that I received a note from my late friend 
Beriah Botfield, Esq., then M.P. for Ludlow, stating that he 
had just arrived in London, that he was staying at the 
Clarendon Hotel in Bond Street, until Monday, and that 
he should be much pleased if I would go and see him 
on the followiag morning. Accordingly, I went to him, 
found him quite alone, and remained in conversation 
with him from two to three hours. Among a variety 
of other subjects, Mr. Botfield told me that he had been 
making some excavations on an ancient site in North- 
amptonshire, that he had taken a taste for excavating, and 
that he wished to consult with me as to where he could 
undertake some work of this description with the proba- 
bility of a good result. I at once recommended to him 
the site of the Eoman city of Uriconium, at Wroxctcr, in 


I had myself visited "\Vroxeter, for the first time, about 
two or perhaps three years previously, and had been 
strongly impressed with the importance of a careful ex- 
ploration of the ground. After some talk on the subject 
with ]Mr. Botfield, he seemed to enter entirely into my feel- 
ings, and declared his readiness to contribute the money for 
excavations, on the condition that I would undertake to 
direct them, and he ofiered to put down at once the sum 
of a hundred and fifty pounds. I then explained to him 
the mao-uitude of the undertakino-, and how little one man 
could do unassisted towards it, and it was ao-reed that the 
best 2:)lan to pursue would be to head a subscription. Mr. 
Botfield was then president of the Natural History and 
Antiquarian Society of Shrewsbury, and either then or very 
shortly afterwards he told me that it had been privately 
intimated to him that it was the wish of the Society to 
re-elect him its president for the following year, and it 
was then agreed between us that he woidd, i]i his quality 
of president, ofler to contribute fifty guineas towards the 
expense of commencing digging so soon as fifty other 
gentlemen had given their names as subscribers of one 
guinea each, and he assured me of his readiness to subscribe 
fifty guineas more on the same conditions, so soon as the 
first subscriptions had been exhausted. Such are the simple 
facts of the origin of the AVroxeter excavations. 



The re-election of Mr. Botfield to the presidency took 
place on the 11th of November, 1858. Previous to that time 
permission to excavate had been obtained from the pro- 
prietor of the land, his Grace the Duke of Cleveland, with 
his consent that aU objects of antiquity found in the course 
of the excavations should become the property of the Museum 
of the Society in Shrewsbury. On the day of the election 
immediately after that had taken place, it was proposed by 
Mr. Botfield, as president, and seconded by the Earl of Powis, 
that a subscription should be entered into for excavating at 
Wroxeter by permission of his Grace the Duke of Cleveland, 
and that the objects discovered in the course of the ex- 
cavations should be placed in the Society's Museum at 
Shrewsbury. A committee was at the same time appoiuted 
to direct the excavations.'" A letter from the Duke was 
at the same time communicated to the meeting, piving; his 
Grace's consent and authority to excavate and ajipropriate 
to the Museum the ol)jects which might be found. The 
committee met first on the 18th of January, 1859, and at 
this meeting it was resolved that the excavations should be 
commenced forthwith. 

* This first committee consisted of the following names, as they are entered in the 
minute-book of the Society : — 

The Et. Hon. the Earl of Powis. 
E. A, Slaney, Esq., M.P. 
Beriah Botfl'eld, Esq., M.P. 
The Eev. E. W. Ej-ton. 

Thomas WriRht, Esq., F.S.A. 
Henry .Johnson, Esq., M.D. 
The Rev. E. Efireniont. 
Samuel Wood, Esq., FS.A. 


Accordingly, on the 3rd of February, three men were set 
to work. At this time the site of the Eoman city had been 
very little examined, and it was principally known by a 
mass of Eoman wall, called popularly " the Old Wall." It 
was my feeling that we should begin digging at this spot, 
not that I had at all formed any opinion as to the particu- 
lar buildings we should find there, but it was about the 
centre of the ancient town, and I thought that the first 
knowledge we required was that of the depth of the Eoman 
fioors under the present surface of the ground, and this 
knowledge we were sure to obtain by sinking a pit by the 
side of the wall itself until we came to its foundation. The 
3'csults of this first excavation are told fully in the third 
chapter of the present work.* It was found to be the parti- 
tion wall between the two principal buildings of the 
ancient town, the Basilica and the Thermre, or Public Baths 
of Uriconium. We had partially excavated the Basilica, 
when a misunderstanding arose with the farmer who occu- 
pied the land, which brought an interruption to our progress, 
and led to the filling up of the part already excavated. 
We were obliged to appeal to the Duke of Cleveland, who 
interfered at once in our favour, and not only confirmed all 
that had been done before, but let us the groimd on which 

• Scu x-i- 110 of the present volume. 


Baths stood, at a small rent, to be kept permanently open. 
It was, indeed, very desirable tliat tins interesting portion 
of the ancient city of Uriconium should be kept in a 
condition to be viewed and examined by visitors, just 
as other ruins, such as mediaeval castles and abbeys, which 
are so thickly scattered over our border. The ground, 
therefore, on Avhich the Baths stood, which was reckoned 
at four acres, was marked off and delivered up to us, entirely 
independent of the tenant of the farm."" 

From this time the excavations continued in different 
parts of the site, for some time without interruption. The 
first subscription, which amounted to a hundred and fifty 
guineas, becoming exhausted, fiu:ther subscriptions were 
obtained from time to time, for several years. But the 
great extent and importance of our work evidently required 
fax larger funds than any sum we could reckon upon from 
subscriptions of this kind. I myself made an appeal to Sir 
George Cornewall Lewis, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
for assistance from the government, but received for answer 
that the treasury was not accustomed to give money for 
such purposes. This was not strictly true, as money had 

* These four acres did not include the site of the Basilica, the excavations 
on which had been covered up, and which was left for future consideration. It was sub- 
sequently found that a portion of the gi-ound let to us, amounting to about one acre, 
contained nothing of sufficient importance to be liept open, and it was restored to the 


been given for excavations on the site of Carthage, and in 
several localities in the east, which were of far less interest 
to our national history and antiquities than those of 
Uriconium. I still live in the hope that we shall finally 
obtain the assistance of the government in this work of 
truly national importance.* 

Under these circumstances the excavations at Wroxeter 
have remained interrupted for several years. The only 
interruption to this state of things arose from the liberality 
of a friend, Avell known for his zeal in the cause of archaeo- 
logical and historical science, Mr. Joseph Mayer, of Liverpool. 
In the autumn of the year 1867, the British Archseological 
Association held its annual cono-ress at Ludlow. In antici- 
pation of that event, Mr. Mayer, with the object both of 
giving an impulse to the excavations, and of clothing with 
additional interest the visit of the Archaeological Associa- 
tion to Wroxeter, generously presented the sum of fifty 
pounds, to be employed in digging. This money was ex- 
pended upon the excavations described in the eleventh 
chapter of the present volume. These were the last exca- 
vations that have been made on the site of Uriconium. 

» Almost evei'y countiy in Europe fui'nishes examples of the readiness mth which 
the national government comes forward to assist with the necessary funds the exploration 
of an antiquarian site, though far less importaut in its character than that at Wroxeter. 
It is qitite impossible to cai-ry out such a work to any efficient extent by funds raised 
merely by private subscriptions. 


No very long time after the commencement of the exca- 
vations, the present volume was undertaken, as a means of 
preserving, at least to a certain extent, the result of our 
discoveries. We had commenced our researches in the very 
middle of the ancient city, and our good fortune had 
thrown us among the most important of its public build- 
ings. We were on one side of the Forum, and we have 
opened to a great extent the Basilica, or town-hall, the 
Thermge, or pubhc baths, and at least a market place. 
We have traced a few of the shops and manufactories, 
and some of the streets, and the walls, and have explored 
a considerable portion of the cemetery. I have endeavoured 
in these following pages to give a circumstantial account 
of the interest and value of our discoveries, which I 
believe have been far greater than those made by one 
series of excavations on any Roman site in our island. 
My book has been put together under at times unfavour- 
able circumstances. Long delays have occurred at times 
in the works themselves. The author has been himself 
occupied with other work which often prevented him from 
givino- to it the time and attention he could have wished ; 
and for these and other reasons he has to regret that 
this volume has been delayed far longer than he ever 
contemplated. He hopes, however, that it will be found. 


even by this imperfect work, that the excavation on the 
site of Eoman Uriconium at Wroxeter have added consider- 
ably to our knowledge of the history and condition of our 
island at that early and interesting period ; and we look 
forward to a period, not far remote, when the resump- 
tion of these works, on a stiU more extensive scale, will 
largely increase that knowledge. He cannot take leave 
of his reader without expressing his gratitude to three 
friends at least, whose intelligence and active assistance 
have been tlu:oughout given with great activity, cheerful- 
ness, and effective advantage. The Eev. Edward Egremont, 
vicar of Wroxeter, Dr. Hemy Johnson, the excellent hon- 
orary secretary of the Shropshire Natural History Society, and 
Samuel Wood, Esq., F.S.A. The assistance rendered by the 
latter gentleman has been unremitting, and always valuable ; 
and beyond this the reader is indebted to him for his list 
of Eoman coins found at Wroxeter, which forms one of 
the Appendices to the present volume. 


Sydney Street, Brompton, London, 
February, 1872. 




General View of Shkopshike under the Eomans ... 1 


The City of Ueiconium — Its History, Walls, and Internal 

Arrangements 65 


The Basilica and Public Baths 108 


The Little Market Place ; Workshops, TRiUJES, and 

Professions ; the Forum of Uriconium .... 150 

The Houses, and General Distribution of the Town . 183 


The Domestic Furniture of the Houses ; The Pottery, 
FOR the Table and for the Kitcjien; Provisions; 
Means of Lighting the House; Boxes and Coffers, 
and Locks and Keys 220 


The Ladies ; Objects of the Toilette, and Personal 

Ornaments ; the Male Sex, Arms and Armour . 274 



Miscellaneous Objects found at Weoxetek 305 


Coins found at Weoxeter 327 


The Cemetery of Ueiconium; The Sepulcheal Insceiptions 339 


The most eecent Excavations at Weoxetee 363 



On the Date of the Desteugtion of Ueiconium and on 

THE Poet Lltwaech Hen 371 


On some Sheopshiee Antiquities 397 


Eaely Eental of Weoxetee 401 

List of Eoman Coins found at Weoxetee 406 

U R I C N I U M. 



We find no allusion to that district of our island which 
formed during the middle ages the marches, or borders, of 
Wales, until the middle of the first century of the Christian 
era. In the year 50, Ostorius Scapula was appointed pro- 
praetor of Britain, and on his arrival in the island he fovmd 
the countr)' in great disorder, and many of the tribes which 
had submitted to the Romans in open insiu'rection. He 
immediately marched against the insurgents and the unsub- 
dued tribes of Biitons who had joined them, who were defeateil 
without much difficulty, and they seem to have retreated 
toward the Welsh border, as Tacitus states that Ostorius 
established camps along the Severn and the Avon, to hold 
them in check.'" 

Our border was at this time occupied by three distinct 
British tribes, the Cornavii, or Carnabii, to the north, the 
Ordovices, and the Sdures. As the geographer Ptolemy places 
both Deva, or Chester, and our Uriconium, in the territory of 
the Comavii, it seems to have extended from the Mersey to 
the Severn, which latter river was probably, in its course 

• Cinctosqiie castris Antonam et Sabi-inam fluvios cohibere parat. Tacit. Annul. 
xii., 31. No river bnt the Avon iitU apparently answer to Antona. Another reading, Aujona, 
haa been proposed, but I believe it is only conjectural. 



westwardly towards Bridgnorth, the boundary between the 
Cornavii and the Ordovices. As Ptolemy mentions two Roman 
towns in the territoiy of the Ordovices, Mcdiolanium and 
Branuogenium, of which the former appears from the later Itin- 
eraries to have stood within Wales, it is-believed on the banks 
of the Tanat, in the north of Montgomeryshire, and the Bran- 
nogenium of Ptolemy is supposed to be the same place which 
is called Bravinium in the Itinerary of Antoninus, and which 
appears to have been situated somewhere in the northern part 
of Herefordshire, we may consider that the southern boundary 
of the Ordovices, which divided them from the Silures, ran a 
little to the northward of Hereford, and that their territory 
extended a considerable distance into North Wales. The 
Silures, who were a larger and more powerful tribe than either 
of the others, extended on the south of Herefordshire, through 
Monmouthshire, and over the Avhole southern pari; of South 

The strategic precautions of Ostorius excited the jealousy 
or alarm of the Iceni, at whose instance a league was formed 
between different British tribes, who assembled in arms, and 
took up a strong position to resist the Roman invaders ; but 
they were attacked, and entirely defeated. The disaster of the 
Iceni, who took the lead on this occasion, discouraged the tribes 
of the interior, who had hitherto hesitated, but now submitted 
to the Romans, including probably the Cornavii and the 
Ordovices ; for Ostorius next invaded and ravaged the territoiy 
of a tribe called by Tacitus the Cangi, who evidently held 
the maritime districts of North Wales, as the Roman army, 
in advancing through their territory, had nearly reached " the 
sea which looks towards the island of Ireland," when it was 
called back by intelligence of serious disorders which had 
broken out amono- the Brio-antes. 

o o 

After the suppression of this outbreak among the Bri- 
gantes, Ostorius carried his arms into the country of the 
SUures, who refused to submit. These, to use the Avords of 


Tacitus, " in addition to tlie native fierceness of tlieir tribe, 
placed great trust in tlie valour of Caractacus, whom the 
many changes and prosperous turns of fortune had advanced 
to a pre-eminence over the rest of the British leaders. He, 
skilfully availing himself of his knowledge of the country to 
countervail his inferiority in numbers, transferred the war into 
the country of the Ordo vices, and, being joined by those 
who distrusted the peace subsisting between them, soon 
brought matters to a decisive issue ; for he posted himself on 
a spot to which the approaches were as advantageous to his 
own party as they were embarrassing to us. He then threw 
up on the more accessible parts of the steep hills a sort of 
rampart of stone ; below and in front of which was a river 
difficult to ford, and on the works were placed troops or 
soldiers. The respective leaders also went round to animate 
and inspirit them, in order to dispel their fears, whilst they 
magnified their hopes, and urged every encouragement usual on 
these occasions. Caractacus, rushing from one spot to another, 
bade them consider that the result of that day would be the 
beginning of new liberty to them, or of confirmed and lasting 
slavery ; and he set before them the example of their ancestors, 
who had driven Caesar the dictator out of Britain, and by 
whose valour they had been hitherto preseiwed from taxes and 
tributes, and their wives and children from dishonour. The 
people received these animating addresses with loud acclama- 
tions, engaging themselves by the most solemn rites, according 
to the religion of their country, never to yield to weapons 
or wounds. Their resolution astonished the Roman general, 
and the river which ran before them, together with the 
ramparts and the steeps which rose in their way, was every- 
where formidable and covered with defenders. But the 
soldiers were clam,orous for the attack, crying out that all 
difficulties may be overcome by valour ; and the inferior 
officers, inspiring the same sentiments, gave new courage to the 
troops. Then Ostorius, after reconnoitering the ground to see 


which parts were impenetrable and which accessible, led on 
the eager soldiers, and without much difficulty crossed the 
river. When they came to the rampart, while they fought only 
with missiles, our soldiers suffered the most, and numbers 
were slain ; but when they closed their ranks, and placed 
their shields over them, they soon tore down the rough 
irregular piles of stones, and, coming to close quarters on equal 
ground, obliged the barbarians to fly to the liills. Thither 
also both the light and heavy armed soldiers followed, the 
former attacking with their spears, the latter in a dense 
body, till the Britons, who had no armour or helmets to 
shelter them, were thrown into disorder ; and, if they made 
resistance to the auxiliaries, they were cut in pieces by the 
swords and spears of the legionaries, against whom when 
they turned, they Avere destroyed by the sabres and javelins 
of the auxiliaries. The victory was a brilliant one ; the wife 
and daughter of Caractacus were taken, and his brothers sub- 
mitted to the conqueror." 

This is the first historical event which is recorded to have 
taken place mthin the limits or on the borders of what is 
now the county of Salop, and much vain and useless labour has 
been thrown away in the desire to fix the exact site of the 
battle. The description of the locality given by the ancient 
historian is far too vague to leave any chance of success in such 
an inquiry ; for everybody well acquainted with the country 
knows how easy it would be to point out twenty different 
spots which would agree -nith the description given by Tacitus 
in some particulars, and how difficult it would be to point out 
a single place which presents similarities that might not be 
found elsewhere. From the tenor of the narrative, it seems 
probable that Caractacus had drawn the Eomans into the 
difficult country in the western part of the territory of the 
Ordovices, and perhaps more to the north than the district 
in which antiquaries have hitherto sought the scene of his 
last defeat. 


The defeat of Caractacus was the principal event of thiis 
campaign, and was supposed to have bi'olien the spirit of the 
natives and to have restored tranquihty, yet the Roman com- 
mander in Britain with the mass of his force remained in tliis 
part of the island during the ten following years. We learn 
from Tacitus that during this period the Romans were con- 
tinually engaged in a, sort of partizan warfare, the character of 
which may be easily understood from the nature of the ground. 
Enabled to assemble unobserved in the mountainous districts 
of South Wales, the SUures, by their obstinate l^ravery, gave 
most trouble to the conquerors, who, attacked suddenly and 
unexpectedly, sustained some severe reverses, though the 
advantage generally remained with the Romans. The historian 
describes these " frequent combats " on our boi'der as taking 
place among the woods and marshes, wherever chance or the 
adventurous courage of the troops brought them on, as often 
the result of accident as of design, sometimes caused by the 
spirit of retaliation on either side, at others the result of 
plundering expeditions, sometimes by the orders, and fre- 
quently without the knoAvledge of the commanders.'"' This 
state of things prevailed along the whole line of the borders of 
Wales, and rendered the command of the Roman armies so 
arduous a task, that the propraetor Ostorius Scapula sank beneath 
it, and died probably on our border. Before the arrival of the 
new propraetor, Avitus Didius Gallus, a Roman legion, com- 
manded by Manlius Valens, had suffered a defeat from the 
Silures, who, however, met with a severe chastisement in their 
turTi. This attack appears to have been excited by one of the 
great parties among the Brigantes, who were at that time 
divided between their king Venusius and their queen Cartis- 
mandua, and engaged in civil war. The Romans, who supported 
the queen, were again conquerors, and the Silures and other 
tribes, who had espoused the party of Venusius, were left more 

• Crebra hinc prajlia, et ssepins in motlum Lilrocinii ; per saltus, per palutks ; ut cuique 
Kors aut virtus ; temere proviso ; ob iram, ob priedam ; jussu, et aliqnanrto ignaris ducilniR. 
Tacitus, Annal, lib. xii., c. ?>9. 


than ever exposed to the vengeance of the foreigners. The 
projinetor Didius was succeeded by a skilful commander 
named Veranius, who, towards the end of the year 59, gave 
place to the more celebrated Caius Suetonius PauUinus. 

Veranius appears to have completed the subjection of the 
Silures during liis short proprsetorship, and Suetonius found 
himself at liberty to carry the Koman arms in another direction. 
Immediately after his arrival, he marched against the island of 
Anglesey, the events attending the conquest of which are so 
graphically described by the historian Tacitus. From this war 
the proprsetor, with the legions who were in this country, 
was called away to suppress the alarming insurrection under 
Boadicea on the eastern side of the island. Suetonius appears 
to have carried -with him from Wales the fourteenth and a 
part of the twentieth legions ; and it is at least a curious 
circumstance that, among the inscribed monuments which have 
been found in the cemetery of Uriconium, one commemorates 
a soldier of this fourteenth legion, especially as that legion 
was finally withdrawn from Britain so early as the year 69. 
It is probable that all the Roman towns on the borders 
of Wales were founded during the wars under the propraetors 
Ostorius, Didius, Veranius, and Suetonius. 

Time has spared some records of a very interesting descrip- 
tion which show in what manner the Romans were especially 
occupied during the years when wc have just traced their early 
presence in North Wales and its border. They no sooner 
reached this country, than they appear to have discovered the 
ricliness of its mountains in metals, and especially in lead and 
copper, and vast traces of their mining operations are found in 
the mountains of the counties of Denbigh, Flint, Salop, and 
Montgomery. I believe that the lead mines now worked in the 
Stiperstones mountains and the hills behind them, on the site of 
the early Roman mines, rank among the most productive in this 
country and peihaps in Europe. We gather from Pliny, who 
died in the year 79, that lead was a valuable metal at Rome 


previous to the conquest of Britain, for lie says that it was 
obtained very laboriously in Spain and in all parts of Gaul ; 
but in Britain, he adds, it was found on the surface — the 
outside skin — of the earth, so abundantly, that a law had been 
made to limit the quantity taken, of course in order to keep 
up its price in the market.'^' In the year 1783 a Eoman pig 
of lead, with an inscription, was dug up in Hampshne, which is 
represented in the accompanying cut. The inscription on the top 
may be read without difliculty,t intimating that it came from 

the mines in the country of the Kiangi, or Cangi, in the year 
when Nero was consul for the fourth time. I have abeady 
pointed out that the tribe of the Cangi must have occupied the 
district bordering on the northern coast of Wales, and this 
pig very probably came from the vast Roman mines under 
Castell-Caws behind Abergele, which have left that mountain 
almost cut into two. But it is a still more interesting circum- 
stance, that Nero was consul for the fourth time the year 
before that of the insurrection of Boadicea and of the conquest 
of Anglesey, so that we are fully assured that the Roman 
mining operations in the country of the Cangi were in 
activity at this early period. In 1772, a similar pig of lead, 
bearing the name of the Emperor Vespasian, and the date of his 
fifth consulship, (A.D. 76), also inscribed as coming from the 
mines of the Cangi — DE"CEANG, — was found near the Watling 
Street, and others, from the same district, have been met with, 

* Nigro plumbo ad fistulas laminasque utimur, laboriosius in Hispania emto totasque per 
Gallias : sed in Britannia summo terrie corio adeo large, ut lex ultro dicatur ne plus certo 
modo fiat. Pliny, Hist. Nat. ^ lib. xxxiv., c. 49. The Romans called lead phimbum nigrum; 
Vo-eii pluTtibum album, was tin. 

+ This interesting monument was first engraved and described by Mr. Roach Smith, in the 
Journal of the British ArchaBological Association, vol. v., p. 227. The inscriptions on its 
sides have not been verj- satisfactorily explained. 


cast in the same reign and in that of Domitian. The places 

in which these have generally been found show that they 

have been left or dropped by accident when on theix way 

from the lead district, probably for exportation. Eoman 

pigs of lead have been found not unfrequently in the 

country to the north of Bishop's Castle in Sln'opshire, in the 

parishes of Snead, ]\Iore, and Shelve, which appear to have 

Ijcen the produce of the Roman mines on Shelve Hill, 

in the estates of my valued friend, the Rev. T. F. More, 

of Linley Hall ; they all bear the name of the emperor 

Hadrian (A.D. 117-138), in the simple inscription, IMP. 

HADRIANI, AVG. — in whose reign these mines appear to 

have been most aetively worked ; or, perhaps, some change 

took place in the system of working the mines, in consequence 

of which the imperial mark was no longer impressed on the 

metal. There is one circumstance worthy of further remark. 

When we compare the statement of Pliny that the lead ore 

was found on the siu^facc of the ground with the appearance 

which the remains of the Roman mines in North Wales as 

well as on the Shelve and other Shropshire hills still present, 

we can hardly doubt that no mines had been worked here 

before the Romans came, but that they found the ore literally 

cropping out of the rock on the hill sides, and that they 

followed the veins down into the mountain. The existence 

of these rich mineral works at so early a date explains to us 

why the Romans at that period assembled the mass of their 

forces here to protect them. 

The great revolt of the Brit(.ms in the east would naturally 
have its effect on the British tribes in Wales and on its 
borders, especially when it drew away a considerable portion of 
the troops which held them in. check, and accordingly we 
find this part of the country in a state of disorder during 
several succeeding years. The Silures, the Ordovices, and the 
other tribes on the border, again became troublesome, and a 
new civil war liroke out among the Brigantes, in wliich the 


influence of the Romans was by no means so successful as 
before. On the accession of Vespasian to the empire, Petilius 
Cerealis, an old and experienced officer in the armies in 
Britain, was appointed proprgetor, and under him rose gra- 
dually the military influence and fame of his friend, the 
commander of the twentieth legion, the father-in-law of the 
historian Tacitus, Julius Agricola. Cerealis was chiefly occu- 
pied in reducing the Brigantes ; but his successor, Julius 
Frontinus, finally defeated and subjected the fierce tribe of 
the Silures, who seem to have recovered their courage during 
the recent events. In the summer of the year 78, Frontinus 
was recalled, and Julius Agricola was appointed propraetor of 

Under Frontinus, the Roman arms appear to have been less 
successful in North Wales than in the south. Before the 
arrival of the new governor, the Roman troops in the country 
of the Ordovices (our Shropshire) had been surprised by an 
insurrection of the natives, and a troop of Roman cavalry had 
been entirely destroyed. This success had raised the hopes 
of the neighbouring tribes, who only hesitated in taking part 
in a general revolt until they could obtain a knowledge of 
the character of the new proprsetor, for they had already 
learnt by experience the necessity of acting with caution. 
Agricola no sooner arrived from Rome to take the command, 
than, contrary to aU expectations, he called out the legions 
from their quarters, and proceeded to crush the insurrection 
of the Ordovices. As the enemy refused to meet him in the 
plains, Agricola pursued them into the mountains, and so 
terrible was the vengeance which he exercised upon them, 
that we are assured by his son-in-law that nearly the whole 
tribe of the Ordovices was put to the sword.'"' From the 
country of the Ordovices, Agricola hastened with his troops to 
the farthest entremity of Wales, and again reduced under the 
Roman power the isle of Anglesey, which had recovered its 

* CsEsaque prope universa gente. Tacitus, Vita Agric, c. — 


independence after the first conqueror, Suetonius, had been so 
suddenly called away to quell the revolt under Boadicea. 
Wales and its Iwrders were now so entirely subdued, that he 
was enabled during the following year to employ himself in 
making the Britons acquainted with the arts of peace, and that 
in the year 80 he could take away the troops from this part 
of the island to begin his still more arduous campaigns against 
the Caledonians in the north. When Agricola was recalled 
from the proprsetorship in the year 84, we axe assured that he 
left the province of Biitain to his successor in a peaceful and 
settled condition. For many years afterwards this tranquility 
appears to have been disturbed only by the turbulence of the 

The first care of the Eomans, when they had reduced a 
territory to their subjection, was to cover it Avith good roads 
and with towns, and Ave have abundant evidence that these 
precautions were neither neglected nor delayed in the country 
bordering on the Welsh mountains, or, indeed, in Wales itself. 
So early as the time when Ptolemy compiled his Geography, 
which is considered to have been about the year 120 after 
Christ, Ave find along this border important toAvns named 
Deva (Chester), where the twentieth legend was permanently 
stationed, Uriconium (which Ptolemy calls Viroconium), 
Mediolanium (supposed to have stood on the confines of the 
counties of Montgomery and Denbigh, on the banks of the 
Tanat, a tributary of the Severn), Brannogenium, the situation 
of which is also rather uncertain, though it was clearly near 
the southern Hmits of Shropshire. These names indicate two 
principal lines of road across our county, which are more 
distinctly laid down about two hundred years later in the 
Itinerary of Antoninus. The first of these was during the 
middle ages the most celebrated road in our island, and was 
then known by the name of the Watling Street. It began at 
the Avell-known Roman port of Rutupise ( Richhoroxigh, in 
Kent), and proceeded thence through Canterbury, Rochester, 


London, St. Albans, and by way of Dunstable and Towcestcr 
into Staffordshire, where it passed by Wall (JEtiocetum), and, 
entering Shropshire at the northern foot of Lizard Hill, 
proceeded thence in a straight line direct west between the 
Wrekin and the town of Wellington to Wroxeter. Before 
leaving Staffordshire the road passed a station or town 
named Pennocrucium, supposed to have stood on the banks. 
of the little river Penk, and, immediately after entering Shrop- 
shire, another, named Uxaconium, supposed to have stood 
at Eedhill, in the neighbourhood of Shiffnal. It made a slight 
bend southward before approaching Uriconium, which it entered 
from the north-east, and, passing to the centre of the town, 
turned there at an angle and left the town in a north-westerly 
direction. It continued apparently in (or nearly in) the line of 
the present road through Atcham to Shrewsbury, and so on by 
way of Ness to a Eoman town called Eutunium, supposed to 
have been in the neighbourhood of Alberbury, where we trace 
the road in the name of Stretton,""' and perhaps in that of 
Wattlesborough, which has been supposed to have some con- 
nection with its name of Watling Street. Thence the road 
directed its course westward into Wales, crossing the river 
Tanat at Mediolanium already mentioned, and proceeding by 
way of Cerrig-y-Druidion, near which place till lately the old 
Eoman bridge across the river remained, and over the Snow- 
donian mountains to the Menai Straits. 

The other great Eoman road traversed Shropshire from south 
to north, and formed part of the line of communication between 
the two great military stations, Isca (Caerleon), where the 
second legion was established, and Deva (Chester), the head- 
quarters of the twentieth. This road, in its way north from 
the town of Magna (Kenchester, near Hereford), entered 

* The Anglo-Saxons, when they came into this island, were no road-makers, but they 
adopted the Koman roads already existing, and gave them a name formed from that applied 
to them by the Romans, street, from strata (via). Hence, wherever we find the syllable strat, 
or strel, in the composition of names of places, we may be confident that it indicates the 
existence there, in Anglo-Saxon times, of a road which had been constructed by the Romans. 


Shropshire at Maiiow, proceed a little to tlie west of Cluiigun- 
ford to Strefford Ijridge, where it crossed the river Ony, and 
where it made a slight bend to Wistanstow and onward to 
Little Stretton, Church Stretton, and All Stretton, which took 
their names from it. On leaving the Stretton valley, it passed 
by Longnor Green, and Frodesley, in a straight line to the 
Severn, which it probably crossed at some distance below 
Wroxeter, and so approached the city of Uriconium on the 
eastern bank of the river, and entered it by its southern gate. 
In its course from Kenchester to Wroxeter this road is also 
caUed locally the AVatling Street. Till it reaches Wroxeter, 
its course, like that of the great AVatling Street, is easily 
traced, but, like that also, after passing Uriconium, it is some- 
what uncertain. It would seem, however, by the Itinerary of 
Antoninus to have continued along the great AVatling; Street to 
Rutunium and Mediolanium, and then to have made a turn to 
the north-east, and to have proceeded to a station named 
Bovium, supposed to be Bangor on the river Dec, and thence 
to Deva. This circuit was no doubt made for the advantage 
of the mining works carried on by the Eomans on this part of 
the border. 

Besides these two great military ways, a variety of roads 
of less magnitude or importance traversed our county in 
every direction. The traces of some of these " streets " have 
been entirely obliterated by the progress of cultivation, but 
others may be stiU traced either by the remains of the road 
itself or by names and marks which indicate its former 
existence ; and these names and marks enable us to recognise, 
as ancient, many roads which might otherwise be easily taken 
for modern. As we follow the great AVatling Street from 
Warwickshire, almost as soon as we enter Shropshire, little 
more than a mile to the westward of Weston-under-Lizard, 
we come to a cross road, running nearly from S. S. E. to 
N. N. AV., which has been supposed, and probably with reason, 
to be Roman. It crosses the AVatling Street at a spot named 


Stoneyford, and, to the north of the great miHtary way, 
proceeds by a place called King Street, is called a little farther 
on by the no less significant name of Pave Lane, and proceeds 
throngh the town of Newport. It appears to have run on 
thence by Avay of Whitchurch and Malpas, passing a locality 
in the direction of Plolt, still callecl from it Stretton, and so 
on to Chester. The continuation of this road is traced on the 
south of the Watling Street, in the same line by way of Tong, 
and the bold entrenchments called The Walls, at the village of 
Chesterton, which name, as well as that of Stratford given to 
the place where the road here crosses the stream, prove these 
entrenchments to be Eoman. From the direction of this road, 
it appears to have led, perhaps from Droitwitch, to Chester.* 

Uriconium ( Wroxet&r) was, however, the great centre from 
which most of the Eoman roads in Shropshire diverged. The 
main line of the WatUng Street appears, as already stated, 
to have crossed the Tern, and the Severn at Atcham Bridge, 
and to have iim over the site of Shrewsbury, where it made 
a tmTi to the north-west, and where also at least one branch 
road left it. One is supposed to have taken the route Ijy 
Little Oxon, Pavement Gate, (which probably took its name 
from the Roman paved road,) over Stretton Heath. Another 
road ran fr-om Uriconium to the southward of this by Berring- 
ton Hall, near which it is called King Street, and on by Lea 
Cross to Stoney Stretton, and it was perhaps continued to the 
Eoman Station at Caer-Flos, in Montgomeryshire. It is very 
probable that another road ran on the eastern side of the 
Stiperstones, perhaps by way of Wentnor, from Shrewsbury to 
Bishop's Castle ; and a road appears to have run eastwardly 
from the latter place to join the southern Watling-Street 
Eoad at the Craven Arms, for I am informed that the 
peasantry have a legend that this was the first road ever 
made in England, and that it originally went across the island 

* I believe that the ancient character of this road was first pointed out by Jir. Hart- 
shome, in his Salopia Antiqua, pp. 146, 26.^. 


from sea to sea. An ancient road called the Port-way is 
distinctly traced along the summit of the Longmynd moun- 
tain. The line of the other principal road from Uriconium, 
running south under the name of the Wathng-Street Eoad, 
has already been described. 

There was another road of some importance leading from 
Uriconium to the southward, which has left some rather 
remarkable traces behind it. It appears to have separated 
from the AVatling-Street Eoad somewhere near Pitchford, and 
to have run by way of Acton Burnell to Euckley, a little 
beyond which place it becomes very distinct, and is popularly 
called, The Devil's Causeway, a name which itself indicates 
a Eoman origin.'"' This road, from Euckley to some distance 
to the south, was carefully examined by Mr. Hartshorne, Avho 
has given a good account of it in his Salopia Antiqua. The 
remains are most perfect near what is named from it. Cause- 
way Wood, and it presents a remarkably bold appearance for 
two or three hundred yards from tliis place towards the south. 
" The Devil's Causeway," as described by Mr. Hartshorne, " is 
a way, partially at present but originally entirely, formed of 
large blocks of basalt, which were procured from the neigh- 
bouring sides of the Lawley. They vary in superficial size 
from one to two feet in length, and from eight to fifteen 
inches in breadth, and are disposed in their longest direction 
across the road. At first they were placed with extreme 
regularity, and had their face much more even than it now 
lies. From an avei'age of several measures taken in different 
parts, the road seems originally to have been thirteen feet 
wide. It is edged with roughly hewn flat stones lying upon 
the surface of the soil, and varying from one to two feet in 
width ; they are uniformly one foot in thickness, and stand 

• Our word cavscirmi is a mere eorruption of the French chaiissre, which was formed 
from the Latin ealcea, cakeala, or cahealmn, given to such roads hecause they were formed 
of stones set in lime or cement (calr). As none but the Eomnns made such roads In old times, 
the use of the word in the middle ages became naturally restricted to roads wliich had been 
derived from the Komans. 


SO as to touch each other. The existing inequahty of the face 
of the road may be accounted for on reasons which it is 
almost superfluous to mention. Such, for instance, as the 
peculiar nature of the stone itself with which it is paved, 
and its aptness speedily to disintegrate ; the traffic which it 
has from a very lengthened period sustained ; the operation of 
various natural causes which are stiU in action, such as the 
tendency that heavy bodies have to become imperceptibly 
buried below the surface of the ground, together with the 
spirit of destruction which has incessantly actuated man to 
carry away and break up the materials of which the road is 
composed." Close to the termination of this piece of the 
causeway, it traverses a small bridge, which Mr. Hartshorne 
has stated apparently good reasons for believing to be 
Roman. " When we look at the architecture of the bridge," 
he says, " we cannot fail to notice three peculiarities. And 
first, the form of the arch. It springs from two centres, and 
assumes a curve, somewhat resembHng a segmental arch, but 
more depressed than anything Norman, being in fact broader, 
as we see it in Eoman examples. Secondly, the voussoirs are 
alternately paraUel-sided and cruciform, or acutely shaped at 
one end, as though the intention of the arcliitect was to make 
them available in filling up the interstices between the regular 
paraUel-sided voussoirs ; and lastly, the whole is put together 
with concrete, as may readily be detected by taking the 
trouble to creep underneath the arch, and detaching a piece of 
it from the joints." This road evidently proceeded in a 
straight line through Cardington to the bold entrenched works, 
a Roman station of some kind or other, at Rushbury, and 
from thence passed over a low part of the Wenlock edge range 
of mountains, called Roman's Bank, and crossed Corvedale to 
the great entrenchments of Nordy Bank, under the Brown 
Glee Hill. There was, perhaps, a road from Nordy Bank 
down the vale towards Ludlow ; I suspect that the tumuli on 
the Old Field (now the racecourse) near Ludlow, also indicate 


a Hue of road across it in a direction from north-west to 
south-east, probably l^rancliing from the Watling-Street Eoad ; 
and I believe there are traces of a Eoman road over the 
Titterstone Clee Hill. One or two names of places, such 
as Stanway, (the stone road), just below Eoman's Bank, 
and Pilgrim Lane, not very far from the large entrenchments 
near Lutwyche Hall called the Ditches, would lead us to 
suspect that a branch of the road we have been describing 
proceeded up Corve Dale ; and Mr. Hartshorne judged, by 
the appearances, that at Ruckley a branch of the Devil's 
Causeway ran westwardly over Frodesley Park.'" 

We have every reason for believing that our county was 
traversed by many other Roman roads, besides those we have 
mentioned, of wlhch a minute survey of the ground would no 
doubt reveal existing traces. These lines of road, whether 
large or small, are usually marked by the residences of their 
living, and by the burial-places of their dead, inhabitants, — 
their earthworks, their villas, and their barrows or tumuli. 
Of the fir3t of these three classes of monuments, it is necessary 
to speak with considerable caution, inasmuch as we know that 
not only the Romans, but the Anglo-Saxons after them, and 
people of still later date, constructed enclosures of earthen 
entrenchments, in a great variety of forms, and for an equally 
great variety of purposes. The earthen vallum of enclosure 
was the only durable-part of the manor house of the Saxon 
chieftain ; it was prolDably employed, both among Romans 
and Saxons, as a permanent place of shelter for cattle, or for 
workmen, and no doubt in the mineral districts it often 
enclosed the space where some of the operations of pi-eparing 
the ore for the furnace were carried on ; while, among other 
purposes, a space on the top of a hill surrounded by an 
entrenclrment has often been found to l^e a place of burial. 
It would, therefore, be very rash to assume that any earth- 
work was Roman, unless we had some well ascertained fact to 

* Hartsliorne's Salopia Antiqua, pp. 13i-148. 


support such an opinion. It would not be safe, even, to take 
an earthwork for Koman because it stands by the side of a 
known Roman road, though in such case it would probably 
not be older than the road ; but the Anglo-Saxons continued to 
use the roads of the Romans, and would often build their 
mansions or raise intrenchments for other purposes in close 
approximation to them, as the Normans afterwards built castles 
in similar positions. We have, nevertheless, in Shropshire, a 
considerable number of large and very interesting monuments 
of this description which undoubtedly belonged to the Romans, 
and we shall find them usually scattered along the lines of 
the Roman roads. Thus, on the line of the road which I have 
spoken of as crossing the Watling Street soon after it enters 
the county from Staffordshire, and which has been supposed 
to run from Droitwich or Worcester to Chester, is the strong 
position called The Walls, the Roman character of which is 
declared by the name of Chesterton,'^' given to the village 
adjoining. " The Walls " is an inclosure of upwards of 
twenty acres, on the summit of a hlLl, the sides of which form, 
on every side but the north-east, a nearly perpendicular 
precipice of the height of fifty or sixty yards, surrounded at 
the top by an intrenchment. At the foot it is almost 
surrounded by a stream of water. Like the hill itself, the 
form of the inclosure is irregular ; and it is rather remarkable 
that no antiquities are known to have been found within it. 

Along the line of the Wathng Street, in our way to Urico- 
nium, we find few of these intrenched inclosures, partly 
perhaps because there is a scarcity of hills ; and the extensive 
inclosure on the summit of the Wrekin, where there is at least 
one tumulus, may probably have been a cemetery. We have 
seen that two great intrenched inclosures, Rushbury and 

* When the Anglo-Saxons settled here, they prohahly found the Roman inhahitants 
usually giving the name of castrum to their walled towns and stations, and they adopted the 
Roman word merely moulding it down in theu- own pronunciation into ccaster, which the 
change of the language has reduced to Chester or ceater, (the Welsh in the same way made 
caer out of the Latin word.) Whenever we find cliester or ceater in the name of a place in 
England, we may he certain that it indicates Roman occupation. 



Nordy Bank, stood on the line of road called the Devil's - 
Causeway, and the name of the village of Wall-under- Hey- 
wood, a short distance from Eushbury, probably implies the 
former existence of another. Eushbury contains an area of 
a hundi-ed and forty-five feet by a hundred and thii-ty-one, so 
that it is almost a square with its corners rounded. It has been 
surrounded by a very lofty vallum, and by a fosse twenty- 
three feet mde. Eoman antiquities are said to have been 
found on this site, but appear not to have been preserved. 
Nordy Bank, which also may be described as a parallelogram 
with rounded corners, is larger and in more perfect preser- 
vation ; for it is two hundred and ten paces long from east to 
west, by a hundred and forty-four in width. It is surrounded 
by a high vallum, with a single fosse. It occupies a position 
which gives it the command of the rich district of CorA^e 
Dale. Above it to the east rises the Brown Clee Hill, the two 
lofty summits of wliich, called Abdon-Burf and Clee-Bi;rf (no 
doubt another form of the same word as hurg and hury) 
have each an area inclosed in a wall of stones, filled with 
small circles and tumuli, so that they were doubtless ceme- 
teries. The highest point of the Titterstone Clee HUl has a 
similar inclosure. Caynham Camp, near Ludlow, is on the 
line of road I have supposed to have run across the Old 
Field, perhaps to Worcester and Droitwich. 

A considerable portion of the southern Watling Street, as it 
passes through the Stretton Valley, is bordered on each side 
by lofty hUls, several of which are crowned with intrench- 
ments. The most remarkable of these and the loftiest is Caer- 
Caradoc, which stands at the northern entrance to the valley, 
and has an area doubly intrenched at the top. On the 
opposite side of the valley, on one of the lower slopes of the 
Longmynd, is an intrenchment called Bodbury Eing ; and on 
the same side of the Watling-Street road, but on the other 
side of Church Stretton, is another of a more oblono- form 
called Brockhurst Castle, wliich also stands at the foot of the 


hills, close to the modem railway. x4.t the southern entrance 
of the valley are two smaller iutrenchments, known each by 
the same name of Castle Ring ; and on the other side of the 
Wathng Street, the hill wliich forms the entrance to the vale 
of Onibury is crowned by a very large and strongly intrenched 
area known as Norton Camp. It is nearly square. A smaller 
oval intrenchment occupies the summit of Burrow Hill on the 
opposite side of this rather Avide valley. I hesitate to call 
them camps, as it appears to me that it would be assuming 
more than we have any right to assume ; and I have not 
thought it necessary to enter here into a detailed account 
of their several forms and arrangements, as I believe that 
those were regulated only by convenience (which might arise 
from the form of the ground) and by the particular purposes 
for which they were intended. As the Watling Street con- 
tinues its way southward by Clungunford and Leintwardine, 
it passes Brandon Camp, not far from which there is a camp 
at Downton. Brandon, which is a fine work and beautifully 
situated just "within the borders of Herefordshire, has been 
considered to be the Bravinium of the Romans. But this 
location is at least doubtful. 

A branch road, already mentioned, left the main road some- 
where near the site of the modern Craven Arms, and ran 
westward into Wales. It, or a sub-branch, probably ran along 
the valley of the Clun, which is bordered by hills, some of 
them crowned by earthworks. At the opening of this valley, 
above the village of Hopesay, are the extensive iutrenchments 
known by the name of Burrow Hill. Farther on, on the 
same (northern) side of the valley, are the still more remark- 
able works called the Bury Ditches. This latter is a circular 
inclosure, of considerable extent, surrounded by a triple fosse, 
and, by its lofty and isolated position, commandmg a view 
over a great extent of country. A few years ago, the keeper, 
in unearthing foxes, met with the stone foundations of 
buildings in the middle of the inclosed area, which may 


have been tlie site of the Saxou hall, for I confess that the 
appearance of these Bury Ditches impresses me strongly with 
the notion of the manor-house of some great Anglo-Saxon 
landlord. Names of hills on the other side of the valley, such 
as Clun-burt/, seem also to indicate the former existence of 
other iutrenchments. On the north side, these monuments 
are continued along the hill tops. There is a camp, as it is 
called, just above the town of Clun, to the north-west, 
and a little farther, just beyond the line of Offa's Dyke, we 
meet with a still finer intrenchment at Newcastle. There is 
another similar work opposite to it, on the other side of the 
narrow valley through which the Clun river runs, with several 
tumuli in the neighbourhood. The hilly country to the south 
of Clun is covered with ancient remains. Among these, the 
most important is the very bold intrenched hill known 
commonly by the name of the Caer Ditches, and called also 
the Caer-Caradoc, which some antiquaries have supposed, 
■without much reason, to have been the scene of the last 
defeat of Caractacus. Among the hiUs to the south-eastward 
of Clun is a place which is popularly believed to have been 
the site of an ancient city. We are here close upon the 
borders of Wales. 

As we turn along the line of the border northwardly, we 
meet mth numerous sunilar works, the object of which it 
would be veiy hazardous to assume. It is no part of my plan 
to follow them into Wales, but there is one crowning a hUl 
about half a mile to the westward of the river Teme, which 
here forms the boundary between England and Wales, and a 
little farther north we have a stiU more striking and somewhat 
circular inclosure called in the Ordnance Map, Castle Bryn 
Amlwg, or Castle Cefn Fron. From hence we may turn back 
eastwardly to Caer-din-Eing, the name as well as the character 
of which appear to me to be Roman — for the Welsh word 
Caer is itself probably a mere corruption from the Roman 
castrum. At Knuck, in a line between these and Bishop's 


Caatle, we have two " camps," about a mile apart ; and some 
three miles to the eastward of Bishop's Castle, we meet with a 
larger monument of this description, oval in form, called 
Billing's Ring. There is another Caer-Din, nearly four miles 
to the N. N. E. of the former ; and lilie it of a quadrangular 
shape ; and about a mile farther we find a camp at Pentre. 
Still proceeding in a noii;h-easterly direction, we successively 
find similar inclosures at the Roveries, between Snead and 
Linley ; at the Castle Ring (a not uncommon name in these 
parts for such monuments) among the hills between Church- 
stoke and Hyssington ; at the Castle Hill, in the latter parish ; 
on the hills to the east of Linley Park ; at Ritton Castle, in 
the parish of Shelve ; on the hills opposite Mr. More's Roman 
Grave] Mine ; and at the Castle Ring, under the northern 
brow of the Stiperstones. On the eastern side of the Stiper- 
stones, we have several very fine examples of these intrenched 
inclosures, such as those at CaUow Hill, near Minsterley, 
and on Pontesford Hill. Crossing the valley of the Rea, we 
see first an intrenched camp at Mill Bank, near Betchfield ; 
and there is a much larger one on the summit of the Long 
Mountain, called Caer-Digol, and known also as the Beacon 
Ring, and a smaller one on its western declivity. Another 
occurs on the top of the Breiddin mountains, called Cefn-y- 
CasteU, and there are one or two scattered over the valley to 
the westward. We trace several of them at or in the 
neighbourhood of Llanymynech ; and in general they are 
most numerous in the mining districts, with the works of 
which we are therefore justified in supposing them to have 
some connection. They occur much less frequently in the low 
country to the eastward, though there is a fine monument of 
this description, named Bury Walls, near Hawkstone ; but the 
largest and most striking of them all is that of Old Oswestry, 
near the north-western extremity of the county. 

I am inclined here to venture a suggestion with regard to 
this latter locality. As it has been already intimated, the 


course of the road and the sites of the stations along the main 
line of the Watling Street after passing Uriconium are very 
uncertain. There can be little doubt that the road went from 
Wroxeter to Shrewsbury, which has been conjectured by some 
antiquaries to have occupied the site of Kutunium itself, the 
only objection to which is, the distance given in the Itinerary 
of Antoninus, and we know that the Eoman numerals were 
very liable to be copied erroneously by the old scribes, who 
were not acc[uainted with the facts. Whenever we have any 
remaining indications of a Roman town or station answering 
to one found in the Itinerary, it is far better evidence than 
the distances printed from the manuscripts. Kutunium was 
perhaps a mere postal station, where refreshments and changes 
of horses might be had, and it is rather in favour of the 
conjecture that there were certainly several Eoman roads 
branching out from this point. I am informed, moreover, by 
my friend Mr. Henry Pidgeon, of Shrewsbury, one of the 
most zealous of Shropshire antiquaries, that Eoman remains, 
especially coins, have been found in Shrewsbury, one of 
Domitian, on the site of his own house in the High Street. 
But Mediolanium, the next place, must have been a place of 
some importance. It is coupled by Ptolemy with Uriconium 
as one of the two towns of the Ordovices at that early period, 
and it can hardly have failed to leave some traces behind it. 
Now, Old Oswestry would answer very well to Mediolanium, 
both in its distance from Uriconium and in its position 
between Kutunium and Bovium on the way to Chester. It 
has usually been placed fai1;her within Wales, somewhere on the 
banks of the river Tanad, chiefly on the authority of Eichard 
of Cirencester, whom I fear we must abandon as deserving 
of no authority whatever.* Old Oswestry has certainly 
been a to^^Ti of some importance. It is an inclosure forming 
an oljlong parallelogram of upwards of fifteen acres, and 

* T "°'^? tlwi'gW' tetter of Fachartl of Cirencester tlifin I do now, for I must confess that 
the more I read bun, the stronger becomes the conviction thnt the work which passes imdev 
his name is a modem fahnoation. 


surrounded by very strong intrencliments, which are, moreover, 
doubled in number on the weaker side, where there are five 
lines of circumvallation. Two trenches arc continued round 
the whole circuit. No scientific researches have ever been 
made ^^^thin the interior of this inclosure, and few records 
have been preserved of accidental discoveries ; but among 
these latter were a well, a pavement, and " pieces of iron like 
armour," all which indicate a Eoman origin. There are other 
reasons for beheving that this may have been an important 
position of the Eomans. One of the earlier and great Anglo- 
Saxon battles, that of Maserfeld, between Oswald, the 
Christian king of the Northumbrians, on one side, and the 
Welsh and the pagan king of the Mercians on the other, was 
fought on the 5th of August, 642, according to all traditions 
in the neighbourhood of this town. The place took its modern 
name, Oswaldes-treo, or the tree of Oswald, from the name of 
the Northumbrian king, who was slain here. It is probable 
that the Northumbrian army had advanced by the ancient 
Eoman road from Chester to Uriconium, and the Welsh had 
perhaps advanced by the branch Eoman road, which left 
this road to the westward in the neighbourhood of Llanymy- 
nech, to join the Mercians.* Old Oswestry is called in Welsh 
Hen Dinas, the Old City. 

There is less regularity in the position of the Eoman villas 
than in that of most of the other monuments of that people. 
Their sites were chosen no doubt, as in modern gentlemen's 
houses, for the position and character of the ground, the 
proximity of water, and the scenery, as well as for cir- 
cumstances of convenience and utihty, which were more or 
less peculiar to each particular case. As they most fre- 
quently stood on fertile ground, valuable to the agricidturist, 
all traces of them have in a majority of cases been swept 
away by the operations of the farmer at a period when no 

* Bede gives a brief account oj this battle, lib. iii. c. 9, but s.iys nothing to enable us to 
identify tlie site. 


attention was paid to such objects, and the circumstances, or 
even the fact of the discovery, have not been recorded. The 
discoveries of such monuments in more recent times have been 
usually accidental, and they have been but partially observed. 
In Shropshire, which is a highly agricultural county, the 
number of Eoman villas known to have been discovered is 
very small, and of these nothing had been left but fragments 
which had escaped the spade or the ploughshare of earlier 

Towards the close of the last century, the remains of a 
Roman villa were found at Lea Cross, in the parish of 
Pontesbury. It was situated on rather low ground, in a rich 
country, on the banks of the river Eea, in close proximity to 
the mining districts of Pontesbury and Minsterley. Several 
rooms appear to have been traced, one having a handsome 
tessellated pavement, a drawing of which was made at the 
time, and has been preserved. They had the usual accom- 
paniments of hypocausts, one of which was supposed to have 
been a bath, as it appeared to have had a pipe for carrying 
off water. I believe the remains were covered in again, 
without being destroyed.'"' 

At the southern extremity of the mining district of the 
Stiperstones, in the grounds of Linley Hall, the seat of Mr. 
More, recent discoveries have shewn the former existence of a 
Eoman viUa, which was apparently of much larger dimensions 
than that at the Lea Cross. Linley Hall is approached from 
the high road between Shrewsbury and Bishop's Castle by an 
avenue of oak trees, one mile in length, reaching from that 
road to the road from Lydham to Linley and Wentnor, which 

* The following brief account of this discovery is given in the Gentleman's Magazine, 
for 1793, part ii. p. 1144 : " A beautiful tessellated floor was lately discovered on the farm of 
Ml-. Warter, at the Lea, between Hanwood and Pontesbury, (Salop) . It is between thirteen 
and fourteen feet square, consisting of small tessellpe of red brick, whitish marble, and 
brown, black, and gray stone ; and appears to have belonged to the bathing apaiijnenta of 
an elegant Roman villa ; mortar floors having been found near it, three feet below its level, 
with the foundation of such bi-ick piUars as usually supported the floor of the sudatoiy. 
Numerous fragments of square flues or tunnels of tile, furred within with smoke, are also 
found ; with some pieces of leaden pipe, charred wood, pottei-y of blackish earth, and 
a charmel or gutter to carry ofl' water, corresponding with the descent of the ground." 



' 3'i/OlA} 

3HJ. (MOifJ Q\/Q-y 








forms the southern boundary of Linley Park. Just within the 
avenue, but close to this latter road, remains of masonry had 
been discovered some years ago, and from the fragments of 
brick it was suspected to be Eoman, but no further examina- 
tion took place imtil the August of 1856, when, during a visit 
I made to Linley Hall, Mr. More resolved to make further 
excavations on the spot. The immediate result was to lay 
open a small room, with a hypocaust, marked 4 in the accom- 
panying plan. A portion of the floor, consisting of a thick 
mass of cement formed of lime and pounded bricks, with a 
smooth upper surface, remained on the eastern side of this 
room, supported on rude square columns of red sandstone. 
The rest of the floor had been destroyed. There was a 
division in the hypocaust, and the columns of the western side 
were formed, in the usual manner, of layers of the square flat 
Roman bricks. The northern corner of this room, as repre- 
sented on the plan, went a little distance under the road, 
and two other smaU rooms adjoining, x and 2, were subse- 
quently explored under the road, reaching nearly to the waU 
of the park. Both had hypocausts, with colunms of Eoman 
tiles, but the floors were gone. The eastern wall of these 
rooms was continued southwardly, incHning towards the west, 
till it made a comer with another wall, 6, running westwardly, 
at right angles to the former. The first of these walls was 
evidently the eastern boundary of this mass of buildings, and 
along its outer side ran a well-made and well-preserved 
stone drain, c, bordered by what appears to have been a 
channel, h, formed of curiously constructed flue-tiles. The 
wall marked 6 is three feet in thickness. Within the rooms 
I have been describing was found an aqueduct, d, running 
parallel to the eastern wall of the building, which was traced 
by uncovering at diff"erent spots up to Linley Hall, a distance 
of nearly eight hundred and fifty feet. It is formed of a 
wall of masonry, with a channel upon it, the latter formed of 
concrete, and was no doubt intended to carry water from the 


rather copious springs just above Linley to the buildings 
below in which it terminates. Near the place where the last 
traces of this aqueduct were met with, opposite Linley Hall, 
there was from time immemorial a large pond, which Mr. 
More has recently enlarged into a lake, and it was suspected 
that this might have been originally a Roman reservoir to 
supply the aqueduct, but, when it was cleared away in forming 
the lake, no traces of Roman work were found. 

A hedge divides the avenue in which the first discoveries of 
this villa were made from a large field which borders on the 
Lyclham road, and extends to another road running from the 
latter to the village of the More. Walls belonging to the 
buildings of this villa were found all across this field, and to 
some distance in the field on the other side of the More road, 
but the whole had been so completely broken up, and the 
remains were so imperfect, that it seemed impossible, except 
perhaps with very great labour and by digging the whole 
field, to trace any definite plan. One wall, 12, much thicker 
than the others, ran across the field, almost direct east and 
west, and may be distinctly traced across the More road by 
a rising in the ground, and to a considerable distance into 
the next field. This there can be no doubt was the southern 
boundary wall of the whole of this range of buildings. It is 
rather remarkable that this wall runs at an angle to the 
other buildings, as is seen in the plan. A transverse wall, 13, 
is distinctly traceable in the second field and across the 
Lydham road into the park ; and another transverse wall, 8, 
was found in the first field. Probably a strong transverse 
wah at some distance to the ^east of the avenue, formed 
the eastern boundary wall of a great square ; and Mr. More 
found another strong wall crossing the valley a Little behind 
Linley HaU, and running east and west, and therefore parallel 
to the wall 12, which may have been a northern boundary, 
so that the whole would have formed an immense square, 
including the site of Linley Hall, and nearly the whole of 



the park in front. Mr. More caused the ground to be opened 
in several places in the middle of this park, and in almost 
every instance came to a level and artificially smoothed 
floor of hard gravel, as though there had been a very 
extensive interior court. Eemains of buildings had been 
found within the park, at 10 in the plan, but were broken 
up in forming the wall of the park, and the earth is stUl filled 
with fragments. At 11, a well appeared to have once existed. 
From the extent of this villa, (if it may be called a villa, 
for it was large enough for a little town), we can hardly doubt 
that it had some connection with the extensive lead mines in 
the mountaiQS behind, perhaps it was the residence of some 
one who had the command of them. The aqueduct, and the 
evident care to secure a large supply of water, would seem 
to shew that some of the operations of preparing the metal 
may have been carried on here, and one or two pigs of lead, 
inscribed with the name of the emperor Hadrian, have been 
found in the country at a short distance to the west. One 
of them, preserved by Mr. More at Linley Hall, is represented 

Roman pig of lead preserved at Linley Hall. 

in the accompanying cut ; another, found in the parish of 
Snead, is now in the rich museum of Mr. Mayer, at Liverpool. 
The hypocausts in the south-eastern corner, (2, x, 4,) evidently 
belong to rooms which required at times to be warmed and 
made comfortable ; but I suspect that the superior domestic 
buildings lay in the ground not yet explored on the western 
side of the park. To any one who has visited Linley Hall, it 
is unnecessary to say that the situation of this Eoman villa 



Was one of the most beautiful that can be imagined. Occu- 
pying an elevated bank, backed by lofty mountains, it 
commands in front an extensive view over the vales of 
Bishop's Castle and Montgomery, bounded by a long circuit of 
hUls, with the extensive intrenchments of the Bury Ditches 
boldly prominent to the south. Close to it, on the eastern 
side, runs a beautiful Httle mountain stream, the head of the 
small river Oney, which joins the Teme at Bromfield, a short 
distance above Ludlow. 

A Eoman villa of smaller extent has been discovered far to 
the eastward of this district, and near to the Watling Street, 

or Roman road running from Uriconium to Bravinium and 
Magna. Acton Scott, where stands the beautiful seat of Mrs. 


Stackhouse Acton, is distant about three-quarters of a mile to 
the east of the Watling Street, and lies on an old road leading 
from the Watling Street at Marsh Brook, by way of Halston 
and Ticklerton, to Wall, which latter place is close upon the 
Eoman road already described as running by Eushbury to 
Nordy Bank, and probably took its name from the remains 
of some Roman building which once stood there. The position 
of Acton Scott will be best understood by the map on the pre- 
ceding page. Two alterations in this old road, where it passed 
thi-ough the parish of Acton Scott, as I am informed by Mrs. 
Acton, brought to light no traces of a paved way such as 
would have proved at once its Roman origin, but one of 
them, made in 1817, led to the discovery of a Eoman villa, 
which bordered upon the road, and therefore affords very 
strong evidence of its antiquity. This villa stood on a bank 
which slopes towards the south-west down to a small stream. 
The labourers first came upon a floor of concrete, marked A 
in the annexed plan, inclosed by walls, Avhich were broken up 
and used in making the new road. Other rooms and walls 
were discovered in the course of the work, forming the plan 
indicated by the dark lines iu the accompanying cut. Mrs. 
Acton was fortunately made acquainted Avith the discovery in 
time to examine and make accurate drawings of the remains, 
or it also might have been allowed to pass unheeded.''' These 
walls, as then explored, formed an oblong square of 112 feet 
by 42, but it was probably only a portion of a larger building. 
The character of the remains were not at this time suspected, 
and even their exact site had become forgotten, when, in the 
dry summer of 1844, the hollow lines where the foundations 
had been removed were traced by the scantiness of the herbage, 
and Mrs. Acton employed some labourers on a more careful 
excavation. They came upon the floor which had been before 

„r„l Pnl™/-''''/?*f'':l'^l ''.'=™™t °f tlie discoveries on this site, drawn up by Mrs. Acton, 
ZntTinX A V ^Y ^""1^ °^ Antiquaries of London by the late Dean of Hereford, was 
tlmnktbpr™,, ^.■■'^^fologia,™! X.XXI. from wliich entirely I take my account, and I have to 
thank the Council of the Society for the loan of the wood-outs which iUustrated it. 



seen, (a). " It consisted of three layers of very hard con- 
crete, varying slightly in composition, the lower one consisting 
chiefly of lime, while the upper one contained pebbles and a 
good deal of pounded brick. Upon this was laid a floor of very 
thin flags; the dimensions were 13 feet by 10, and it was 
nearly two feet in thickness. Several small apartments were 

discovered shortly afterwards, containing piers formed of tiles 
varying from a foot to seven inches in diameter ; in some 
instances there was a base-tile of large dimensions. Only one 
pier was found of the height of the stone walls (20 inches), 



and that was formed of nine tiles. The larger piers were 
made of tiles, many of which had been broken into fragments 
before they had been placed in their present position f their 
broken edges had been rudely fitted ; some were plain, others 
had ribs at the edge, and others had patterns on them. 
The floors on which the pOlars rested were formed of a thin 
layer of fine-grained concrete." In the hjrpocausts and in 
their flues, much soot and fragments of charred wood were 
found ; and in various places were scattered the remains of 
the painted stucco of the walls, and of various buUding 
materials. " The fragments of decorative painting showed 
that the ground had been of a white or very light colour ; 
upon this panels appear to have been marked out by lines of 
dingy purple and red ; the ornaments being round spots 
arranged by fours and fives, pyramidically. On one fragment 
was painted the head of a bird with a branch in the beak, 
indicating that ornamental designs had been painted on some 
of the panels." The roof of this viUa was probably formed 
of tiles, as some of the flanged roofing tiles were met with, 
of which a perfect specimen and a fragment are shewn in 

the accompanying cut. 
Many other tiles used 
for diS'erent purposes 
were also found scat- 
tered about, and on 
some of them "were 
impressions of the 
naUed caligse of the 
soldiers, which must 
have been made previ- 
ously to the tiles having been baked ; and also of the feet 
of a dog and other animals. A few fragments of black, 
red, and light-brown pottery, together with bones and oyster 

Roof-tiles from Villa at A cton Scott. 

* This would seem to show that they had to be brought from a distance, and that it 
would require time and e.xpence to replace the broken ones by new whole ones. 


shells, were also discovered." In the largest room, that to the 
east, a baluster-shaped pillar, 3 feet 1 inch in height, made of 
sandstone grit, lay on the floor. At the outside of the western 
wall of this place, near the southern corner of the room a, 
appeared " some remains of a pavement formed of small 
angular pebbles, covered with soot, but no tessellse or indi- 
cations of any other sort of floor than those already described 
could be discovered in any part of the building." In the 
southern part of the two large rooms " there was a trench 
four feet wide, and two feet deeper than the floor of the 
hypocausts [which latter occupied the part marked in the 
plan as not found in 1817.] The bottom was laid with large 
pieces of half-bm'nt limestone, and, above, it was filled with 
large pebbles to the level of the other floors. No fragments of 
lime, or broken tiles, which abounded everywhere else, were 
found in this trench ; only one bit of thick ground glass. It 
was cleared out to the extent of eight yards, but its ter- 
mination was not ascertained." This trench had perhaps 
belonged to the ■villa in some earlier state, and been filled up 
when alterations were made in its arrangements ; for in 
excavating and thus dissecting the Eoman vdlas in our island, 
we often discover great changes which have been made in 
them at difli'erent periods by their proprietors, and not 
unfrequently a ncAv floor laid over an old one. The most 
curious discover}'-, however, made in this villa, was that of 
six Greek coins, found in the soil, the latest of which was of 
the early part of the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54.)'"' As 
this was the first weU-authenticated instance of the discovery 
of Greek coins in England, some suspicions were at the time 
thrown on Mrs. Acton's statement, and it was suggested that 
the coins might have been brought thither surreptitiously ; 
but she urges that " the labourers employed had all worked for 

* These coins, which are now deposited in the British Museum, were of Neapolis, struck 
300-2.50 B.C. ; of Andi-os, struck 300-2.50 B.C. ; of Smyrna, struck 150-100 B.C. ; of EfQ^it, of 
Antiochus VIII. and his mother Cleopatra, struck ahout 70 B.C.; of Smyi-na, struck during the 
reign of Claudius ; and of Parium in Mysia, with inscriptions in Latin ; all in hrass, 



me for more than twenty years ; they had nothing to gain by- 
imposition, and from the long-established custom of bringing 
all curiosities to me, I am sure, if one of them had possessed 
such coins, I should have had them before. I have no 
suspicion that they could have been placed where they were 
found by any other person." I have since heard from Mrs. 
Acton's own lips her confident belief that no trick could have 
been played with these coins, and I myself fully believe it. 
Greek inscriptions have been found in Britain, and why not 
Greek coins ? They may perhaps be taken as evidence of the 
early date at which the Eoman settlers in Britain began 
to erect country villas ; some one of the first inhabitants of 
that at Acton Scott, — perhaps the individual who erected it, at 
a time when men remembered Caractacus, and the struggles 
with the Silurians and the Ordovices, and the war of 
Boadicea, — may have come from Greece and brought with 
him " the coinage which was current in the eastern Archi- 
pelago, and left these six coins in the earth as memorials to 
his successors who Hved on the same lands after a lapse of 
nearly nineteen centuries. 

If we find traces of vOIas in our county at so early a period, 
it can hardly be doubted that Sln'opsliire was thickly scattered 
\^dth such buildings, although at present no more than the 
three described above have been examined. There appears 
to have been a Eoman villa on the road between Wroseter 
(Uriconium) and Shrewsbury, near the river Tern. At the 
close of the last century, sepulchral remains of an iirter- 
esting character were discovered near Tern Bridge, which 
belonged without doubt to a wealthy family, and had every 
appearance of forming part of the private cemetery of a vUla ; 
for generally each viUa had its family cemetery, sometimes 
witliin the walls of the building, and we rarely meet with 
such an interment as was found on this occasion apaxt from a 
villa or Eoman settlement of some description. Some of the 

tTRICONIUM. ;5 ,j 

objects found are still preserved at Attingiiam.* Here and 
there, perhaps, local names also indicate the recollections or 
discoveries of the remains of Roman viUas in former times. 
There is, I believe, no known locality in Sln'opshii-e bearing 
the name of Cold Harbour, or Cold Arbour, (in the dialect 
of the borders of Wales the h is often dropped,) which 
almost invariably indicates the site of a Eoman building ;t 
but Cound Arbour, near Berrington, is probably a cor- 
ruption of the same name. The name of Cold-Stockina;, 
attached to a place near Stokesay, close to the Watliug 
Street, may have a similar meaning ; and there are other 
places to the names of which cold is thus attached, all of 
which appear to be ancient sites, as Cold Hill, near Shelve, 
Cold Oak, Cold Hatton, near Welling-ton, Cold Green, Cold 
Weston, near Ludlow, and Coldwell. The name of Yarchester 
occurs near the village of Harley, on the road from Shrewsbury 
to AVenlock, which most probably points out the site of a 
considerable Roman villa, for this word chester often marks 
the site of villas of some importance, as in the case of 
Woodchester, in Gloucestershire ; and I am told that there 
have been met with here traces of the remains underground 

* The folio-wing account of this discovery is preserved in a manuscript of collections on 
Shropshire Antiquities, now in the Library of the British Museum, MS. Addit. No. 21,011, 
fol. 38, &c. " On Feb. 8th, 1798. Bet'^een Tern Bridge and the river Severn, at Attiugham, in 
a ploughed field, a little more than a plough depth, they came to an enclosure of large stones, 
within which were ranged three large glass urns of very elegant workmanship, one large 
earthen urn, and two smaller ones of fine red earth. Each of the urns had one handle, and the 
handles of the glass urns are elegantly ribbed. The glass urns were about 12 inches high, and 
10 in diameter. The large earthen urn was so much broken, that its dimensions could not 
be ascertained (it was probably an amphoraj ; but on its handle are stamped the letters SPAH. 
The small urns were about 9 inches high. Within the glass urns were biu-nt bones and fine 
mould, and in each a fine glass lachrymatoiy of the same material as the ums, which are a 
most beautiful light green. Near one of them was part of a jaw-bone, an earthen lamp, and 
a few Roman coins of the lower empire, of little value. The whole were covered with large flat 
stones, covered with a quantity of coarse rock-stone." 
+ I shall perhaps be excused for repeating here the explanation of this word, which I 
have oflered in my " History of Domestic Manners and Sentiments in England during the 
Middle Ages," p. 76. " It seems not improbable, also, that the ruins of Koman villas and small 
stations, which stood by the sides of roads, were often roughly repaired or modified, so as to 
furnish a temporary shelter for travellers who carried provisions, &c. with them, and could, 
therefore, lodge themselves without depending upon the assistance of others. A shelter of 
this kind — from its consisting of bare walls, a mere shelter against the inclemency of the 
storm — might be termed a ceald-liereherga (cold -harbour), and this would account for the great 
number of places in difierent parts of England which bear this name, and which are almost 
always on Roman sites and near old roads. The explanation is supported by the cii-cumstance 
that the name is found among the Teutonic nations on the continent — the German haltera- 
herberg, borne by some inns at tbe present day." 


of very extensive buildings, and the surface earth of the 
field in which they occur is thickly intermixed with fragments 
of Koman bricks and pottery. Even the names of fields 
are sometimes expressive. In some landed property at 
Wentnor, recently advertised for sale, one of the fields of 
which it is composed is called Parlour Furlong, given to 
it perhaps from the discovery at some former period of old 
walls, which may have been poptdarly supposed to have 
surrounded a parlour. A careful examination of such local 
names might lead to very interesting results. The presence, 
also, of Roman bricks in churches furnishes evidence that an 
edifice of some description had existed there in the time of 
the Eomans. In the walls of Whitton Chapel, near Cayn- 
ham, bricks are used wliich are apparently Roman, and 
perhaps came from a villa in the neighbourhood ; and, though 
the aljundant Roman materials in the walls of Atcham church 
may have come from the ruins of Uriconium, they may with 
equal probal)ility have been furnished by a villa which, as 
already stated, appears to have existed at Atcham itself. 

There are few counties more thickly strewed with the 
sepulchral tumuli of their ancient inliabitants than Shropshire 
and HerefordsViire, and, in many instances where the tumuli 
themselves have disappeared, the evidence of their former 
existence is preserved in the numerous names of places ter- 
minating in loiv, the Anglo- Saxon name for what we now more 
commonly term a harroiv* The subject of barrows is quite 
as obscure as that of old intrenchments, partly tln'ough the 
hasty and injudicious attempts of antiquaries to classify them. 
Some have proposed to arrange them according to their 
forms, others according to their positions, and almost all have 

* The Anglo-Saxon word ldivii\ or lilai'\ signified primurily a low liill or hillock, but was 
usually applied to the artificial hills, or mounds, raised over the remains of the dead ; it has in 
the changes of the language taken the form Joi'^ and when it occurs in the composition of the 
name of a place, usually at the end, it may always he taken as evidence that there was a 
sepulchral mound there, whether it be still existing or not. Thus, Ludlow means the low, or 
tumulus, at Lude, which appears from Mr. Eyton's researches to have been the name of the place 
in Anglo-Saxon times independently of the mound, which, though it exists no longer, is under- 
stood to have occupied part of the site of the present church. Our word han-owjor asepulchral 
mound, is the Anglo-Saxon heaj'w, or bearo, which was used in the same sense. 


yielded to a tendency to overrate their antiqiuty. We can 
only be certain of the age to which a monument of this 
description belongs, wlien, on <_>pening it, we can identify 
that of the objects found within. This identification is easy in 
the case of the tumuli of the pagan Anglo-Saxons, because it 
was the custom of that people to inter a great number and 
variety of objects with their dead ; and we can sometimes 
identify Eoman tumuli in the same manner. But it is very 
unsafe, in cases where we find few or no objects, or those of a 
kind of which we do not know the age, to conclude from those 
circumstances that they are of gTeater antiquity than those 
which contain objects of known date. To any one who reflects, 
it must be evident that the character and contents of a 
tumulus depended much, if not altogether, on the circum- 
stances of the locality and of the individual who was buried in 
it. Men of wealth, especially in the neighbom-hood of con- 
siderable towns, could purchase urns well made, which were 
on sale for such purposes, while in remote or less populous 
parts of the country, where such things were not always to be 
purchased, they would be either rudely made for the occasion, 
or would be dispensed with altogether, and they would also 
be more frequently made of perishable materials. Thus, while 
near a to'^\Ti, the ashes of the dead Avould be deposited in well- 
made ru'ns, the work of skilful potters, such as those found 
in the cemetery of Uriconium, and which would be easdy 
recognised as Eoman, when an inhabitant of some distant 
hamlet died, his friends ^vould probably make for him, wdth their 
hands, a rude vessel of clay, and Ijake it in the sun or by some 
other very imperfect process ; and similarly, while the friends 
of the former might place in his grave some object of metal 
and of elegant workmanship, the latter might be accompanied 
only mth some rude implement formed of chipped flint or 
iiibbed stone. My own impression is that there are not a very 
great number of tumuli in Britain older than the Eoman period, 
and the discovery of new facts is continually diminishing 


the number of those which are reputed to be of so great 
antiquity. Not many years have passed since the Anglo- 
Saxon sepulchral remains were supposed to be ancient British, 
and observations I have made myself in excavating barrows 
belonging to a class still reputed to belong to the ages before 
the Eoman invasion, have gone far towards convincing me 
that they really belong to the period which intervened 
between the withdrawal of the imperial government and the ' 
estabhshment of the Anglo-Saxons. Some antiquaries have 
held that, because Roman barrows are not found in Italy, 
the Eomans never raised tumuli over their dead. But this 
argument is refuted by the fact that we do find in this 
coiantiy sepulclu-al mounds which were imdoubtedly Roman. 
I need only refer for an example to the weU-known Bartlow 
Hdls, on the borders of Cambridgeshire and Essex. Moreover, 
it involves a grave fallacy. Very few of the Romans in 
Britain were Romans of Italy ; but they Avere a people 
gathered from aU the countries of the world which came 
xuider Roman influence, and, as we find from abundance of 
monuments that each brought with him the religious belief 
of his forefathers, there can hardly be a doubt that they also 
persisted, as far as circumstances allowed, in some of the modes 
of burial which were used in the countries they came from. 
This itself is quite enough to account for the varieties in the 
character of the barrow interments found in our country ; and 
I shall not attempt, therefore, to decide whether any or what 
barrows ou our border are British, or call any Roman, unless 
some object found in them be evidently Roman in character. 
The object all peoples had in erecting a mound over the 
dead was of course to make the spot known, and their aim 
was two-fold, first, to make it durable, and, secondly, to place 
it in a position where it could be seen by many people, and 
whence the spirit of the departed, which was supposed to 
continue to haunt the grave, could also see many people and 
much territory. People who had no towns, and therefore no 

URICONniM. 39 

roads of importance, like the Britons and all the German and 
northern peoples, usually chose for their hurial places the tops 
of mountains or hills, where these existed, or at all events the 
highest and boldest elevation in the neighbourhood ; while the 
Romans, who lived in towns, chose their burial places by the 
sides of the public roads where travellers passed, and to these 
the memorial inscriptions were sometimes addressed. In a 
population so mixed as that of Roman Britain, many, espe- 
cially of the rural population, would doubtless still prefer 
the tops of the hills for this purpose, and the summit of 
the Brown Clee Hdl as well as that of Titterstone, were 
probably early cemeteries inclosed by walls of stones, merely 
because earth was not here so easily procured. It would not 
be diiEcult to point out other hiUs in Shropshire on which 
barrows are found, and, as I have already observed, some of 
the intrenched hill tops so common in this part of the country 
probably served the same purpose. The tumuli found in the 
lower lands are much more remarkable in their character, and 
I beHeve usually stood by the side of the ancient roads. 

There is one class of barrows which is almost pecuhar to our 
border, and is generally found in a modern village, often 
standing in the near neighbom'hood of the church."'" These 
barrows are of large dimensions, and thej are often, perhaps I 
may say generally, truncated, or, in other words, they have a 
flat space of ground on the top. This cu'cumstance, and their 
great dimensions, led many people to dispute the fact of their 
being sepulchral, and to consider them as having served for 
beacons or watch-towers, or for some other purposes connected 
with the rude military system of ancient times. This C[ues- 
tion, however, was set to rest when, in 1855, I undertook the 
direction of excavations into one of these barrows which 

* There can be no doubt tbat in times long subsequent to that of theu" erection, 
these mounds were objects of superstitious reverence, and the people of the neighbourhood 
probably assembled at them on certain festal occasions. The early missionaries who preached 
to our Saxon forefathers found thus a congregation aheady assembled, and they took advantage 
of this circumstance to erect their church there. This is no doubt the reason why we so 
frequently find a church and a great tumulus standing side by side, or at least near one 



stands in the village of St. Weonards, in the south-west of 
Herefordshii-e, on the property of P. R. Mynors, Esq. This 
tumulus at St. Weonards is situated, as was that at Ludlow, 
on 'an elevated knoll, commanding a magnificent and ex- 
tensive view, and overlooking a Eoman road which ran from 
Monmouth (beheved to be the Eoman Blestium) towards 
Hereford, probably a direct road to the Eoman Magna 
(Kenchester). Its position, and that of the cutting which was 
made into it, will be best understood by the accompanying 
diao-ram. The mound is about a hundred and thirty feet in 
diameter, and twenty feet in height, with a circular platform 

on the summit seventy-six feet in diameter. The cut on 
the next page will give the best notion of its present 
appearance, and of the manner in which we opened it.'" 
A trench from eight to nine feet wide was cut from the south 
eastern side towards the centre, and tliis cutting, which 
was fourteen feet deep from the surface of the mound, Avas 
continued to a little distance beyond the centre. The reason 
I took this level was that some circumstances led me to 

* I comniimicated an accomit of tliese excavations, and of Treago, the ancient 
mansion of the Mjixors family, to the Archfeologia Canibrensis, in wliich it was published in 
•Tvily, lafiS, and I have now to thank the Cambrian Archa-ological Association for the loan of 
the engravings which illustrated it. 



believe that, before the tumulus was raised, an artificial level 
had been made for the interment, and this I found to be the 
case. The direction and extent of this cutting, as well as the 
position of the mound with regard to the village and the 
church, will be best understood by the accompanying plan ; 
and it may be remarked that in the view of the mound given 
below, the church steeple is seen to the right. At about 
fifteen feet from the centre of the mound, the workmen came 
upon what appeared to be a small mound of stones, or cairn, 
but which proved to be a small vaulted chamber, buUt of the 
sandstone of the locahty, which breaks up easily into large 

Sepulchral Tumulus at St. Weonards, Herefordshire. 

flat pieces. Beyond this, we came to another similar but rather 
larger vault, and on clearing them away, we found the first 
empty, except of earth which had gradually dropped through 
the interstices of the stones, but the second containing a mass 
of much finer mould than that of the rest of the mound. 
These rude vaults were cleared away, but at first we found no 
traces within them of sepulchral interment, and yet we were 
evidently on the level on which the mound was raised. 
However, I directed the men to sink a pit on the spot which 
had been covered by the principal vault of stones, and they 
had not proceeded far, before they came to a mass of ashes. 


mixed with pieces of charcoal and fragments of burnt human 
bones, which was found to be about a foot and a half thick, and 
was about nine or ten feet in diameter. A piece of the thigh 
bone, part of the bone of the pelvis, and a fragment of the 
shoulder blade, were picked up here ; and it appeared evident 
that the whole of the ashes of the funeral pile had been placed 
on the ground at this spot, and that a small mound of fine 
earth had been raised over them, upon which had been built 
a rude roof or vault of large rough stones. No traces of urns 
or of any other manufactured article, were met with. When 
a similar pit was sunk under the first mound of stones, 
another interment of ashes was found, also mixed with human 
bones half burnt. The sepulchral character of the mound was 
thus satisfactorily proved. The cutting of the trench in the 
way it was done, revealed in a very remarkable manner the 
method in which it was erected, which will be explained by 
the accompanying diagram, representing a section of the 

Section of the Tumiilus at St. Weonard's. 

mound in the direction of our cutting, which is shewn by the 
shaded part. In this diagram, e and f represent the two pits 
dug through the layers of ashes, (represented by the black 
lines,) to a small depth below. On the surface of our cutting, 
as here represented, were visible regular discolourations arising 
from the employment of different kinds of material. The 
mass of the mound consisted of a uniform light-coloured sand; 
but from the point i, a narrow arched stripe of a much darker 
mould occurred, as represented in the cut. Beyond this, two 
or three other bands, but thinner, of a lighter-coloured soil, 
and therefore less strongly marked, followed each other, until 
at g, we came upon a narrow band of small stones, also 
represented in the cut ; and at li, near the summit of the 


mound, there was another bed of similar stones. It is evident 
that, in the interment, a level surface Avas first formed, in the 
middle of which two holes were made for the reception of the 
ashes of the funeral pile, that these were covered with earth 
and vaiilted over with stones, that a circtdar embankment was 
next formed round the whole, and from this embankment the 
workmen filled up the interior inwards towards the centre. 
When they began filling in, they appear to have met with 
some darker mould, which has formed the band at i, and this 
dark band probably defined very nearly the outline of the 
first embankment. The lighter shaded bands show the suc- 
cessive fillings in towards the centre, until at length the 
workmen made use of a quantity of stones and rubble, taken 
perhaps from the quarry which furnished the large stones of 
the internal vaults. This bed of stones forms a kind of basin 
in the middle of the mound. They then went on filling 
again with the sand, tiU the work was nearly finished, when 
they returned to the stony material again, which appears at 
Ti. They finally smoothed the top, and formed the platform 
h h. It may be added, that the circle of the mound was not 
quite perfect, as the diameter through our cutting sHghtly 
exceeded in length the transverse diameter. The only piece 
of pottery which was found in the mound appeared to be 

A tumulus, in Shropshire, closely resembhng that at St. 
Weonards, has been accidentally cut partly away, so as to 
admit of its examination. It is situated in the villaee of 
Fitz, about five miles to the north-east of Shrewsbury, on the 
ground of E. Middleton, Esq., and one side of it was taken 
away in order to enlarge the farm- yard, to wliich it was 
adjoining, and not far from the church. On a visit to Fitz, 
in 1860, with my friend Mx. Henry T. Wace, of Shrewsbury, 
I was informed by Mr. Middleton that towards the middle 
some ashes and burnt bones were found, although the centre 
had not been reached. When I saw it, the surface of the 


cutting was sufficiently fresh to exhibit the shades of different 
coloured earth used in the filling in, which showed that the 
mound had been constructed in exactly the same manner as 
that at St. Weonards, namely, that a circular embankment 
had first been made, and that the mound had been filled in 
from the circumference of the circle, and not, as the common 
notion of building sepulchral mounds supposes, filled out 
from the centre. This tumulus was a hundred feet in 
diameter at the base, and forty-eight at the top, and about 
eleven feet high. It stands on an eminence commanding a 
fine view of the surrounding county.''' 

Another large barrow, a few yards to the north-east of the 
church at Clungunford, was opened some years ago by the 
incumbent, the Eev. John Eocke, whose account of the results 
is given by his friend, Mr. Hartshorne, in the Salopia Antiqua,t 
whom I can only follow in describing it. Tliis tumulus was 
about fifteen feet high, and a hundred and three feet in diameter 
at the base, and forty-nine at the top. " Mr. Rocke made an 
incision into the Isarrow from the north, by cutting a passage 
five feet five inches mde, which he carried on six feet beyond 
the centre in a southern direction. At the distance of eight feet 
from the edge, he came upon a solid mass of ashes, in which were 
found numerous pieces of rude unbaked pottery. This cinereal 
stratum was one inch and a half in thickness at its commence- 
ment, and kept gradually increasing as it got nearer the centre, 
when it became four inches thick. Four feet from the edge 
of the ashes, or twelve from the extremity of the barrow, a 
stratum of deep grey-coloured mud began, of that kind thrown 

* I have since received from Mr. MidcUeton tlie following account of tlie appearances 
wliich presented themselves in the process of cutting away the side of this tumulus : " About 
fifteen years ago, whUe cutting it evenly through to the base to enlarge the yard in which it 
stands, at about eight feet from the centre, we came upon a curious pile of pebblestones, placed 
much as bricks are in an arch, in which form they were erected, and under them (so far as mj 
memory serves me) a little space, and then a quantity of fine gravel or sand, and under that a 
large quantity of ashes containing burnt bones. This fortunately happened to be just m the 
face of the perpendicular we were cutting, or it would not have been seen, and I have little 
doubt but that another similar was found about the same distance from the centre in anothei 
place, but as what appeared to be the top of it was broken in with pickaxes, we found it hard to 
decide, as large quantities of ashes were dispersed more or less ui layers all over it near the 
base or primitive soil." 

t Hartshorne's Salopia Antiqua, p. 102. 


out of fisli-ponds ; it took an undulating form, and at the 
centre of the tumuhis was as much as eight feet in thickness. 
It was highly charged with a light-coloured matter, lesembHng 
mushroom spawn, which after a few miaautes exposure to the 
air assumed a pale Prussian-blue colour. It contained animal 
matter, pieces of charcoal, of unburnt wood, pieces of bone, 
and fragments of unburnt pottery ; the handle of one piece 
had the impression of a man's thumb on the under side. Below 
this stratum was another of a similar kind, varying, howe^'er, 
in some degree, inasmuch as it was of a deeper colour, and 
appeared more highly charged with animal matter. Besides 
containing bones of oxen and large pieces of charcoal, there 
were in this deposit boar's tusks, and two pieces of iron resem- 
bling a horse-shoe nail ; one long and thin Uke an awl, the 
other like a 'frost-nail.'" The state of mud here described 
probably arose from some peculiarity of the ground, and other 
particulars bear a resemblance, if we keep in mind the differ- 
ence of locality, to a large Roman barrow at Snodland, in 
Kent, which I assisted in opening in 1844.'''" The iron nails 
were no doubt used in attaching together the wooden frame on 
which the body was laid for burning, and preclude the suppo- 
sition of this barrow being older than the Eoman period. It 
is, in fact, nearly adjacent to the southern branch of the 
Wathng Street. " At the distance of twenty feet six inches 
from the outside of the barrow, Mr. Eocke came upon a heap 
of stones, which was three feet nine inches Avide, and one foot 
eight inches high ; underneath it lay the dark mass of charcoal 
before mentioned. At this point the richer mud was one foot 
in thickness ; midway betwixt this part and the centre it 

increased to one foot four inches Towards the 

centre there appeared to be two strata of ashes ; the lower 
one was four inches thick, the upper one three inches thick, 
having nine inches of clay betwixt them. Tliis seemed to 
have been sunk on the eastern side, as the ashes rose up 

* See my WaiideriDgfi of an Antiquarj'. p. 1H3. 


towards the west. The richest part of the mud was toward; 
the centre of the mound ; it was there of a deeper cast, anc 
fuller of the prussiate of iron, and here it was two feet thicl 
above the coal hearth, and about two feet six inches below it 
Outside the heap of stones, just where the cinereal stratun 
commenced, was found a great quantity of vegetable matter 
which seemed to be rushes. Having carried on his investi 
gations thus far, Mr. Eocke reached the centre of the tumulus 
and thinking that he mie'lit still have missed some interment 
he continued the excavation five feet further, and two feel 
lower. He still found the same kind of mud, but in a more 
liquid state, and falling into a basin as it were, in the centre 
of which was a plum-pudding stone of a peculiar shape, one 
foot high and eighteen inches long, and fifty pounds weight 
that had formerly been supported by a piece of cleft oak 
which was lying flat underneath it." 

A certain number of these sejDulchral mounds are marked 
in the maps of the ordnance survey, but many more, althougl 
of considerable magnitude, have escaped the observation o1 
the surveyors. Many have been AvhoUy or partly cleared 
away, and no memorial of what was found in them preserved : 
but in general they seem to have been very unproductive oi 
objects of interest, and indeed excavations into these large 
barrows on our border have only satisfied us of the fact thai 
they were erected for sepulchral purposes, and that the bodies 
of the dead had been in all cases burnt before interment. 
According to the old monkish record of the clearing away oj 
the tumulus at Ludlow, at the end of the twelfth century 
the bodies of its tenants had been buried entire ; but as these 
monks wanted relics of samts, we cannot trust much to theii 
statements, as far as regards this question. I believe no othei 
instance occurs of the remains of bodies which had beer 
interred without burning in any of the tunmli on the borders 
of Wales. In 1823 an opening was made into a large 
tumulus at Stapleton, five miles to the south of Shrewsbury 


but nothing more was discovered than a sepulchral wen of 
baked clay. A large tumulus stands close to the church of 
Little Ness, about seven miles north-west of Shrewsbury. 
]\Ir. Pidgeon informs me that some years ago he " delved at its 
side, and found quantities of animal bones and burnt wood." 
There was another large conical mound at Cressage, eight miles 
to the south-east of Shrewsbiu'y, contiguous to a ford through 
the Severn ; but early in the year 1861 it was partly removed 
in the formation of the line of the Severn Valley Eailway, 
and no information has been preserved of any discoveries 
made in digging into it. A large tumulus at the corner of 
cross roads at Eaton, in the parish of Lydbury North, was 
partly cut away a few years ago, for purposes of utility, and 
a number of urns and burnt bones were found, which were 
preserved by the late Eev. John Eogers, of the Home. 
I examined both the mound and the urns, in company with 
Mr. More, of Linley Hall, and believe them to have been of 
the Eoman period 

I have ahready stated that the tumuli of the Eoman period 
were usually placed along the lines of their roads, often, no 
doubt, attached to villas which were buUt in similar positions. 
The tumuli at Fitz and Little Ness, as Avell as another at 
Wilcot, near the Neschff, stood near the road from Uriconium 
through Eutunium to Mediolanium. A tumulus at Yockleton 
adjoined the Eoman road leading from Shrewsbury westward 
through Stony Stretton ; while one at Woolaston, as well as 
that at Eaton, and another at Hardwick near Eaton, stood 
near a probable road leading from Shrewsbury in the direction 
of Bishop's Castle. That at Cressage stood upon a road, which 
there can be Httle doubt was Eoman, running perhaps from 
Eutunium, on the southern side of the river, to Wenlock, 
and onward to Bridgnorth. That at Stapleton stood perhaps 
on a road running from Uriconium, or branching from 
the Watling Street across the country towards Bishop's Castle, 
or perhaps on a branch of the road running from the site 


of Shrewsbury southward, to join the Watling Street, on 
the hne of which, but nearer Shrewsbury, is also found the 
boldly intrenched area called the Burghs, which I have 
omitted to mention in the list of early so-called "camps," 
and the tumuli at Smethcote and Woolstaston may perhaps 
have bordered the same road. Tumuli are found at various 
places along the line of the southern Watling Street, as 
at Clungunford, at Broadward, several in the neighbourhood 
of Leintwardine, and others further south. Two fine tumuli 
at the village of Aston, between three and four miles to 
the south-west of Ludlow, probably stood by the side of a 
cross road, and in the vicinity of a Roman villa. There 
are tumuli at Rushbury, and at Holgate, in Corve Dale, 
on the line of road already mentioned as running by the 
former place and Nordy Bank ; and the tumuli of smaller 
dimensions on the Old Field near Ludlow, that which 
formerly existed at Ludlow itself, and that still remaining 
at Tenbury, stood in all probability near a line of Roman 
road running in the direction they indicate. A branch of 
this road seems to have ran more directly south. Mr. J. T. 
Irvine, who had the direction of the very important restora- 
tions of the church of St. Lawrence, at Ludlow, and who, 
with a very great intelligence of these ancient remains, visited 
attentively the country for a considerable distance round that 
town, has called my attention to a Roman road which comes 
from Herefordshire by Portcullis, Preston Wynn, Lower Hol- 
back, Bowley Lane, Blackwardine, (in the parish of Humber,) 
Stretford, Pattys Cross, Stockton, (in the parish of Kimbolton,) 
and Ashton, and thence indistinctly towards Broderts Bridge, 
near Wooferton, and suggests that the Ypocessa, or Epocessa 
of the anonymous geographer of Ravenna, may have been on 
this line. In fact, Blackwardine appears by the great quan- 
tities of Roman remains found there, to have been some rather 
important Roman station. A little wide of this road, 
which perhaps came straight from Gloucester, are Sutton 


Walls, the palace of king OfFa, and close upon it are the fine 
intrenchments of Risbury Camp, near Humbcr, the camp 
near Upper Bach, in Kimbolton parish, a " camp " within 
a mile, at Ashton, and a large tumulus called the CJastle 
Tump, a little farther north. On the eastern side of the 
county the tumuH seem to be scattered much more irregularly, 
though they may stiU. have been near cross-roads, which appear 
to have been numerous in this part of the county, and the 
positions of which were no doubt connected with the works 
of the mining districts, and perhaps with villas of men who 
were more or less employed in the direction or command of 
the mining operations. There are several tumuli in Linley 
Park, no doubt the burial places of some of the rahabitants of 
the extensive vdla already described. 

We must not overlook the knportant monuments of the 
Roman period just alluded to, — the remains of their mining 
operations. These were carried on actively and extensively 
on the western side of Shropshire especially, where the 
Romans obtained large quantities of lead and apparently a 
considerable supply of copper, with some other metals in 
smaller quantities. The locality which in this district 
furnished the greatest supply of lead was the Stiperstones 
range, Vith the lesser mountains depending on it, especially 
Shelve Hill, on the property of Mr. More of Linley Hall. 

Pliny, who died in the year 79, informs us that lead, which 
he calls nigrum plumbum, to distinguish it from plumbum 
album (or tin), was found in Britain so plentifully on the 
surface of the ground, or, as he expresses it, on the eaii:h's 
outside skin, that it was found convenient to make a law 
which limited the quantity to be extracted.'"' The great 
Roman naturalist does not tell us in what part of Britain this 
, occurred, but it is in the highest degree probable that he 
alludes to the district just mentioned, for the remains of the 
Roman workings on the Shelve HUl, which are of a very 

* See Pliny, as already quoted on p. 7 of the present volume. 


remarkable character, agree exactly with Pliny's stateme 
that the metal was found on the siu-face of the groui 
Along this hill the lead ore, which runs almost in horizon' 
veins across it nearly from east to west, came out up 
the surfiice of the rock. In this condition it must ha 
1ieen found by the Eomans, and their miners began to wc 
apparently from the bottom of the hill, following the v( 
into the rock as far as they could trace it. The remai 
of their labours are visible along the whole surface of the h 
and resemble somewhat a series of irregular cuttings alon^ 
large cheese ; but the most remarkable of these occur at 
s^iot near the northern end of the hill, where, at its foot, 
mine called the Roman Gravel Mine is now in operatic 
We may here trace distinctly and on a large scale the mam 
in wliich the Roman miners followed the veins of ore. Wh( 
it did not a] ipear to run deep, they soon gave up the labc 
of breaking the rock till they came to another, but, leavi 
only a shallow cutting, followed the vein along the surfa 
while in some places the cutting is at the same time ve 
narrow and very deep. In one instance it sinks to a dej 
of, I believe, forty yards, yet barely mde enough for one m 
to work in. In other places the vein of ore had been m( 
massive, and in following it the Roman miners had lioUoA^ 
in the rock cavern-like chambers, from which galleries wi 
carried in different dii'ections. These are now, or at le; 
the entrances to them, blocked up with rubbish. In one 
the largest of these caverns, near the brow of the hUl, the vi 
has been followed downward by a shaft of great depth ; in 
present state a stone is heard rolling down for several secon 
It is not easily examined on account of its position in a di 
corner, and from the dangers of slipping into it ; but havi 
been carried up to the surface of the rock above, no doubt 
facilitate the raising of weights up and letting them down 
appears that it was a rectangular shaft of small dimensic 
From discoveries made in this island of pits for varii 



purposes, it appears tliat the Romans were in the habit of 
sinking to very considerable depths shafts so narrow that in 
some instances they could hardly be excavated by a single 
man. At Richborough, in Kent (the Roman Rutupise), cir- 
cular pits were found in making the cutting for the railway 
from Sandwich to Minster, which were from tAventy to thirty 
feet in depth, and hardly more than two feet in diameter. By 
the remains described above, we should not know how deep the 
Roman miners in Shelve Hill went, but the modern miners of 
the Roman Gravel Lline have met with the Roman shafts and 
galleries at a very considerable depth, while the excavations of 
former, though stiU recent, miners on the same spot have 
shown that the Romans, in following the veins from the 
surface, missed very large masses of metal.''"' The antiquity 
of these mines has Ijeen proved not only by pigs of lead 
bearing the stamp of Roman emperors, but by Roman coins 
and pottery found from time to time among the Roman 
rubbish. Early mining implements also have been found, 
and especially a cmious description of spade, of which Mr. 
More possesses tlu'ee samples, which are all represented in the 
the accompanying cut. 
They are formed of 
laminae of oak timber, 
roughly split and cut 
into the shape she^vn 
in these figures, ^ttdth 
a very short stumpy 
handle, and a hole, 

generally square, the Roman Mining spades, presorred at Llnley HaU. 

side of which nearest the handle was cut sloping from it. 
This hole was evidently intended to receive a short staff, 
which might be used as a lever in giving force to the move- 
ment of the hand ; and the implement itself was no doulrt 

* Immediately under one part of the ancient workings, aliout 16 years ago, one " pipt ' 
of ore produced two thousand tons in eleven months at a depth of eighty yards. 


designed for yliovelling away the broken stones containing i 
lead (»-e in narrow passages where there was not space : 
giving much movement to the human body. The dimensic 
of the spade or shovel in the middle of these three spad 
which are all drawn to the same scale, is sixteen inches lo 
by eight and a half in greatest l^readth. Our only authori 
foT stating these spades to be Roman is, of course, the fact 
their having been found in the rubbish of these Roman mine 
l^ut it must be stated also that in other parts of our isla: 
similar spades, aird of the same materials, have been a] 
found in the remains of mines which are undoubtedly Romf 
They furnish a remarkable proof of the great durability 
sound oak timljer. 

No traces of the places for washing and smelting the oi 
obtained by the Romans from these mines have yet be 
met with, l)ut that these processes were carried on in t 
neighljourhood of the mines is proved liy the discoveiy alrea( 
alluded to, of Roman pigs of lead foimd ■ndthin no gre 
distance. In addition to the two examples I have alreai 
mentioned, there is one in the British Museum, found in t 
last century at Snailbeach at the northern end of the Stip( 
stones. All three bear the mark of the emperor Hadrif 
This name, and the allusions in Pliny, shew at what an eai 
period of the Roman settlement in this country the mir 
of the Stiperstones district were woiked.'"' 

Westward of the Stiperstones mountains, and throughc 
the county of Montgomery, lead and copper are found 
abundance, and we trace ever}T\"here the presence of t 
Roman miners. But we will not on this occasion wane 
from our own county. To the east of the Stiperstones cop] 
is found, but not now in such Cjuantity as will pay for t 
labour of mining, as far as it has been discovered. I s 

* The lead mines, — or, at least, a lead miiie, — at Shelve, were worked again by 
Normans, and a considerahle quantity of lead was obtained thence during the latter liaU of 
twelfth and the thirteenth centuries, as appears from documents quoted by Mr. Eyton, m 
excellent Antiquities of SlirnpsJure, Tol. xi. p. 110. It is probable that the want 'of lead 
roofms the numerous monastic houses erected during the former period led to the renew! 
mining operations hi this district. 


informed by my friend Mr. More, that the little stream wliich 
enters his park under Radley Hill, and which is marked in the 
Ordnance Survey Map as the Black Brook, running south- 
wardly at the eastern foot of the Stiperstones, divides the lead 
district from the copper. The hill in Linley Park, opposite 
Radley Hill, certainly contains copper ; and there are traces 
of copper over the whole district between Minsterley and the 
Stiperstones on the one side, and the Longmynd on the other. 
Copper has also been found, though in no great quantities, in 
Lythe Hill, facing the entrance to the valley of Church 
Stretton. Hence the copper district turns northwardly. To 
the north of Shrewsbury we meet a flat country with a broken 
line of eminences, the latter represented by Grinshill and the 
Hawkstone hills, which all contain copper. My friend Mr. 
Samuel Wood, of Shrewsbury, informs me that there are 
traces of mines which had been worked by the Romans at the 
Clive, near Grinshill, and he is of opinion that the well-knoAvn 
grotto in Hawkstone Park, with its dark passage of eighty 
yards, was certainly formed by the Romans in working for 
copper ore. 

From this spot the traces of Roman mining operations 
disappear until we arrive at the hiU of Llanymynech, on the 
north-western borders of our county. Llanymynech Hill is 
a mountain of limestone of considerable extent arising from 
the plain at some distance in advance of the edge of the 
mountain district of Denbighshire. Between the strata of 
lime occurs a very tenacious smooth clay, with orange-coloured 
ochre and green plumose carbonate of cojaper. The latter 
attracted the attention of the Roman miners, and remains of 
their extensive works are found on the north-west side of the 
lull. These consist of shallow pits, the debris from the 
excavations of which are full of small pieces of copper ore. 
In the neighbourhood of these pits we find traces of vitrifi- 
cation, which seem to show that the Romans here smelted 
their copper on open hearths. They had also penetrated deep 



into the mountain, and there is a rather celebrated cavern 
considerable dimensions, known popularly by the Welsh ns 
of Ogo (a cave), from which irregular winding passages rur 
different directions, and connected wdth these the remain! 
air-shafts have been found. Though at the beginning tj 
are not easy of access, the Roman workings in the iuterioi 
Llanymynech Hill have been explored more than once. 
the latter half of the last century they were entered by min 
in search of copper, who found a certain number of Ron 
coins, some mining implements, and, it is stated, culin 
utensils, and several human skeletons and scattered bones 
one of the skeletons having a bracelet on the left arm, ani 
" battle-axe " by his side.'* Some of the mining impleme: 
foimd here were deposited with other antiquities in : 
Library of Shrewsbury School, but they appear to be 
longer preserved. My friend, the Rev. C. H. Hartshor 
however, who was educated at Shrewsbury School, me 
dramngs of them before they were lost, and by his kindn 
I am enabled to give a figure of one of them in the acco 
panying cut. It is a rather heavy pick, eight 
inches and a half long, by about two in diameter 
at its thickest end, and appears to have been 
used for breaking and extracting rock, or perhaps 
for crushing the ore. At a rather later period, a 
gentleman well-known in the literary history 
of Shropshire, J. F. M. Dovaston, explored the 
Roman workings as completely as it could be 
done, taking the precaution of carrying a piece 
of chalk with him to mark his way. He found 
some of the passages, which were extremely sinu- 
ous, extending as far as two hundred yards, '^°°^' 
sometimes so small that it was necessary even to creep throu 
them, while they were usually from a yard to three yai 

* Sec Pennant's Turns hi Wales, vol. iii. p. 218, etUtion of 1810; ami Nicliols 
tambnan rravcltcr's Ci'vtrh', under tlie word Llan y Mynacli. 


wide, and at times, where the ore had been found in larger quan- 
tities, became developed into broad and lofty chambers. These 
passages had all been cut through the solid rock, and in many 
places the marks of the chisel were distinctly visible.* " Long 
passages," as we are told in the account of this exploration, 
" frequently terminate in small holes about the size to admit a 
man's arm, as if the metal ran in strings, and had been picked 
out quite clean, with hammers and long chisels, as far as they 
could reach." The roofs of these caverns were covered with 
pendant stalactites, which glittered brilliantly in the light of 
the torches. It is further stated that so many human bones 
were found scattered about, that it was conjectured that these 
caves had become, in the troubled times which followed the 
overthrow of the Eoman empire in the west, a place of refuge 
in moments of danger, and that the fugitives had perished 
there. Eoman antiquities of various descriptions, and espe- 
cially coins, are stiU often found on Llanymynech Hdl, and 
Mr. Pidgeon, of Shrewsbury, possesses about twenty copper 
coins obtained here, ranging from the earher emperors to a 
tolerably late period of the imperial sway in Britain. The 
metal taken from the Llanymynech HUl was no doubt prin- 
cipally copper ; but the Eomans also obtained some lead and 
calamine. It stdl produces lead and copper, though I believe 
in no great abundance.t 

As far as we can discover, the Eomans seem not to have 
been aware of the existence of iron in Shropshire ; but there 
can be no doubt that they had discovered and worked the 
Shropshire coal-field. In the course of the following pages we 
shall meet with repeated evidence of the use of mineral coal 
by the inhabitants of Uriconium. It appears, however, to 
have been generally the coal of inferior quahty which they 

* This is the case also at present in a part of the Eoman cuttings on Shelve HiU, 
where the rock which formerly covered it has recently fallen in, and left some of the internal 
surface exposed to view which was formerly concealed. 

+ See, for further information on this subject, my paper on the " Roman Mining 
Operations on the Borders of Wales," in the " Intellectual Observer," vol. i, p. 295, from which 
the foregoing remai'ks on the Eoman Mines are chiefly repeated. 


found near the surface, and wliicli is still called surface cc 
Even within a century back, people in some parts of the Wi 
Riding of Yorkshire were accustomed to supply themseh 
with mineral coal by digging ia their fields. 

It wUl be remarked, in perusing the foregoing sketch of f 
existing remains and traces of the population of ShrojDsh: 
under the Romans, that they are found most plentifully 
the centre of the county, and in the western and southe 
parts. It is very probable that the north eastern part of t 
county was then covered with the forests from which t 
inhabitants of Uriconium procured the boars and other wi 
animals, the remains of wliich are found so plentifully in t 
course of our excavations. But western Slu'opshire, and i 
the country south of the Watling Street, including Herefoi 
shire as far as the iron districts of the forest of Dea 
Avere no doubt in the time of the Romans well inhabit- 
and richly productive. 

The shght glances at the history of the province of Brita 
which we obtain from the existing Roman writers, throw i 
light on the events which may have occurred on our bord( 
We can only conjecture that when, in the latter end of t 
fourth century and the earlier part of the fifth, the ties whii 
held the island province to imperial Rome were loosened, ai 
the Roman population of our island began to intrigue and reb 
and set up emperors for themselves, our border must have he 
an important place in the political events of Britain from ti 
circumstance that two of the three legions stationed in ti 
island had their head quarters at its northern and southe: 
extremities, at Deva (Chester,) and Isca Silurum (Caerleoi 
At the time of the compilation of the important official wo: 
called the Notitia Utriusque Imperii, believed to have be( 
alwut the year 410, both the legions had been withdrawn fro 
this part of the island, the twentieth, from Deva, having passi 
over to the continent, and the second, from Isca, lieing station( 
fit Rutupige (Richliorough, in Kent), ready to follow it. T 



districts on the Welsh border were probably attractive by 
their richness, as they were exposed by their position, to the 
barbarous marauders who now began to attack the province 
from every side. The mouth of the Dee and the coasts of 
Fhntshire lay open on the north to the terrible Picts and 
Scots, while no doubt invaders equally destructive, periiaps 
Irish (only another name for Scots) and Bretons from the 
coast of Gaul, with any other tribes who would join them, 
following the rivers and the roads, could overrun and ravage 
the whole of the border, almost with impunity. It was no long 
time after the compilation of the Notitia, when the towns of 
Britaiu were finally released from the imperial supremacy by 
the letters of Honorius recommending them to provide for 
their own defence. It was at some period after this event, as 
I shall endeavour to shew in the next chapter, that the city 
of Uriconium perished, and our border appears at that time to 
have been inundated by a deluge of barbarians which left the 
whole country a waste. All the Roman towns appear to 
have been taken and destroyed, including Isca itself, Venta, 
Blestium, Axiconium, Magna, Bravinium, our Uriconium, and 
the other towns to the east and north-west of it, and none of 
them are heard of afterwards except in fable and romance. 
Deva seems alone to have been strong enough to resist the 
invaders, for it continued to exist as an important city under 
the Anglo-Saxons ; and this circumstance renders it probable 
that this final devastation of this part of the Roman province 
came from the south. Amid blackened ruins of towns and 
vUlas, all that remained here of the civilization of the 
Romans was their roads, their hill intrenchments, and 
their tumuli, with a population scattered and terrified, and 
fearfully reduced in numbers. 

We might here conclude our notice of Roman Shropsliire, 
but I am unwilluig to leave one of the classes of remains just 
mentioned without some account of its subsequent history, 
because it presents a curious illustration of the state of the 


country during the ages which followed the close of the Eoman 
period. The Saxons were, as I have remarked already, no 
road-makers, and the Roman roads remained the only works 
of the kind in our island for a great length of time, — in. fact 
they are the foundation of most of our principal lines of road 
at the present day. Hence, most of the great roads in other 
parts of the island were adopted and kept up by the Anglo- 
Saxon settlers. But in Shropshire, where the country had 
probably become very thinly inhabited, and where all the old 
commerce and traffic had perished, the Eoman roads remained 
useless and neglected untU the period when Shrewsbury rose 
into existence, and became a place of importance. The roads 
to the west of Shrewsbury, which led into the mining districts, 
now that the latter were abandoned, appear to have been so 
generally lost, that e-ven the continuation of the Watling 
Street in that dii-ection can no longer be traced with certaiuty. 
But we can trace to the eastward not only the Wathng Street 
itself, but the different variations from it which have been 
made at different periods by local or other causes. 

Shrewsbury, as has been before stated, stands on the Wathng 
Street, and appears to have arisen on the site of some small 
Roman station. When Uriconium was destroyed, and its 
ruius too vast to be cleared away for the foundation of a town 
among a small population, Shrewsbury was decidedly the best 
site on the river for a settlement. We might suppose that the 
inhabitants of Shrewsbury would have adopted the Wathng 
Street as their road eastward, but this appears not to have 
been the case, and it was perhaps the ruins of Uriconium, 
which must have blocked it up, and probably also the 
insecurity of this road from causes not now known to us, 
which led them to abandon it. They chose for their route 
towards the south-eastern parts of the island, a road no doubt 
also Roman, which passed by Wenlock to Bridgnorth. The 
foundation of the abbey of Wenlock by the Saxon prince 
Merewald, in the latter half of the seventh century, may 


probably be taken as a proof that at that period this was the 
road in general use. Bridgnorth was e^ddently from an early 
period a very important position. The Anglo-Saxons called it 
simply Bricg, the bridge, because the Severn was there passed 
by a bridge, which the pecuharity of the site rendered the 
position weU calculated for defending. The epithet North 
was given to it no doubt because, after the destruction of the 
Eoman bridge at Uriconium, it was the last bridge up the 
river. It became thus the place for passing the Severn in the 
way to Shrewsbury and North Wales, — it was the key to that 
road. It was this circumstance which caused Ethelfleda, in 
912, to erect the first known fortress of Bridgnorth, as a 
barrier to the uiroads of the Danes, who took this way into 
Shropshire. After the Conquest, Bridgnorth continued to be 
considered as the eastern outpost of ShrewslDury and the 
earldom of Salop, and great importance was given to its 
castle by the Norman earLs. In 1202, king John marched 
to Shrewsbury by way of Bridgnorth, and in 1220, and, 
ia 1223 and 1224, he went to and from Shrewsbury l)y 
the same route. The way from Bridgnorth to London 
then passed through Kidderminster and Worcester. This 
appears to have been the regular high road from London to 
Shrewsbury during the middle ages. 

At some period of the middle ages, however, the old 
Watling Street road was resumed by making a deviation from 
that road a httle to the north so as to avoid the ruins of 
Uriconium. In the time of queen EHzabeth, people seemed 
to have usually travelled to Shrewsbury by the Watling Street 
road. Every reader will remember how Shakespeare, in the 
first part of King Henry IV., leads Falstafi" m the route of the 
king's troops by this way. Falstafi" complains of his soldiers 
having stolen a shirt " from my host at St. Alban's, or the 
red-nose innkeeper of Daintry ;" and at the beginning of the 
scene, which is laid in " a pubhc road near Coventry," he is 
introduced saying, " Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry ; 


fill me a bottle of sack ; our soldiers shall march through ; 
we'll to Sutton Coldfield to-night." Sutton Cloldfield is 
situated at a short distance from the Watling Street on 
the Iwrders of Warwickshire and Staffordshire. Birmingham 
was now rising into importance, and caused a deviation to 
be made from this road, for in the list of roads in Piers' 
Almanack for 1640, the road from Shrewsbury to London is 
given as running through Watling Street, Sheffnal, Bonigall, 
Wolverhampton, Bremicham (Birmingham), Meriden, Co- 
ventrie, &c. For some reason, however, some few years 
afterwards, when the traffic on the main roads began to be 
more regular, the part of this road between Birmingham and 
Shrewsbury was abandoned for the old road by way of 
Bridgnorth ; and John Ogilby, who first published plans 
of the principal roads made from an actual survey of 
them aU in 1674, delineates the road from London to 
Shrewsbury as leaving the Watling Street, or Holyhead Road, 
at Weedon, and as passing through Birmingham and Dudley 
to Bridgnorth, and thence by way of Wenlock, Harley, 
Cressage, and C*ound, to Shrewsbury. This continued to be 
the road to Shrewsl^ury when the revised and diminished 
edition of Ogilby's road -maps was pu1:ilished by Emanuel 
Bowen, in the year 1731, about which time it was finally 
abandoned, and the permanent service of coaches was estab- 
lished on the road indicated in the Almanack of 1640, which 
has continued to be the regular coach road to London down 
to the present time. A note engraved in one corner of 
the map in the edition of Bowen's Ogilby just alluded to,"'' 
informs us rather quaintly that since the survey was made, a 
better way " had been found," as though people had been 

• This note is so quaiut, tliat I give it here yerhatim. "Advertisement. Since the 
Survey of this Road by our Author, that part of it from Bii-mingham to Shrewsbui^, passing 
through Dudley, Bridgnorth, Wenlock, ifcc, as describ'd in ye Plan in this Page, is now wholly 
dissused or laid aside ; a much better Way having since been found both in respect of goodness 
and shortness : an Account of wliich we have rec'd from a Gentleman who is well acquainted 
therewith, viz., as soon as you pass Birmingham, the New Eoad breaks off on the Left acutely 
and passes thro' AV. Bii-mingham, Wolverhampton, Boxnigal, Cosford, Shiifnal, Priors Lee, 
Oken-yate, WatUng Street, Fen [Tei-n] Bridge, Alcham (Atcham), Eustry, and so to Shrews- 


searching their way through a wilderness, and that the ohi 
road was then totally disused. It is probable that the reasons 
for abandoning the Watling Street beyond Meriden, were, 
first, the dangers to which it was exposed from highwaymen 
and others in the wild wooded countr}- of Sutton, CViunock, 
and other chases, and, secondly, the increasing manufacturing 
and commercial importance of Birmingham.'"' It is probable 
also that the road from Birmingham by way of Shiffnal had 
become a very bad one, for in the Itinerar}^ of Cook's County 
Directory for Shropshire, published early in the present cen- 
tury, the road in different places, as at Bromwich Heath, 
Bilston, Tettenhall, and Boninghal, that is, between where it 
left the Wathng Street and the place where it rejoined it, 
remarks are made relating to then recent improvements of 
the road wliich woidd lead us to suppose that it had pre- 
viously been in a deplorable condition. It may be remarked 
also, that the foho edition of Ogilby, printed in 1698, contains 

* The same reasons, no dou"bt, cansed the old Holylicad road to be graduiillj aban- 
doned. I have received some remarks on tliis subject from a friend at Walsall. Mr. W. H. 
Duignan, ivith whom I visited the part of the road in his own neighbourhood, some two years 
ago, and who has explored pei*sonally the whole line of the Watling Street with gi'eat care, 
and I may add, great antiquarian knowledge, which are so much to the purpose, and so inte- 
resting, that I shall take the liberty of inserting them here. — " The ancient way fi'om London 
to Shrewsbury, Chester, and all parts of North Wales, was via Bamet, Towcester, d'c, Coven- 
try, Stone Bndge, Castle Bromwich, Ivetsey Bank, Weston, (here the road goes to the right, to 
Chester, &c.) It is the Watling Sti'eet up to Weedon, there it leaves it, and joins it again at 
the Rising Sun on Cannock Chase, and travels on it again close up to Shrewsbury. We crossed 
this road just above where I pointed out to you a withered old oak, and on our return I shewed 
you the Welsh Harp, and the Swan near it, just before we wallved up that gravelly hill. The 
Four Crosses is a very ancient half timbered hostelry, eight miles north of the Welsh Harp. 
In my opinion the whole road was used by the Eomans, as there are tumuli and camps all along 
it. It was formerly th-e great coach and post road, but became forsaken about 70 or BO years 
ago, as it is said by tradition and history, on account of its being so infested by liighwaj-men, 
who found shelter on the great wastes of Sutton Coldfield and Cannock Chase. In some of my 
old papers I have accounts of the apprehension of great highwaymen, almost of Dick Turpiu 
celebrity, on this road ; but I am disposed to think that the groTsing irapoi-tance of Birming- 
ham attracted the Shrewsbury traffic, which then passed on through Dudley and Bridgnorth, 
and the Chester traffic was also diverted via Coleshill, Lichfield, Stone, &c. In one of hif* 
joumies to London, Pennant goes from Whitchurch, in Shropshire, to the Welsh Harp in one 
day, and thinks it a prodigious journey. The cattle and packhorse traffic used to go for at all 
events a gi'eat deal of it, between Korth Wales and London) through KenUworth, Oifchurch, 
Lentham, Cubbington, &c., where it is called the Welsh road, and the Welshman's road, and 
the Welshmen travel it to this day, with one or two divergencies, to avoid modem toll gates, 
and they have told me they can drive their cattle fi*om Carnarvonshire to London without 
paying a gate. The inns on th e old Chester road were frequent, and enormously large, (the 
Welsh Harp contains eight finely panneled rooms,) and it is melancholy to see. even at this 
distance of time, the dilapidated old coach-houses, and the acres of stabling; and about most 
of them you may still find some wheezy old postboy or helper, who clings about the old place, 
and who is but too happy to tell about its former bustle and grandeur. There is a very aced 
lady who stiQ posts up from London into Wales, and returns once every year ; she changes 
horses at the Four Crosses, and ujatil about six years ago, (this was written in 18G1), an old 
Lish nobleman posted up the same way to Holyhead." It is to be hoped that Mr. Duignan 
will give the result of his interesting researches to the pnblio. 


the statement that, " as the stage coaches to Chester miss 
Lichfield and pass through Newport and Whitchurch in 
Shropshire, so on the otlier hand horsemen will sometimes 
ride by Northampton, and carts keep the Watling Street." 
And again Ogilby, spealiing of the Watling Street, explains 
how, in one instance, it became abandoned, informirig us that 
" this way having passed Dowbridge, where it leaves Northamp- 
tonshire, is first interrupted by the river Swift. The bridge 
over which this road was heretofore continued, they call 
Bransford Bridge. It was a long time broken down, and 
that occasioned this famous way [the Watling Street] to be 
for many years little frequented, but now it is repaired at the 
charge of the public." Several attempts were made in the 
latter half of the last century to establish a service of stage 
coaches along the stUl older road by way of Bridgnorth, 
through Worcester and Oxford, to London. 

Another principal Roman road in Shropshire, the southern 
Watling Street, has also undergone its variations, though on 
the whole less considerable. As it started from Uriconium, 
our Anglo-Saxon forefathers were obliged to take a road from 
Shrewsbury, which also was perhaps a Eoman road, (for under 
the Eomans this part of Slu'opshire seems to have been 
traversed hj a multitude of roads in every direction,) which 
joined the Watling Street at the entrance of the Stretton 
valley, and thence the WatHng Street appears to have been 
the high road until it approached Hereford, where the road 
separated from it, and went to this latter place, where there 
was an important ford over the river Wye, instead of 
continuing with the Roman road to the ruins of Magna, or 
Kenchester. The importance of this road is proved by the 
fact that upon it the west Saxon king Edward, the son and 
successor of Alfred, built in 921 the fortress of Wigmore, as a 
check upon the incursions of the Danes upon the border, 
which was the same route — that is, the great Roman road,— 
taken 1)y the Imrbarians who had ravaged the Roman province 


for this was looked upon as the key to Shropshire from the 
south ; and that at a much earlier period the ]\Iercian king 
Merewald had established his palace at Kingsland, wliich 
was close to it. There appears also to have been a branch 
fr'om the Watling Street running near Ludlow, and in the 
direction of Hereford, on which Llerewald established the 
nunnery of Leominster, and near which king Offa had his 
palace, in which the east Saxon king Ethelbert was murdered, 
and the intrenchments of which are now called Sutton "Walls. 
At some period, probably about the time of the Norman 
Conquest, when the border was more subject to the incursions 
of the "Welsh ia some parts, travellers seem to have found the 
road between the country south of the Stretton valley and 
"Wigmore no longer safe, and they left it near Onibur}", and, 
turning more towards England, went by way of Bromfield, 
and on the opposite side of the river Teme from Ludlow, and 
so passing over the hill and through the wood by way of 
MaryknoU, joining the "Watling Street again at "\Yigmore. From 
the tumuli which border this route, it also was probably a road in 
the Eoman period. To it no doubt we owe the importance of 
Wigmore Castle during the Norman period, and it was to 
command it, where it passed near the river Teme, that a stUl 
more important castle in subsequent history, that of Ludlow, 
was built towards the end of the eleventh centmy, probably 
by the great fanuly of the Lacies. This road also was soon 
abandoned for the other road just mentioned, which was the 
road taken by Giraldus Cambrensis, when, in the year 1188, 
on his return from Wales with Archbishop Baldwin, he tells 
us that leaving Wenlock he "passed by the little cell of 
Brumfield, the noble castle of Ludlow, through Leominster, to 
Hereford." People had thus been aljandoning the main Une of 
the Eoman road to adopt successively cUiferent branch or secon- 
dary roads. Giraldus, on quitting Shrewsbury, had gone out 
of his way to visit the monastic estabUshment of Wenlock, and 
thence seems to have returned across to the WatHng Street, to 


follow it down the Stretton valley. At that time the roa 
from Shrewsbury- to Wenlock was in a very bad conditioi 
and was called by some name which Giraldus translates iat 
Latin by {mala platea), and which may again be translate 
into English by the evil-street. " From Shrewsbury," he sayi 
" we continued our journey towards Wenlock by a narrow an 
rugged way called EvU-street (mala platea,) where, in on 
time, a Jew travelling with the archdeacon of the plac« 
whose name was Sin, and the dean, whose name was Devi 
towards Shrewsbury, hearing the archdeacon say that hi 
archdeaconry began at a place called Evil-street, and extender 
as far as Malpas, (Mains passus) towards Chester, jokingl; 
told them, it would be a miracle if his fate brought hir 
safe out of a country, the archdeacon of which was sin, th 
dean the devil, the entrance to the archdeaconry evil streei 
and its exit liad pass."* The road described last has con 
tinned to Ije the coach road from Shrewsbury to Herefon 
until the present day. 

Giraldus Cainbrensis, Itinerar. Cnnibr, lib. ii. cap. i. 





The statements of the writers of antiquity, who speak of 
our island, would lead us to disbelieve that the Britons, before 
the arrival of the Romans, possessed anything resembling what 
we call a town, or that Roman towns were founded upon 
previously existing British towns. Uriconium probably came 
into existence at the time when Ostorius Scapula was building 
towns and fortresses to establish the Roman power on our 
border. It is first mentioned in the Geography of Ptolemy, 
beheved to have been compiled about the year 120, who 
enumerated it, under the name of Viroconium, as one of the 
two towns in the district of the Cornavii, Deva, the station 
of the twentieth legion, being the other, and gives as its 
longitude 16° 45\ and as its latitude 55° 45\ according to his 
mode of reckoning. Very few relics have been found which, 
even by the imagination, can be carried back to this remote 
period of Uriconian history.* The name does not again occur 
during two hundred years. The Itinerary of Antoninus, believed 
to have been compiled about the year 320, mentions this town 

* Among a quantity of silver coins found on the site of Uriconium, and now in the 
possession of Mr. W. H. Oatley, of Wroxeter, are a Celtish (apparently Gaulish) and a Komau 
consular coin. The former is of the same type as some gold coins found in Kent, and repre- 
sented in Mr. Eoach Smith's Collectanea Antiqua, vol. i. pi. vii. figs. 1 to 6. The other coin 
is one of the most common consular denarii, which were no doubt in circulation during a long 
period ; and this also was doubtless the case with these Celtic coins, which appear to belong 
to the earliest period of the Roman domination. A bronze dagger, or two-edged Imife, similar 
to those which are found in the barrows of Wiltshire, and of other districts, which are generally 
supposed to be British, but which probably belong to the early Eoman period, is said to have 
been found at Wroxeter. Of this I shall speak more fully in a subsequent chapter. 



twice, and gives us the means of identifying its site with 
certainty. It appears first in the second iter in Britain, 
beginning from the borders of Scotland, and passing by way 
of Deva, (Chester,) Bovium, Mediolanum, Eutunium, our city 
which is here called Uroconium, Uxacona, and other towns, 
the sites of which are mostly well known, and so to London, 
and to Eichborough. It is the Hne of the great and well- 
known Watling Street. In the second iter in which it occurs, 
and in which it is called Viroconium, as in Ptolemy, it is the 
termination of a road which comes from Isca (Caerleon), by 
way of Gobannium (Abergavenny,) Magna (Kenchester,) 
and Bravinium ; or in other words, it was the place at which 
this road joined the Watling Street. Now there can be no 
doubt that the road just mentioned is the one which, called 
also along the border the Watling Street, proceeds northward, 
until it joins the other road at Wroxeter, and thus deter- 
mines, without leaving room for question, the remains which 
are found at Wroxeter to be the ruins of Uriconium. 

These are the only instances in which the name of Urico- 
nium is mentioned in writers contemporary with its existence. 
In that curious work, the comj^ilation of the anonymous geogra- 
pher of Eavenna, which is ascribed to the seventh centmy, 
but the author of which had no doubt an ancient map before 
his eyes, our city apjDcars among a confused list of names of 
towns, under that of Utriconion Cornoninormn, an evident 
error for Uriconion Coruoviorum. In another Itinerary, but 
one in the authenticity of which I fear we can place no trust, 
that given in the work De Situ Britannice published under 
the name of Eichard of Cirencester, this town occurs first on 
the Watling Street, under the name of Virioconium, and sub- 
sequently at the point of junction of the other Watling 
Street, under the name of Urioconio, just as in the Itinerary 
of Antoninus, from whom the author of this work may have 
copied. But Eichard does more than this, for in an earlier part 
of the book our city is stated, under the name of Uriconium, to 


have been "the mother of the other towns" of the district of 
the Carnabii, and to have been considered one of the largest 
cities in Britain.t 

Thus the name of our ancient town occurs during four 
hundred years under two different forms, Uriconium and 
Viroconium, and as the difference may have arisen entirely 
from the errors of the scribes to whom we owe the existing 
manuscripts in Avhich they occur, it would be difficult to 
decide which is correct. Possibly Viroconium may have been 
the earlier form, and it may have been gradually changed 
into Uriconium, and as the latter has been most commonly 
used by antiquaries, I shall adopt it in the present volume. 
The derivation of the names of the spot, both ancient and 
modern, has also been a stibject of discussion. It is my own 
belief that the names of the Roman towns in Britain were 
given to them by the colonists, and that, except where they 
take their names from the rivers on which they stood, they 
were, as is the case in America and in the British and other 
colonies in all parts of the world, of foreign origin. Yet, 
as the far-famed Wrekia stands within five miles to the east- 
ward of Uriconium, and presents itself as the most conspicuous 
object in the neighbourhood, the town may have received its 
name from the mountain, if the latter name be as old as the 
British period. The modern, or Saxon, name of the place, 
Wroxeter, has been supposed to be a mere corruption of 
the ancient name, representing literally the Latin words, 
Uriconii castrum ; but, as I shall state a little further on, 
considerations connected with the history of the locality, lead 
me to think it perhaps more probable that the modern name 
is derived directly from that of the Wrekin. 

The time at which Uriconium was destroyed, the manner in 
which it perished, and the people who destroyed it, have 
also been in turn subjects of dispute. The last of these 

+ Et reliquarum mater Uriconium, quse inter Britanniae civitatcs maximas nomen posai- 
iebat.—Bicardi Cicestremis ik situ Britimniie, p. Sg."), in the volume of HiHtorical Documents 
published by Dr. Giles. 



questions cannot, with our present amount of knowledge, be 
answered witli any certainty. Our excavations have proved 
beyond a doubt that the town was taken by force, that a 
frightful massacre of the inhabitants followed, and that it was 
then plundered and burnt. Eemains of men, women, and 
cliildren, are found everyivhere scattered among the ruins, 
and the traces of burning are not only met with in all parts 
of them, but the whole of the soil witliin the walls of the 
ancient city is blackened by it to such a degree as to present 
a very marked contrast to the lighter colovTr of the earth 
outside. Discoveries made during the excavations seem to 
clear up satisfactorily the more important question as to 
the period at which Uriconium was destroyed. Early in the 
course of the excavations the skeleton of an old man was 
found in one of the hypocausts of the Baths, and close to him 
lay a heap of coins, which had been contained in a small 
Avooden casket, and which the man had evidently carried 
with him when lie fled from the massacrers. These coins, aU 
copper but one, and in number a hundred and thirty-two, 
Ijelonged to the following emperors : 


.. 1 


.. 1 


.. 13 


.. 1 


.. 36 


.. 5 


.. 1 


.. 2 


.. 1 


.. 24 


.. 34 




.. 6 


.. 6 

Total number . . 

.. 132 

All this was, of course, money in circulation in Uriconium 
at the time it was destroyed. On a subsequent occasion, 
another small heap of thirty-eight coins was found at the 



entrance of Avhat appeared to be the shop of a worker in 
metal, or perhaps of enamel, where they had evidently been 
dropped by a citizen in his eagerness to escape. They had 
been placed in a small vessel of earthenware, the fragments 
of which were scattered around. These coins were — 

CARACALLA, (a SUvev Denaiius) 


SEVEEUS ALEXANDER, (a Plated Denarius) . 


MAXIMDS, (Second Brass) 



.. 2 

SALONINA, (Copper, washed nitli SUvcr) 

.. 1 




.. 8 


.. 3 


.. 2 




.. 12 



GKATIAN (A.D. 375 to 383) 

.. 1 

A Misnius .. 

.. 1 


.. 2 

Total number . 

.. 38 

From these lists it wiJl be seen that the mass of the money in 
use in the city of Uriconium at the time of its destruction 
consisted of the coinage of the emperors of the Constantine 
family, and, as most of it appears to have been very fresh 
from the mint, it cannot have been long in circulation. It 
has been supposed that the dies of this coinage were kept in 
Gaul, and that c[uantities of it continued to be imported into 
Britain down to the time of the withdrawal of the imperial 
government, for they are found in abundance in aU parts 
of our island formerly occupied by the Eomans. A more 
interesting class of coins are those to which, from their 
generally ditninutive size, numismatists have given the 
•name of minimi, and which were evidently in circulation, 
though not perhaps in large quantities, in Uriconium. They 
are very rude imitations of the Eoman coinage of the Con- 
stantine family, and, as they do not resemble the Anglo- 
Saxon coinage which soon followed that of the Romans and 
at first consisted also of imitations of the coins of the family 


of Constaiitine, they are believed to have been struck by the 
towns soon after the withdrawal of the Eoman government, to 
supply the want of a small coinage. They are found in the 
Roman towns in the south of Britain, under circumstances 
which leave no room to doubt that they are rightly placed 
between the coins of the Eomans and those of the Saxons, and 
therefore they cannot have ranged over any long period of 
time ;'" and we are justified in concluding, from this and 
other circumstances, that the city of Uriconium was destroyed 
at some period between the withdrawal of the Eoman govern- 
ment from the island and the commencement of the Anglo- 
Saxon period, that is, probably between about the year 420 
and the middle of the fifth century. It may be added that, 
with the exception of these minimi, no object has yet been 
found among the ruins of Uriconium which is not perfectly 
Eoman in character. 

Other opinions have, however, been held on the date of the 
destruction of Uriconium, and one of these is supported 
upon what appears at first sight to be very direct evidence. 
According to the Welsh annals, there lived in the sixth 
century a prince of Powys named Cynddylan, whose supposed 
brother-in-law,t Llywarch Hen, one of the princes of Cumbria, 
was, according to the Welsh authorities, one of their bardic 
poets. Driven from his home in Cumbi^ia by the conquests 
of the Angles, Llywarch is said to have taken shelter at the 
coiu't of his brother-in-law, and among the pretended relics of 
this early bard, there is an Elegy on Cynddylan ascribed to him. 
According to this Elegy, the Saxons invaded Shropshii'e in the 
time of Cynddylan, who had his residence at Shrewsbury, 
and that prince was slain with his brothers in defending 
Uriconium against the invaders, who defeated the Britons, 

• I sliall have to return to the subject of these mmMrei in a future chapter, in speaking 
of the coins found at Wroxeter. 

+ I (luote fiom Mr. .Joseph Morris's paper on Llywarch Hen, printed in the Arch^ologia 
Camhrensis for 1859, for it was he who first pointed out the real events intended to be described 
in this Elegy, namely, the destruction of Uriconium. I have also used William Owen's edition 
of the poems of Llywarch Hen. 


took the town, and burnt it. He calls Cynddylan " the pro- 
tector of Tren," the name the bard gives to Uriconium, and 
laments that " Cynddylan has been slain, as well as 
Cynvraith (one of his brothers), in defending Tren, a town 
laid waste. — Great is my woe, that I survive their death !" 

Lias CjTiddylan, lias Cj'nvreith, 
Yn amwyn Tren, trev ddifaith. — 
Gwae vi vawr araws eu Uaith ! 

" Henceforth," he adds, " Tren shall be called the flaming town." 
Ehy gelwir Tren trev lletlirid. 

Uriconium, according to this bard, was remarkable for its ale, 
for he speaks of the Uberahty of Cynddylan in giving " the 
ale of Tren " (cwnvv Tren.) All this, and much more in the 
poem itself, appears so circumstantial, that if it were written 
by a Llywarch Hen, who lived at the time and was present 
at the events he relates, we must necessarily accept it as 
historical truth ; but, unfortunately, whoever composed it 
has been too eager to enter into particular detads, and his 
blunders have thus betrayed the forgery. I will not dwell 
upon the fact that the whole Elegy is written in a form of 
verse which was only introduced by the Normans in the 
twelfth century, but let us proceed at once to the detads of 
the story. The Elegy tells us that Cynddylan, thus slain 
in defending his territory, was buried at Baschurch. — "The 
churches of Bassa afi"ord space to-night to the offspring of 
C3riidrwyn ; the gravehouse of fair Cynddylan." 

Eglwysau Bassa ynt wng heno, 
I etioedd Cyndrwyn ; 
Mablan Cynddylan wyn. 

Now, as Mr. Eyton has already observed,''' Bassa is an Anglo- 
Saxon name, and Bassa's church was an Anglo-Saxon foun- 
dation, and, as Christianity was only established in Mercia in 
the year 655,t this church could not have existed within 

• Antiquities of ghropsliire, vol. x. p. 130. 
+ See the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under this year. 


a hundred years after the period at which Llywarch Heir is 
su]-)posed to have written. Again, the Imrd speaks of 
Withino-ton as the scene of one encounter with the Saxons, 
and calls it " the Avhite town in the cultivated plain," — 

Y drev wen }'n y tymmys, 
and " the white town between the Tern and the Roden." 

Y drev wen rhwng Tren a Trodwj'dd. 
Here we have again a purely Anglo-Saxon name, which could 
not therefore have existed in this locality in the time of 
Llywarch Hen, and there is moreover a blunder in the interpre- 
tation of it. The name has no relation Avhatever to ivliite, for 
Withington simply means in Anglo-Saxon the tun, or residence, 
of the family of the Withingas or Wittingas, and the blimder of 
our poet could not have been made untU after the middle of the 
twelfth century, when the Anglo-Saxon language began to be 
broken up, and the rage for ingenious derivations began to come 
in. The writer of this Elegy further tells us that, " the sod of 
Ercall is on the ashes of fierce men, of the progeny of Morial." 

TyA^^argen Eroal ar ar dywal 
Wyr, o edwel Morial. 

This is also an Anglo-Saxon name, and the bard seems not to 
have been aware that the modern name Ercal was only a 
coriixption of the original name of Ercalewe, or Arcalewe, 
meaning of course Erca's-low, and this name is constantly 
found from the time of the Domesday Survey to near the end 
of the fourteenth century, before which period the corrupted 
form of the word could hardly have been used. A Aviiter 
of the age ascribed to Llywarch Hen, could not have known 
the name at all, and if he had written at any time after 
the name existed, and before the fourteenth century, he 
would have known it better. The elegy-writer had a hostile 
feeling towards another people, beside the Saxons — in com- 
memorating the pride and courage of one of his heroes, 
Garanmael, he says — 

Ki cafai Franc lane o'i bon, 


■which William Owen, who edited Llywarch Hen's poems, 
translates, " From his mouth the Frank would not get the 
word of peace." Owen was puzzled with tliis passage, and 
sought to get over it liy supposing, rather innocently, that 
a body of Franks had come over with the Saxons to help to 
destroy Uriconium ; luit there can ha very little doubt that 
the Franks here spoken of were the Frenchmen or Anglo- 
Normans, and that the enemies whom the minstrel would 
deprive of peace were simply the Norman lords marchers. 
I go on to a still stronger proof of the ignorance of 
the writer. Had Uriconium been in existence at the time 
when Llywarch Hen flourished, it would no doubt have been 
well known by its proper name, but the writer of the Elegy 
was entirely ignorant of its name, and perhaps because we 
cross the Tern and not the Severn in going to it from 
Shrewsbury, he seems to have thought that it stood upon the 
banks of the former, and he called it Tern, or Tren, after the 
smaller stream, from which it is distant more than half-a-mile, 
not aware that it really stood on the banks of the much larger 
and more important river Severn. In fact it is evident that this 
Elegy was composed by some Welsh minstrel, who knew some- 
thing of the country as it appeared in the fourteenth or fifteenth 
century, and of the names by which the places were then 
called, and who was aware that on the other side of the river 
Tern from Shrewsbury there existed the remains of a great 
city, which, according to the tradition, had been captured by 
enemies and burnt, but knew nothing more about it. The 
rest he probably invented, and Ms authority on the question of 
the date at Avhich the to'WTi was destroyed, or on the manner 
in which that catastroj^he was brought about, is therefore 

We are informed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, that, in the 
year 584, the West-Saxon kings Ceawlin and Cutha "fought 
against the Britons at the place which is named Fethanleag, 
and Cutha was there slain ; and Ceawlin took many towns. 


and countless booty ; and wrathful he thence returned to his 
own." An antiquary, who identifies Fethanleag with Faddi- 
ley in Cheshire, has suggested that it was on this expedition 
that the West-Saxons advanced into Shropshire, and attacked 
and destroyed Uriconium. But this is a mere hasty conjecture, 
improbable, unsupported by any evidence, and contrary even 
to the spirit of the account given by the Chronicle itself, 
from which it is clear that the taking of the towns was the 
consequence of and followed the battle, and had the Saxons in 
their way to Fethanleag destroyed a vast town like Uriconium 
it is hardly likely that the chronicler, who remembered so 
Avell the name of an obscure place like Fethanleag, should have 
forgotten so great an exploit as the destruction of Uriconiiim. 

Another suggestion on this subject deserves to be mentioned, 
because it involves some curious notices relating to the early 
history of this part of Shropshire. A charter has been 
preserved, by which Burhred, king of Mercia, in the year 
855, made a grant of lands to Alhun bishop of Worcester, 
and his monks,^^ and it is stated at the end that this 
charter was made " in the place wliich is called Oswaldes- 
dun, when the pagans {i. e. the Danes) were in Wreocen- 
setun," (or, more correctly, Wreocensetum.)t It has been 
suggested that Wreocensetum meant Wroxeter, and that the 
old town might even at that late date have been inhabited. 
This suggestion, however, is founded on a misinterpretation of 
the word. The Anglo-Saxon word scBtas ■wa.s applied to the 
inhabitants not of a town, but of a country or district. Thus 
dun-scetas was the Avord for dwellers in the mountains — 
mountaineers, and den-scetas for dwellers in valleys ; Dorn- 
scetas were the people of the district of Dorn, now called 
Dorset ; and so Sumur-scetas, were the inhabitants of the 
country of Sumur, now called Somerset. Just in the same 

• Alliuno et ejus lamilise in Uueogema civitate. 

t Gesta est autem hujus libertatis donatum anno dominicEe incamationis DCCC LV 
mdictione Ilia, m loco qui vocatur Osuualdesdun, quando fuerant pagani in Uureocensetunl 
The document is printed m Kemble s Codex Diplomaticus, vol. ii. p. 58. 


manner, the Wreocen-scetas were the population of the district 
of the Wrekin, and the meaning of the words of the charter 
are that, at the time it was made, the Danes had got possession 
of the country round the Wrekin, and were no doubt plunder- 
ing it, while king Burhred and what remained with him of the 
Mercian army occupied Oswaldesdun, one of the old names of 
Oswestry. The Wreocen-seetas, or, as they are there called, 
the Wrocen-sEetas, are mentioned in another Anglo-Saxon 
charter, of a somewhat later date, and there they are plainly 
stated to be the inhabitants of a province. King Edgar, in 
the year 963, granted to his minister Wulfric, " six manses 
in the province of the Wrocen-saetas, in two places which are 
called Plesc and Eastun.'* Plesc is no doubt Plaish, or Plash, 
a township in the parish of Cardington, so that the district of 
the Wrekin- seetas must have extended to a very considerable 
distance from the hill ; and this is an interesting circumstance, 
because it shows not only the celebrity of the Wrekin at this 
early period, but it, as well as the whole tenor of the statement 
in the older charter, seems to prove that Shrewsbury was not 
yet a place of any importance. It would appear indeed that, 
for some reason or other which we cannot now explain, 
the Wrekin had from the earliest period been considered by 
the Anglo-Saxons so remarkable a mountain, that the people 
of the greater part of Shropshire were known by their prox- 
imity to it as the Wrekin-seetas, and probably, but for the 
vast power and importance of the Norman earldom of 
Shrewsbury, our county would now have been called Wrekin- 
setshire instead of Shropshire. This explains also the peculiar 
force of our native patriotic toast to " all friends round the 
Wrekin," meaning all Shropshire people, derived continuously 
perhaps from the reverence paid to the mountain in the 
remote ages of Anglo-Saxon England. And I am inclined 
also to think that it explains the modern name of the ancient 
city of which I am trying to write the history. When the 

* vi. mansas in provincia Wrocensetna in duobus locis quse sic vocitantur Plesc et Eastun. 
Kemble, Codex Diplomaticus, vol. vi. p. 60. 


Anglo-Saxons came into this district, it can hardly have been 
remembered that the mass of uninhabited ruins was once 
called Uriconium ; but if the Wrekin gave its name to the 
country and its inhabitants, we can easUy understand that a 
vast ruined Eoman site like this, recognised at once as the 
castrum, or Chester, of the district, would become kno\vn as 
the Chester of the district of the Wreocon-seatas, the Wreocon- 
ceaster, or Wroxeter. To return, however, to the Saxon 
charter last mentioned, it may be added that there is an Aston 
in Munslow parish, some six miles to the south of Plaish, 
which may possibly be the Eastun of the charter; and there 
is another place of the same name under the Wrekin, but the 
description of the boundaries would lead us to believe that 
the two places were near together. 

We thus see that there is no evidence whatever to contradict 
that which we derive from the discoveries made in excavating 
in relation to the date of the destruction of Uriconium, and 
that it is therefore not at aU. probable that the Roman town 
was destroyed by the Anglo-Saxons. It is my belief that the 
first Angle or Saxon who entered tliis district after the Eoman 
period found the site of Uriconium covered with a mere mass 
of mouldering ruins, over which herbage and brushwood were 
abeady beginning to spread themselves, and it remained in this 
condition until long after the Norman period. At a time when 
the country was so thinly inhabited as Shropshire must have 
been in Anglo-Saxon times, people had little inducement to 
attempt to clear away old ruins, and there were circumstances 
in the superstitions of our forefathers which assisted in pro- 
tecting them. They believed that ancient ruins, especially when 
extensive, were taken possession of by powerful evil spirits, 
on whose limits it was in the highest degree dangerous to 
trespass ; and this was perhaps one cause why the Watling 
Street, which ran through the ruins of the town, was abandoned. 
No person would have ventured along it after dusk, even if the 
road had been turned so as to pass near the town, though 


outside. The ruined sites thus became gradually the subject 
of strange legends, and a very wild legend has been acci- 
dentally preserved connected with the ruins of Uriconium. A 
Norman minstrel of the thirteenth century, who composed in 
verse the history of the Fitz-Warines, and who was well 
acquainted with Shropshire localities, though he was just as 
ignorant of the history of Uriconium or its name as the com- 
poser of the Elegy on the death of Cynddylan, has introduced, 
in his narrative, the legend to which I allude. With regard to 
the origin of this legend, it may be remarked that it must have 
been formed after the period when the British story, as told by 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, had become popular, and therefore 
hardly before the end of the twelfth century ; it may have 
been partly made up by the poet himself, but it is sufficiently 
curious, in regard to the ruins of the ancient city, to induce me 
to give it in a literal translation of the words of the original.* 
William the Conqueror, according to our minstrel, marched to the 
Welsh border to take possession of the land, and distribute it 
among his followers. "When king William approached the hills 
and valleys of Wales, he saw a very large town, formerly 
inclosed with high walls, which was all burnt and ruined ; and 
in a plain below the town he caused his tents to be raised, and 
there he said he would remain that night. [The place which 
the poet had in view may be supposed to have been the vale 
of the Severn, on the opposite side of the river from 
Wroxeter.] Then the king inquired of a Briton what was 
the name of the town, and how it came to be so ruined. 
' Sir,' said the Briton, ' I will tell you. The castle was 
formerly called Castle Bran ; but now it is called the Old 
March. Formerly there came into this country Brutus, a 
very valiant knight, and Corineus, from whom Cornwall has 
still its name, and many others derived from the lineage 
of Troy ; and none inhabited this country except very foul 

• The History of Fulk Fitz-Warine, an outlawed Baron in the reign of king Jolin, edited 
by Thomas Wright, p. 5. When I edited this book I thought that the site of this legend might 
be Old Oswestry, but I have since become con\'inced that it must belong to Wroxeter. It was 
after passing the ancient city, that Wiliiam, according to the story, marched towards Oswestrj'. 


people, great giants, whose king was called Geomagog. These 
heard of the arrival of Brutus, and set out to encounter him ; 
and at last all the giants were killed, except Geomagog, 
who was marvellously great. Corineus the valiant said that 
he would willingly wrestle with Geomagog, to try Geomagog's 
strength. The giant at the first onset embraced Corineus so 
tightly that he broke three of his ribs. Corineus became 
angry, and struck Geomagog with his foot, that he fell from a 
great rock into the sea ; and Geomagog was drowned. And 
a spirit of the devil now entered the body of Geomagog, and 
came into these parts, and held possession of the country long, 
that never Briton dared to inhabit it. And long after, king 
Bran, the son of Donwal, caused the city to be rebuilt, repaired 
the walls, and strengthened the great fosses ; and he made 
Burgh and Great March ; and the devil came by night, and 
took away everything that was therein ; since which time 
nobody has ever inhabited there.' The king marvelled much 
at this story ; and Payn Peverel, the proud and courageous 
knight, the king's cousin, heard it all, and declared that that 
night he would assay the marvel. Payn Peverel armed him- 
self very richly, and took his shield shining with gold -with a 
cross of azure indented, and fifteen knights, and other atten- 
dants ; and went into the highest palace, and took up his 
lodgings there. And when it was night, the weather became 
so foul, black, dark, and such a tempest of lightning and thun- 
der, that all those that were there became so terrified that they 
could not for fear move foot or hand, but lay on the ground 
like dead men. The proud Payn was very much frightened, 
but he put his trust in God, whose sign of the cross he carried 
with him, and saw that he should have no help but from God. 
He lay upon the ground, and with good devotion prayed God 
and his mother Mary that they would defend him that night 
from the power of the devil. Hardly had he finished his 
prayer, when the fiend came in the semblance of Geomagog ; 
and he carried a great club in his hand, and from his mouth 


cast fire and smoke with which the whole town was illumi- 
nated. Payn had good trust in God, and signed himself with 
the cross, and boldly attacked the fiend. The fiend raised his 
club, and would have struck Payn, but he avoided the blow. 
The devil, by virtue of the cross, was all struck with fear and 
lost his strength ; for he could not approach the cross. Payn 
pursued him, till he struck him with his sword that he began 
to cry out, and fell flat on the ground, and yielded himself 
vanquished. 'Knight/ said he, 'You have conquered me, 
not by your own strength, but by virtue of the cross which 
you carry. ' ' Tell me,' said Payn, ' you foul creature, who you 
are, and w^hat you do in this town, I conjure thee in the name 
of God and of the holy cross.' The fiend began to relate, from 
word to word, as the Briton had said before, and told that, 
when Geomagog was dead, he immediately rendered his soul 
to Beelzebub their prince ; and he entered the body of Geoma- 
gog, and came in his semblance into these parts, to keep the 
great treasure which Geomagog had collected and put in a 
house he had made underground in that town. Payn demanded 
of him what kind of creature he was ; and he said that he 
was formerly an angel, but now is by his forfeit a diabolical 
spirit. ' What treasure,' said Payn, ' had Geomagog 1 ' ' Oxen, 
cows, swans, peacocks, horses, and all other animals, made of 
fine gold ; and there was a golden bull, which through me was 
his prophet, and in him was all his belief ; and he told him the 
events that were to come. And twice a-year the giants used 
to honour their god, the golden bull, whereby so much gold is 
collected that it is wonderful. And afterwards it happened 
that aU this country was called the White Laund, and I and 
my companions enclosed the laund with a high wall and deep 
foss, so that there was no entrance except through this town, 
which was full of evil spirits ; and in the laund we made 
jousts and tournaments ; and many came to see the marvels, 
but never one escaped. At length came a disciple of Jesus, 
who was called Augustine, and by his preaching took many 


from ns, and baptized people, and made a chapel in his name ; 
whereby great trouble happened to us.' ' Now you shaU tell 
me/ said Payn, ' where is the treasure of which you have 
spoken \ ' ' Vassal/ said he, ' speak no more of that ; for it is 
destined for others. ' . . . When the spirit had said this, 
he issued out of the body ; and there arose such a stink, that 
Payn thought he should have died through it. And when it 
was past, the night became light, and the weather fair ; and 
the knights and others, who were overcome mth fear, recovered 
themselves ; and they marvelled much at the event which had 
happened to them. Next day the affair was told to the king 
and to aU the host. And the king caused the body of Geomagog 
to be carried and thrown into a deep pit outside the town ; 
and he caused the club to be preserved, and long showed 
it to many people on account of its marvellous magnitude." 

Such is at least one known legend connected with the ruins 
of Uriconium. The belief in the giants appears to have con- 
tinued till a comparatively modern period, for in the additions 
to Camden's Britannia in Gibson's translation, repeated in the 
Magna Britannia, the volume of wliich containing Shropshire 
was pubUshcd in 1727, we are gravely informed, speaking of 
the ancient inhabitants of Uriconium, that " in searching into 
their places of interment, there have been taken out of the 
jaw-bones of men, teeth near three inches long, and three 
inches about, and thigh-bones have been lately found by the 
inhabitants fuU a yard long ! "'"" The legend given in the 
liistory of the Fitz-Warines would lead us to believe that much 

* The only legends relating to Wroxeter wliich I have been able to pick up among the pea- 
santry of the present day, are two — one relating to a well said to lie buried at the side of the 
BeU Brook, on the northern side of the Watling-Street road, near where it ci-osses it, in which 
vast treasures are believed to be buried, and the circumstance is commemorated in a popular 
rhyme : — 

" Near the brook of BeU, ' 

There is a well. 
Which is richer than any man can tell." 

And another, according to which the city of Uriconium was destroyed by sparrows — for, when 
the assaUanta found it impossible to break through the walls of the town,' they collected all the 
spaiTows in the coimtrj', tied lighted matches to their tails, and let them fly, and they all settled 
on the thatched roofs of the houses, and thus set fire to the whole town, and the enemy entered 
in the midst of the confusion. Both these legends are found on the sites of other ancient towns. 
When I was first at Wroxeter to watch the excavations, one of the inhabitants came to me and 
offered to conduct me to the lield where the span-ows were let loose. 



of the walls of the town and houses of Uriconiuni were still 
standing above ground as late as the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, and perhaps a considerable portion of them remained 
thus standing at the time when the author of that history- 
wrote. But during the centuries which had passed since the 
Roman city had become a ruin, the site had been undergoing 
a gradual but continual change, arising from the accumulation 
of earth, which no doubt was here greater then usual tlrrough 
the extreme lightness of the surface soil. This rising of the 
level of the ground is always found to have taken place under 
such circumstances, and may be explained without difficulty. 
In the first place, the floors must have been covered with a 
mass of rubbish formed by the falling in of the roofs and 
more perishable parts of the buildings. Vegetation, too, 
would arise in the course of years, and the walls would stop 
and cause to be deposited the dust and earthy particles 
carried about in the atmosphere. This deposit we know by ex- 
perience to be considerable, for, though it is little more than 
three centuries since the dissolution of the monasteries, yet 
the floors of the monastic houses now lie under a depth 
of earth sometimes amounting to as much as tln'ee feet. Thus 
in the twelfth century, that is after the ruins of Uriconiuni 
had lain perhaps undisturbed during seven centuries, we can 
imagine how deep the floors lay under the surface of the soil. 
It was at this period that the Roman buildings began to be 
systematically destroyed. There is reason for believing that 
in the twelfth century, England was covered with the remains 
of Roman ruined towns and villas still standing above ground, 
which now became so many quarries of materials for buildings 
of a difi"erent description. We have seen the superstitious 
feelings which prevented men from approaching these ruins, 
and especially from disturbing them, and it required nothing 
less than the hand of the church to interfere and break the 
charm which held the rest of society aloof. The twelfth 
century was especially the age of building the great Anglo- 


Norman abbeys and priories, and it became the practice to 
break up the old buildings within reach to supply building 
materials. From that time the Eoman mins were pillaged 
whenever a monastery or a church was to be built. The 
ancient city at Wroxeter was probably one of the great 
quarries from AA'hich the builders of Haughmond Abbey, of 
Buildwas, perhaps of Shi-ewsbuiy Abbey, and other monastic 
houses in this part of the country, were supplied. The churches 
of Wroxeter and the adjoining parish of Atcham still bear 
evidence to this appropriation of Eoman building materials. 
At the time when this inroad was made upon the ruins, the 
ground, as explained above, was already raised several feet 
above the Eoman floors ; and the medigeval builders, finding 
plenty of material above ground, cleared away the walls down 
to the surface of the ground as it then existed, and sought 
them no further. This accounts for the condition in which we 
now find these walls, for they remain tolerably perfect just up 
to the height of what was the level of the ground at the time 
the ruins above ground were cleared away. The difference 
between the tops of the walls as they now exist under ground, 
and the present surface of the gTound, is the accumulation of 
earth which has taken place since this destruction. It was the 
demolition of the Avails which first contributed to this accumu- 
lation, by scattering about fragments of the plaster of the 
walls, and the broken tiles and stones which were not worth 
carrying away. After the walls above ground disappeared, 
and the ground was levelled and cleared, such accumulation 
went on much more slowly. The neglect to observe these two 
distinct series of accumulations has led sometimes to rather 
ciirious mistakes, and it may be remarked that in the account 
of a former partial excavation at Wroxeter, published in the 
Archseologia of the Society of Antiquaries, the writer has fallen 
upon the very odd notion that the Eoman town had been 
burnt twice, — that he saw the layers of burnt materials from 
two successive burnings. 

trpJCONlUM. 83 

The sites of the ancient towns thus cleared, and the spell which 
held their invaders at bay having been broken by the mediaeval 
ecclesiastics, they became exposed to a new class of depredators. 
Coins, and objects of some value, were not unfrequently met with 
by accident, and their value was greatly exaggerated by common 
report, during the ages when the existence of hidden treasures 
formed a prominent article in the popular belief. Many a 
Salopian, doubtless, longed for the hidden treasures of the city 
of Geomagog, and many an attempt no doubt was made to 
discover and obtain them. Treasure-hunting of this description 
was a great pursuit with our mediseval forefathers, and the same 
superstitious feelings were connected with it, which, in the 
minds of our ignorant progenitors, were attached to all remains 
of remote antiquity. The treasure-hunter rarely ventured on 
his search without having first secured the aid of a magician 
for his protection as well as for his guidance, for the same e^dl 
spirits were believed still to haunt the ruins underground, and 
it was supposed that by the power of the conjurer they might 
not only be rendered harmless, but be made to give information 
as to the exact spot where the treasure lay. An old manuscript 
chronicle of the monks of Worcester, which is printed in 
Wharton's AngHa Sacra, and has preserved numerous notices 
of events which occurred on our borders, informs us that in 
the year 1287, at a place by Wroxeter called BHebury, the 
fiend was compelled by a certain enchanter to appear to a 
certain lad, and show him where lay buried " urns, and a ship, 
and a house, with an immense quantity of gold." We easily 
recognize in the objects enumerated by the false Geomagog, 
though not in the material, some of the numerous figures in bronze 
which are from time to time found on Eoman sites, and the urns 
and ship may perhaps admit of a similar explanation. The 
treasure-diggers had, however, sometimes to encounter a worse 
opponent than even the fiend himself. Treasure-trove belonged 
to the feudal lord, and it was a right which he was inclined 
to enforce with the utmost severity ; and the unfortu- 


uate individual who was caught in the act of trespassing 
against it found his way immediately into a feudal dungeon, 
from which escape was not always easy or quick. The histo- 
rian of our county, Mr. Eyton, has met with a record from 
which we learn that, towards the close of the tliirteenth century, 
some individuals were thus caught " digging " for a treasure 
at Wroxeter, and that tliey were taken and thrown into prison. 
On their examination or trial, however, it appeared that, 
though they had dug for a treasure, they had not found one, 
and on this plea they had the good fortune to be set at hberty. 
After the ruins had been broken up by the ecclesiastical 
builders, the site of Uriconium probably remained a neglected 
piece of ground, which was soon overgrown with trees and 
brushwood, which, in fact, was the usual case with such places. 
AVhen Leland passed by it, in the time of Henry VIII., he 
appears, to judge by the few words which he bestows upon 
Wroxeter, to have supposed that there was nothing to be seen, 
for he merely remarks that, " Eoxcester was a goodly walled 
towne untill it was destroyed by the Danes." The popular 
notion, wliich ascribed all destruction to the Danes, continued 
to exist in the time of Camden, who published his Britannia 
in the reign of queen Elizabeth. The site appears then to have 
been cleared for agricultural purposes, and Camden informs 
us that there were no remains of the ancient town visible, 
except certain walls which the inhabitants of the village 
called " The olde worke of Wroxceter." '"' This was no 
doubt the same piece of building still known as the Old Wall, 
which will be described in a subsequent chapter. It has 
remained much in the same condition down to the present 
time ; but, though the Old Wall was the only piece of Eoman 
building visible above ground, it was easy to see that buildings 
lay under the surface, both by the unevenness of the ground, 
and by the appearance of the crops in dry weather ; and 

. ,. . * ^""^ 1™* '^'^'^ i""' prceter parietinas cernitur, quas the olde worhe of Wroxceter 
mdigitant incoiE. Camden, Britan. 8vo. ed. p. 474. 


especially the line of the town wall may be traced by a ridge 
strongly marked round its whole circuit, except on the side 
of the river. 

The length of this line of wall has been roughly estimated 
at between three and four miles, and its course is in every 
respect extremely irregular. The site of the ancient city was 
remarkably well chosen, for it occupied the boldest piece of 
elevated ground on the banks of the Severn in this neigh- 
bourhood, where it commanded the rich vale of Shrewsbury. 
Along a considerable portion of the western side, from the 
ford at the Watling Street road northward to the turn of the 
river towards the west, the ground rises from the bank of the 
Severn in a steep and in some parts almost precipitous bank, 
of considerable elevation, especially at the southern end, where 
it is hardly less than a hundred feet above the level of the 
plain. Where the wall leaves the river to make a sweep 
roimd towards the hamlet of Norton, the groimd falls gradu- 
ally to the stream called the Bell Brook, and then becomes 
uneven, though rising from the brook in banks to the north- 
ward. Through the fields to the south-east the mound which 
covers the remains of the town wall is remarkably bold. 
Within these walls the ground which the ancient city occupied 
rises, though not rapidly, from the bank overlooking the river 
towards the north-east until it reaches its greatest elevation 
in the field marked d in our general plan of the site of 
Uriconium. Hence it sinks gradually towards the village, and 
more abruptly towards the Bell Brook, from which it rises 
again towards the north, so that Uriconium stood upon two 
lulls, with a stream running in the bottom between them. 
From the form of the ground this stream must always have 
run in its present course through the city of Uriconium, and 
in the time of the Eomans it was probably more considerable 
than at present. 

The greatness of the extent covered by the city of Urico- 
nium wiU be best understood by the plan in our plate, in 


which it is laid down on the same scale with those of the 
other great towns on our border, of wliich we have any means 
of tracing the circuit of the walls. To the north, Chester, the 
Eoman Deva, was not only the head-quarters of one of the 
three legions Avhich formed the military occupation of Britain, 
but it was evidently an important commercial towni ; its 
mediaeval walls, which remain around the whole town, appear 
to have been identical with the Roman line of circumvallation, 
for, as will be shewn further on, the primitive Eoman masonry- 
remains visible in several parts of it. There are no remains of 
the Eoman towns between Chester and Wroxeter, or between 
the latter and Kenchester, near Hereford. This latter site 
represents the Eoman Magna, supposed to have taken its name 
from its size, but its small extent in comparison with Uriconium, 
or even with Deva, would lead us to suppose that it must have 
obtained its name from some other cause. To the south, in 
the country which commanded the entrance to the Bristol 
Channel, and the Eoman boat service from the west of 
England across the channel to South Wales, were two impor- 
tant towns, one of which, Isca, was the head-quarters of 
another legion, the second. The walls of Isca remain m 
nearly their whole circuit at Caerleon, in Monmouthshire, 
and they inclose a space of hardly half that included in the 
walls of Deva. In fact, Isca was evidently more a military 
than a commercial town. Venta, near Caerwent, of which, 
also, the walls may be traced standing above ground in nearly 
their whole extent, was somewhat less in magnitude than Isca, 
but of much the same form. Glevum was again, no doubt, from 
its position, an important commercial town. I owe my plan 
of it to a friend who is weU acquainted vdth the antiquities of 
Gloucester, Mr. Thomas Wakeman, of the Graig, near Mon- 
mouth, and who has made it from the remains of the ancient 
town walls still existing or remaining within his own memory. 
It is necessary to state that in this case the river Severn has 
changed its course since the time of the Eomans, and now 


runs over what was a part of the Eoman town. It will be seen 
that of these six towns, four were situated on the banks of 
considerable rivers : Deva, on the Dee, Uriconium, on the 
Severn, Isca, on the Usk, and Glevum, on a branch of 
the Severn. Magna, on the contrary, stood at a distance of 
hardly less than a mile from the Wye, and Venta (Caerwent), 
was at considerable distance from any river of importance. 
The forms of these towns, too, varied much, for while Deva, 
Isca, Venta, and Glevum, were rectangular parallelograms. 
Magna in small, and Uriconium in large, were of forms so 
irregular that it would be impossible to describe them in any 
definite terms. It is not difficult to explain this difference of 
form. Deva, near the mouth of a great river, entering a sea 
winch lay open to Ireland and the land of the wild Cale- 
donians, and Isca, Venta, and Glevum, laying equally open to 
the gTeat estuary of the Severn, Avere exposed to the sudden 
attacks of pirates, and were no doubt fortified at a very early 
period, while Uriconium and Magna, inland to^vns, which were 
exposed to no dangers, remained probably without defensive 
walls of any kind, until the late period when the internal state 
of the island had become so turbulent and unsettled, that 
every town threw up foi-tifications with as httle delay as 
possible, and were obhged to encircle with an irregular line a 
population which had spread itself without any settled plan. 
The materials and construction of the walls varied from the 
same circumstances, but they wdll require a rather more 
minute investigation. 

Eeasons have been alleged for supposing that the Eoman 
towns in Britain, with the exception of the military stations, 
were not originally surrounded with walls, or with any 
defences. In fact, there are very few of the existing remains of 
walls of Eoman towns in this island which have not, when 
broken into, revealed their comparatively late period by the 
evidence of stones belonging to older architectural works 
which have been used up as materials, and these sometimes 


are themselves of a rather late style. And at the same time, ■ 
in many cases, the existing wall, although presenting these 
circumstances, is so uniform in its structure, that if a pre- 
vious wall had existed, it must have been completely cleared 
away to make room for its successor. We have in no instance 
any direct evidence of the date of any of these walls, but 
they present points of comparison which enable us to 
form some notion of their relative antiquity. The style of 
masonry Avhich is found most commonly, both in Britain and 
in Gaul, is known by a facing of small stones, carefully 
squared, with bonding-coru'ses of large flat tiles, and mortar of 
extreme hardness, recognized at once by its being rather 
largely mixed with pounded tiles, which is understood to have 
had the effect of causing the mortar to set quickly and become 
hard. This style of masonry is found in great perfection at 
Eichborough, Lymne, Pevensey, London, Colchester, York, 
and various other places, and is represented at Wroxeter by 
the " Old Wall," and in fact by the walls of aU the buildings 
generally within the town. We have no direct reason for 
ascribing this style of masonry to any particular date, but as it 
is found very perfect in the remains of the fortresses raised for 
the protection of the Saxon coast, and which were doubt- 
less erected at a rather late date, this style of building must 
have prevailed till towards the close of the Eoman period. 

There is one very important exception to this style of 
masonry, the peculiarities of wliich have been pointed out by 
Mr. Roach Smith.""' The mediaeval walls of the city of Chester 
have been found to contain in nearly their whole circuit 
portions of the walls of Eoman Deva, and a comparison of the 
two show us in a striking manner the care employed by the 
Eoman builders in the selection of their building materials. 
While the surface of the mediaeval wall is already in a 
lamentable state of decay, the facing-stones of the older 

^1, i ' -^^S ^^% Collectanea Antiqita, vol. yi. p. 42, and hia paper on tlie Roman Eemains at 
Chester, in tile Journal of the British ArchaBolosical Association, vol. v p 207 The former 
article is especially recommendea to the study of all who are interested in this subject. 



Roman masonry are fresh and uninjured. In fact, while the 
medieeval builders were satisfied with a grit- stone which is 
found on the spot, and which presents a good appearance 
when quarried, but is not durable for a long period, the 
Eomans despised this stone, and went to a distance of some 
miles to obtain another grit-stone, which, though presenting 
much the same character when quarried, is far more durable. 
It is not, however, the difference of material alone which is 
remarkable in the Eoman work of the walls of Chester, but 
the construction of it is stiU more interesting. Instead of the 

Portion of the Eoman Wall of Chester. 

small facing stones, bonding-courses of tiles, and hard mortar 
of the walls I have before spoken of, we have here large stones 
a foot high, by from eighteen inches to two feet in length, 
which are arranged in regular and uniform courses. These 
stones, perfectly squared, are laid upon one another, and 
fitted together without any mortar at all. The character 
of this wall is seen best on the northern side of the city, 
where it looks over a modern canal, which is indicated in 
the plan in our plate of the plans of the Roman towns on the 
border. A portion of it is represented in the above cut. It 


is a portion of the wall on the north side of Chester, where it 
overhangs the pathway along the canal, at a considerable 
elevation, the lower portion of which consists of the natural 
rock. At about seven feet below the top of the modern 
parapet, as here shewn, the Eoman portion is surmounted by a 
cornice, which extends, in broken lengths, for at least a hundred 
yards. The original parapet no doubt rose above this cornice. 
The Eoman courses of stone are regularly a foot deep, and 
the blocks from eighteen inches to two feet on the bed ; and 
the same construction prevails tlu'oughout the Eoman work in 
this wall. In the next cut we give a section of the wall of 

ia/el inside. 

Section of Wall at Chester. 

Chester as it now exists, taken across the part represented in 
the other cut, and exhiliiting the relative proportions of the 
remains of the Eoman wall, of the mediseval parapet above, 
and of the rock below. There is no other example of a 
Eoman town wall in our island which presents the same 
description of masonry as this, but Mr. Smith points out 
remains of somewhat similar masonry in the lower part of 


the town walls at Sens in France, where it is surmounted 
by masonry of the usual Eoman character, with facing of 
small squared stones and courses of tiles.''" In this foreign 
example, there can hardly be a doubt that the masonry of the 
lower part of the wall is more ancient than that which sur- 
mounts it ; and although, as Mr. Eoach Smith justly observes, 
we should not be justified in assuming that none of the other 
description of masonry is of a very early date, yet we seem to 
have sufficient reason for considering the remaias of the walls 
of Roman Deva as examples of the earliest style of masonry 
used by the Romans ia their walls of defence ia this island. 

Before we proceed to consider other styles of masonry used 
for the same purpose, it may be remarked that these town 
fortifications differed in their form as well as in their masonry. 
Our plan of the walls of Deva, which is taken from the plan 
of the modern city given in the volume on Cheshire ia 
Lysons's Magna Britannia, represents a parallelogram, some- 
what out of shape at its southern end, which may perhaps be 
accounted for by supposing that the modern here varies a 
httle from the hne of the ancient wall ; but the plan of 
Caerleon, which is abridged from Mr. Lee's map, and which is 
nearly a square, also varies in a somewhat similar maimer 
from an exact rectangle. The walls at Caerleon present the 
usual facing found in the Roman town walls in other parts of 
the island, consisting of small squared stones with courses of 
bricks similar to that which is found in the Old Wall at 
Wroxeter. I am not aware what was the character of the 
facing of the Roman walls of Gloucester (the ancient Glevum), 
or if any of the original facing be visible ; but in the plan 
given in the plate, it wiU be seen that it presented the 
shape of an exact parallelogram. It is right, however, to 
remark that the northern comer is here dra^vn conjecturally, 
as the channel of the river, as I have stated before, now runs 
partly over its site. 

* See the ColhctaiLCO, Aidi^jiia, vol. v. p. 172. 



The walls of Caerwent present a new style of masonry, 
inferior in many respects to those with the bonding-com'ses 
of tiles. The mortar is of inferior quality, and contains no 
pounded brick, and the facing consists of what appear to be 
tolerably uniform layers of squared stones, largest at the bot- 
tom, but smaller as the courses rise higher in the walls.''-' 
There are, however, four bonding-courses of red sandstone, 
which, among the limestone of which the facing stones are 
composed, would, when fresh, produce somewhat the appear- 
ance of tiles ; but now, through the effects of weather, and in 
consequence of a species of lichen which covers them all, the 

Roman Walls of Caerwent. 

external surface of the whole wall appears of one colour. The 
lowest course of stones in the wall projects about six inches, 
and the stones are much larger, many of them not less than 
eighteen inches square. It is worthy of remark that similar 
masonry is found in the wall of Silchester, in Hampshire, the 
Roman Calleva, the remains of which bear more than those of 
any other Eoman site in Britain, a resemblance in extent and 
character to those of Wroxeter, and singularly enough, have 
attached to them the same popular legend of the destruction 
of the town by means of sparrows. In the waUs of Silchester 

* It should be stated that my account of the walls of Caerwent, is taien chiefly from 
that given by Mr. Roach Smith, in the Journal of the British Archieological Association, 
vol. iv., p. 254. 



there are no courses of tiles, and the mortar is without pounded 
brick, but a sort of bonding-courses are formed by wide 
irregular lines of rough carstone, and the stones of the lowest 
course are much larger than the others, and project from the 
wall. The cut on the preceding page represents a part of the 
wall of Caerwent, where it is most perfect, and where, on the 
western part of its southern line, it is supported by four 
pentagonal towers, or buttresses ; or, as they are sometimes 
called, though by a less appropriate name, bastions. It is 
right to remark that these remains are overgrown and much 
concealed by trees and brushwood, which are omitted in the 
drawing for the sake of convenience. Buttress-towers of con- 

Buttress-tower in Wall of Caen\'ent. 

siderable bulk, round or square, and sohd in the whole or in a 
great part of their height, are usually attached to the regular 
Roman town- walls which are built with courses of tiles, as at 
Richborough, (Rutupiee,) Lymne, (Portus Lemanis,) Pevensey, 
(Anderida,) Burgh Castle in Suffolk, (Gariannonum,) and other 
places, or at least are built against them, for they are quite 
distinct from the wall, and not built into it, except sometimes 
at the top. The buttress-towers at Caerwent, of which two are 
shown in the preceding cut, are peculiar in form, and, as 
usual, are only built up against the wall, although they may 
have been attached at the top. Two sides of another of these 


buttresses, perhaps the most perfect of them all, is represented 
in the next cut, which shows better than the former the 
character of the masomy as it appears at the present day. 

The circuit of the wall of Roman Magna, at Kenchester, near 
Hereford, was extremely irregular in its form, as is shown 
by the plan in our plate. The only remains of the masonry 
now visible are seen supporting hedges chiefly on the north- 
west side of the area. It is faced with small stones, arranged 
in some parts, as at Silchester also, in what is technically 
termed herring-bone work, and set in very inferior mortar. 
It is situated on slightly rising ground, in the middle of a 
plain, at a distance of full a mile from the river Wye, and 
neither by its position nor by its shape could it have been 
originally intended as a strong fortification. On the contrary, 
by its locality, as well as by its irregular form, and by the 
rudeness of the masonry of its walls, it appears to have been 
originally an open town, and its fortifications were probably 
only raised at a late period, when every town was exposed 
to attacks and in need of protection/'" 

What Magna (apparently misnamed, but its name may 
have had a meaning now forgotten) was in small, Uriconium 
was on a much larger scale, on a scale indeed Avhich gave it a 
just claim to the title applied to it in the book of Richard of 
Cirencester, of the queen of the cities in this part of the Roman 
pro^dnce. As I have already stated, the line of the wall may 
be distinctly traced in nearly all its circuit by a continuous 
bank through the fields. To take it at its southern extremity, 
it begins at a low hill or knoll at r, in our map of the site of 
Uriconium, which overlooks and commands the river to the 
east, and where there stood probably a principal entrance to 
the town. In its course westward from hence it passes below 
the church and the vicarage in a bottom, the fosse being 
occupied by a small stream, but the ground rises gradually as 

* ^°^ ™ account of the present condition of tlie Eoman remains at Kenchester, see the 
}ianderings of an Antiquary, hy the author of the present volume, p. 34. 


it passes through the glebe land and the fields beyond, and 
then it sinks again to tlie BeU Brook, and during nearly the 
whole of this part of its course the ground within the wall is 
generally higher than that on which it stands. After passing 
the brook, the ground over which the wall runs is very 
uneven, but in some places the strongest point of ground is 
certainly not taken, though this might have been done with 
very httle change of position. This seems even to have been 
the case at K, where the principal entrance, that from London 
by the Watling Street, appears to have stood. The wall may 
be traced over the banks, until it approaches the river, and I 
have followed the older plans, including that of the original 
maps of the Ordnance Survey, in laying it dowm along the 
side of the river itself. But the existence of a wall parallel to 
the river is open to doubt, for it was not unusual in the 
fortifications of the Roman towns in Britain, to leave the town 
without a wall on the side where it was protected by a river, or 
by the sea, as we find to have been the case at Burgh Castle, at 
Eichborough, and at Lynme ; and we have not yet been able to 
trace the wall at Wroxeter between the point where it reaches 
the river from the north, and the knoU abeady mentioned as 
standing at the southern extremity at F, either by the existence 
of any bank above, or by trenching the ground. One thine, 
however, seems clear, that the vast extent of wall we can 
trace was so irregTdar in its circuit, and must have presented 
so many weak points, that it can never have been an original 
fortification, or been capable of any long defence. It must 
have been thrown up in a great hurry, and was simply 
carried round the outside of the city of Uriconium as 
it then existed. AVe shall see how far the recent discovery of 
the character of the masonry of the wall of Uriconium confirms 
this view of the case. 

The statement of the writer of the history of the Fitz- 
Warines, that the ancient city was encircled with a very lofty 
wall, is probably not worth much attention, but it became a 


matter of considerable interest to ascertain the real character 
of this long line of circumvallation. Accordingly, late in the 
year 1861, a spot was selected in the glebe land where the 
mound was boldly prominent, and trenches were dug across 
at the point marked a in our map of the site. The expected 
wall was not found under the external bank, but these exca- 
vations brought to light a ditch or fosse, and a parapet, the 
appearance of which will be best understood by the section 
across the line of the mound, given in the accompanying 

^ Section of tlie Fosse at Uriconium. 

cut, in which the upper outline represents the form of the 
surface of the ground as it now appears, of which A is the 
northern side, towards the town, and B is the southern, or 
exterior side. The line below shows the form of the ditch, 
which had a ilat bottom. At A, a bank of rubble had first 
been raised, and this had been faced outwardly with a mass of 
clay, the surface of which, towards the outside, was inchned 
at an angle of about 45°, its height above the bottom of the 
ditch being about nine feet. The side of the ditch at B, which 
was only about three feet high, was more nearly perpendicular, 
and was also faced with clay. Th(* breadth of the ditch was 
ninety-five feet. No traces of any wall closely adjacent to 
these defences of the city were then met with, but in the 
course of further trenching in the ground adjacent, the wall 
of the town was at length met with, and presented a very- 
unexpected appearance. Instead of any of the usual charac- 
teristics of Roman masonry, we had here the lower part of 
a wall which must have been raised very hurriedly, for it 
consisted merely of large cobble stones (or small boulders) 
and broken stones from the quarry, which had been placed 
together without any order, and imbedded in clay. The 



remains of the wall were subsequently found in several places, 
always presenting the same appearance, and on an average 
about six feet thick. The annexed sketch will give the best 
notion of the appearance of the remains of the wall in one 
of the excavations in Mr. Egremont's field, and will shew at 
the same time the appearance, where more strongly marked, 
of the Une of the mound covering the site of the town wall 

Kemaina of Towii Wall of Uriconium. 

as it runs through the fields. Excavations were subse- 
quently made on other points on this line, both here and 
on the northern side of the ancient city, at the spot marked 
b in the map, and the wall always presented the same 
appearance, and was accompanied with the same description 
of parapet or fosse. No tracing of anything hke facing-stones 
to the waU were found.* 

The character of the wall, thus ascertained, entirely con- 
firms the opinion formed from other appearances, that the 
city of Uriconium was fortified very hastily, and only at a 
late period. It now became a matter of interest to ascertain 
the character of the entrance gateways to a town fortified in 
this manner, and it was resolved, in the October of the year 
1862, to make excavations for this purpose. Accordingly, 
two or three men were set to work at a spot on the line 

• It is curious that the old Magna Britannia, published in 1727, tells us on the 
authority of the author of the additions to Camden's Britannia, that the city of Uriconium 
" was encompassed with a wall, huUt upon a foundation for the most part made of pebble stones, 
about three yards thick, and a vast trench round it, which in some places appears exceedingly 
deep at this day." — (Shropshii-e, p. 639.) The character of the wall had been observed, nnd 
reported, perhaps by the farmer who tenanted the lands, but not verj' accurately. 




of the wall, marked c in the map, in a field belonging to 
Lord Berwick, and in the occupation of Mr. Bayley, at what 
was supposed to be not far from the western side of the 
buildings of the gateway. The excavators soon came to the 
wall, which was here in a much more perfect condition than 
where it had been previously discovered, and remained 
tolerably perfect to the height of about four feet, or perhaps 
rather more, Avith its sides even and tolerably smoothed, but 
with no more evidence of facing-stones than before. It was 
traced both westward into the field, and eastward to the 
hedge which divided the field from the Watling-Street road, 
and, in this latter direction, was found to break off abruptly 
a little before it would have reached the hedge, with no 
appearance of having been broken away, but in a manner 
which would lead to the conclusion that there had been here 
an original opening in the wall, and with no traces of any 
bunding besides the wall. We could not dig across the road, 
and at this time it was not convenient to dig in the field on 

Section of Town Wall of Uriconium. 

the other side of it ; but the appearances as far as we went 
led to the supposition either that the entrance to the city 
had been a mere discontinuation of the wall, or that whatever 
structure protected it may have been of wood. The town 
Avail, at this place, was cut through by the workmen in a 
transverse trench, and thus furnished the section of the wall 
itself which is represented in our cut. The sketch is taken 


looking towards the hedge of the Watling-Street road, and 
represents the last piece of the wall before the discontinuation 
here alluded to, and the transverse trench led to no disco- 
veries, nor did the fosse seem to exist here ; but the wall 
having been traced to some distance back iuto the field, and 
another transverse trench dug, the fosse, -with its parapets of 
clay, was found just as it had first been mot with in ]\Ir. 
Egremont's land. It would thus seem to have been discon- 
tinued at the opening in the wall. 

Such is all that we have been able to discover in regard 
to what may be supposed to have been the chief entrance 
to the city of Uriconium, for the great Eoman road so well- 
known as the Watling Street, approaching the cits' from 
London, entered it at this poiut. At in our map, where 
there is a road-side inn called the " Horse-Shoe," the modem 
continuation of the London road to Shrewsbmy branches 
off from the "WatHng Street, and the latter continues as a 
mere country lane. It entered the city by the opening of 
the waU just mentioned, which is marked k in the map. 
This lane is bordered to the south by a bank, which is the 
site of the principal cemetery of Uriconium. There was 
no doubt another entrance to the city on the north-western 
side, probably somewhere near where the Bell Brook passes 
out of its site, as the present road to Shrewsbury appears 
to have been the Line of the Eoman road which went iato 
North Wales and to Chester. 

The entrance to Uriconium from the river was at the 
south-eastern comer of the city. Opposite the gate of the 
churchyard, the present Watling-Street road makes an abmpt 
tum down to the side of the river, across which there is an 
ancient paved ford, leading to a continuation of the Watling- 
Street road on the other side. This in fact was the Eoman 
road leading to the south through the Stretton vaUey and by 
way of Bravinium (the site of which is still rather uncertain) 
and Magna (Kenchester) to South Wales. I am inclined to 


doubt if this were the principal entrance to the town from 
the river, and it is very improbable that so large and im- 
portant a place as Uriconium should not have a bridge, 
especially Avhen we consider that the floods to which this 
district is subject would render the ford totally impassable 
during a part of the year. Now, the part of the Wathng- 
Street road which runs down to the river passes along a 
break in the bank, which rises again to the south in a smaU 
knoll at F. The Ordnance Survey map gives the town wall 
at this corner a curious form, marked here by a single dotted 
line, I, which is not at all easy to understand, and, in fact, ia 
the Ordnance Survey map itself it is marked by dotting the 
line as conjectural or doubtful. In an old map of this site, 
etched some seventy or eighty years ago, and apparently made 
with very considerable care, the form of the wall is given as 
marked in our plan by the double dotted lines at H, indicating 
an entrance gateway of a construction not uncommon in 
Eoman fortifications. The gateway in the northern wall of 
Eichborough, in Kent, presented somewhat the same character. 
I think it very probable that the line of streets in the town 
represented by the Watling-Street road was continued to this 
point, and that here was the entrance to the city from the 
south. I am told that a little way further down the river 
the remains of an ancient bridge, supposed to be Eoman, 
have been found, and it is curious that, although the lane 
opposite the ford is called the Watling-Street road, yet the 
real line of the WatHng-Street road from Church Stretton 
points more dkect to the site of these remains of a bridge 
than to the Wroxeter ford. I think it therefore not at all 
improlmble that the Eoman road from Uriconium to the 
south left the city by a gate at h, followed the left bank 
of the Severn to this bridge, and there crossed the river. 
It may have been budt at this point as less exposed to the 
violence of the water in great floods, than under the city, 
where the force of the stream would be increased by iJie 


resistance of the bill on which it was built. If the paved 
Pord at M be Roman, it was probably used as a convenient 
passage of the river when the season allowed. In this case, 
perhaps, at the time of the ruin of the city, the bridge also 
svas destroyed, and afterwards in the middle ages people 
made for the ford to cross the river, and the old road was 
abandoned altogether. 

In 1859, during the period while the workmen were ex- 
cluded from the field of our principal excavations, they were 
employed at the top of the knoU at r, above alluded to, 
which overlooks the ford. The earth was fuU of remains of 
building materials, and walls were found which had been 
so much broken away that it was difficult to say to what 
description of building they had iDelonged. They appjeared 
to have formed a smaU square room attached to a more 
continuous wall. It might have been a tower, but it was 
of rough masonry, and might be either Roman or mediseval. 
Now, there appears to be documentary evidence of the ex- 
istence of a mediaeval castle of Wroxeter, which is said to 
have been called Arundel castle (the earls of Arundel were 
feudal lords of this territory during the fourteenth century), 
md, as it was probably only a small fortress to command 
the ford, it has been conjectured that the walls uncovered 
3n the knoU at f were remains of this castle. It must, how- 
ever, be stated on the other hand, that all the objects found 
n digging at this spot were Roman. Among them was a 
lead sculptured in stone, which is evidently of late Roman 
iv^ork, and appears to have belonged to a building which 
yas rather highly ornamented. Coins and other articles 
vere also found, and a coin-mould, in which was the impress 
)f a coin of Julia Domna, the wife of the emperor Severus. 

It may be remarked that the callage of Wroxeter must 
lave been begun to be built ages after the destruction of 
he town, when the nuns were already covered with a con- 
iderable depth of earth, for the Roman buildings are found 


almost everywhere under the surface of the soil. The cot- 
tagers meet with the remains of walls in digging in their 
gardens, and Mr. Egremont discovered that there are Eoman 
Ijuildings under the la\m of the vicarage. In the year 1827, . 
a rather handsome tessellated pavement was found in what 
was then a stack-yard, at E in our map, but it was torn 
to pieces by people who came to see it from Shrewsbmy and 
carried away the tessellse, and was thus destroyed as soon as 
it was found, but fortunately not before a drawing had been 
made of it. It probably belonged to a room of a house 
which abutted on one of the line of streets which ran from 
the forum to the town gate at H. Trenches have been dug 
in various parts of the fields on the other side of the 
Watling-Street road, immediately opposite the church, and 
on the top of the hill, but few traces of buildings were 
discovered, though the ground was full of Roman materials. 
In one field a Eoman well was found and cleared out, and it 
is now in use for drawing water. Other wells had been found 
in the immediate neighbourhood. 

A glance at our map wifi show that the principal excavations 
now in progress (a) are nearly in the centre of the ancient 
city, and the buildings they have brought to light occupied a 
high position, though not quite the highest ground ^vithin the 
walls. We should naturally expect that the principal pubfic 
buildings and mansions of the town would be scattered over 
the higher ground, and I anticipate that the remains of temples 
AAdll be found in the field c and in that to the north of it, 
where we may everywhere trace indications of buildings under 
ground. At c, in the first of these fields, partial excavations 
were made in the year 1788.* 

^¥e are informed that in the month of June of the year 
1788, the tenant of this farm, then a farmer named Clayton, 
"having occasion for some stone to rebuild a smith's shop 

* They are described in a communication made in the following year to the Society ot 
Antiquaries hy the Kev. Francis Leighton, and printed in the Archccologia, vol. ix. 


lately burnt do^vn, and knowing by the dryue!>s of the grovuul 
that there were ruins at no great depth beneath the suiiaee of 
a field near his house, began to dig, and soon came to a floor 
and a small bath. AppHcation was made to William Pulto- 
ney, Esq., then the proprietor of the soil, for leave to open the 
ground farther, which was readily granted. Coins both of the 
upper and lower empu-e, bones of animals (some of which were 
burnt), fragments of earthen vessels of various sizes, shapes, 
and manufactures, some of them black, and resembling Mr. 
Wedg-wood's imitation of the Etrascan vase, and (as 'Sis. Tel- 
ford the architect informed me) pieces of glass, were found in 
various places ; and the whole ground was full of charred 
substances. " The floor alluded to was at a small depth under 
the ground, and was paved with tiles sixteen inches long, 
twelve inches wide, and half an inch thick, hdno- on a bed 
of mortar one foot thick, under which were rubble stones 
to a considerable deptL Adjoining this pavement, to the 
north, was what !Mr. Leighton appears to ha-ve rightly deno- 
minated a bath. It was seven feet four inches long, by three 
feet seven inches broad at one end, and three feet eleven 
at the other, so that it was not quite scpiare. It had two 
steps or seats, running along the southern side, and, as ]\Ir. 
Leighton calculated, it was "capable of holding four persons, 
supposing them to sit on the steps or seats." He adds, 
"through the north side is a hole through the bottom, at 
the distance of two feet six inches from the west end. The 
bottom is paved with tiles, and the sides and seats plastered 
with mortar, consisting of three layers or coats ; the first, or 
that next the stones, is formed of lime and bruised or pounded 
brick without sand ; the third of the same, but a greater 
proportion of Hme, and a httle sand ; this is very smooth 
on the surface, and very hard." On the eastern side of the 
boundary waU of the floor, which was the Hmit of the exca- 
vations in this direction, was found what Mr. Leighton calls 
" a place four feet deep below the level of the floor. It has 


a paved bottom ; and is formed by large grauite stones on 
the southern and eastern sides, on the noi-th by a large thin 
red stone set on edge." This "place" was about four feet 
square. On the west of the floor and pavement, separate 
from them only by a wall, was an apartment with hj^ocaust, 
twelve feet wide by twenty long, its length running north 
and south. This hypocaust was foiTned of round piUars of 
stone, instead of the ordinary columns of bricks, and of dif- 
ferent sizes, as though they had been taken from former 
buildings which had been demolished. " The pillars," as Mr. 
Leighton describes them, " are not uniform in their shape, 
size, or disposition ; some rows consisted of six, some of 
seven pillars ; some pillars were much shorther than others, 
and the deficiency was made up by tiles or stones laid upon 
them ; some were apparently the fragments of large columns 
of a kind of granite, one foot six inches, and one foot two 
inches in diameter ; others were of a red free-stone, ten 
inches in diameter." At the south-west corner were four 
square pillars formed of tiles in the ordinary way, and there 
were two passages through the western wall, both clogged 
with ashes. In the south-eastern comer of this apartment, 
similar pillars of tiles supported " a small bath, with one 
seat or step on two of its sides, the whole of the inside 
well plastered with mortar. From this bath, in a direction 
southward, there was found a piece of leaden pipe, not 
soldered, but hammered together, and the seam or puncture 
secured by a kind of mortar ; and there appears a kind of 
channel or groove cut in large stones, which falls tlu'ee inches 
in twelve feet." To the north of these buildings, were small 
apartments, some with hypocausts and others without ; and 
beyond these, again, a large enclosure, which, hke two of 
the small apartments just mentioned, had " tesselated floors 
made of pieces of brick one inch and a quarter square, not 
disposed in any fancied form, but in a simple chequer ; the 
tessellae are all red." 


Such were the remains of buildings uncovered in the year 
1788. They were contained within a rectangle of between 
fifty and sixty feet by somewhat less than thirty, and appeared 
to be part of some more extensive buildings, but the baths are 
of rather small dimensions, and might have belonged to a 
large mansion ; though this question can only be decided by 
further excavations. 

The large field marked D, to the north-east of the present 
excavations, and inclosing the highest part of the ground, has 
certainly buildings under it in every part, and excavations in 
any part of it would doubtless be attended with very interest- 
ing results. I am informed that tessellated pavements are 
known to exist at no great depth under the surface. It was in 
this field, at the spot indicated by the letter d, that the disco- 
very was made in the year 1701, which was communicated to 
the Eoyal Society by Dr. Harwood, and printed in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions, vol. xxv., where the following account 
is given of the discovery. " About forty perches distant north 
from a ruinous wall called the Old Work of AVroxeter, once 
Uriconium, a famous city in Shropshire, in a piece of arable 
land in the tenure of Mr. Beunet, he observed, that although 
these fields had formerly been fertilized and made very rich 
by the flames and destruction of the city, yet a small square 
parcel thereof to be fruitless, and not to be improved by the 
best manure. He then guessing the cause of sterility to be 
underneath, sent his men to dig and search into it ; but the 
soil being then unsown, caused them to mistake, and search 
in a wrong place ; where they happened upon bottoms of old 
walls, buried in their own rubbish (being such as are often 
found in those fields) ; and the inhabitants digging one of them 
up, for the benefit of the building stone, were thereby guided 
to the western corner of the said unprofitable spot of land ; 
where they found (near the foundation) a little door place, 
which, when cleansed, gave entrance into the vacancy of a 
square room, walled about, and floored under and over, Avith 


some ashes and earth therein." The discovery on this occa- 
sion only extended to the opening of a hypocaust, with its 
floor above, of which a model was made, and the latter is stiU 
preserved, with some other objects found at Wroxeter, in the 
library of Shrewsbury School. 

The smith's shop or forge, alluded to in the account of the 
discoveries at c, stands on the road-side, at the corner of this 
field (at p), and I have heard it reported that buildings were 
found under it, and that a large capital of a Roman column 
forms the foundation for the smith's anvil. 

It is not improbable that the commoner orders of the inha- 
bitants of Uriconium inhabited the lower parts of the town 
bordering on the stream now called the Bell Brook and the 
northern banks, and their houses may have been constructed 
chiefly of wood. The earth is everywhere black from the 
mixtiu'e of burnt materials, as in aU other parts within the 
limits of the ancient city. In the year 1859, with the ready 
and friendly permission of the tenant, Mr. Bayley, trenches 
were dug in several directions in the field L, but no walls were 
met with, though the pavement of a street was found, as 
indicated in our map. Roman coins, and other small objects, 
were turned up by the spade, and among them a bronze fibula. 

A curious document, at present in the possession of 
C. L. Prince, Esq., has been communicated to me by a friend 
(M. A. Lower, Esq., of Lewes, in Sussex) : it is a rent-roll of 
the manor of "Wroxeter, in the twenty-fourth year of the 
reign of Edward III. (a.d. 1350). As it appears to me in 
many respects worthy of being printed, I shall give it in an 
appendix to the present volume. It will appear at once that 
a very small portion of the acreage of the parish, which is 
now estimated at 4774 acres, two roods, and thirty perches, 
was then under cultivation ; for, reckoning the virgate at 
sixty acres (I believe the ordinary estimate in this part of 
the country), and the noca, or quarter of a virgate, at fifteen, 
we can hardly account for more than six or seven hundred 


acres, including a considerable quantity of waste. I am 
informed, moreover, that some of the land mentioned in this 
document is not now included in the parish. It is evident, 
therefore, that a great part of the land was then waste, — 
the ground at Norton was a heath, which must have been 
extensive. Probably a part at least of the site of Uriconium 
M^as so covered on the surface with the ruins of buildings as 
to be left wild. One of the residents bears the very signi- 
ficant name of Johannes atte Walk, or John at the Wall, 
wliich was in aU probability given to him because his messuage 
was adjacent to a part of the ancient town wall. The whole 
parish at this time appears to have contained twenty-two 
messuagia, or houses of men holding generally about thirty 
acres of land, and eleven cottages. By the census of 1821, 
the latest to which I can at present refer, there were a 
hundred and twelve houses in the present parish. The 
dominus, or feudal lord, was the earl of Arundel. 

There is one local name in this record which is interesting. 
Hugh Maunseil held a piece of pasture " called le Eowemehie," 
Tiielne being of course the usual old English word for a milL 
It may perhaps be allowable to conjecture that the first part 
of the word is some corruption of Eome or Roman, and 
that the pasture received its name from the ruins of a Eoman 
mill, or the tradition that there had been one there. There 
is, I am informed, a field through which the BeU Brook runs, 
on the right hand of the AVatling-Street road as we go to the 
Horse-Shoe inn, which is still called Rue-mill, and which is 
no doubt the pasture in question. Perhaps the Romans had 
a miU on the Bell Brook, Avithin the town. 




It has been already stated that the only portion of building 
belono-ing to the city of Uriconium which remained above 
ground as long as we have any clear description of the site, 
was a long piece of waU, which was popularly called the Old 
Wall, and which appears to have been known at an older period 
as the Old Work or Works. In old English, the word luork, or 
as it was then usually spelt, warh, was appHed to a building, 
and especiaUy to a castle, and this was the origin of such 
names of places as Newark in Nottinghamshire, which was 
equivalent to Newcastle, and Southwark, now forming part of 
London. It is under tliis latter name that the Old WaU at 
Wroxeter is spoken of by Camden ; and the compiler of the 
article on Shropshire, in the old Magna Britannia, published 
in 1727, teUs us of Wroxeter: "Here is nothing now to be 
seen of it but a very few reliques of broken walls, called by 
the inhabitants ' The Old Works of Wroxceter,' which were 
built of hewen stone laid in seven rows, at an equal distance, 
arched within after the fashion of the Britains' buildings. In 
the place where the ruins are, 'tis supposed stood a castle 
formerly, as is probable, from the unevenness of the ground, 
heaps of earth, and the rubbish of walls lying here and there."''^ 

* The various conjectures which have heen made as to the cliaracter of the huUding to 
which this wall helonged are curious as shewing the absolute futility of all conjectural expla- 
nations, instead of proceeding to a careful examination of facts. Horsley, (Bntaiima Rornaim, 
p. 419,) imagined that this wall was part of the prretorium of the Koman city. Others have 
supposed it was part of a hasihca, or a temple, or puhhc gi'anaries, or public baths. We shall 
see liow some of these conjectures accidentally approached the truth ; but it must he remarked 
that this list nearly exhausts the number of great public buildings which we may suppose to 
have existed in a Itoman town in Britain. 


From this description we might be led to suppose that, at the 
time when it was written, more remains of walls were seen 
above ground than in our time, but we must perhaps make 
considerable allowance for vagueness of description. How- 
ever, although, as far as we have any information on the 
subject, the Old Wall at Wroxeter appears to have undergone 
no great alteration during at least two centuries, there were 
certainly more remains at the beginning of the last century 
than at present/' Its present appearance will be seen in our 
engraving, Avhich represents it as viewed from the northern 
side. This wall stands in a large field by the side of the 
upper road from Attingham to the village of Wroxeter, and 
near where the road to Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge turns 
from it, so that it forms a striking object from both. On 
the northern side, which is represented in our engraving, this 
wall presents the appearance of the exterior of a building, 
its facing of small squared stones, with the successive bonding- 
courses of tUes, being well-preserved. On the southern side, 
the traces of vaulted roofs which had sprung from it showed 
us that we were in what had been the interior of a building. 
This wall is about twenty-one feet high above the modern 
level of the ground, and seventy-two feet long by three feet in 
thickness. It runs in a Une deviating a httle from east to 
west. It is formed, according to the usual construction of 
Eoman walls, of an internal mass of rubble and boulder stones 
and other similar material set in very hard cement or mortar, 
with facing-stones and bonding-courses of tiles, as just stated. 
These courses consist generally of two layers of tiles. It has 
been supposed that the mode of construction of these Eoman 
walls was, to erect first the two faces, to a certain height, 
which were supported by wooden framework or caissons, and 
then, as the facings thus rose, liquid cement was poured into 
the space between them, and the stones placed in it to fill 

• A curious drawing of the Old Wall, and of Bome remains, then above ground, of the 
buildings adjacent to it, is presei-ved among the collections of drawings in the library of the 
Society of Antiquaries, and I shall give a fuller account of it farther on in the present chapter. 

110 ORrco]sriUM. 

up ; and the horizontal rows of holes which are usually 
seen on the surface of the walls are supposed to have been 
the places where the transverse timbers were laid to support 
the wooden framework, as it was raised higher and higher. 
After the wall was finished, these holes were perhaps filled up 
Avith stones which were not so well cemented, and have fallen 
out as their mortar became decayed by time. 

For several reasons the vicinity of the Old Wall was chosen 
as the place for commencing our recent excavations. It was 
nearly the centre of the city, and almost the liighest ground in 
it, so that the most important buildings might be supposed to 
have stood there. And there was also a question of still 
greater importance. The ruins of Uriconium might have been 
so entirely cleared away for building materials as to leave 
hardly any remains of masonry under ground ; and on this 
point the great height of the Old Wall above ground, and 
its general appearance, were not very encouraging, for the 
hope of interesting discoveries depended evidently on the 
depth to which the floors were covered by the accumulation 
of earth when the walls began to be broken away. The 
information, therefore, which we wanted could not be obtained 
more effectually than by digging to the foundation of the 
Old Wall. Accordingly, on the 3rd of February, 1859, a pit 
was sunk against the northern side of the Old Wall, a Httle 
to the left of the aperture just alluded to ; and it was not 
without some surprise that the men found themselves obliged 
to dig to a depth of fourteen feet below the present surface 
of the ground before they came to the bottom of it. For 
about two-thirds of this depth it was built in the under 
stratum of sand which forms a geological feature of the 
locality, so that the wall must have had a very deep foun- 
dation. A large capital of a column, ornamented with a plain 
band, lay on the original level of the ground, in a reversed 
position, as though it had fallen from above. But we have 
continuaUy found architectural fragments of this sort scattered 


about in such a manner, as to leave little doubt that they 
had been removed from their original places. 

A trench was next carried to the northward from the wall, 
and led to the discovery of a pavement formed of small bricks, 
three inches long by one wide, set in what is technically 
called herring-bone pattern, and lying here about four feet 
under the surface of the ground. By folloAving this pavement 
in different directions, it Avas discovered that we were in the 
middle of an extensive budding, the principal walls of which 
were subsequently traced, and will be best understood by 
reference to the accompanjdng plan, in which the Old Wall, 
A, B, which stood above ground, is distinguished by being 
shaded darker than the rest, with the exception of the breach 
in the middle, of which I have spoken above, which is left 
with the lio;ht shading. It was found that this Old Wall itself 
was continued to the westward, the lower part of it being 
met with under ground, and that there were three parallel 
walls to the north of it. The first of these was at a uniform 
distance of fourteen feet ; the space between this and the next 
parallel wall was exactly thirty feet ; and the last wall was 
fourteen feet from the previous wall at its western end, and 
sixteen at its eastern end, so that these walls were not 
accurately parallel, and consequently the whole buUdiug was a 
little out of square."' The length of these walls, from east to 
west, was two hundred and twenty-six feet. The central 
inclosure, which had no transverse wall except at its two ends, 
contained, therefore, a space two hundred and twenty-six feet 
long by thirty feet wide, and had two equally long but com- 
paratively narrow spaces on each side, divided from it by its 
side- walls. The southernmost of these, marked 1 in the plan, 
appeared to have been an open alley ; and there were some 
traces of its having been paved Avith flag-stones. There can 
be no doubt, indeed, that the northern face of the Old Wall, 

* It is not at all vmcommon to flncl Eoman buildings in this counti-j- out of square, liut 
the cause of this deviation is not known. 


which formed one side of this alley, was the outside of a 
building. The sort of brick pavement which formed the floor 
of the great central inclosure (2) is generally found in courts 
and places open to the sky ; and the very extent of the 
inclosure, in this case, would lead us to suppose that it also 
was not roofed. The narrow inclosure to the north (3) has 
had, ia its whole length, a rather elegant tessellated pavement, 
arranged in a series of compartments, and this would seem to 
indicate that it at least had a roof. No doorway was found 
communicating between these several inclosures ; but as the 
walls of separation were in several places entirely broken 
away to the foundations, we cannot positively decide whether 
there were doors or not. In the middle of the most northern 
wall there was a very wide breach, which in aU probabihty 
was the site of a principal entrance ;. for it was afterwards 
discovered that this waU formed the side of a wide street, the 
central pavement of which (c c, in the plan), composed of 
smaU round stones, was found at a distance of a few feet to 
the north of the wall. At the western end also of the middle 
apartment, openings and plinths of stone were found, Avhich 
seemed to indicate not only an entrance, but the former 
existence of a considerable amount of architectural ornamen- 
tation. As this came near to the edge of the field, and 
abutted on what is now called the Watling-Street road, which 
subsequent discoveries have shewn to occupy the line of a 
principal street of the town, these buildings evidently occupied 
the corner formed by two streets crossing at right angles. 
The only articles found in the course of excavating these 
inclosures, calculated to throw any light upon the object for 
which they were designed, were a portion (two or tlu'ee links) 
of a rather ponderous iron chain, the steel head of an axe, and 
a small trident, also made of iron. The latter is about five 
inches and a half long, and the one end, formed like the 
ferules of the old spear heads, was evidently intended to be 
fitted on a shaft, so that it may have belonged to some sort 


of ceremonial staiF. Portions of several padlocks, of a curious 
but now well-known Roman character, and apparently in- 
tended for fetters, were also picked up in this part of the 
excavations. These objects might lead us to suspect tliat 
the buUdings immediately to the north of the Old Wall 
were of a public, or perhaps municipal, character. Many 
fragments of the stucco, painted in fresco, were found in 
digging in these buildings, among which was part of an in- 
scription in large letters, two of which were perfect, and 
sufficient remained of the first and last, when first picked up, 
to shew that the four letters were A E C A ; of course these 
letters are quite insufficient to throw any light on the pur- 
port of the inscription when entire. 

The continuation of the northernmost wall was traced east- 
ward until the excavation was interrupted by the 'opposite 
hedge of ' the field, making a whole length of about four 
hundred feet. A doorway, approached by a stone step, led 
through the waU forming the eastern end of the great central 
inclosure, into a smaller inclosure (4), which, from the set-off 
on the walls, and some other circumstances, was supposed +0 
have been a quadrangular yard, or court, built a httle out of 
square, and measuring about sixty-six feet from north to 
south, and about thirty from east to west. Beyond this was 
a much larger inclosed space, which was trenched across in 
several directions, but no floor or transverse walls were fc d, 
and it was conjectured that it may have been a garden. 

I have already remarked that the northern face of the Old 
WaU presents all the appearance of having been the exterior 
of a building ; and this had evidently been the case with its 
continuation westward, in which, at a rather considerable 
interval from each other, were found two openings for doors, 
each approached from the narrow passage by a step composed 
of one large squared stone. The step to the westward (6 on 
the plan) was very much worn by the action of people's feet, 
and must, therefore, have been much frequented ; l)ut this 


was not the case with the other (5). It was at this latter 
opening that we crossed the line of the Old Wall and began 
to excavate the buildings to the south. But, while we were 
in the middle of this work, circumstances occurred which, 
through a local disagreement, compelled us to abandon our 
work temporarily, and ended in obliging us to fill up the 
excavations to the north of the Old Wall, where I regret to 
say that the examination of the Eomau buildings had been 
liut imperfect, and to confine our labours to the south. 

On the southern side of the wall, begumuig with the door- 
way (5), trenches were carried in several directions, and soon 
brought the excavators to the outside of a semi-circular end 
of a large apartment (7), about forty feet long by thirty wide. 
The intermediate space appeared to have formed a court-yard ; 
and from the number of human remains found in it, it is 
evident that, at the time of the destruction of the Eoman 
city, many of the inhabitants had sought shelter here and in 
the adjoining buddings, and had been pursued and massacred. 
In the south-eastern corner, under what appeared to have been 
an opening from an apartment above, lay the bones of a very 
small child, believed, from the appearance of the skull, to 
have been an infant in the arms, which had perhaps been 
murdered and thrown down from a room above. The semi- 
circular wall just mentioned presented a mass of very good 
masomy, and was partly covered with plaster or stucco, wliich 
had been worked to a smooth surface, and painted Avith stripes 
of red and yellow ; from which it appears that the Romans 
in this country painted in fresco the outsides of their houses 
as well as the interiors. Near the wall lay a very ponderous 
stone, worked into the form of part of the arc of a circle, 
which had evidently formed one of a layer of such stones at 
some unknown elevation in the semi-circular wall. A piece 
of iron remains soldered into it with lead, but for what 
pu.rpose, it v^ould not be easy even to conjecture. It is noAV 
placed on the top of the wall. 


The floor of the interior of tliis large room, which appeared 
to have presented merely a smoothed surface of cement, was all 
destroyed, with the exception of a small fragment in the north- 
east corner, but the columns of the hypocaust on which it had 
been supported remained in almost a perfect state. Our plate 
represents a portion of the hypocaust, viewed from the s.s.w., 
that is looking towards the semi-circular end, as it appeared 
"when it was first opened. It is taken from a photograph, and 
possesses the more interest, because soon after it was taken 
nearly all the columns were destroyed by an incursion of 
ignorant vandals from the coUiery districts.* These sup- 
porting columns, which were of the rather unusual height of 
a httle more than three feet, were formed of square flat bricks, 
placed one upon another without mortar, and most of them 
were standing to very nearly their original height. The floor, 
as just intimated, had been all broken up, but pieces of the 
concrete which composed it were found scattered about. 
A small piece of floor still remains on its supports in the 
north-eastern corner, presenting a mass of hard concrete about 
eight inches thick. In this corner were found the ashes 
from the fires, as well as in other parts of the inclosure. 
A hundred and twenty of the supporting columns were 
counted before the area had been entirely cleared. About 
the middle of this hypocaust, there was a sort of passage 
across, from west to east, Avhich communicated to the west 
with a building formed of cross walls and hypocaust columns 
(10), which is not easily described, but which appeared to 
have been a depository for fuel, fov a cjuantity of unburnt 
coal, both charcoal and mineral, was found in it when opened. 

* In tlie May of the year 1859, while we were temporarily excluded from the field in 
which the escavations were earned on, it appears that a party of miners from the collieries, 
who were in the habit of taking a holiday and making an excui'sion at this time of the year, 
haying been attracted hy the accounts published in the newspapers, paid their visit to Wroxeter. 
Not understanding what they saw, and finding nobody there to kecj) tliem in order, they 
amused themselves by throwing down the columns of this byiiocaust and breaking to pieces the 
materials. When therefore an an-angement had been made, and wc returned to our work, we 
found this interesting hypocaust a mere heap of broken tiles. Dr. Heni-y Johnson, with great 
care and labour, had the more pei-fect tiles picked out, and the columns re-erected, as far as it 
could be done, by the help of photogi'aphs and dramngs which had been made before the 
occurrence of this barbarous piece of vandalism. 


On the eastern side, the passage alluded to brought us to a 
doorway in the wall, through Avhich we entered the similar 
hypocaust of another large room (8). The columns in this 
second hypocaust were much more dilapidated than in the 
first, but some of them were found entire, supporting a 
portion of the floor in the south-west corner, where also were 
found the ashes from the fire and soot on the waUs, the latter 
appearing quite fresh when first uncovered. The floor 
appeared here to have been at the same height as in the other 
room, and it was similarly formed of a bed of smooth concrete. 
In the northern side of this room, where the wall remained to 
the height of nine or ten feet, there was a doorway, with an 
arch turned with large flat Eoman tiles. This was found to 
be approached from without by a staircase (.9) of three large 
steps, each composed of a single stone, descending from a 
small square platform, which was approached from the north. 
On the western side of this platform, and looking upon the 
outside of the semi-circular end of the first room opened, 
there appeared to have been an opening in the wall, under 
which, in the coiu't outside, the skeleton of the chUd was 
found. When the platform of the staircase was first un- 
covered, it was blocked up by the broken shaft of a column, 
which lay across it as though it had fallen from above ; and a 
squared block of stone lay by the side of the staircase in what 
seemed to have been its original position. This appeared to 
have been the principal entrance to the whole series of the 
hypocausts I am now going to describe, which seem all to 
have communicated with one another. The north-eastern cor- 
ner of the space at the foot of the staircase, that is, the corner 
which was opposite the stairs and the archway, and therefore 
out of the way of those who had to pass up and down the 
one and through the other, presented an appearance which 
would lead us to suppose that, at the close of the Eoman 
period, it had been used as a receptacle for refuse, such as the 
sweepings of the floors, for the earth, as each spadeful Avas 



taken up, was found to be filled witli Roman coins, liau-pins, 
and other personal ornaments, buttons, nails, broken pottery, 
and glass, bones of birds and other edible animals, and a 
variety of other objects, which were carefully collected, and 
have been placed in the Museum, at Shrewsbury. The 
appearance of the staircase and doorway, when first uncovered, 
will be best understood by our plate, engraved from a drawing 
by Mr. Hillary Da\deSj a very able young artist, of Shrews- 
bury. It is taken from the north, and over the wall we see 
to the extreme right the upper part of one of the columns of 
the first hypocaust, and before us the perfect columns sup- 
porting a portion of floor in the south-western comer of the 
second. In the back ground, rises the tower of Wroxeter 
Church ; and in the distances, are seen Caer-Caradoc, Lawley 
Hill, and the Stretton mountains. The accompanying wood- 

Entrance to the Hypocauatu. 

cut, taken from a sketch made by Mr. Fairholt at a rather 
later period, represents the appearance then presented by the 
entrance to the hypocaust as seen from the east, and shows 
the passage through the wall, and the semi-circular wall 
beyond it. 


Immediately to the east of this staii-case is a rectangular 
chamber (14), about twelve feet square, with a herring-bone 
pavement formed of small bricks, exactly Uke that of the large 
inclosure to the north of the Old Wall, part of which is shewn 
in the foreground of the preceding cut. The eastern side of 
this room, which is in a line with the eastern wall of the 
second room with a hypocaust, appears to have been originally 
open in nearly its whole width, although it has been, at some 
later period, built up. It opened into a larger room (11), 
also possessing a hypocaust. It was in this hypocaust that 
tlu'ee skeletons were found ; one that of an old man, who 
had died crouched up behind the columns in the north-west 
corner, the others aj)parently females, who were lying down 
at the foot of the north wall. Close to the man lay a heap 
of coins, which had been contained in a small wooden coffer, 
as described in the foregoing chapter. In the southern waU 
of this hypocaust, there is a breach, wliich has no doubt been 
a small entrance from a court outside. The three individuals 
to whom these skeletons belonged, who had no doubt sought 
refuge here from the fury of the massacrers who were plun- 
dering the city, had either entered the hypocaust No. 8, by 
the steps and so made their way into this hypocaust No. 11, 
or, probably, passed through tliis passage in the waU, and so 
crept between the rows of columns to the sj)ot in which they 
were found. But, though their asylum was tolerably safe 
from pursuit, it was exposed to other dangers which were no 
less serious — it was somewhat the case of a man getting 
into his chimney when his house is on fire ; and, as these 
buildings were no doubt given to the flames, if they were not 
actually burnt, they were no doubt suffocated, and the latter 
alternative appears the most probable by the position and 
appearance of the bones. Other rooms, and what appeared to 
be a passage, followed to the eastward of the one just described. 
The first of these was the large room, or perhaps two rooms, 
(12), also vnth a hypocaust. The passage appeared to have 

UmCONIUM. 119 

run along the northern side of this room, and near the middle 
of it was a square reservoir, somewhat like a cesspool, across 
the bottom of which a drain runs north and south, built in 
very good masonry, and evidently intended to carry off water. 
Beyond the room 12, is another room with a hypocaust, 
resembling exactly in shape and dimensions the room 11, 
and adjoining to it a smaU square chamber with floor of 
bricks set in herring-bone (15), exactly resembling that 
marked 14 on the plan, and open to the room 13, just as 
the room 14 was originally open to that marked 11. Ad- 
joining the room 13, to the south, was a smaller room 
with a hypocaust, in which were found two skeletons, one 
that of a young person, but the other wanted the head. 
Our engraving of "The Excavations at Wroxeter," near the 
Old Wall, taken from a drawing by Mr. Fairholt, represents 
them looking westward, at a time when they were only 
partially excavated, and shows the northern ends of the 
rooms just described. The foreground is formed by the 
herring-bone pavement of the small room, 1.5 ; and in the 
farthest wall is seen the original opening of the similar room 
1 4, afterwards built up. To the right is the Old Wall, and in 
the far distance the three Breiddin movmtains, on the hne of 
boundary between England and Wales. In the eastern wall 
of the room marked 13, there is a neatly-built recess, wliich 
has either been a fire-place for the hypocaust, or more 
probably a passage through the wall, which here ajppears to 
have been the eastern boundary of these buildings. The 
northern wall of the room 13 was, when first opened, covered 
with the remains of flue-tiles. The columns of the hypocaust 
are gone, but their height is marked on the stucco of the wall. 
The western end of this wall is squared ofi" to the passages, 
forming apparently the side of a cross passage, and at the 
foot it has a kind of base formed of large stones hoUowcd 
or scooped out in a very remarkable manner, which appears to 
have joined in with the concrete of the floor, as though they 


had formed the side of a channel for water ; but it is not easy 
to make out what was their real object. These stones are 
represented in the engraving just referred to, and in another 
engraving of this wall, which will be given farther on. 

The passages just described lie parallel to the Old Wall, at 
a distance of about forty feet to the south. On this side, the 
surface of the Old Wall presents unmistakeable evidence of 
having been the interior of a building ; the startings of 
transverse walls and of the vaulted roofs (of the description 
termed barrel-roofs) of three distinct rooms, being perfectly 
visible. A series of rooms, therefore, extended from the Old 
Wall to the eastern part of the buildings I have just been 
describing. These rooms, which were five in number, (marked 
16, 17, 18,19, 20, in our plan), have not yet been explored, 
with the exception of very partial excavations to trace the 
walls, and of the southern part of the room 20. Here was 
found, on a level mth the floors of the hypocausts, a perfect 
tessellated pavement, formed, very laboriously, of small cream- " 
coloured tessellse, laid in a uniform field, without any attempt 
to introduce a pattern. It was evidently the floor of a bath, 
and there are extensive remains of a raised step around it, 
forming a rectangular basin to contain water. A little higher 
on the side of the wall are indications of the former existence 
of something fike a platform, or wooden floor, too low, however, 
to admit of people standing beneath it, and the object of 
Avhich we are the less able to explain, because there are in 
different parts of these buildings many indications of alter- 
ations made at different times, and because when this room is 
fm'ther explored, we shall probably be able better to under- 
stand its, peculiarities. One of these is sufficiently remarkable. 
The surface of the southern wall of this room, which forms the 
separation between it and the room 1 3, was ornamented with 
tessellated work instead of fresco-painting, and the lower edge 
of it, consisting of a guilloche border, still remains. On 
uncovering the corresponding wall of the room marked 16, 


similar tessellated work was found upon it, so that when the 
two rooms are completely excavated, they will probably be 
found to correspond to each other. The three intervening 
rooms have not been examined, with the exception of a 
trench run into that marked 17, where a quantity of charred 
wheat was found, as though it had been used at the close of 
the Roman period as a granary.* 

I will state briefly, at present, that further south, opposite 
E in the plan, a wide trench was carried from west to east, in 
the course of which was discovered first a wall, H, i ; and next, 
at a distance of about 12 feet, another similar wall parallel to 
it. Beyond this, there was a narrow passage, then a rise with 
a pavement of cement, which extended some four or five feet, 
and then suddenly sank to a floor of large flagstones, at a 
depth of upwards of four feet from the floor of cement. The 
floor of flags, covered with black earth, marked by the letter 
E in the plan, appears to have been a reservoir of water ; for 
the bottom was found covered with black earth fiUed with 
broken pottery and other objects, such as may be supposed to 
have been thrown into a pond. This reservoir was of con- 
siderable extent, and from the height of the original surface of 
the ground on the other side, the water appears to have been 
about three feet deep. A further exploration of the two 
parallel walls first brought to Hght by this trench, showed that 
they belonged to a gallery, which extended along two sides 
of a rectangular inclosure, about two hundred feet square, 
(h, t, k,) and that these galleries formed the boundary of the 
building towards the west and south. The southern wall 
formed the side of a street, the pavement of which, l, l, l, has 
been uncovered along the whole extent of these excavations. 
The trench above mentioned, after passing the reservoir e, 
brought the excavators to a very substantial wall at o, which 

* As one of the old conjectures as to the character of the huilding of which the Old 
Wall made a part was that it was a puhlic gi'anary, it is probahle that this room had been dug 
into before. It would reciaire a much gi-eater knowledge of the history and condition of 
Uriconium during the period before its destruction than we are lUicly to gain, to account for 
the presence of wheat in this room. 


was traced in its whole extent, and was clearly the exterior 
of a building, so that the reservoir evidently occupied the 
middle of a large open court. At a short distance within the 
wall 0, at D, another sunken floor was found, formed of flat 
Eoman tiles, twelve inches by eighteen inches square. This 
floor was about ten feet wide by thirty long, and was about 
three feet below the level of the cement floor of the very large 
apartment enclosed by the wall o, p, p, and the others parallel 
to them. It appeared also to have been a tank of water, and 
was perhaps a cold-water bath. There were two entrances 
to this building from the south, at p, p>, of one of which the 
walls are well preserved and defined. 

A glance at the whole plan of these buildings, and a 
consideration of the distribution of their different parts, can 
hardly leave a doubt in our mind that they formed the public 
baths of Uriconium ; but, before we proceed to treat further 
this question, I will shew briefly how it afl'ects the identifi- 
cation of the previously mysterious building to the north. 
The public baths of the Eoman towns in Britain are not 
unfrequently mentioned in inscriptions — those only written 
records of the internal condition of our island under the 
Eomans — which commemorate the repairing or rebuilding of 
them ; but it is a circumstance of some importance that this 
building is usually combined with the basUica, or town halL 
In fact, these bufldings were so closely attached that both seemed 
to have participated in the same accidents, and to have under- 
gone decay together. Thus an inscription found at Lanchester 
in Cumberland, (supposed to be the Eoman town of Epiacum,) 
informs us that the pul^lic baths and basilica there were built 
up from the ground (the form of the phrase intimates that 
they had been rebuilt), in the reign of the emperor Gordian, 
A.D. 238-244, by his legate, the propraetor of Britain, Gneius 
Lucilianus, by the care of Marcus Aurelius Quirinus, prtefect 
of the first cohort of the Gordian legion. The inscription i^'') 

* Given in Horseley's Britannia Komana, and in Lyson's Magna Britannia, Cumberland. 


is so generally interesting in relation to this subject, that it 
may be given entire : 


At Eibchester, in Lancashire, which appears from a Eoman 
altar found there to be the site of the Eoman Bremetonacae, 
the baths and basilica (balinevm et basilic am) were rebuilt 
after having fallen into ruin through age. We are, therefore, 
I think, justified in concluding that the building to the north 
of the Old Wall was the basUica of the city of Uriconium. 
The basilica was, primarily, the court of justice of the town, 
where prisoners were tried, and the praetor gave his judgment. 
In the provinces, no doubt, it served various other public 
purposes ; it was perhaps used sometimes for pubhc games ; 
and an inscription found at Netherby, in Cumberland, speaks 
of a basilica in the Eoman town which occupied that site for 
practice in riding (basilicam eqvestrem exeecitatoeiam). 
It is a curious circumstance that, assuming that we have 
correctly identified this building, the basilica of Uriconium 
was exactly the same length, 220 feet, as that of Pompeii, and 
also, as we shall see further on, occupied exactly the same 
position with regard to the forum. But the basilica of 
Pompeii was eighty feet wide, whereas the interior space of 
that of Uriconium is only thirty feet wide. But two rows of 
columns in that of Pompeii separates a central nave from Uvo 
aisles, and if we reckon the two side passages in that of 
Uriconium at an average width of fifteen feet, it would 
make the whole breadth sixty feet, which would not be so 
greatly disproportionate. The basihca had usually a gallery on 
each side, and as the five tessellated pavements in the northern 
passage of the building at Uriconium seems to intimate that 

124 UEicomuM. 

it was covered, there may have been a gallery above. There 
may possibly have been a gallery also on the other side, over 
what was evidently a public passage, from which people 
entered the baths and other establishments. 

With the Eomans the bath was one of the most important 
of the social institutions. Among the ancients, poverty was 
not considered to be equivalent to dirtiness, as is too generally 
the case in modern times, and all classes of society made 
constant use of the bath, which thus became a necessary of 
life. Hence the practice of building public bathing estab- 
lishments had existed from a very remote period. The 
Greeks called a bath halaneion, from which was derived the 
Latin word halineum, or balneum. The word was also used 
in the feminine gender and plural number, balnece. It is 
generally considered that the latter form was properly applied 
to a pubhc establishment of baths, and that balneum meant 
a private bath ; but this was certainly not the case in Britain, 
where the inscriptions always apply the word balineum or 
balneum to the public baths. The Eomans also adopted for 
these establishments the Greek name of thermas, meaning 
literally, "hot places," and therefore indicating one of the 
chief characteristics of these establishments, which was the 
heat and not the water, and this seems to have been the more 
fashionable name at Kome and in the great Eoman cities of 
the south. Our Anglo-Saxon forefathers appear not to have 
been acquainted with the Eoman hot bath before they settled 
in this country, and they had no name for it in their own 
language ; for their verb bathian, to bathe, meant literally to 
wash, and theii' bceth, or bath, implied always the idea of using 
water. Hence has arisen a general misunderstanding of the 
real nature and use of the ancient bath. 

The arrangement and construction of the baths were con- 
sidered as one of the proudest and most difficult tasks of the 
Eoman architect, and are treated with considerable minuteness 
by Vitruvius. The plan, though always made according to one 


unvaried principle, was of course in detail varied according 
to circumstances, and we should expect such variations to be 
found more especially in a distant island like Britain. Yet it 
is remarkable that the builder of the ptiblic baths of Urico- 
nium followed exactly the general direction of the Eoman 
architect just quoted, that the buddings should face the south, 
and that they should be sheltered from the north, as they were 
here very effectively sheltered by the large buildings of the 
basilica. The different processes of the bath are tolerably 
fully described by the ancient writers. Within the entrance 
of the budding there was a small room occupied by the 
keeper, halneator, who took the admission fee, usually the 
smaU coin called a quadrans, equal to half a farthing. 
Adjoining to this, in the great baths in Italy, were two 
waiting rooms, one for friends, the other for the servants, who 
brought with them their bathing linen or towels (lintea,) the 
scraping-instruments (strigilesj and their small bottles of od 
or imguent (ampullce olearece.) People of position appear to 
have generally carried these objects with them, instead of 
using those which were furnished at the baths, and in 
examples which have been found among Eoman remains on 
the continent, sets of bathing implements have been found, 
the set usually suspended to a ring, from which they could 
be taken at wiU, and consisting of the strigd, the small 
oil bottle, tweezers for depdation, and teeth and ear picks, 
all usually made of bronze. A friend who has done much 
towards making better known and appreciated the Eoman 
bath and its modem representative the Turkish bath, George 
Witt, Esq., F. E. S., possesses, in his extremely interesting 
private collection of antiquities, a very complete set of these 
instruments, which was found near Latum, in Germany, in 
the grave of a Eoman officer, who had considered them of 
such importance to his personal welfare that they had been 
deposited with him in his last resting-place. All these 
objects have been found not unfrequently in Britain, with the 


exception perhaps of the oil bottle, of which, however, I 
believe that examples have been met with, but I am not 
aware of any instance in which the set of bathing instru- 
ments was found together, suspended to their ring. 

The first room which formed really a part of the bathing 
establishment was the undressing room, where the bathers 
stripped and left their clothes, which they entrusted to an 
attendant appointed for that purpose. This room was called 
the vestiarium, spoliarium, or aiDOclyterium. From it you 
passed into the imctuarium or elceothesiiim, the room where 
people were anoiuted, and underwent the operation of shaving 
and some other processes. People who could afford it were 
here anointed with rich unguents and perfumes, which appear 
usually to have been kept here as in a shop, but the poorer 
people were merely anointed all over the body mth a coarse 
cheap oil. The bathers went hence into a large room set 
a]3art for bodily exercises and games, of which the one most 
in favour was playing at ball, and hence it Avas called the 
splicer ist&t^ium. It would appear that the exercises of the 
sphcBristeriiim were partaken in before the hour of opening 
the baths themselves, which was announced by the ringing 
of a bell. The reader of Martial wiU remember the line — 

Eedde pilam ; sonat res thermarum ; ludere pergls ? — i^;. lih. xiv. ep. 163. 

It was believed that this previous bodily exercise was 
higiily conducive to the good effects of the subsequent baths. 

When the bather proceeded to the latter, he was first 
introduced into the teindariuni, a room moderately heated, 
which was preparatory to another apartment, kept at a very 
much greater heat, and called the caldarium, sudatorium, 
or laconicum, the two first names describing its particular 
character, and the other said to have been given to it because 
its use was derived from the Laconians. In the laro-er and 
more elaborate baths, however, the laconicum, appears to 
have been distinguished from the sudatorium, and the name 
caldarium was given, at least sometimes, to a warm-water 


bath. I have already stated that the process of bathing did 
not consist in immersion in water, which was not introduced 
for this purpose either in the tepidarium or in the sudato- 
rium ; and the erroneous notion on this subject has entirely 
led astray the writers on the Eoman batlis down to the 
present day. By means of the hypocaust beneath the floor, 
and the flues which lined the walls, and through which the 
hot air passed, the tepidarium was kept at a moderate heat, 
and the sudatorium at so high a temperature as to produce 
in the human body the very profuse perspiration necessary 
to a thorough cleansing of the skin. The sudatorium was 
surrounded by benches, on which the bathers sat while they 
were undergoing its effects. It was here that the strigils 
or scrapers were used, which people in the better classes of 
society usually brought with them, but others were probably 
kept at the baths for the use of the poorer people. The 
stiigU was usually made of bronze, sometimes of iron, and, 
in some rarer cases, of silver. It consisted chiefly of a 
curved blade, with a simple handle, the latter often forming a 
loop, through which the fingers were perhaps passed, to hold 
it with more strength. The accompanying cut represents a 
strigil found ia the last century, in one of the rooms of the 

Eoman StriiTil, ionni at Wroxeter. 

baths at Uriconium, and now presented in the hbrary of 
Shrewsbury School. It is of bronze, about nine inches long, 
and has a handle of rather unusual form, but the blade has partly 
lost its original curved form through violence or pressure to 
which it has been exposed. With the edge of this instrument 
the skin was very forcibly scraped, so as to clear away the 
surface of sweat and dirt, and the attendants then cleansed 
it with sponges ; in fact, the bather was treated somewhat 


in tlie same way as we now treat horses, when they come 
into the stable hot. In an adjoining room called the 
lavatorium, he bathed in water, which was supphed in a 
shower, or in a bath in which he could immerse himself, 
or in vessels of different sizes. One of these, a large vessel 
with overhanging edge, was called a labrum, and seems to 
have been frequently placed at the semi-circular end of a 
large room. The process of the bath was now completed, 
and the bather returned slowly through the tepidarium, into 
another large room called the frigidarium, or cooling room, 
which like the sudatorium, was furnished with benches and 
seats, with large open windows to let in the wind and 
cold air. Here the bathers reposed themselves, until all 
remains of the perspiration had disappeared. The effect of 
the sudorium itself, and especially that of the rather sudden 
transition from its intense heat to the cold of the frigid- 
arium, produced an agreeable and even a voluptuous feeling, 
which can only be understood by those who have experienced 
the effects of the modern Turkish bath, and which contributed 
much to the great love of the Romans for the bath. It 
was this, indeed, which constituted its charm, and which 
acted so beneficially on the constitution. The physician 
Galen says that "the body is tempered by going from the 
caldarium into the frigidarium, like steel or iron when 
thrust red-hot into cold water." And the Christian father, 
Clemens of Alexandria, expresses a similar sentiment, when 
he represents that " the flesh is softened by heat in the same 
manner as steel ; and so, when we cool ourselves, we go 
through a process resembhng the tempering of steel by 

In the course of the bath, the bather had undergone various 
operations of the toilet. The old comic writer Lucilius, in a 
line which has been preserved, states them all in as many 
words under the different processes of scraping, shaving, 

* Clemens Alexandrinus, PoBdagog., lib. iii., cc. 5 and 9. 


ecowering, smoothing Avith pumico, adovniiig, expilating, and 
finishing off — 

Soabor, snppilov, desqnamor, pumieor, ornnr, expilor, pingor, 
But other purposes were also provided for in the larger baths. 
Adjoining to the l)uildings were usually added gardens with 
shady avenues, and within the buildings a large court for 
exercises in the open air, with cold swimming baths (piscince), 
and above all, an ambulatorium, or cloister for walking under 
cover, which usually formed two sides of a square. These 
made it a favourite place of resort for the citizens. Hence, 
although men of wealth had usually private baths in their 
own houses, yet they seem generally to have preferred the 
use of the public baths, partly perhaps because the private 
baths were smaller and less complete. The younger Phny, 
in the interesting description of his villa at Laurentinum, 
states, as one of its advantages, the vicinity of the town of 
Ostium, where, among other things, there were public baths, 
of which he could make use, as an economy, when circum- 
stances occurred which rendered it inconvenient to use his 
own.'" Private baths are always me t with in the Roman villas 
in Britain ; and at least one private bath appears to have 
been found attached to a dwelling in the city of Uriconium.t 

The general plan of the public baths of Uriconium is 
tolerably evident, but the details wUl be better imderstood 
when the site has been further cleared, and especially when 
the rooms adjacent to the Old Wall, numbered 16 to 20 in 
the plan, have been fully explored. On the first glance at 
our plan, we are struck by the circumstance that there appears 
to have been a duplicate series of rooms corresponding to 
each other with remarkable uniformity, the large room 12 
forming the centre. It is from what appears to have been 
a, receptacle of water in the middle of this latter apartment, 

* Frugi qiiiJem homini sufficit etiam vicus, quem una villa rliHceniit ; in hoc balinca 
meritoria tria ; magna commoditas, si forte balineum domi vel subitus advcntus vel brcvior 
mora calefacere dissnadent. — Plinii Epist., lih. ii. ep. 17. 

t See it described in the preceding rbapter, p. lO-S. 


that the drain runs northward under the room 18, which has 
not been explored, and no doubt under the basilica, to 
communicate with a main sewer which ran probably down 
to the river, and ^xjihaps at no great distance hence. From 
the appearances presented in the course of excavating, a 
passage seemed to have run along the southern side of the 
northern wall of the room 12, which was interrupted by the 
square pit from which this drain proceeded, and which had 
furnished a means of communication between these different 
apartments. At two places there were wide openings through 
the wall from this passage to the northern side of it ; and at 
the more easterly of these openings, just at the entrance to 
the room 13, there is, at the foot of the wall, a large stone 
scooped out in a singular manner, and joining on the other 
side to other similar stones which run round the end of the 
wall. They have somewhat the appearance of having formed 
the side of a water channel, but their real object is, with the 
extent of our present knowledge, very uncertain. The first 
of these stones is shewn in our view from the east of the 
"Excavations at Wroxeter near the Old WaU," and the whole 
group appear in the plate of "Eemains of Buildings opposite the 
East End of the Old Wall," taken from the opposite side, as 
they appeared lying on the ground when this passage was first 
opened. The walls round it have become dilapidated since the 
earth has been cleared away round them. The bed of the drain 
is formed of the large roof tiles, with the flanged edges turned 
upwards. The surface of the southern side of the wall 
of the passage described above was covered with plaster or 
stucco, and a little to the eastward of the pit an inscrip- 
tion was fo;md, scrawled in large straggling characters with 
some sharp pointed instrument, such as a stylus, and closely 
resembling in character the graffiti, as they are termed, 
found on the walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum. When, 
one evening, this part of the wall was first uncovered, two lines 
of this inscription remained, which appeared to have been 
its conclusion, and seem to have been perfectly well pre- 


served, but, before anybody had an opportunity of examining 
it, two casual visitors (for the pubhc were then admitted 
freely) amused themselves by employing their walking sticks 
or umbrellas to break off the plaster, in order apparently 
to try its strength, and they were not observed by the 
workmen until the first line had been completely destroyed, 
and the second, which had been a shorter one, was very 
much broken into. When I visited the excavations next 
morning, I could only trace distinctly the letters N T, 
which had formed the termination of the second line, but 
I was satisfied from what remained that the letter which 
preceded them was an A, and that these letters had formed 
the termination of a verb in the plural number at the end 
of the sentence. I have no doubt that the inscription 
was written in Latin. I gathered up the bits of plaster 
from the ground, on the faces of many of which were still 
visible lines of the letters which had been destroyed, but 
they were in far too fragmentary a state, and too much had 
been reduced to mere powder, to allow the slightest hope 
of putting them together and making anything of the inscrip- 
tion. I gave directions for making a careful facsimile of 
what remained on the wall, but before this could be done, 
the unfortunate misunderstanding with the tenant occurred, 
by which we were tempjorarily excluded from the field, and 
on our readmission, what had been left of the inscription 
was further damaged by the weather, and perhaps by other 
meddling visitors, so that aU that remained of this inscription 
when I was at length enabled to have it copied, was reduced 
to a few mere scratches. Thus, through mere ignorant and 
mischievous wantonness, we lost all the advantage of a dis- 
covery which might have thrown important as well as curious 
light on the state of Britain at this period. 

The large apartment marked 12 evidently forms the centre 
of a uniform system of rooms, but it would not be safe in 
our present extent of knoAvledge to attempt tu fix the pur- 


poses which each was intended to serve. In the hypocaust 
of the room marked 13, opposite the eastern extremity of the 
Old Wall, the bases of the columns alone remained when it 
was opened, the columns themselves having been cleared 
aw\ay, probably dragged up for mateiials. The floor has been 
of smoothed concrete, which also appears to have been the 
material of the floors of the passages leading to it. But the 
most interesting feature of this hypocaust is the manner in 
which the surface of the northern wall above the floor was, 
when brought to light by the excavators, covered Avith 
remains and impressions of the flue-tiles which carried 
upwards the hot air from the hypocaust through the room. 
Few traces of these flue tiles had hitherto been found in 
position, though many of them lay broken and scattered 
about, but here they had run up in rows close together, as 
will be seen in our engraving, which represents a view looking 
towards the north, taken when the hypocaust 13 was only 
partially opened. A view of this piece of the wall as seen 
from the east is also given in a former engraving. A few of 
the backs of the broken flue-tiles are found still attached to 
the wall, the surface of which is, as wall be seen, covered 
with the impressions of the surfaces of others, which were 
usually striated with lines in various patterns, to give them 
a firmer hold on the mortar. This gTeat accumulation of 
flue-tiles must have been intended to give to this room a very 
high degree of temperature, and we are perhaps justified in 
calling it the caldm^ium. A small square room, 15, mth the 
herring-bone brick pavement, adjoins this hypocaust, and 
projects beyond what appeare to be the eastern boundary- 
wall of the building. This no doulit served some purpose 
connected with the apartment 13 — possibly it may have 
been a room for ointment, an elcBothesium ; but it must be 
remarked that these two rooms have their exact counterparts 
in 11 and 14 on the other side of the large room 12. The 
latter may be a tqndarium. Passages at the north-western ■ 

URICOiN-lUM. 133 

-corner of the room 13 appear to have communicated du-ectly 
with the three rooms 12, 19, and 20. The southern part of 
this last room, which may have been a frigidarium, has been 
opened, and was found to contain a cold water Ijath, the 
floor of which was formed of a tessellated pavement, consisting 
of a uniform field of small delicate cream-coloured tessellse, 
placed together without the slightest attempt at the intro- 
duction of a pattern. The seats remain round part of this 
bath, and there are indications on the wall as though there 
had once been a wooden floor above, perhaps surrounding the 
bath, though it may have belonged to some alteration in the 
purpose of the building. The most remarkable circumstance, 
however, observed in the southern waU of this room is that, 
instead of being covered with the usual facing of stucco, 
or plaster, it had been ornamented with mosaic work — a 
tesseUated wall, of which a small fragment of a single 
gilloche border is aU that now remains. But in the earlier 
period of our excavations, a short trench having been dug 
into the southern end of the room 16, the Avail corresponding 
to that I have just described, was foimd to have been ornamen- 
ted in the same manner, much more of the tessellated work 
remaining in its place, of which several pieces were broken off, 
and one of them at least is preserved in the museum at Shrews- 
bury. In the work found here, the tessellse, which were one-half 
by three-fifths of an inch square, were alternately of dark and 
light stones. From this circumstance, we are led naturaUy 
to suppose that the room 16 was the counterpart of 20 ; and 
no doubt 19 had the same relationship to 17. The latter 
has been opened, and contains a hypocaust stiU supporting 
its floor of cement, though this is considerably damaged. 
We have thus two uniform sets of apartments which have 
been intended severally for the same purposes, and which, 
as it is equally evident, were baths ; and this can hardly l^e 
explained but by the supposition that they were intended fol 
people of different sexes — the men's Ijatlis and the women's 


"batlis. Possibly the large room 18 may have been a large 
vestibule common to both, but it has not yet been explored. 
The men's baths ran probably to the west, and included the 
large rooms 8 and 7, for they appear usually to have been 
more spacious and complicated than those of the other sex. 
At Pompeii, the semicircular apse of a large room not unlike 
that marked 7 in our plan, contained the lahrum, or large 
l^asin, which was furnished with hot water through a pipe at 
the bottom, 

We have not yet satisfactorily discovered the position and 
character of the entrance, or entrances, to the baths of 
Uriconium. I once believed that the large breach in the 
Old Wall might occupy the site of a principal entrance, on 
the supposition that this has been caused first by the tearing 
away of large stones, which had formed the doorway, and 
which would furnish better materials for building than the rests 
of the masonry, and also because a portion of a column was 
found near this opening in excavating on the other side of the 
wall. But I have since met with what appears to me to be 
decisive evidence that I was wrong. In the collection of old 
drawings in the library of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 
there is a very curious sketch, taken from the south, of what 
is called, " The Old Work of Wroxeter," drawn near the begin- ' 
ning of the last century, that is about a hundred and fifty 
years ago, of which we give a facsimile, on a somewhat reduced 
scale, in the accompanying plate.* In this drawing, what is 
now called the Old Wall appears in a much more perfect state 
than at present, and portions of the continuation of it westward 
are seen above ground nearly, if not quite, to its termination. 
The line of wall, also, which formed the southern boundary of 
the first series of rooms, opposite the Old Wall, is also seen to 
the height of about a yard above grotmd. But, which is most 

• Collection of Drawings, &c., in the Libraiy of the Society of Antiquaries, vol. ii p 12 
It Ws no date of the time when the di-awing was made, hut the date of its presentation to 
the Society of AntKjuanes, which may have been a few years later, is stated in the following 
words :—" Hocictati Antiquariw Londini dono dedit rcverendus vii- Mr, Carte, sonr., do 
3 -ei^ester. 

USrc'ONIUM. 135 

important to our present purpose, in the middle of the central 
arch of the Old Wall, instead of the present great opening 
from the ground, there is merely an irregular hole, of no great 
dimensions, and evidently broken through from some cause or 
other, at a recent period. It is clear, therefore, that the 
entrance to the baths was not through this part of the Old 
Wall. On the paper of this drawing the following description 
is written, no doubt by the draughtsman : — " The main wall 
now standing is 30 yards long, and the foundation from it 
westward is 40 yards, so that the whole wall and foundation is 
.70 yards long. The middle arch is 6 yards high from the 
ground, but from the floor much higher. It is 6 yards broad. 
The other two only 4 yards broad, but exactly the same height. 
The hole in the middle arch is supposed to be bulged through, 
and so is the other. The two straight black strokes at each 
end are two smooth walls coming out at the ending of the 
arches. The foundation answering the main wall and arches 
\ie., the parallel wall at the opposite end of the rooms] is ten 
yards from it. The two rows of tiles go quite through the 
wall. The outside of the wall is built exactly as you see it, 
the stones laid exactly across one another, but in the middle is 
all manner of rubbish and pebbles. The arches seem to be 
covered with the same as the wall. There are standing out 
some rugged pieces a yard and half from the wall. The wall 
is 8 yards high now from the ground. The north side of the 
wall is smooth and even, only you may see some small holes 
in it like scaifold holes." 

It is clear from the foregoing facts, and from other con- 
siderations, that what is now called the " Old Wall " was only 
the boundary . wall, on this side, of the building containing 
the baths. 

Before leaving this part of the building, I will point out a 
rather curious resemblance it bears to a part of that of the 
public baths at Pompeii, which also was covered with barrel 
vaults. The accompanying cut represents the remains of the 



three rooms wliieli, at Pompeii, constituted the Frigidarium,- 
Tepidariuin, and C'aldarium, or baths, in which severally the 
water Avas cold, t^'pid, and hot ; and, although the rooms 

A part of the Public Baths at Pompeii. 

represented by the three arches in the Old Wall at Wroxeter 
may not have l)een employed for exactly the same purposes, 
yet we see an exactly similar arrangement, with a similar 
kind of vaulting. It is remarkable that the interesting mass 
of Roman masonry called the Jewry Wall in Leicester presents 
an appearance in some respects so similar to that of the Old 
Wall at Wroxeter, that I once believed that it had formed 
similarly a part of the pul^lic baths of the Roman city of 
Ratse, an appropriation which I believe was first suggested by 
Dr. Priestley. In fact, it will be seen by the elevation, in 
outline, given in the accompanying cut, that the front of the 
Leicester wall presents an appearance not dissimilar to that of 
Wroxeter, which will be better understood by the next cut, 
which represents a section of it.* This view was sustained by 
Mr. J. F. HoUings, in a lecture on Roman Leicester, printed by 
the Leicester Literary and Scientific Society ; but more recent 

* The following explanation of the reference to the cuts, for the loan of which I am 
mdehted to Mr. Hollinffs, is taken from his printed Lecture on Itoman Leicester: " A. — Filled 
np with ruhhle. B. — Modem hnckwork. C. — Original thickness of the wall." There have 
been here arched doors of the Koman period, through the wall, but this building has evidently 
gone through many alterations, and these arches might not have belonged "to the original 




excavations in front of the wall did not seem to give any 
confirmation to it, and my friend Mr. James Thompson, the 
antiquary of Leicester, who seemed once to have held the 
same opinion, has since investigated the question more care- 
fully, and has arrived at the conclusion that this wall was part 
of the defensive Avail of the town, and that here was one 
of the entrances. 

As I have stated above, the entrance to the i^ublic baths at 
Wroxeter was certainly not through the Old Wall, at the 
s]3ot marked by the present breach. There may have been 
a princijjal entrance from the west, l)y a rather wide pas- 


sage which runs between the "Enamellers" workshop, which 
will be described further on, and the supposed market place ; 
it would have entered the building just at the southern 
wall of the baths themselves. But this has only in its favour 
the negative evidence that we know nothing to the contrary, 
while it has against it, which I look upon as the serious objec- 
tion, that it would cross the ambulatorium. I am, therefore, of 
opinion that the main entrance to the baths was through the 
doorway already described, (5, on the plan), by which we first 
crossed the line of the Old Wall at the beeinnins; of our exca- 
vations, and which was entered by a step from the passage 
between the Balnea and the Basilica. This doorway leads 
into a court, of rather small dimensions, in which we had 
immediately in face of us the semicircular end of the room 7. 
The ground here has been so imperfectly explored, that we 
can hardly tell what we had to the east^ but parallel walls have 
been traced from which we might be induced to suppose that 
there was a flight of steps ascending eastward to the level of 
the floors of the various rooms, and leading on one hand to the 
head of the staircase 9, and communicatinsf on another hand 
with a long passage, that in which were found the remainis of 
graffiti, or inscriptions traced on the plaster of the wall, and 
from which, to the right and left, the various rooms of the 
baths were entered. 

The ground to the south of the entrance door 5 and the 
semicircular building opposite has not yet been excavated, and 
we are entirely ignorant whether it was a continuation of the 
open court up to the wall of the ambulatorium, or whether it 
contained any other buildings. But to the west of the large 
room (7), parallel walls (10) have joined it to the wall of the 
ambulatorium, and include a mass of what appear to have been 
low walls forming a depository of fuel for the use of the fires of 
the hypocausts, with which it communicated. In it were found 
abundant evidences of its former purpose, and, besides charcoal, 
many small pieces of mineral coal, cinders of which had been 

tlRICONlUM. 139 

found in the hypocausts themselves. The arrangement of this 
system of walls, which are tolerably well preserved, is shewn 
with sufficient accuracy in the plan. 

The original extent of the western part of the buildings of the 
Balnea towards the south appears to have been limited by the 
southern wall of the rooms 10, 7, 8, and 11. From the eastern 
end of the latter, a wall, f, ran southward, and formed the 
western hmit of another building, of which Iwill speak presently. 
This wall was the eastern boundary of an extensive square 
open court, which was bounded on the north by the buildings 
of the baths, just described, and on the west and south by the 
ambulatorium. This great court, as I have already stated, 
has only been imperfectly explored on the southern side, and 
it was found that the centre was occupied by a large tank or 
reservoir, no doubt of cold water, (e.) It and the building 
to the eastward, containing the supposed bath d, are at 
present in great part buried under the heaps of earth thrown 
up from the excavations. On the northern end of the interior 
of the latter building a numerous series of pillars of a hypo- 
caust were found, but whether they formed a continuation of 
the room 12, or belonged to a room adjoining to it, is at present 
uncertain. In the southern wall of this building, there has 
evidently been an entrance, or perhaps two, of tolerable mag- 
nitude, as appears by the side walls, and, internally, the building 
has here evidently undergone considerable alterations at dif- 
ferent times, as even the elevation of the floor has been 
changed. The western wall, which is well preserved in its 
whole extent to the height of five or six feet, has been covered 
with stucco outwardly towards the great court, much of which 
was perfect when uncovered, but it soon perished through 
exposure to the atmosphere. 

The great court appears to have extended originally up to 
the southern wall of the rooms 10, 7, 8, 11, but at a later 
period new buildings were erected, adjoining to this wall, and 
encroaching upon the court to the southward, but to what 


extent is not known, as this part of the site has been very 
imperfectly explored. The Avails are of inferior masonry, and 
are merely built up to the wall of the older building, without 
being in any other way united with it. The part hitherto 
uncovered consists of four very small rooms, but they present 
no features to lead us even to form a conjecture as to the pur- 
pose for which they were designed. In one of them were found 
a part of a cornice with rather elegant mouldings, some 
other materials from the ruin of the buildings, and a large 
mass of iron, which presents some appearance of having been 
exposed to a powerful fire. This room was entered by two 
steps from a little recess of the court, at F, between the wall 
of this latter building and the original wall of the great court. 
This recess in the court, when the ground was uncovered in 
the course of the excavations, was extremely interesting in 
several points of view. The view in our engraving represents 
the eastern wall, the original boundary wall of the great court 
on this side — to the left we have a part of the Old Wall, to the 
right the mound of earth thrown out from the excavations, and 
in the distance the Wrekin. It will be seen that, at some 
period, a great breach has been made in this piece of wall, and 
it had been built up with masonry very inferior to that of the 
rest of the wall. But, which is still more interesting, further 
building operations were evidently in progress at the time of 
the attack in which the town was destroyed, and Avere no 
doubt inteiTupted by the approach of the enemies. On the 
ground Avere found three blocks of stone, one of Avhich has 
since been raised to the top of the Avail, Avhere it is seen in the 
engraving. These blocks had been in the hands of the stone- 
cutters, who, Avhen they were interrupted, had begun to form 
them roughly into shape, and in this very unfinished condition 
they are now found. They appear to have been designed to 
form the top of the arches of doorways or windows. They pre- 
sent curious evidence of the degree of vital activity which 
continued to exist in this toAvn down to the very moment of 
its ruin. 


Other materials for building also lay scattered about the 
ground, a heap of which, as they were pUed up against the wall 
by the excavators, are seen to the right in our view. Among them 
are rather numerous blocks of a sort of artificial tufa, made chiefly 
of vegetable materials, and cut into the form of modem bricks. 
It appears to have been employed indiscriminately with the 
squared stones in the facing of the walls. I have been in- 
formed that a similar artificial substance for the same purpose 
is still, or has very recently been made in Suffolk.* Leaves 
and branches of trees, mixed with mud or clay, are beaten 
up together, until they are kneaded into a consistant 
mass, which is left to dry, and, when sufficiently hard, is cut 
into these small square blocks. In course of time this Roman 
artificial tufa has attained the hardness of stone. But the 
leaves, in this state of petrifaction, have preserved their forms 
so perfectly, that, when broken, they actually offer studies for 
the modern botanist. Pieces picked up at Wroxeter, have 
off'ered, among others, abundance of leaves of the Quercus 
robur and pedunculata, the ordinary modern oaks of the 
British forest, the black thorn, the willow with short rounded 
leaves, and the alder, with some grasses. All these have 
been observed by my excellent friend, Mr. Samuel Wood, of 
Shrewsbur}^, who pointed out to me a curious question which 
is decided by the vegetable remains preserved in this artificial 
tufa. Lindley held the opinion, which some other botanists 
have shared, that the modern oak of our forests is not the 
original British oak, but that it was the Quercus sessiliflora, 

* I have since received the foUow'ing information, fumislied to Mr. Wood by a Suffollt 
friend. — "I have been fi-om home, or would have replied to your enquii-ies respecting " Tufa" 
in Suffolk. I told you we used it, but now it is quite given up, excepting in a few villages. 
The last walls btult with it, at our own farm at Cretingham in Sufibik, was about the year 
1841, or 2. They used for mixing with the clay, what they call hanbur ; it was the stubble 
left in wheat fields where the sickle was used, and afterwards mo\vn ; this was stamped by 
horses into the clay, plenty of water being used, and the worst horses we had, as it strained 
them so much ; it was then moulded into" brick, 18 by 9, so that the walls were eight inches 
thick ; the bricks were allowed to dry for several days, and were then laid with a thinner 
paste of the same composition. We have stiU two sheds, and six or eight cottages in the 
village, built in this manner. I will write for information if still used. But the great fault in 
the walls was this — the stock would lick and bite them, until they got gi-eat holes through, and 
in addition, the frost, just where they stood on the wet ground, ci-umbled them away so. 
Sticks and leaves were used at one time, as I have picked thom out of very old walls, but i 
never saw any put in ; the hauhn was more easUy got at. 


which he strongly recommended for planting and cultivation 
as growing quicker and producing better timber than the com- 
mon oak, and at the same time forming a very handsome and 
straight tree. When such ancient examples as, in our own 
county, the Shelton or Glendwr Oak, the Lady Oak at Cressage, 
and the Boscobel Oak, all Quercus robur and pedunculata, were 
adduced, these were rejected as of comparatively modern date, 
and affording no evidence of what grew there in British or in 
Eoman times, but the examples found in this Roman artificial 
tufa leave no further room for doubt on the question. It may 
be remarked, that there were portions of the branches mixed up 
with the leaves, which, decaying and leaving holes, made this 
artificial tufa fighter than it would otherwise have been. 

We have, no doubt, ascertained quite satisfactorily, the limits 
of the site of the public baths of Uriconium, towards the north, 
west, and south, but they are less certain on the eastern side. 
At first I imagined that they were bounded on this side by a 
fine drawn G to K in the plan, but one or two hot and dry 
summers have furnished evidence that this is not the case. 
At the time when the vegetation is most effected by the heat 
and drought, we can distinctly trace, looking down from the 
summit of the mound of earth raised from the excavations, 
fines of walls which exist under ground, to a little distance 
eastward, which appear to have formed part of the bufiding of 
the Balnea. But it will only be by excavation that we shall 
ascertain the true character of these buried buildings. 

The existence of pubfic baths of such considerable extent, in 
a town so remote from the centre of the Eoman power as 
Uriconium, shows us that the Romans carried into their most 
distant settlements the same love of personal cleanfiness which 
characterised them so strongly in Italy. That there was no 
diminution in the importance attached to these public baths in 
Uriconium during the Eoman period, but that, as a social 
institution, they were in fuU activity to the last, is proved by 
the state ui which they were found when excavated, by the 


remains of the fuel, some of it only imperfectly burnt in the 
hypocausts, by the skeletons found in the hypocausts, and by 
the money they carried, and by the circumstance that repairs 
were going on in the buildings at the time when the town was 
attacked and destroyed. Under the weight of this catastrophe 
the baths of Uriconium of course ceased to be frequented. 
But there is no reason for supposing that the use of the Eoman 
baths was discontinued by the populations of the Eoman 
towns which stood their ground, as was the case with most of 
the large towns, after the imperial authority was withdrawn. 
That this was not the case on the continent we can have no 
doubt, and it would be far from an uninteresting labour to 
investigate the question, how long the use of the Eoman baths 
continued in Western Europe during the middle ages. The disuse 
of the Eoman hot air bath arose, perhaps, from the neglect, 
and eventual abandonment of the hypocaust, among people 
who did not yet sufficiently appreciate it, but still more perhaps 
from the exaggerated ascetic spirit which was early introduced 
into the Christian Church, which taught that it was man's 
duty to mortify his body, and not cherish or cleanse it, in 
fact, that fnth was more grateful to God than cleanliness. I 
believe it is told, as a most satisfactory proof of the extreme 
piety of a saint, that he washed only once in a year, or in a 
very long space of time. Yet public baths continued to exist, 
and are alluded to not unfrequently in the saints' lives. We 
are told of baths which were frequented more than others, 
because a very revered saint had used them, and was supposed 
by that circumstance to have conferred miraculous powers 
upon the waters, and another refused to enter the bath because 
he saw a heretic among the crowd who were using it. More- 
over, some of the earlier mediaeval writers speak of the fees 
which were given to the bath-keepers. In England, one of the 
capitula of Theodore of Canterbury, (in the first half of the 
seventh century), is directed against the practice of men 
entering the same bath with women, and enjoins, as a penance 


for each act of this description, three days' fasting.^" This 
mast, of course, relate to a public bath ; and, moreover, the 
baths which the church objected to were warm baths, which 
were considered as a luxury, and it was looked upon as a 
punishment to be compelled to abstain from them. One of the 
ecclesiastical canons enacted under king Edgar, enjoins to a 
man as a penance, among other things, " nor that he come into 
a warm bath fo7i wearmum boetlie), nor into a soft bed, nor 
taste flesh," &c. That the Eoman bath was foreign to the 
habits of the Anglo-Saxons before they came into this island 
is evident from their difficulty in naming it in their language ; 
for in their vocabularies they represented the Latin word, 
thermce by bcedh-stede and bcedh-stoiv, a bath-place, or by 
bcedh-his, a bath-house, and they translate apodyteriuvi, the 
name the Eomans gave to one of the rooms, by badhiendra 
manna litis, the bathing men's house, thcBr hi hi unsrcredadh 
inna, in which they undress themselves.f The warm bath, 
nevertheless, continued under the Anglo-Saxons, to form one 
of the luxuries, and even of the necessities of the household. 
Among the duties of charity, the canons just quoted enume- 
rate to " feed the needy, and clothe, house, and fire, bathe, and 
bed them ;" and again, the good man was enjoined to "give 
the shelter of his house, and meat and protection to those who 
need it ; and fire, and food, and bed, and bath." On the con- 
trary, the cold bath is spoken of as itself a punishment and 
penance ; and to mortify a man's body against lust, it is 
ordered, " let him suffer cold and cold bath, tholige cyl and 
cold bcBdh ongean tha hliwthe.'"^ But it was only in the east 
that the vapour baths of the Eomans continued to preserve 
their true character, which has been there preserved to the 

• Be illis qui cum mnilierihis in halneo sese larerint. Si quis in balneo se lavare 
prtesumpserit cum mulieribns, tres dies poeniteat, et ulterins non prajsumat. Thorpe's Ancient 
Lavi'i and Institutes of England, vol. ii., p. 71. 

+ See my Volume of Vocahularies, jip. 37 and 57. 

} Thorpe's Ancient. Lavs and Institutes of England, vol. ii., pp. 2S0, 282, 2S4, 

umooNiUM. 3 45 

present day ; in our west they liad ali'eady degenerated mostly 
into nothing more than tubs full of hot water. 

The extent and rather laborious arrangements of these baths 
show the great attention and care bestowed by the Romans on 
the cleanliness and sanitary condition of the population of their 
towns, even in their distant provinces like Britain. There can 
be no doubt, from allusions in ancient writers, that the Eoman 
towns were provided with public establishments for the ease- 
ments of nature, but they are establishments of which, from 
the subject itself, we have least reason to expect any particular 
descriptions. One name for such a place was forica, a word 
the derivation of which is somewhat doubtful. Juvenal, 
speaking of the worthless people who obtained employments 
then more or less reputable or lucrative, describes them as 
descending eventually to their own level, and becoming the 
keepers of foricce, or, as such officers were then called,ybricariV, 
who received a small fee in this character. 

" inde reversi 

Conducunt foricas." — Juvenal, Sat. III., I. 38. 

The commentators on Juvenal regard these as public 
privies, but there is so much of uncertainty in the question, 
that others hold this interpretation to be wi'ong, and assert 
that the foricce were common taverns, so named because they 
were situated in the neighbourhood of the forum. The same 
diflference of opinion exists with regard to the word latrina 
itself, which, according to some critics, means a place not for 
easement, but merely for washing. However, the manner in 
which this word is explained in the later glossaries and voca- 
bularies seems to show that these critics were in the wrong. 
In the later period of the western empire, several different 
names were given to these establishments, perhaps from a 
sentiment of euphuism, such as hypodromum, literally, a place 
of refuge, spidromum and spondoromum, (presenting, appa- 
rently, a similar meaning, these being what might be called 



" liard ^vords," derived from the Greek,) secessus, a place of 
retreat, and others, but latrina appears to have been the word 
most generally in use, and best understood."' An early list of 
the buildings, &c., in ancient Rome, informs us that there were 
in that city a hundred and fourteen public latrinfe.t 

We have no information as to the form of these public 
latrine in the Eoman towns. But some years ago the atten- 
tion of our antiquaries was called to circular pits, of small diam- 
eter, but of rather considerable depth, found in a part of the 
city of Winchester, the Venta Belgarum of the Romans. The 
discovery of such pits in Winchester was found to be not an 
uncommon occurrence, and they all contained objects of un- 
doubted Eoman manufacture, such as broken pottery, coins, 
and objects in bronze and other metals, but I believe they 
were mostly opened under the eyes of ignorant or unskilful 
observers, and that none of them were carefully examined. 
The object of these pits could only be guessed at, but, on 
account of the very miscellaneous character of the objects 
found in them, they were called by the anticjuaries of that clay 
rubbish pits. Somewhat later, a number of similar pits were 
found at Ewell in Surrey. These appear to have formed a sort 
of group of circular pits sunk in the solid chalk rock ; they 
were from twelve to thirty-seven feet deep, and from two feet 
two inches to four feel; in diameter. The soil with which they 
were filled contained animal bones, fragments of Samian ware 
and other pottery, broken glass, Roman coins, and other 
objects, such as one might suppose to have been thrown or 
dropped accidentally into an open pit. Ewell stands nearly 
on the line of the Roman road from London to Chichester, the 

* The same use of Indii'ect tenns for tlie privy prevailed among our Ajiglo-Saxon fore- 
fatliers, witli whom the most commou name "was gang, gong, or genga, meaning simply, a 
place where x)eople went, and its compounds, such as gang-tern, a gang comer, gang-^itte, a 
gang-pit, gang-settl, a gang-seat, gang-tun, a gang enclosure, &c. This word gong was 
preserved in the English language to a late period. The Angio-Sasons also applied to the 
place the adjective rf'V/'c;, private or secret, a.s digle-hus, tlie secret house, digel-gang-eim, the 
secret gang comer. The Anglo-Saxon vocahnlaries have preserved another name, gold-hord-hus, 
a gold treasure house, or gold treasury, which is still more curious from its connexion with the 
name gold-finder, or gold-farmer, given as late as the seventeenth centuiy to cleane re of privies. 
It is at this time still in use in Shrewsbury to designate such men. 

t Latrin[e publico? cxiv. Victor de liegionihus Urhis, in Grcvvius, torn. iv. col. 1433. 


Regnum of the Romans. These pits at Evvell are described in 
the thirty-second volume of the Archfeologia of the Society of 
Antiquaries (p. 451), by Dr. Diamond, who started the, as I 
thought, unfortiinate theory that they were sepulclu'al. The 
mystery, however, was cleared up when, some years later, the 
railway was made from Minster to Sandwich, in the construction 
of which a part of the hill at Hichborough, on the summit of 
which stand the ruins of the citadel of Roman Rutuioiw, was 
cut away, and pits of the same description were laid open to 
view. There could be no doubt that these pits had been 
latrmae, public places for personal easement. The diameter of 
these pits at Richborough was so small, and their depth so 
considerable, that it is difficult to imagine by what process they 
were formed. They contained in abundance the same 
description of miscellaneous objects which were found in the 
pits at Winchester and Ewell, and the earth taken from the 
bottom was pronounced by an experienced chemist, who 
examined it, to be the remains of stercoraceous matter.'"' These 
pits appear to have been arranged in a rather considerable 
group on the top of the hill of RichlDorough, outside the walls 
of the citadel, and they were no doubt covered with seats, and 
with some kind of superstructure, probably of wood. We had 
here then discovered one form of the public latrinte of the 
Roman towns in Britain; but the excavations at Wroxeter 
have shown us that the latriase, or foricis, of Uriconium were 
much more perfect in their character. 

I have already mentioned that, in the passage, or alley, 
there was a doorway (6), with a stone step which was very 
much worn by the action of the feet, and, as I have also 
observed, we did not cross the line of the old wall to the south- 
ward at this place. Since then, however, the excavations have 
been carried on extensively on the ground to the south, and 
have exposed to view the buildings represented in our plate. 

* The pits at Ewell have since been further examined by Jlr. C. Warne, who found in 
them unmistakable evidence of their having been latriiia. 


Our view is taken from the line of the Old Wall looking south- 
ward ; before us is seen the steeple of Wroxeter church, and in 
the distance the Wenlock hills, with Lawley Hill and Caer 
Caradoc on the right. It will be seen that the building in 
front consists of four parallel walls running south from the 
line of the Old Wall. The distance between the two walls to 
the left is only a little more than two feet, and the appearance 
of the floor at the bottom left no doubt, when opened, that 
it had been a drain into which refuse had been dropped, 
which had been carried oS apparently by a continuation of 
the drain under the buildings to the north, in the same 
directon, and no doubt in the same manner, as the drain we 
discovered more to the east running under the rooms marked 
1 2 and 1 9 on the plan. The earth at the bottom presented 
similar characteristics to that foixnd in the pits at Eich- 
borough, and in it were found fragments of pottery and 
other objects, among which was a small earthen vessel con- 
taining almost unbroken the shell of a hen's egg. This is 
preserved in the Wroxeter Museum at Shrewsbury. From 
some indications on these walls, we are led to believe that 
it was originally covered with wood-work — in fact, a row of 
seats of a privy. The similar space between the two walls on 
the other side, or to the west, is rather more than five feet 
wide, and if designed for the same purpose, was perhaps 
somewhat differently arranged. It will be seen that there 
is a slight set-off on the wall to the right at the same elevation 
at which there is a row of holes on the wall opposite, which 
seem to have been intended for the support of a wooden 
structure, but of what kind I wiU not venture to conjecture. 
It appears, with the drain on the other side, to have formed 
part of the arrangements of one and the same building. The 
middle compartment, which is about fifteen feet and a half 
wide, has been filled up with earth so as to form a floor, which 
was covered with a pavement of small bricks set in herring- 
bone pattern, and, as this description of pavement seems to 


have been generally used where it was exposed to the open 
air, this part of the building was perhaps without a roof. A 
portion of the pavement still remains as shewn by the shading 
in the engraving. There are no traces of an entrance in the 
southern wall of this building, but the door with the worn 
step, alluded to above, appears to have led to the middle 
opening with the herring-bone pavement. Unfortunately, 
through accidental circumstances, we have not yet been able 
to carry the excavations close up to the northern walls, so as 
to identify the portion of the door, and ascertain how the 
drains passed under the basHica. 

We have thus, in these two forms of supplying a want 
which would hardly be thought of in a low state of civilization, 
and which has been supplied only very imperfectly even in 
recent times, evidence of the refinement of Eoman society 
carried into Britain. How long such establishments were 
preserved in the far west after the fall of the Eoman power, 
we have no longer the means of knowing. Perhaps the Anglo- 
Saxon name of gang-pit may be considered an evidence of the 
continued existence of such pits as those found at Winchester, 
Ewell, and Eichborough ; but the larger buildings containing 
rows of seats like that which appears to have existed at 
Uriconium certainly continued to exist in the middle ages, 
and were in fact not only the models of the great latrinse of the 
monastic and other establishments, but of those of the larger 
private mansions which have only been discontinued at a very 
recent period. The more we look into the minute details of 
manners of former days, the more we become convinced to 
what an extent medi;fival society was merely Eoman society 
degraded, that is, modified gradually in its adoption by the 
" Barbarians " who had seized upon the Eoman provinces. 




We had found, by tlie discoveries related in the last chapter, that 
the principal public buildings of a utilitarian character, its 
basilica or court-house, its public baths, and its pubHc latrinae, 
were proportionate to the extent of the town as indicated by 
the course of the line of its surroundins; wall. We have been 
able further to bring to light one or two other buildings of a 
more or less public character. The basilica, as I have already 
stated, appeared to have formed the corner of two streets 
crossino- each other at rig-ht andes. The side of the street 
I'unning nearly east and west was explored as far as it was in 
our power to explore it, namely, to the hedge forming the 
eastern boundary of the field, and it appeared to have been 
formed entirely of the basilica, or of buildings or walls con- 
nected with it. With the side of the transverse street running 
southward, this was not the case. The western end of the 
basilica, in which was apparently the principal entrance into 
its central area, abutted upon the street ; but the baths, and 
even the latrinte, lay back, leaving a considerable space 
between these walls and the street, which there could be little 
douljt had been covered with Ijuildings. These, after having 
satisfied ourselves of the character of the buildiufTs we had 
already opened, we proceeded to explore. 

It was soon found that a line of wall extended continu- 
ously southward from the end of the basilica and in continua- 
tion of its southern face. In tracing this wall to the south. 


the excavators came to two openings, at some distance apart, 
which induced us immediately to explore the ground on the 
other side of the wall. The first of these openings was twelve 
feet wide, at an elevation of two or three feet from the level 
of the street, and had been approached by an inclined plane, 
the central part of which was formed l)y three great l:)locks of 
squared stone, and the rest apparently of smoothed concrete. 
These stones which are represented in the engraving as they 
now lie, were, when first uncovered, in their original position, 
as forming part of the inclined plane. The other opening 
through the wall was at the same elevation, but it was 
approached by two steps. Both entrances were found to lead 
into the same inclosure, a quadrangular court about forty feet 
square, paved with the same herring-bone brickwork which 
we have met \vith in other parts of these ruins. This extended 
over the whole space, except apparently in the centre, where, 
over a small extent, there were no traces of the former exist- 
ence of pavement, and the appearance of the gTound, when 
examined, led us to suppose that it might have been occupied 
by some structure, the remains of which had been all cleared 
away for building materials. On the northern and southern 
sides of this court we found a series of square rooms, marked 
g, g, g, on the plan, four on the northern side, and three on 
the southern, each about twelve feet square. Our view of the 
larger entrance represents these rooms on the northern side 
when three of them had been partly opened. The one nearest 
the street, shewn in front of our view, which is the only one 
yet cleared out, w^as found to be no less than ten feet deep, with 
a low cross wall at the bottom. In it was found a quantity of 
unburnt charcoal, with some remains of mineral coal. In two 
of the rooms, one on the north side, the other on the south, great 
quantities of bones of various animals and horns of stags were 
found ; and, as many of these had been cut and sawed, the 
notion suggested itself that they may have been stores of the 
materials used by the manufacturers of the objects made of bone 


wliicli are found so numerously among the ruins of Urico- 
nium, and, in fact, that all these square chambers were depots 
of materials for sale. This conjecture appeared to receive some 
confirmation from the circumstance that a number of undoubted 
weights were picked up in the court, which Avould seem to 
show that articles of some kind had l^een delivered out by 
weighing. The larger entrance is supposed to have been 
intended for horses, and perhaps for carts ; and this suppo- 
sition seems confirmed by the circumstances that the pavement 
on this side of the court had evidently been much damaged 
and repaired in Eoman times, and that a portion of an iron 
horseshoe was found upon it. The appearance of the southern, 
or smaller, entrance to the court was still more remarkable. 
It had evidently been the entrance for people on foot. The 
appearance of the two steps by which it was approached, will 
be best understood by the view on our plate. One corner of 
the stone forming the lower step is quite worn away, and the 
stone of the upper step had been so much worn and hollowed 
by the same cause — the feet of those who had walked over it — 
that it broke into three pieces when the excavators attempted 
to raise it. There is also, on the most worn side of this upper 
stone, corresponding exactly to the worn corner of the lower 
stone, a deep hollow, in the form of a man's foot, which looks 
as though it had Iseen scooped out intentionally, for we can 
hardly suppose it to have been worn into this form merely by 
people treading upon it. The condition of these steps proves 
that this cpiadrangular court must have been frequented by a 
great number of people on foot, and that the concourse of 
visitors came up the street from the south. After a fair con- 
sideration of the facts above enumerated, my opinion is that 
this quadrangular court was a market place, the nuncUnce, or 
forum nundinarium of the Roman town of Uriconium. We 
have thus an unique illustration of one of those social insti- 
tutions which have been handed down to us by the ancient 


The market was an institution the origin of which the 
Roman antiquaries carried back to a very remote date. In 
fact, from the moment when people began to settle and culti- 
vate the land, they soon saw the necessity of some arrangement 
of this kind. Each cultivator naturally produced more than 
he wanted of some articles, and less than he wanted of others, 
and others again, Avhich gradually became necessaries, he might 
not produce at all ; he felt, therefore, the want of some means 
of carrying his superfluities to exchange them with those who 
possessed in superfluity the things he wanted, for, before 
money was invented, all commerce was carried on by exchange, 
and with the Romans the institution of a market preceded that 
of a mint. The place naturally chosen for such meeting would 
be the town of the district or tribe, but, unless strictly regulat- 
ed, this sort of commerce would lead to great confusion and 
inconvenience, for the town would be continually embarrassed 
by the number of rustic visitors, whUe the labour of agriculture 
was neglected. As a remedy, the earlier kings divided the 
year into periods of nine days, and made the ninth day a holy 
day, on which the agricultural population was to abstain from 
work, and might go into the town to sell and buy and transact 
other business which appertained to them, such as setthng 
private disputes by law. The Romans had a peculiar method 
of reckoning time, according to which each ninth day was 
counted as the first of the next nine, so that seven days only 
intervened, and in truth the market was held every eighth day 
and not on the ninth. ■^'' Nevertheless, the Romans considered 
it as the ninth day, and called it nundince, a word contracted 
from novendince, and derived from novem, nine. According to 
Macrobius, some ascribed the institution of the nundinse to 
Romulus himself, while others said that they originated with 
Servius Tullius. They were the only days on which the rural 

* It maT te remarked that traces of this mode of reckoning are still found in countries 
where the Roman element prevails. Thus the French call a week Imt jours, and a fortnight 
quinxe jours The ItaUans say quindici giarni, for a fortmght ; and the Spaniards qmnze dias. 
Even the Germans say acht tage, eight days, for a week. 


population was allowed to go into Rome, while, during the 
intervening seven, rustics were confined to their agricultural 
labours ; and hence these seven days were called dies rustici, 
and those of the nundinse dies urbani. These were made 
sacred, and placed under the protection of a goddess named 
Nundinee, and people were not allowed to work or to plead in 
court on them. The comitia were not allowed to be held on 
these days, but this regulation is said to have arisen from the 
fear that the influx of country people would interfere with the 
debates.* As, however, the principal business of the day was 
buying and selling, the nundinse were exactly equivalent to our 
market day, and the word itself v/as commonly used in the sense 
of a market, or even of a sale ; the act of purchasing was 
called nundinatio, and the place in which the market was held 
was also termed nundincB, or, sometimes, forum nimdinariiim. 
Markets of all kinds were placed under the patronage of Mer- 
cury, and a Roman inscription found at Birstadt near AViesbaden, 
commemorated a dedication to Mercury in the words — 


Deo Mercurio Nundinatori, to the god Mercury the patron of 
the Nundinse.t Possibly a statue of Mercury, or a dedication 
to the god, may once have stood in the centre of the Nundinse 
at Uriconium. 

The Roman nundinse were placed under restrictions, and 
subjected to the control of the senate, which alone had the 
right of instituting or regulating them. According to Sueto- 
nius, the emperor Claudius asked the consuls for permission to 
establish nundinse on his own estates.^ In towns in the pro- 
vinces, like Uriconium, the market was perhaps considered as 

* The sacred character of the nunclmoe was surrounded mth many superstitions, some 
of which were odd enough. If the first day of the year happened on the nuudiuas, it was 
heUeved that the whole year would be unlucky. To avoid this misfortune the Romans had 
recoui'se to intercalation, and made the previous month a day longer. The country people 
shaved between the nundin£e. Pliny Hist. Nat. lib. xxviii. c. 5, tells us that it was considered 
ominous, in a pecuniary pouit of view, for a person to pare his uaUs without spealdng on the 
nundin<T3 at Eome, or, in paring them, to begin with the forefinger. 

+ The inscription is given by Eeinesius, Sj-ntagma luscriptionuni Eomnn. tom. i., p 118, 
and more correctly in the recent work of Dr. Steiner, Codex Inscript. Eom. Kheni. 

+ Jus nundinarum in privata pra:dia a consulihus petiit. Suetonius, lib. v., c. 12. 


a part of the privileges given by their municipal constitution, 
and was thus under the control of the municipal magis- 
trates. At a later period the emperors exercised a control 
over the instituting of markets, to prevent new ones from 
being unnecessarily created to the injury of those already 
existing. After the week of seven days, dedicated to the seven 
gods, was adopted by the Eomans, the nundinse were moved 
to the last day of the week, and were thus held every seventh 
day, instead of the eighth. In the time of Constantino they 
were held on the dies solis, or Sunday. When the Christians 
adopted the Sunday as their Sabbath, the nundinse were 
removed to the dies Sabhati, or Saturday, which was considered 
to be the last day of the week ; but in the middle ages there 
was a great tendency to carry back the market to the Sunday, 
perhaps because it was a clay on which work was not allowed. 
When the barbarians establisherl themselves in the Eoman 
provinces, the nundinse continued to exist, as one of the 
municipal institutions, and its importance was too great and 
too evident to allow them to disregard it. The king assumed 
as one of his prerogatives the right of giving licence to establish 
them. The Eomans had the mercatus as well as the nundinse ; 
but the latter was the more important and more regular 
institution of the two. To use the language of writers on this 
subject, "aUnundiDse were markets, but all markets were not 
nundinse."''" But, in passing to the middle sges, the relation 
between these two words became changed, and the word 
mercatus was applied to the regular market, whUe the term 
nundince was given to the greater mercantile assembhes at 
particidar places which we term fairs, such as those of Leipsic, 
Frankfort, Leyden, &c. ^^^len the Saxons and Angles settled 
in Britain, they brought in their language the word ceapian, 
which signifies to trade or bargain, to buy, and seemed to have 
belonged especially to itinerant dealers, for they do not appear 

• Nundmse omnes mercatus sunt ; non omnes mercatus nundinse. Erycii Puteani Bamel- 
rodii De Nundinis Eomanis, iu Graevius, Thesaur, Antiq. torn, viii., col. 646. 


to have been acquainted with the regular Eoman forum, or 
market place. A sale or act of selling was called ceap, or 
ceaping; and they called the place where such selling took place 
ceap-stoiv, a place of selling, and ceap-strcBt, the road or street 
in which such sale was going on, and the day fixed for such 
sale ceap-dceg or selling-day. In archbishop Alfric's Vocabu- 
lary, the Latin nonai, or days of the nundinee, are interpreted 
by ceap-dagas, market-days. The Anglo-Saxon word is now 
only preserved in our chapmen, and chaphooks, and in local 
names, such as Cheapside, the commercial quarter of mediaeval 
London, and Chipping Norton, Chipping Ongar, and similar 
names. Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, was no doubt originally 
a regular place of market, instituted by the Saxons, because 
they gave it their name, ceap-stoio, as a place of meeting for 
the people of both sides the border to exchange their merchan- 
dise. The Normans, with their feudal institutions, adopted the 
Latin word mercatus, the use of which had been established on 
the continent, and introduced it under a Frencliified form 
marchet, which became our modern word market, which has 
since entirely superseded the Saxon word. After Uriconium 
was destroyed, its market, or nundinse, no doubt gradually 
transferred itself to the site of the present town of Shrewsbury ; 
and in the particular ruins we are now contemplating we 
may perhaps see the original representative of Shrewsbury 

We have no means of judging of the character of the 
buildings of this quadrangular court, or market place, or of the 
appearance it presented towards the street, but we may sup- 
pose that its architecture was more or less ornamental, especially 
if we might assume that the sculptured fragments found among 
its ruin belonged to it. When it was excavated, the portion 
of the capital of a column, represented in the accompanying 
cut, was found lying on the floor. It is rather classical in style, 
and of large dimensions, for in its present state it is more 
than two feet high, and this is little more than two-thirds of 



its original height, for an upper part of a capital, corresponding 
with it, was also found, and 
is placed over it in the Mu- 
seum at Shrewsbury. As, 
however, this upper part 
evidently belonged to an- 
other capital, and not to 
the one here represented, 
there must liave been at 
least two of them. Among 
other objects foimd on the 
floor of this court, were 

the remains of several docs Eoman capital, from the Quadrangular Com-t. 

the skull of one of which, now preserved in the Museum, 
bespoke an animal of the mastiff kind, of an unknown species, 
perhaps the British dog spoken of so much by Eoman writers. 

It will be seen in the plan, that the series of rooms does not 
extend along the whole of the southern side of the court ; but 
leaves an opening at the south-eastern corner, at h, where there 
was a descent, apparently by steps, to a level about two feet 
lower than the floor of the court, which also was paved with 
the small bricks in herring-bone pattern. There appeared to 
have been here a descent to an opening into the bottom of the 
easternmost of the rooms marked g, but the groimdhad been so 
much broken that it was not possible to decide on its true 
character. From this lower floor, ran, along the eastern side 
of the court, what we supposed at first to have been a sort of 
long gallery, or cryptoporticus, which had for its eastern side 
the outer waU of the ambulatory of the Baths, but, on being 
cleared out, it presented an unexpected appearance. It extends 
the whole length of the court and its side rooms, and is divid- 
ed into compartments by transverse walls, running from the 
wall forming the side of the court, about half-way across the 
space between it and the opposite wall. A passage is thus 
left, which runs along the whole extent of this building, and 


appears to have communicated at both extremities with open- 
ings of some kind which ran along the northern and southern 
sides of ihe buildings of the court, but which have not yet been 
fully explored. The present appearance of these walls at the 
back of the quadrangular court, or market, will be better under- 
stood by the view given in our engraving, in which the farm 
buildings, of which I shall soon have to speak^ appear in the 
background. Opposite these recesses, there appears to have 
been a door in the wall leading from the passage or gallery in 
front of them into the ambulatorium of the baths. Perhaps 
the notion that these recesses were intended to contain shops 
may be considered to be confirmed by the fact, that on the 
floor of one of them, the northernmost, the excavators found a 
small cylindrical coffer, or box, in diameter about the size of 
an ordinary tumbler glass, and supported upon three short 
legs. The lid was upon it, and the decomposition of the metal 
had caused it to be in a manner hermetically sealed. It has, 
however, been sawed off since it was deposited in the ]\Tuseum, 
and the state in which its contents were found seemed to indi- 
cate that it was in an untouched condition, as if for sale, 
rather than having been in use. Before we leave this supposed 
market place, it will be well to remark that the walls of the 
rooms mentioned above as bordering it on each side, and 
which are 'probably all of the same depth as that which was 
excavated to the bottom, as high as they now remain, that is, 
aljout two feet above the floor of the court, present no trace of 
entrances, which must, therefore, have been higher in the wall, 
and they were perhaps entered by a ladder, or by wooden 

In tracing back the line of the wall through which we had 
first entered the quadrangular court supposed to be a 
market place, wo came to other openings at c, c, which led 
us into what proved to be a large square room (n), which was 
about thirty-eight feet in breadth and forty in length. The 
side of this room looking towards the street appears to have 



been open to it, or at least the masonry of the wall presents 
the appearance of having had wide doors, or a framework of 
wood, in t-wo compartments, and it was soon found to have 
been the workshop of an artificer in metals. Towards the 
north-western corner of the room, at a spot marked 2 in the 
plan of the excavations, stood a pile in the form of a sugar loaf, 
about six feet high, buUt very roughly of clay, mixed with 
stones and other unprepared materials, among which were 
several pieces of unburnt mineral coal, a sufficient proof that 
that substance was plentifid in Eoman Uriconium. On the 
eastern side of this structure, near the top, was a small furnace, 
which had contained a fire so intensely hot that the whole 
internal surface was vitrified to some depth. From the form 
and position of this little furnace, it is quite evident that it 
must have been heated by a powerful blast, no doubt of bel- 
lows, but which, with their machinery, have long disappeared. 
Remains of burnt charcoal were found in it, and on the ground 

Interior of the Enameller's Shop. 

near it. By the side of this sugar-loaf, and just opposite the 
furnace, stands upright a rudely-formed cybndrical stone (3) 
resembling the stump of a column, which was evidently used, 
in one way or other, for working metals which were melted, or 
rendered malleable, in it. These objects will be better under- 
stood by the accompanying sketch, taken from the south east. 



The purpose of the cylindrical stone, at least, is easily illus- 
trated from engraved gems, and other works of ancient art, 
in which are found rather numerous pictures of the forge 
of Vulcan, and of other scenes of a similar description, 
representing both the furnace and the anvil. The first of 
those here represented, that to the right, is taken from a 
sepulchral marble at Eome ; the second, which represents 
Vulcan forging thunderbolts for Jupiter, is furnished by a gem 
in the old Cabinet Royal at Paris ; and the third is also taken 
from an engraved gem. Other examples might easily be added 
to these, but it may be sufficient to remark that the form of 
the stand of the anvil is invariably the same — a short cylin- 
drical stone or stump of a column. On comparing these with 
the object in our room at Wroxeter, and considering its 

Romiiu Anvils, from Antiques. 

position, we cannot hesitate in looking upon the latter as 
having been the support of an anvil. Now it has been 
already remarked, that in clearing the ruins of some small 
rooms at the north-eastern corner of the great court of the 
Baths, as represented in a former plate, a large mass of iron 
had been found, which had evidently been exposed to the 
action of fire, and from that cause, and the effects of decom- 
position, presented no very intelligible form. It lay upon 
remains of building materials, as though it had been dropped 
there, and it had evidently been carried away from its proper 
place. But, when examined a little more carefully, this mass 


of iron presented rather distinct appearances of liaviug formed 
some object resembling an anvil ; and I felt convinced that it 
was the anvil which once stood upon the cylindrical block of 
stone above described, which with it would still more exactly 
resemble the figures I have given from th: ancient gems, 
Some individual, probably at the time when people were 
breaking up the ruins to carry tlicm away as building materials, 
seized upon this piece of iron, and would have carried it off 
also ; but, perhaps finding it heavier than was convenient, 
he let it drop on this spot, and it was left here. The cylind- 
rical block of stone is strongly bevelled round the top, perhaps 
to receive a wooden case on which the anvil was placed. 

The smallness of the furnace is enough to convince us that 
the objects of metal made on this anvil were not on a large 
scale ; and there are other circumstances connected with the 
room itself which are deserving of consideration. Its front, as 
just remarked, appears to have been open to the street, 
like the shop of a modern coach-builder, in two openings, 
separated by a pier of masonry, and no doubt capable of being- 
closed with wood-work, the sides beino- g-rooved for this 
purpose. On this side of the room, internally, there was a 
smooth floor of cement, nearly level with the siU of the 
entrance openings, and extending not quite to the middle of 
the room. Beyond this, there is a floor at a much lower level, 
formed entirely of very fine sand, which has been brought 
from a distance, and placed to a considerable depth upon 
the natural sod of the spot. The only use we can imagine for 
this sand would be to form moulds for casting, and various 
other circumstances seem to show that this was, in fact, a work- 
shop for the fabrication of small ornamental objects in metal. 
A considerable quantity of the scoriae from molten metals were 
found scattered about, both within the room and outside ; and 
many fragments of worked metal, with about a dozen bronze 
hair-pins, a large bronze fibula, and various other articles, were 
picked up in the room. The floor of sand had been sujjported 



on the norfcliem side by a low wall [a, a), from which another 
low wall (6, h) crossed to the northern wall of the room, and 
between these low walls and the latter there had been a sort 
of pit, ill which were found many pieces of scoria, and other 
apparent articles of refuse. On one side of the room, upon the 
floor of sand, was found a quantity of pounded granite, which, 
I am told, might be used for the purpose of enamelling ; and 
many fragments of fine glass were also scattered about. On 
this same floor of sand, near the middle of the room, lay a 
large piece of a shaft of a column. This, however, had proba- 
bly found its way here by accident, and did not, apparently, 
belong to this room. Objects of all kinds appear to have been 
thrown about in such a manner, when the town was plundered, 
that it would be hardly safe to pronounce upon the character 
of any particular building, merely from a single moveable 
article found in it, and, at subsequent periods, building 

The Enameller's Shop, from the east. 

materials were evidently, in the course of carrying them away, 
dropped and left in places to which they did not belong. 
This column may possil)ly have been brought from the sup- 


posed market place. Its appearance and position may be seen 
in the foregoing cut, which represents the interior of this 
room, as seen from the floor of the latrinse. 

The occupants of this workshop appear to have left it 
hastily, when the town was taken by the barbarians ; for one 
of them, as he passed over the sill of the front opening into the 
street, dropped his money, which had been placed in a small 
earthen vessel. The latter was found on the sill, near its 
northern end, at the spot shewn in our cuts, broken into 
fragments, and the money lying a little scattered about it. 
Among it was found a small circular disc resembUng a button, 
the shank of which was broken off", and the ornamental face of 
which is represented, the exact size of the original, in the 
accompanying cut. It is formed of a thin plate of steel, on 
the surface of which the ornament is inlaid with 
sUver, with very great skill, by the process 
which is, I believe, technically termed damas- 
keening. This button has the appearance of 
having been fresh from the hand of the maker 
o^damMke^S^g. wheu it was dropped with the coins, and it is 
by no means improbable that it was made in the workshop in 
the entrance to which it was found. There were also, with it, 
the remains of some other ornament made of metal, which had 
been of a globular form, and of delicate workmanship, but they 
were too much broken to pieces to allow us to judge satis- 
factorily of the real character of the object to which they 
belonged. All these facts seem to justify our supposition 
that this workshop belonged to a manufacturer of ornaments 
and small articles of metal, including, probably, the practice of 
the art of enamelling and nieUo. It must further be stated 
that, in addition to the furnace already described, there are 
on the higher floor of cement near the south-western corner of 
the room, the remains of another furnace, which was built of 
masonry, and heated by means of a flue ; and that, in the 


middle of the room, there is a square mass of rather rough 
masonry (1), with a level surface about the height of the floor, 
which has been intended to support some heavy object, or 
possibly to serve as a work table. This mass of masonry is 
shown in the front of our first cut, with the higher floor to the 
left, and the lower floor of sand before it and to the right. 

The existence of this workshop, and the manufacture of 
enamels and niello in it (if the conjecture be correct), would 
form an interesting fact in the history of mediaeval art. There 
are aj^parently good reasons for believing that the art of 
enamelling was practised at a very early period in western 
Europe ; indeed, it has been supposed to have been invented 
in Gaul. It would be an important cu'cumstance, therefore, to 
find the remains of an enameller's workshop which had been 
in active operation in a city in Britain at so early a date, and 
that on an apparently rather large scale. It would lead us 
to suppose, also, that the Anglo-Saxons, who were celebrated 
at a very early period for their skill in the manufacture of 
jewelry, and in goldsmiths' work in general, had learnt their 
art from the jewellers and enamellers who remained in the 
Roman cities which had not been destroyed. 

There is another room, adjoining to this workshop, and 
lying between it and the waU of the basilica, which was, per- 
haps, also a shop, but it has not yet been opened. The 
excavators began to work upon it at the commencement 
of winter, when, as it was found that the walls were covered 
with stucco, and perhaps with fresco-painting, which would 
have been entirely destroyed by a sudden frost, they were 
ordered to desist, after filling up as much as they had already 
opened. It thus appears that the buildings extending in a 
line southwardly from the western end of the basilica con- 
sisted of shops and a market-place. Our judgment of the 
character of the latter building seems to be further justified 
by the fact of finding among the ruins a number of weights 



of different sizes, made of metal and of stone, some with 
Roman numerals, thus leaving no doubt of their true character. 
Four of these are represented in the accompanying cut. 

Three of these are made 
of lead, and the larger 
one of stone. The latter 
weighs, according to our 




ounces ; the larger of the 

leaden weights 20^ ozs., 
the one marked 11, 2^ ormces, and the other 2^ ounces. 

AYhen our excavations are resumed and continued, I have 
no doubt that we shall trace lines of streets and shops which 
will throw far greater light than we at present possess on the 
internal economy of a town in Eoman Britain. Hitherto, in 
regard to the trades and professions exercised within Roman 
Uriconium, our slight information depends merely upon a few 
isolated and accidental discoveries. In the autumn of 1862, 
in the course of the excavations in the extensive cemetery to 
the north of the ancient city, a grave was opened in which 
w^as found, among other small objects, a surgeon's lancet. The 
other objects, which had unfortunately been carelessly scat- 
tered about by the excavators before they were seen, appeared 
to have been inclosed, or at least a part of them, in a wooden 
box, the lock of which is remarkably well preserved, and has a 
portion of the wood of the box attached to it. Among the 
small objects which appeared to have been placed in this box, 
were some beads of coloured and striped glass, a portion of a 
neeiile or bodkin, which had somewhat the appearance of the 
handle of a small spoon, other small fragments of metal, and 
the remains of two very small earthen vessels, containing a 
very hard substance resembling white pauit dried. It was 
suggested that aU these seemed to be objects connected 
with a lady's toilette, and that therefore the lancet may not 



have belonged to the box. There is no convincmg reason, how- 
ever, for believing that the small pots of, perhaps, ointment, 
the fr;,^,] Jientary objects, and even the beads,'^' may not have had 
some relation to the surgical art, as then practised, and we 
can hardly doubt that this was the grave of a Eoman surgeon 
established in Uriconium. The accompanying cut, from a 
sketch by my friend Mr. Wood made immediately after its 
discovery, will give the best notion of this instrument. It is 
here represented the exact size of the 
original. The handle, which is in the 
form of a narrow oval loop, is made 
of bronze, at the top of which is a 
small projection, from which some- 
thing has been broken, — probably a 
knob. At the other end a small circu- 
lar disc forms a sort of guard to the 
blade, which latter is of fine steel, and 
triangular in its section, remaining 
stni so sharp, that a distinguished sur- 
geon of modern Shrewsbury, after 
examining it, assured me that he 
thought he could almost perform an 
operation with it in its present condi- 
tion. The lancet had been placed in a 
wooden case, or sheath, lined inter- 
nally with leather ; and the more 
considerable fragments of the wood, 
which is rather coarsely grained, and 
leather lining of this sheath, are re- 
presented in our cut on the next 
page, drawn on the same scale with 
the instrument itself. ^^^eon's Lancet. 

Our Roman lancet is susceptible of illustration from one ob- 
ject belonging to the same class. A certain number of surgical 

* It has been snggested to me tKat the beads may have been used as peas ti- }: 'ep issues open. 



instraments, of rather varied charactoi', liavc Ijeeii f(jund 
in Pompeii. Among them was a case of such instruments, 
which is figured in Carlo Ceci's v,-ork on the sma-Uer bronzes 

Surgeon's Lancet, and remains of Case. 

in the Museum at Naples, " Piccoli Bronzi del Real Museo 
Borbonico," published at Naples in 1858, and copied in our 
cut on the next page. These instruments could not be drawn 
out of their case in consequence of the oxidation, which had 
attached them altogether internally, Ijut the breaking away of 
the upper end of the case has left the ends of the instruments 
visible. There is hardly room foi- a doubt that the instrument to 
the right is a lancet similar to the one disco\'ered at Wroxeter. 
The knob is here remaining, which, ic the other, was wanting. 





;-Vnother example of the instrument in the middh?, perfect and 
;parnto from any case, is mentioned by Ceci, and described 
lis Italian text as " Instrumento cerusico formato da sottil 
verga che termina a punta uncinata ed 
acuminata," a surgical instrument form- 
ed of a d.rli(iate rod which terminates in 
a hooked ;md sharj? point ; and in the 
more brief description in French which 
accompanies the Italian, it is called 
lancette cerebrale. The third instrument, 
in this case, is a small spatula. There 
can be little doubt that the example 
found at Wroxeter has been a case of 
surgical instruments closely resembling 
the one found at Pompeii, and among 
the small fragments of bronze gathered 
from the debris, evidently belonging to 
the other instruments of the set, was 
one which was clearly the head of the 
spatula. The similarity of the shape of 
the handle of the lancet found at places 
so distant from each other as Pompeii and British Uriconium, 
and deposited there at periods the distance between which 
was probably not less than between two and three centuries, 
furnishes a curious example of the general uniformity of types 
through the Roman empire. 

We seem to know but little of the surgical practice, or the 
use of the lancet, among the Romans, but we learn from Celsus 
that the name by which this instrument Avas known was 
scalp ellus, or, sometimes, scalper and scalprum, words which 
mean simply a small cutting implement ; while, at a rather 
later period, Isidore of Seville gives its Greek name phleboto- 
mum, which expresses its more especial use in letting blood by 
making an incision in the vein. In earlier times surgery 

Case (if Surgical Inslmments. 


(chirurgia) appears to have been always included under the 
head of medicine. It is hardly necessary to state that the 
name is derived from two Greek words, clieir, a hand, and 
ergon, a work, and that it means that part of medical practice 
which was executed with the hand, instead of being effected 
by the administration of medicines. Originally its province, 
almost exclusively, was the treatment of wounds. The first 
professional surgeon introduced iato Rome is said to have 
been the Greek Archagathus who settled there in B.C. 219, 
and was received with so great honour, that a shop was given 
him at the public expense. He was at first called Vulnerarius, 
healer of wounds, but people were soon so astonished at the 
manner in which he cut up his patients, that they exchanged 
this title for that of Carnifex, which means simply an execu- 
tioner. Although the title of Medicus, equivalent to our term 
'"' medical man," was given indiscriminately to the physician and 
surgeon, yet the two branches of the healing art in Eome and 
the Roman towns generally, appear to have been practically 
two separate professions, as they continued to be in the middle 
ao-es. During a long period, both professions were exercised 
almost solely hj foreigners, and especially by slaves ; but 
this can hardly be taken as a proof that they were in discredit, 
because, in consequence of the manner in wloich slaves were 
made and obtained in ancient Eome, some of the most skilful 
professors of most arts, and even of literature itself, were either 
slaves or freedmen. It only proves that skill in these arts was 
superior and more common among foreigners than among 
Romans. The most celebrated medical schools of antiquity 
were found in Greece and in the Grecian colonies. Gradually 
the physicians and surgeons in Rome were held in high 
honour and received great salaries, and a class arose, no doubt 
of more approved talent and skill than the others, on whom 
therefore a higher degree was conferred, and they were entitled 
archiaters, or chief physicians. These appear to have been 


paid with the public funds, and to have been employed about 
the persons of the emperors and great ofl&cers of state, or to 
attend on the poor plebeians or such as were not in a position to 
pay them. The ordinary physicians or surgeons attended on 
all who called them in, and were paid in each case by their 
patients. Wealthy individuals sometimes retained a physician 
and surgeon in their household, to attend solely to themselves 
and their families ; and it was still not uncommon for a patri- 
cian to have among his slaves individuals who were skilled in 
medicine and surgery. This may have arisen, perhaps, in some 
degree from the sentiment of fear ; for it would naturally 
strike everybody that he who could cure, could kUl also, and 
in the state of society then existing in Rome any one, who had 
the means, would be glad to have a medical or surgical attend- 
ant who was under the influence of no other but himself. 
Instances are not wanting in history, of men of consequence 
who were poisoned by their physicians. This feeling is curi- 
ously illustrated by a remarkable oath, preserved in Greek and 
ascribed to Hippocrates, which, in the earlier times, the medical 
students were obliged to take before they were allowed to 
practice. Its terms are as follows : — " I swear by Apollo the 
physician, by ^sculapius, by Hygeia, and Panaceia, and all 
the gods and goddesses, calling them to witness, that I will 
fulfil religiously, according to the best of my power and judg- 
ment, the solemn promise and the written bond which I now 
do make, I wiU honour, in the same degree as my parents, 
the master who has taught me this art, and endeavour to 
administer to all his necessities. I will consider his children 
as my own brothers, aird will teach them my profession, should 
they express a wish to follow it, without remuneration or 
written bond. I will admit to my lessons, to my discourses, 
and to aU my other methods of teaching, my own sons, 
and those of my tutor, and those who have been inscribed 
as pupils and have taken the medical oath ; but no one 


else. I will prescribe such a course of regimen as may be 
best suited to the condition of my patients, according to 
the best of my power and judgment, seeking to preserve 
them from any thing that might prove injurious. No in- 
ducement shall ever lead me to administer poison, nor will I 
ever be the author of such advice ; neither will I contribute to 
an abortion. I will retain rehgiously the purity and integrity 
both of my conduct and of my art, I will not cut any one 
for the stone, but will leave that operation to those who culti- 
vate it. Into whatever dwellings I may go, I will enter them 
with the sole view of succouring the sick, abstaining from all 
injurious views and corruption, especially from any immodest 
action, towards women or men, freemen or slaves. If, during 
my attendance, or even unprofessionaUy in common life, I 
happen to see or hear of any circumstances which should not 
be revealed, I will consider them as a profound secret, and 
observe on the subject a rehgious silence. May I, if I rigidly 
observe this oath, and do not break it, enjoy good success in 
life, and in the practice of my art, and obtain general esteem 
for ever ; should I transgress and become a perjurer, may the 
reverse be my lot." 

It will be seen by the foregoing oath, that, from a very 
early period, there were physicians and surgeons who confined 
themselves to special branches of the art, as here of the practice 
of cutting for the stone, and that it was a part of what we, 
should caR professional etiquette on the part of the general 
practitioner to abandon this branch of the heahng art to them. 
Our city of Uriconium has furnished us with an interesting 
monument of another class of these special physicians, the 
Eoman oculists. We should be led to suppose, from the 
exception made in the Hippocratic oath, that the stone was a 
very prevalent disease among the ancients ; the class of monu- 
ments to which I am now aUuding prove that, for some reasons 
with which we are unacquainted, the population of the western 


provinces of the Roman empire (at least) were greatly subject 

to diseases of the eyes. 

As long ago as the year 1808, a labourer ploughing in one of 

the fields at Wroxeter, turned up a small cu-cular slab of stone, 

with an inscription in Eoman characters on one face. An 

inaccurate engraving of it was given in the Gentleman's 

Magazine, and was copied by the Rev. Charles H. Hartshorne, 

in his Salopia Antiqua, published in 1841. Mr. Hartshorne 

called it " an amuletal seal," and stated that it had baffled the 

efforts of aU who had attempted to explain it. This was the 

less excusable, as Richard Gough, the Antiquary, had years 

before, on the 4th of December, 1788, read a paper on this 

class of monuments before the Society of Antiquaries, which 

was printed in the ninth volume of the Archceologia, under 

the title of " Observations on Certain Stamps or Seals used 

anciently by the Oculists."""" These stamps are generally in 

the form of small rectangular slabs, squares or parallelograms, 

made of a greenish schist or steatite ; and the inscription is 

not on the face, but on the edge. They were no doubt intended 

to he used to stamp collyria, ointments or salves for the eyes, 

much on the same principle as modern patent medicines, either 

upon the ointment itself, in a hard state, or upon the packet 

which contained it. Diseases of the eyes were certainly not 

unfrequent in Rome, and the oculists formed a numerous class, 

and employed a great variety of remedies. Several sepulchral 

inscriptions have been found in Rome commemorating medici 

occularii. The reader of Horace will remember the words 

of the poet, — ■ 

Hie ociilis ego nigra meis collyria lippus 

Illinere. Horcd. Sat. lib. i. 5, 1. 15. 

* Several dissertations on the sutject of these stamps have appeared on the continent, 
among which I may more especially mention a tract hy M. Sichel, entitled, " Cireg cachets 
inedits des Medecins Oculistes Homaiiis. Paris, 1845, and another by M. Duchalais, Observa- 
tions sur les Cachets des Medechis Oculistes aiiciens, a-propos de cinq Pierres sigillcdres 
inediics." Paris, 1846. A series of very learned and valuable papers on the subject of the 
monuments of this class found in Britain, written by Professor Dr. J. Y. Simpson, of Edin- 
burgh, win be found in the " Monthly Journal of Medical Science," for 1851, vol. xii. 
pp. 39, 235, 338, under the title of " Notices of Ancient Eoman Medicine Stamps, &c, found iu 
Great Britain." 

I ^- 

l< ™ 


These collyria, as we gather from the old medical writers, were 
exceedingly mimerous and varied, but it is not clear if the 
practice in Italy was conducted exactly in the same way as in 
the more distant provinces. It must have been very extensive 
in the west, for upwards of sixty Roman oculists' stamps have 
been found in Western Europe, of which more than a dozen 
have been brought to light in Britain. These have all been 
found in widely distant locahties, and all present different 
names, which we cannot doubt were those of local practitioners. 
Sometimes there is only one title of a medicine on one edge ; 
others have different titles of medicines on two, three, or four 
edges. One of the most perfect of the British examples was 
found in digging a cellar in the abbey yard at Bath in 1731. 
Each of the four edges, in this stamp, had an inscription, in two 
lines, and the name of the oculist was Titus Junianus. The 
first of these foiu" inscriptions was, — 


which may be translated, "The thalasseros, (or marine coUyrium), 
of Titus Junianus, for clearness (of vision.") The second in- 
scription was, — 


which may be translated, " The leaden meliaum, or golden 
coUyrium (cerussomaelinum) of Titus Junianus, for clearness of 
vision." Some of the letters of the third title were doubtful, 
and it can only be represented with any certainty as, — 



The name of this ointment should probably be read diamysum, 
a word which occurs again in a stamp found in Ireland, which 
I shall shortly describe, and also on one found at Nimeguen. 
It was a mineral composition, spoken of by the early medical 
writers as of virtue ad aspritudines ocidorum. Pliny tells us 


" that it diminishes the confirmed granulations of the eye-lids," 
and that it was " added to coUyria " (extenuat etiam scahritias 
oculorum inveteratas collyriis additur./'' Hence we see 
that in this Bath stamp, as in several found on the continent, the 
dyamysum is destined for the cure of " old specks or opacities" 
(veteres cicatrices. Ji The fourth of these titles is still more 
obscure, partly, perhaps, from being imperfectly read, and partly, 
to judge from other errors in the inscriptions, from the circum- 
stance that the man who made them was rather illiterate. It 
must, therefore, be'Ieft as doubtful, but it is given as follows, — 


A stamp is preserved in the British Museum, which is un- 
derstood to have been found on the site of Verulamium, (St. 
Alban's), which has three sides inscribed, and which bears the 
names of two different oculists.^ The first name is Lucius 
Julius Juvenis ; the second is without a name ; and the third, 
in a ruder style of execution, is F. Secundus. In this instance 
the second ocuHst was probably a successor to the first. 

The greater number of these stamps found in Britain belong 
to the western districts of the island. I have already men- 
tioned the one found at Bath, belonging to an oculist named 
Titus Junianus. Another was found at Cirencester, (the 
Roman Co7-inium), with two sides inscribed, which had 
belonged to an oculist named Minervalis. One of its titles 



which may be read Minervalis dialebanum ad impetum lip- 
pitudinis ex ovo, "the dialebanum of Minervalis, against the 
attack of blear- eye, to be applied with white of egg." 
Another of these stamps was found at Kenchester, in Here- 

• Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. xxxiT. c. SI. 
+ See the Arcliieological Journal, vol. ix. p. 187. 
I White specks, or spots of opacity on the cornea, are very frequently produced by the cicatrices 
of ulcers tbei'e, especially when the preparations of lead have been used for their cure. If 
intended for any other part than the eyes, it would of course read " old scars or contractions." 


fordshire, (the Eoman Magna,) bearing four titles, with the 
name Titus Vindacius Axiovistus, which sounds like that of a 
man of German race. And we have the one found at Wroxeter, 
bearing the very pure Eoman name of Tiberius Claudius. 
Other examples of these stamps have been found at Colches- 
ter, with the name of Quintus Julius Murranus ; near Little- 
borough in Nottinghamshire (the Roman Agehcum), but the 
name of the oculist it commemorated is not stated ; two m 
the British Museum, one bearing the name of Sextus Julius 
Sedatus, the other a fragment from which the name has been 
lost, and the place of discovery of neither of which is known ; 
one described by Douce in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1778, 
bearing four titles, with the name Marcus Julius Satyrus, but 
of this also we are not informed where it was found ; and one 
found in Scotland, at Tranent, not far from the site of a Eoman 
town at Inveresk, with two titles of coU}Tia, and the name of 
Lucius VaUatinus. Lastly, one of these Eoman oculists' stamps 
was found in 1842 in Ireland, in the county of Tipperary, in 
digging a dike on the rising ground above the green of the 
village of Golden Bridge, along with human bones, so that it 
may be supposed to have been buried with the oculist to whom 
it belonged. It bore the inscription, — 


which may be read, Marci Juventii Tutiani diamysus ad 
veteres cicatrices, " the diamysus of Marcus Juventius Tutainus 
for old opacities." It is a similar 
coUyrium, as will be seen at once, to 
that on the stamp found at Bath. 

The oculist's stamp found at Wrox- 
eter differs from the others in form, 
and in the manner in which the in- 
scription is placed on it, as will be 
seen by the accompanying engraving. ^^'^'^foxTr*'""' "* 


It is a neatly formed round slab of whitish stone, and appears, 
therefore, to have been intended for impressing the names 
of the medicine and its maker on a pot, box, or parcel, of a 
circular form. The inscription, in five lines, may be read 
Avithout difficulty, — 

AD ■ OM 

The small character A is often used in Roman inscriptions in 
the place of a stop or division. The whole may be extended, 
" Tiherii Claudii medici dialihanum ad omne vitium oculorum, 
ex ovo," and may be translated, " The dialibanum of Tiberius 
Claudius, the physician, for all complaints of the eyes, to be 
used with egg." Thus Ave learn that one physician of the 
Roman town of Uriconium bore the very classical name of 
Tiberius Claudius. The ointment indicated by this stamp was, 
as it will be seen, of a similar description to that of Minervalis 
of Corinium (the modern Cirencester,) and like it is directed to 
be used ex ovo, or beaten up with the white of egg. The 
dialibanum was a well-known ointment for complaints of the 
eyes, made originally of a vegetable substance, said to have 
been procured in its greatest purity from Arabia ; but no 
doubt these local doctors used other substances in its place, 
and probably each laid claim to greater perfection than his 
neighbours. Moreover, the presence of the term medicus in 
the Wroxeter stamp leaves hardly room to doubt that the 
individual to whom it had belonged, Tiberius Claudius, was a 
general physician of Uriconium ; and perhaps this was usually 
the case with the practitioners in the provinces. Of aU these 
stamps yet found, no two bear the same name, from which 
circumstance we are justified in concluding that each belonged 
to an individual permanently established in one of the more 



important towns, who sent his medicines, properly stamped 
and identified, probably to a considerable distance around. 

We have thus discovered interesting memorials of the exist- 
ence in Uriconium of the healing science in its two branches 
of medicine and surgery, and have brought to light the name 
of a physician who no doubt flourished in the Roman city. 
Accident has also brought to hght on its site the evidence of 
the existence of the fine arts, and most probably the name of 
a Uriconian painter. Among the buildings in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the enameUer's shop, between it and the 
baths, were found, at different times during our excavations, 
and not far from one spot, three small rectangular slabs, and 
part of another, of a whitish stone, apparently steatite or soap- 
stone, which had been carefully smoothed, the one side present- 
ing a perfectly level surface, but the other bevelled off" at the 
edges. They are all nearly of the same size, about two inches 
and a half broad by two inches and three-quarters long, and 
they present the unmistakable characteristics of painters' 

Painters' Palettes, from Uriconium. 

palettes. They are represented in our cut, where it will be 
observed that the one to the right is much worn in the 



the middle of the upper or unbevelled side by the action 
of the painter rubbing his colours, and traces of colours 
themselves may still be perceived. This palette had been 
broken, and the section, as here shown by the fracture, will 
give a better notion of the form of the palette, and of the 
character of the wearing, than any description. We have 
reason to believe, from the locality in which these objects were 
found, that there was a painter's shop, or studio, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the baths, so that the fine arts, perhaps, flourished 
in Uricouium. But one of these palettes furnishes us with 
another fact of some interest connected with this part of our 
subject. On the back of this palette, which is tuxned towards 
us in the engraving, and which has been less used than the one 
just described, we find, among several scratches made inten- 
tionally with a sharp instrument, a man's name, rudely but 
minutely and clearly written in a small label, evidently an 
imitation of the forms in which the potters' names are stamped 
on the red Samian ware. No similar inscription is found on 
the other palettes, and, from the manner in which it has been 
executed, we are fairly justified in supposing that it is the 
name, not of the maker of the palettes, but of the possessor of 
this particular example, and perhaps of the others also. From 
the careless manner in which this inscription is Avritten, it is 
not very easy to decipher, but it appears to be DICINIVMA, 
which may be read as Diciniv^ manw, i.e., " by the hand of 
Dicinivus." This was, in all probability, the name of a profes- 
sional artist of Uriconium, who lived perhaps at the time the 
town was destroyed, and which, certainly not Eoman, would 
apparently show him to be either a Gaul or a German. All 
this is extremely important in its relation to the history of art, 
one of the most valuable measures of the extent of social 
refinement at this interesting period. Our knowledge of the 
forms of the practice of art among the Romans is in many 
respects defective, although they appear in general to have 


resembled very closely those in use at the present day. We 
hardly know the technical name of the palette itself ; Julius 
Pollux gives it in Greek the name of jnnakion, and PUny 
uses the Latin word tahellce, Avhich are words identical in 'sig- 
nification, meaning a small tablet, and implying its rectangular 
form. Another Latin name for it appears to have been assula, 
which means simply a thin slice or strip of stone, or of other 
material Wall pictm-es have been met with in Pompeii, in 
which the painter is represented at liis work. In one of these, 
which is a burlesque or caricature, the painter seated before a-n 
easel, resembling closely the modern implement of that name, 
has a tablet of stone, supported upon four legs, forming a large 
description of palette, on which he can spread a number of 
colours at the same time ; but in another fresco-painting, 
which represents a female artist making a picture of a statue 
of the bearded Bacchus, the lady holds in her left hand a real 
palette, only differing from those found at Wroxeter in being 
oval instead of rectangular. 

From considering the evidence, imperfect as it is and derived 
chiefly from only one spot of our excavations into the ancient 
city, of the existence of trade, manufacture, art, and science, 
in a very advanced degree of progress, let us return to the 
locality which we have been describing. We have traced a 
tolerably long line of frontage, facing nearly west, and consist- 
ing of, first, the entrance front to the Basilica ; then, one or two 
shops of importance ; next, the face of a market square ; and, 
beyond this to the south, waUs indicating buildings of no great 
extent, but whether they had any connection vdth the market 
is a question of great uncertainty. On the south, this line of 
frontage is bounded by a street running east and west, but we 
have crossed this street, and found on the other side a hue of 
buildings which appear to have been ordinary houses. This 
line advances westward, considerably l:)eyond the line of the 
market and Basilica, and then stops and turns at right angles 


to the south. From this it is evident that the line of frontage 
of which the basihca formed a part looked upon a wide open 
space, and that, from the southern end where the street just 
mentioned crossed it, the way to the south was continued by a 
street of only ordinary dimensions. When we consider the 
relative position of this wide space in regard to the whole area 
of the ancient city, and when we reflect that, as far as we are 
acquainted with the plans of the Roman towns, the Basihca was 
always entered from the Forum, we can hardly doubt for a 
moment that we are here upon the site of the Forum of the 
Eoman city of Uriconium. In regard to it, the Basilica holds 
exactly the same position as in Pompeii. Moreover, Vitruvius 
states as an established rule that the Basilica in a Eoman 
town stood adjoining to the It'orum. But, if any doubt 
had remained, it would have been entirely taken away by 
discoveries which had been accidentally made two or three 
years before the commencement of our excavations. 

In 18.55, the then tenant of the land, the late Mr. Stanier, 
built the farm buildings which now stand on the opposite side 
of the road from the field in which the excavations have been 
carried on, but a little more to the northward. In clearing 
away the ground for the foundations, the workmen made some 
interesting discoveries, a plan and section of which, made at 
the time by Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., has been preserved by 
my friend Mr. Samuel Wood, by whose kindness, and with Sir 
Henry's permission, I am enabled to give an engraving of it 
on a reduced scale. In what is now the farm-yard, a row of 
short square pillars, marked A. A. A. A. on the plan, run- 
ning parallel with the line of buildings described above, and 
standing at equal distances of about twelve feet apart, were 
found. A drawing of one of these pillars is given on a larger 
scale at the foot of the plate. It consists of a basement stone 
about three feet square, upon which rested the base of the 
pillar, the latter ornamented with mouldings, above which was 


a short square shaft, and at the top a small square cap-stone, 
of which the engraving gives the elevation. These cap-stones 
were roughly dressed, and not uniform in the colour of the 
stone, as two of them were red, one light red, and the other 
drab. The most curious feature of these pillars, which were 
taken up and are still preserved in the garden of what was 
Mr. Stanier's house, is a vertical groove on the opposite sides 
of the base, a sectional plan of which is represented in the 
figure B. These grooves were on the sides of the pillars which 
faced each other when in situ, and had evidently been intended 
to receive some connecting work of metal or wood, probably 
the latter, which extended from pillar to piUar, and thus formed 
a continuous barrier. When we consider the position of these 
pdlars in regard to the buildings which we have discovered in 
the field on the eastern side of the road, and which I have 
given as nearly as I can ascertain it in the map of the ancient 
city, we cannot look upon it as otherwise than an entire con- 
firmation of the supposition stated above, that we are here 
upon the site of the Forum of Uriconium. A corresponding 
row of pUlars may, perhaps, lie under the eastern side of the 
present Watling-Street road, and thus formed the enclosure 
devoted to pubHc meetings and public business. If the ground 
further to the north, or to the south, were explored, we should 
probably meet with remains of buildings which would present 
a still closer resemblance to the Forum of Pompeii. Another 
pillar was found at D in the plan, quite out of the line of the 
four others, but it may probably have been displaced, or it 
marks some distribution of the Forum which, with our present 
imperfect knowledge, we cannot attempt to explain. 

No attempt, I believe, was made to carry out these excava- 
tions, except so far as they were necessary for the construction 
of the modern buddings. In laying the modern drain, which is 
indicated by the dotted fine, and which led to the discovery of 
the pUlar at D, a floor of concrete was found five feet below the 


surface of the ground at f, and a number of large stones were 
scattered about, with iron straps, bones, lead, cramps, and other 
objects, among which one silver coin was picked up. A large 
squared stone was found at c, and a flagstone at g. At H, a 
floor of flagstones was met with at a depth of six feet. In 
digging for the foundations at i, a gold coin was found, which 
is said to have been carried away and sold privately by the 
workman who picked it up. 

The fields to the westward of the site of these discoveries 
present appearances, in the surface of the ground, which leave 
no room for doubt that they contain in their whole extent, 
under the surface, masses of buUcUngs, among which we may 
hope to find some of the temples of the ancient city, which 
seem usually, as in Pompeii, to have occupied this position in 
regard to the Forum. The fields to the north-east and east 
are also fuU of the remains of buildings, probably belonging to 
the more important private mansions of the town, as tessellated 
pavements are said to have been frequently met with by the 
farm labom-ers. It is to be hoped that the time is not far 
distant when all these will be carefully explored. 




The excavations at AVroxeter have not yet been carried out to 
a sufficient extent to enable us to form any satisfactory notion 
of the general distribution of the town of Uriconium, but it 
was probably quite equal in character, if not superior, to Eoman 
towns in general, either in Britain or in the provinces of the 
continent. As far as we can judge, the streets were more open 
and roomy than those of Pompeii, where they appear to have 
been very narrow and gloomy. We are in the habit of always 
associating these ancient towns with narrow and inconvenient 
streets, and in fact, in Italy itself, there seems to have been a 
prejudice in favour of them ; for we learn, from the historian 
Tacitus that, when, in the reign of Nero, Eome was bm'nt and 
rebuilt with more spacious streets, people complained of the 
change as injurious to the sanitary condition of the town, be- 
■ cause, they said, ui the old state of things, the sun's rays did not 
penetrate into the streets, and people were protected from their 
heat, whereas in the new changes people who passed in the 
streets would be exposed to the sun's rays without protection.'" 
Perhaps this inconvenience was less felt in Britain than in 
Italy ; but it is certain that, as far as we have yet traced them, 
the streets of Uriconium were \vide and straight, and crossed 
each other at right angles. 

* Taciti Annal., lib. xv. c. 43. — Erant tamen qui credcrent, " Veterem illam forrnam salu- 
britati magis conduxisse, quoniam angustias itinenim et alULudo tcctorum non perinde solis 
vapore perrumperentur ; at nunc patibulam latituJinem, et nulla umbra defensam, grariore 
5p_8tu ardescere." 


This at least was the case in the streets we have yet met 
with. The wall which formed the northern side of the Basilica, 
ran at right angles from the face of the buildings fronting the 
Forum, and was traced in a direct line without any variation 
up to the edge of the field, where we were stopped. There 
could be no doubt, from various appearances which were 
noticed, that this wall formed the southern side of a street, and , 
that it was a wide street, paved in the middle in the same 
manner as that subsequently found to the south, but we had 
not the opportunity of examining it very closely. The part of 
it immediately adjoining the wall appeared to have been formed 
of concrete. The baths, again, were bounded to the south, by 
a line of buildings which ran at right angles to the Forum, and 
parallel to the street on the north, and it has been traced as far 
as the land allotted for excavation will permit. Here the road- 
v/ay of the street has been uncovered, and the foundations 
traced of the houses on the opposite side, so that we are well 
acquainted with its character and dimensions. The paved part 
of this street, marked L. L. L. in the plan of the buildings 
excavated, which was bounded by kirb-stones, and did not reach 
quite to the walls of the houses, was somewhat more than 
twenty feet. This is about the width of the widest street in 
Pompeii, that which, for the sake of distinction has been named 
the street of the Mercuries, and which is supposed to have been 
the grand street of the city, or via sacra, by which all public 
processioj^ approached the Forum, and in which the triumphal 
arches stood. The other streets of Pompeii were very narrow ; 
often hardly wide enough for a beast of burthen. Even in Eo- 
man London, as far as we can judge by the examples which have 
been met with in the course of excavations, most of the streets 
were very narrow. Such was the case also in a comparatively 
small Eoman town on the site of Maryport in Cumberland, 
which was excavated in 1766. In the small towns along the 
line of Hadrian's Wall, the streets are mere narrow passages. 


At Chesters in Northumberland, the Cilumum of the Eomans, 
they were mere passages from three to four feet wide. At 
Bremenium (High Rochester), a small and thickly buUt Roman 
town on the northern Watling-Street a little to the north of 
Hadrian's Wall, which has been recently laid open to a great 
extent by the Duke of Northumberland, the main streets 
varied in width from ten to fourteen feet, and the bye-streets 
were usually less than three feet wide. Those of earlier form- 
ation were here flagged -^ith broad flat stones, while the pave- 
ments made at a later period were formed of small stones. At 
Cilurnum and at Maryport the streets were paved with flags, 
which shows that they were only used by men on foot, whereas 
the remains of a chariot have been found at Wroseter in the 
middle of the ancient town. At Wroxeter the pavement of 
the Roman street is formed of small stones, such as might 
be gathered from gravel, well put together, and hard beaten 
in, and presenting an appearance not much unlike that we 
call macadamizing. A row of kirb-stones was placed on each 
side. At Leicester, where some of the pavement of the 
Roman streets in the town of BatCB were uncovered, it was 
found to be laid with small round cobble-stones, much in 
the same way as they are set in the streets of Leicester and 
Shrewsbury in modern times. At the western end of the 
street of Uriconium just described, another street leaves it 
towards the south, also at right angles, and probably broad, 
because, from its position, it was evidently one of the principal 
streets of the town, but it lies under the modem road, and 
we have not been able to make any complete examination of 
it. It presents the pecuharity of a side gutter, on one side 
at least, which I believe is unknown in Pompeii, or in any 
other Roman town with the remains of which we are ac- 
quainted. It is marked i i. in the plan of the buildings 
excavated, and begins just below where the line of houses of 
the southern side of the street l. l. l. abuts upon the Forum. 


This gutter is well made, of carefully squared stones, and in a 
remarkably good state of preservation, and runs close to tlie 
houses at the side of the street. It is about a foot wide, and a 
foot deep, and from place to place there are laid in it square 
stones which, placed lozenge- wise, reach exactly across, and must 
have stopped a current of water. Their only apparent purpose 
can have been to serve as stepping-stones, yet, in so narrow a 
channel, they can hardly have been necessary. This gutter 
has been traced further on southwardly in its way. 

Of course it would not be quite fair to form a judgment of 
the character of the whole town from the small portion of it 
we have as yet explored, and we must bear in mind that this 
was the most important part of it, and that, in other parts 
of the extensive area which it covered, there may have been 
lower quarters covered with smaller and less regular streets. 
We can hardly be said to have touched the domestic buildings 
of the city of IJriconium. The ground bordering on the street 
L. L. L. upon the south, was found to be full of remains of walls 
running parallel or at right angles to it, which appeared to have 
formed rooms mostly of rather small dimensions, but they had 
been so much broken up in modern times in the search for 
building materials, that no satisfactory plan could be made 
out. Near the western end, the walls of two different build- 
ings were separated, as seen in the plan, by a passage so nar- 
row, that even a man could only pass along it with diificulty, 
and it would be in vain even to guess what could have been 
its object. But it is probable that these buildings were all 
shops or dwelling-houses. 

The masonry of the buildings of Urieonium, like all Eoman 
masonry, is excellent, and, in spite of its great age, they might 
have been still perfect but for the effects of violence from with- 
out. Whatever material the Eomans used in their walls was 
good. They never chose bad material for their facing stones, 
whether large or small, and they appear to have known well 


■ liow to select it, as we have a remarkable instance in the walls 
of Chester (the Eoman Deva), mentioned before.'^ No less so 
were their tiles or bricks, to which they gave, according to their 
different purposes, the names of lateres or tegulce. The Roman 
tegulse were, as is generally known, formed like our tiles, and 
not like our bricks. They are flat, generally about an inch in 
thickness, and the smaller and more common examples are 
about seven inches square. Some of the building tiles are 
much larger, and in the form of an oblong parallelogram in- 
stead of square, as much sometimes as two inches thick. The 
latter seem to answ"er to those called by Vitruvius the Lydian 
tile, late?-' Lydium, which he says was a foot broad and a foot 
and a half long. We learn from Vitruvius how much care 
was given to the choice of the clay of which these tiles were 
made, and to the process of making them. It appears that 
they were not baked by fire, but dried in the sun ; and he 
lays it down as a rule that tiles should always be made in 
spring, that they might have the time between that and 
autumn through which to dry gradually and equally through 
the increase in temperature ;t and as another, that the best 
and most useful tUes are those which have been more than two 
years drying. J 

But of aU their building materials, that on which the Eomans 
set greatest importance was the mortar, and the old writers 
give us many directions about making it, especially about the 
selection of the different sorts of Hme to be used, and of the 
different sorts of sand, &c., to be mixed with it. We aU know 
the immense hardness of the mortar in Roman buildings as it 
now exists ; it is literally more difficult to break, or to act 

• Seepage 69 of the present Tolnme. 

+ Ducendi autem snnt per vemum tempus et autamnale, ut uno tenore siccescant. 
VHruv. de Architectural lib. i. c. 3.— Ducendi autem sunt lateres vemo tempore, ut ex lento 
siccescant ; qui enim solsticiali tempore parantur, vitiosi flant, &c. Arddte.ctune Compendium, 
c. I. The abridgement of Vitravius and other ancient writers for practical use, published 
with the editions of his book. 

+ Maxime autem utUiores emnt, si ante biennium htunmt ducti; namijue non ante 
possunt penitus siccescere. Vitruvius de ArcJi., ib. See also Flimj Hist. Nat. lib. xxjv., c. 49. 


upon, than the stone itself. Between the facing stones of the 
masonry of the entrance gateway at Pevensey in Sussex, (the 
Koman Anderida), the marks of the trowel used in pointing 
it are as sharp and distinct as on the day it was built, and 
they cannot be defaced. The old writers tell us of many in- 
gredients used in the mortar or cement for different purposes, 
but the most usual material used for this purpose was pounded 
brick, or tUe, which had the effect of making the mortar set 
quick and hard.- Hence, it is a general characteristic of 
Eoman mortar in England to find it full of small red grains 
of brick ; and this is found everywhere in the mortar of the 
buildings uncovered at Wroxeter. The primary cause of the 
hardness which the Roman mortar has assumed is, however, 
understood to be the fact that the lime was not slaked until 
the moment of using, and that it was poured into the work 
hot, as is still the practice with railway engineers. There 
is every reason for believing, from the extreme hardness of the 
mortar in our old castles and early churches, that this manner 
of preparing it was continued during the middle ages, com- 
bined also sometimes with the use of the pounded tile. Pounded 
tile has been found in the mortar of some mediaeval buildings, 
so that its presence cannot be taken absolutely as a test of 
Eoman building, though it is very rarely found elsewhere. 
On the other hand, the pounded bricks are not necessarily 
found in Eoman mortar. Dr. Bruce, in his great work on the 
Eoman Wall, informs us that it is never found in the Eoman 
buildings in the north of England ; and it is wanting in some 
of the mortar of the commoner buildings in our Eoman towns 
and stations in the Avestem districts. However, as a general 
rule, we usually find Eoman mortar, except in the north of 
England, marked by the presence of an ingredient of pounded 

The Eomans appear not to have thought it necessary to dig 
any foundations for the massive defensive walls with which 


they surrounded their towns and citadels, which are those 
we have had most opportunity of examining. Those at 
Eichborough in Kent (Rutwpice), were merely laid upon, or 
very little below, the smoothed surface of the natural soil, 
which is here a compact pit-sand. At Burgh Castle in Suffolk 
(Gariannonum), it was found that frames, or floors, of wood 
had been laid upon the ground, and a bed of mortar spread 
upon them, upon which the first stones of the wall were laid ; 
and, a part of the wall having been accidentally overthrown, 
the impression of the timber, which had itself long perished, 
has been found remaining on the mortar. Dr. Bruce informs 
us that, on removing a long strip of Hadrian's Wall at Wal- 
bottle Dean in 1864, the remains of vegetation were found 
immediately beneath it ; and, below what had evidently been 
the surface of the ground at the time the wall was budt, the 
soU was blackened for some inches by the roots of the herb- 
age which had been growing there ; so that the foundation of 
the wall had been laid on the mere surface of the ground 
while the grass was growing upon it. In some parts of 
Cumberland, he adds, where the sod is of a sandy nature, an 
excavation of from fifteen to eighteen inches appears to have 
been made. In other places, where the ground was boggy, 
the foundation was found to have been laid upon what the 
antiquary Stukeley calls a strong frame of oak timber. How- 
ever, the "walls of ordiuary buildings were certainly buUt 
with good deep foundations. Those of the Old Wall at 
Wroxeter, the separation between the Basdica and the Baths, 
were traced to a depth of not less than seven feet below the 
original elevation of the ground, and those of other parts of 
these buildings which we tried were equally deeply laid. 

The Romans had a peculiar manner of constructing their 
walls, as far as we can judge by examining them. They began 
by laying two parallel lines of stones, usually larger than the 
facing stones above, and somewhat wider apart than the wall was 


intended to be higher up. Upon these first stones were placed 
the first row of facing stones, which were continued to a small 
height, and then they placed boulder stones and other material 
in the space between the two faces, and poured into it the hot 
liquid mortar, which set quite hard in a very short time, and 
the same process was repeated. The wall was thus raised up 
gradually, in small heights at a time, while it appears to have 
been supported by a frame, or casing, of wood, supported by 
cross beams of' timber, which left holes at certain distances 
in the wall, still ojDeu. Perhaps these were filled with facing 
stones without the mortar, which have since dropped out. After 
a certain number of courses of facing stones, which appears 
to have been regulated by the custom or choice of the 
builder, a sort of bonding-course of the flat tiles was intro- 
duced, consisting usually of two rows of tiles, but sometimes 
of only one single row, and at others, though more rarely, of 
three. The number at Wroxeter is generally two. These 
courses of tiles, though they generally run into the wall only 
one tile deep, and do not pass through it, materially helped to 
prevent the facing from separating from the core of the work, 
particularly while the latter was green and liable to settlement. 
These courses of bricks are seen to great advantage on the face 
of the Old Wall. 

These tiles are sometimes used in the Roman masomy for 
other purposes. At times a short course, a couple or two tiles 
only in length, were drawn from the angle of a wall, produc- 
ing somewhat the effects of what is called in our early Saxon 
architecture " long and short work." But they were still more 
frequently used for turning the heads of arches, of which an 
excellent example was disj^layed in the entrance to the hypo- 
causts of the baths, Ijefore it fell into dilapidation. This use 
of the tiles appears to have been long continued in the middle 
ages. A part of the masonry of the early church in Dover 
Castle, which appears to be uudouljtedly woik of the Anglo- 


Saxon period, presents a similar arrangement of tiles ; and 
they are found in string-courses and in arches in the early 
Norman work of the castle and of the priory of St. Botolph at 
Colchester. The Anglo-Saxon builders certainly adopted the 
Eoman manufacture of tiles, for they took the name also. 
It was from the Latin tegula, which was applied originally to 
the roof tile, but which appears in the late Roman period to 
have usurped the place both of tegula and of later (the building- 
tile), that our Saxon forefathers made their word tigel or tigol, 
which they used not only for tiles both for roofing and building, 
but even for pottery, or fictile ware, and from which we derive 
our modern English word tile, while the French turned it into 
tuile. The name, and probably the form, of the hriqiie, or 
hrick, came to us from the Normans. 

With regard to the cjuality of the Eoman tiles found at 
Wroxeter, it must be acknowledged that they differ very 
considerably in quality, or at least they have been very differ- 
ently affected by circumstances. The bricks in the wall above 
ground, the Old Wall, have experienced no decay, and those 
which were uncovered were found generally in a very peirfect 
condition, but they suffered in very various degrees from 
exposure to the air. In the hypocaust of the first room of the 
baths opened, (7 in the plan), the tiles of the piers which 
supported the floor appeared to experience very httle damage 
from exposure to the air, and, but for external violence, would 
Lave been in perfect condition at the present time. Those 
in the next room (8,) absolutely fell into heaps of powder, not 
long after they Avere uncovered. The fine-looking tiles with 
which the arch was formed (9,) leading into the hypocausts, 
and which is represented in our cut on p. 117, remained perfect 
for some months, and then fell into absolute decay. This can 
hardly have been the mere effect of the weather, for, while 
the tiles in room 8 have not perished in any considerable 
degree, those in room 7 \\'cre destroyed in the first winter to 


which they were exposed, and those in the arch 9 only perished 
after more than one winter's exposure. Vitruvius tells us that 
the badness of the tiles, whether from the inferiority of the 
materials or in consequence of the insufficiency in drying, was 
proved by the effect of frost upon them ;* and no doubt, 
after so many ages, when at last exposed, the different degrees 
of the frost have proved the original differences of quality 
of the bricks made and used at Uriconium. 

The word paries, the name which the Eomans applied to the 
wall of a house, does not necessarily imply that it was 
built of stone or brick. Vitruvius speaks of the parietes 
cratitii, or walls formed of wattles or hurdles, covered in 
early times with clay, but at a later period with mortar ; 
and PHny speaks of them as having been in use in the 
ancient buildings in Eome. Vitruvius states as one of the 
objections to these walls that they were exposed to injury 
from fire.t We can hardly expect to find remaining any 
examples, or very distinguishable remains, of walls of lath and 
mortar of the Eoman period. The fire, which Vitruvius feared, 
has passed over them all, and has left nothing, as far as our 
discoveries have yet gone, to assure us whether the stucco and 
wall plaster we find so abundantly scattered over the floors of 
the Eoman ruins came from walls of stone or from waUs of 
wood. It is rather a curious fact that, in the remains of Eoman 
buildings in this island, we most frequently find the walls 
remaining to a certain elevation, which differs in different 
localities, but presenting, in each locality, a nearly uniform 
elevation throughout, and at that elevation an unbroken, 
or only slightly broken, line ; and it has been supposed, 
from this circumstance, that this was the original height of the 
stone wall, and that the upper part was built with lath and 

* Nam qufE (testa) non fuerit ex creta bona, ant parum erit cocta, ibi sc ostendet esse 
vitiosam gelieidiis et pruina tacta. — Vitrumus de Architectural lib. ii. c. 8. 

+ Cratitii vero veliin quidem ne inventi essent. Quantum enini celeritate et loci laxamento 
prosunt, tanto majoii et communi sunt calamitati, quod ad incendia {uti faces) srnt parati. — 
Vitruvius de Arehitcctura, lib. ii. c. 8. 


plaster. The fact alluded to, however, is capable of another 
explanation ; for, as the destruction of the walls generally took 
place at a period when they were partly buried by the accumu- 
lation of soil, and when they were broken up for building 
materials, the depredators naturally enough stopped at one 
course of stones, perhaps the first or second under the surface 
of the ground, which would account perfectly for the level 
line of the tops of the walls as they are now found. It must 
be remarked that the same appearance is presented by the re- 
mains of the walls we have uncovered at Wroxeter, and these 
must have been altogether walls of solid masonry, because they 
belonged to public buildings, and some of them supported 
vaulted roofs. When the parts of the Eoman town which con- 
sisted of private houses shall be opened, the appearance of the 
walls wiU be a subject of careful observation, with regard to thi.s 
question. In the middle ages, no doulDt, a great proportion of 
the houses in a town were built in the manner alluded to, the 
walls, up to a certain height, of stone, and above that of wood 
and plaster. The rule, in regard to the thickness of the paries, 
or wall of the house, in Italy, appears to have been that it should 
be sesquipedalis, or a foot and a half thick. Perhaps in this more 
northemly climate, it was thought necessary for warmth, or for 
other reasons, that this measure should be doubled, for the 
general thickness of the walls of the buddings of Uriconium 
is three feet, and I beheve the same thickness of walls is found 
in the remains of Roman buddings in other parts of the island. 
It is rather curious that this same solidity of wall was the 
one prescribed by municipal law in the towns of western 
Europe during the middle ages, probably derived from the 
practice of the old Roman builders. The wall which was 
then of importance to come under a public regulation of 
this kind was the partition wall of the house, and with 
this we must also no doubt reckon all the exterior walls 
of a house, facing the street or not. There were various 



reasons for requiring that its thickness should not be less 
than the established rule. In the curious Assize of Budd- 
ings in London, enacted under the mayoralty of Henry fitz 
Alwyn, in 1189, it is ordered that the party-wall should be 
of stone, three feet thick and sixteen feet high ; and that if 
arches (for cupboards or closets) were made in the waU on 
either side, these should be never more than one foot deep, so 
that, if two such arches were opposite each other, the wall 
should still remain between them a full foot in thickness.* 

One of the most remarkable pecuharities of the Koman 
house in these northern provinces was the method by which 
the rooms were warmed, which consisted simply in the use 
of hot air. The floor of the room was not laid upon the solid 
ground, but was raised on a great number of square piers, 
formed of square tdes laid upon each other to the requisite 
height. This system was called ^?/poca?/siitm — ahypocaust; and 
the technical name for the combination of piers, or pilce, appears 
to have been suspensurce. Fires were made underneath these 
floors, and the warmth not only passed up between them, but it 
was carried up the walls by hollow tubes of tile, or earthenware. 
Vitruvius gives minute details for budding the hypocaust. He 
directs that the ground was first to be laid with foot and a 
half tile, on which the piers were to be raised with eight inch 
tiles to a height of two feet, that on these a layer of clay mixed 
with hair was to be spread, and tiles of two feet were to be laid 
over this, which were to support the pavement.t The exca- 
vations at Wroxeter have brought to light some very fine and 
perfect examples of Roman hypocausts, the proportions of 

* Et sic communi custu construent murum lapideiim inter se spissitudinia trium pedum 

et altitudinis sexdecim pedum Et si ambo voluerint in muro arcus habere, iiaut arcus ex 

iitraque parte profunditatis tantummodo iinius pedis, ita quod spissitudo murl inter arciis sit 
continens unnni pedem. — Manimaita Gililhalla: Londoniensis^ edited by Henry Tbomas Itiley, 
vol i. pp. 321, 322. 

+ Vitruvii de Arcliitectura lib. v. c. 10. — It may be remarked that in Roman buildings 
in Britain instances have been met with of the use of pillars of squared stone instead of the 
usual piers formed of bricks, usually only one or two stone pillars mixed with the brick piers, 
in some cases taken apparently from some older building which had been demolished. In the 
hypocaust of a house found at Chester [Dcva), the floor was supported on regular rows of 
pillars formed of the sandstone of that district, two feet ten inches high. The usual large tiles 
were laid upon these pillars. 

URico>riUM. 195 

which are here generally rather larger than the dimensions set 
down by Vitruvius. In the large room marked 7 in our plan, 
in which, when first opened, no less than a hundred and twenty 
of these columns remained standing, they were a little more 
than three feet in height. At the north-eastern corner, they 
supported a small portion of the floor in its original position, 
which was a mass of cement, eight inches thick, and perfectly 
smooth on its upper surface. The other hypocausts were 
generally in a less perfect condition, but the piers seemed 
mostly to have been about three feet high. In several places 
the remains of the fires by which they had been heated were 
found, some of which had been alimented with mineral coal. 
Across the middle of the large hjrpocaust (7) a sort of passage 
ran from east to west, which had been crossed into from the 
archway already described, and was no doubt intended for the 
use of the men who had the care of the fires. At its western 
extremity it communicated with a mass of walls which pre- 
sented the appearance of having been receptacles for fuel, and 
pieces of both mineral and vegetable coal were found scattered 
among them. In the room marked 13 on our plan, which is 
supposed to have been the sudatorium of the Baths, the hollow 
tiles which carried the hot air up the inside of the walls so as 
to disperse the warmth over the room, may be seen still partly 
attached to the cement of the masonry. 

The directions given by Vitruvius refer only to the hypo- 
causts attached to the baths for the purpose of heating them, 
for I believe that there is no single instance known in southern 
Italy of a hypocaust attached to a private house for the pur- 
pose of warming the apartments. There is no such thing 
in Pompeii. The climate, in fact, rendered such contrivances 
unnecessary ; but when the Eomans came into our colder 
climes, they soon found that they wanted their rooms warming 
as well as their baths, and they adopted precisely the same 
method of effecting their purpose ; and in Gaul, or in G-ermany, 


or still more in distant Britain, we find no Eoman residence,' 
whether town house or country villa, which has not a certain 
numl^er of rooms furnished with hypocausts to warm them. 
The people who garrisoned and inhabited the little towns and 
stations along the line of the Wall of Hadrian would indeed 
have had a dreary life of it without their closely built houses 
and their weU fed hypocausts. 

It might be considered as a matter of surprise that in the 
middle ages the Eoman method of warming houses by hypo- 
causts should have been so entirely abandoned, especially in 
towns. It was perhaps found to be too elaborate for a ruder 
state of society. Our earlier mediaeval forefathers, we know, 
merely lighted up their fire in ttie middle of the floor of 
their hall, in the way that boys make bonfires, or in the 
place where they cooked their meat ; and they gave the 
same name, heorth, or hearth, to the fire and to the place on 
which it was made. The other word, j^r, a fire, was employed 
just in the same manner ; and the Anglo-Saxon looked with an 
affection on everything connected with his hearth that shows 
how well he appreciated its comforts. He spoke of his family 
as liis heorth-iverod, or his hearth-troop ; his domestic servant 
was his heorth-cniht, or his hearth-boy ; and even his brides- 
maid was distinguished by the at least homely epithet of his 
Iteorth-swcepe, his hearth sweeper. The Anglo-Saxons had also 
a fijr-cruse, or fire-pot or cruse, and a fyr-panne, or fire-pan, 
in Avliich perhaps the lady of the house sometimes had a suffi- 
cient quantity of lighted fuel to warm her and her maidens in 
her hur, or chamber, in rude imitation of the Eoman braziers, 
of which examples have been found at Pompeii. Nobody 
has been able to trace any existence among the Eomans 
of the open fire-place in the wall, such as we have them : 
it was a thing of much later introduction, and seems to have 
arisen in the feudal castles. Feudalism everywhere almost 
adopted the languages derived fi'om that of the Eomans, and 


they took the Latin word caminus, and made out of it our 
word chimney. 

I have been describing the rough construction of the 
hypocaust, but, as part of the house, it had to receive a con- 
siderable amount of ornamentation and finish. The flue-tiles 
were run up the walls in parallel rows, and fixed to the 
interior surface of the wall by the mortar, and sometimes also 
by T-shaped clamps of iron, and all this was afterwards 
covered with a smooth surface of mortar. The flue-tiles 
probably ran up to the top of the wall, and j)assed through 
the eaves. Every room which had a hypocaust had not these 
flue-tiles, which were used where greater heat was wanting 
than that given merely by the floor. When there were no flue- 
tiles, the smooth surface of cement was of course laid immedi- 
ately on the masonry of the waU, and its face was adorned with 
painting in fresco. As far as we have yet explored the ruins, 
we have not found any pieces of fresco painting which would 
be very striking as works of art. As stated before,"'' one 
fragment was picked up which had formed part of an in- 
scription in large letters. When the floor of the room was 
finished (it also was formed of cement), one of those beautiful 
tessellated pavements for which the Eomans were so celebrated 
was laid down upon it. From the discoveries made at 
Wroxeter, we can hardly doubt that the Eomans covered 
the outside of their walls with stucco and painting as well 
as painting them within. The semi-circular northern end 
of the great hypocaust of the Baths had been externally 
painted red, with stripes of yeUow. The walls which 
formed the eastern side of the great internal court of the baths. 
was coated with cement externally, and I believe presented 
similar indications of painting, but it perished on exposure to 
the atmosphere. Altogether, I think we are justified in 
assuming that the buildings of Uriconium were painted outside. 

It seems to have been rarely the case with a private Eomai^ 
house of any respectability not to possess a tessellated pa^'C- 

t See before, p. ll.-i. 


ment. Several have in times back been discovered in different 
parts of the site of Uriconium which no doiibt belonged to 
private houses, and others have been traced at different periods 
by the farmers, but have not been vincovered. In the year 
1827, a rather handsome example of a tessellated pavement 
was found in what was then a stack-yard, at E in our map, 
but it was torn to pieces by people who came to see it from 
Shrewsbury, and who carried away the tessellas before any 
drawing could be made of it. It probably had belonged to 
the room of a house which abutted on the line of street which 
ran from the Forum to the town gate at H. Whatever hope, how- 
ever, we may have of finding tessellated pavements when we 
explore some of the houses in the town, we have been somewhat 
disappointed in this respect, in the pubhc buildings. Only one 
single tessellated floor has been discovered in the whole extent 
of the baths, where they appear to have consisted generally 
of a smoothed surface of cement. But this was not the case 
with the Basilica, which, as I have before stated, was divided, 
in its breadth from north to south, into three divisions, the one 
in the middle being thirty feet wide, while the two to the north 
and south of this formed long slips of somewhat less than half 
this breadth. In the northernmost of these slips, which ran 
along the side of a wide public street, were found several frag- 
ments of tessellated pavement at sufficiently distant spots to 
leave no doubt that a pavement extended continiiously along 
its whole length. The southern slip divided the wide apartment 
in the middle of the Basilica from the building of the Baths, 
and two doors at least led through its boundary wall to the 
south, one leading into the Baths, the other into the public 
Latrinse. From this, and other circumstances, I have been 
led to think that it was a public passage, and I believe some 
traces were found of its having been paved with flag-stones. 
Moreover, it was at a lower level than the floors of the central 
division and northern slip. It appears that about its centre 
some fragments of tessellated pavement were found by the 

rRICONlQM. 199 

men employed in excavating, but, as the site of this build- 
ing, the Basilica, had been greatly broken up in excavating 
for building materials, for large breaches were found in the 
long central walls almost if not quite to their foundations, and 
as only small fragments of the northern tessellated pavement 
remained, I suspect that the fragments of pavement first 
mentioned as found in the southern passage were merely bits 
of the northern pavement dropped there by the excavators 
whUe carrjdng away materials. 

These fragments of the northern pavement have now been 
aU covered up ; but before this was done, they were carefully 
examined and drawn by my friend Mr. George Maw, of 
Benthall Hall, near Broseley, who, as one of the first and most 
celebrated of our artists in encaustic tiles, was eminently 
qualified to form a judgment upon them . At the congress of 
the British Archaeological Association at Shrewsbury in 1860, 
Mr. Maw exhibited a dra^ving of a restoration of this pave- 
ment of the northern corridor, as he terms it, accompanied 
by a paper, both of which were subsequently published in 
the volume of the Transactions of the Association for 1861. 
He represents it, I have no doubt with perfect truth, as 
consisting of a series of oblong panels of simple geometrical 
patterns, composed of dark grey and cream-coloured tessell^, 
and, as in most Eoman pavements, surrounded, next the wall, 
by a broad field of uniform colour, in this instance of a 
greenish grey tint. Narrow bands, about five inches wide, 
branching from this, divided the whole pattern into panels 
of about eight feet by eleven feet. The panels at each end 
appear, by the remains, to have been eleven feet square. 
The general character of these designs, will be understood 
by the accompanying cut (on next page) of the remains of the 
tenth panel from the eastern end of the corridor, for which 
I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Maw. He thinks 
that these equal divisions of the pavement may have had 


relation to some other members of the building, and suggests 
that the sides of the corridor next the central apartment may 
have been a kind of open arcade, the piers of which corres- 

Tessellated Pavement fi'om tlie CoxTidor of the Basilica of Uriconium. 

ponded with the partitional bands of the design. I think this 
by no means improbable. This pavement, it may be remarked, 
is of much coarser work than the pavements which have been 
found in some of the Roman towns and villas in this island, 
such, for example, as those at Cirencester and Woodchester. 


As the workmen dug below the level of the pavement, Mr. 
Maw had an opportunity of examining the construction of the 
foundation on which it was laid, and I prefer giving the 
description of it, as well as that of the pavement, in his own 
words. " The foundations on which tessellated pavements 
were laid," he remarks in the paper just quoted, " were of two 
distinct kinds, — one formed in connection with the hypocausts, 
when it consisted of a thick and uniform layer of coarse con- 
crete resting on the large tiles which formed the tops of the 
flue-pUlars ; — the other formed for the pavements of apart- 
ments such as those now under consideration, where they rested 
on the solid ground without the intervening subterranean 
air-flues, termed the ruderatio by Vitruvius. This appears 
to have been an elaborate and rather careful construction, and 
agrees in its formation in nearly aU Roman remains that have 
been described. At Wroxeter, it consisted of four distinct 
layers of materials, forming, in the aggregate, a substratum 
nearly three feet thick. Its principal bulk consisted of a bed, 
two feet thick, of lumps of red sandstone, the surface of which 
was levelled by a layer of a kind of mortar rather soft and fine 
in texture, of about eight inches in thickness. It appears to 
have served merely to fill up the irregular cavities of the stone. 
The bed resting on this, and forming the immediate foundation 
of the mosaic, was a level layer of singular hardness, about 
two inches and a half thick, composed of a mixture of hme 
and coarsely powdered burnt earth, or brick rubbish ;"' and, 
from its uniform thickness and even surface, appears to have 
been very carefully prepared for receiving the tessellse. The 
fourth layer, in which the tesserse were immediately bedded, 
consisted of quite white and very hard cement, which was also 
used for filhng in the joints. This construction appears to 
have been a weU recognised process by the Eoman writers, 

* " Cements of this composition are frequently met witli in Roman buildings, and possess 
extraordinary durability. It was also used at Uriconium as a floor-surface, especially in the 
bypocausts, where it is seen nearly a foot thick, resting on the large slabs forming the tops ol 
the tile pillars." 


and in its entirety is called by Vitmvius, the ruderatio ; the 
constituent strata being termed the statumen, rudus, and 
nucleus, which evidently correspond respectively with the three 
principal layers occurring at Wroxeter. Professor Buckman, 
in his work on the Cirencester remains, also describes the 
foundation of the Eoman pavements there of precisely similar 
construction, excepting only that the lower layer, or statumen, 
consisted of rammed gravel, in lieu of the sandstone used at 
Uriconium. In each case the materials forming the bulk of 
the foundation would be such as could be most easily obtained 
close at hand, and would vary with the locahty. 

" The materials with which the tesserse were composed," 
Mr. Maw goes on to state, " were, first, a light cream-coloured 
limestone, of very compact texture, which was, I think, from 
its apparent identity with that known in Italy as Polombino, 
in the formation of the tessellated mosaics of Eome and the 
mediseval Italian mosaics, imported. This, of course, formed 
the light, or pattern portions, of the pavement. The dark 
parts of the long pavement were composed of two kinds of 
stone ; that used in connection with the cream-coloured tes- 
serse in the panelled patterns is of a dark bluish colour, much 
resembling marble in texture, and, as it was evidently used very 
sparingly, I am inclined to think it was imported from abroad 
with the cream-coloured stone, or, perhaps, was one of the finer 
stones of the lias formation of our own country, brought from 
a distance. The broad dark band forming the outside of the 
pavement, was made of a greenish stone of open texture, which 
I believe occurs at the foot of the Wrekin. It was incapable 
of such fine working as the other material, and probably would 
not wear so well ; so I am inchned to think its employment in 
the pavement at all, was merely on account of economy, to 
save the more costly stone before described. Here and there 
you find a little fragment of it in the body of the patterns, 
which had probably been employed in subsequent repairs, when 


the better stone was not procurable. In addition to these 
three natural stones, we find red terra-cotta introduced in the 
formation of the guilloche border surrounding the panel." 

Mr. Maw adds another remark worthy of our notice. " It is 
rather an interesting fact, that these remains of pavements 
afibrd confirmatory evidence of the supposed destruction of the 
building by fire. Several of the fragments in the Shrewsbury 
Museum are very much discoloured, the light cream-coloured 
tesserae being turned of a greyish hue, a tint that would be 
produced on any yellow stone by a low degree of heat. Nearly 
all the fragments of pavements are more or less discoloured, 
the grey tints graduating ia patches, from its darkest shade to 
the natural colour of the stone, in such a manner as to render 
it certain that they would not be produced by selection in the 
arrangement of the tesserae ; and I think there is little doubt, 
that they are the effect of the burning timbers of the building 
that fell upon the floors on the destruction of the city. Here 
and there, also, wo find corresponding patches of the pavement, 
where the concrete foundation is entirely decomposed, and has 
the character of slacked lime. I am more inclined to think, 
that this was also the result of the partial application of heat, 
than that it was due to mere exposure to the weather, as a 
large portion of the foundation remains in the original state. 
It is worthy of note, that the pavement, of cream-coloured 
tesserae forming the bottom of the bath, which would probably 
have been covered and protected by water at the time of the 
conflagration, shows no symptoms of the grey discolouration 
observed in the pavements, but is singularly clear and uniform 
in colour, when compared with them." 

When we look at the finer examples of these tessellated 
pavements, even in their present condition, worn and battered 
by the agency of time and violence, we cannot but feel 
convinced of the beautiful efi'ect Avhich they produced when 
fresh and perfect. They must have presented somewhat 


the appearance of a floor covered with a fine carpet. The 
labour required to produce them must have been immense, 
yet the Eomans, in the provinces, at least, seem to have enter- 
tertained almost a passion for this sort of ornamentation. We 
have a singular example of this feeling in the Baths of Urico- 
nium, where the floor of what appears to have been a cold- 
water bath (at 20 in our plan) has been formed, at what must 
have been an immense expenditure of labour, of small cream- 
coloured tessellse in one uniform field, without the slightest 
attempt at the introduction of a pattern. The labour, there- 
fore, was entirely thrown away. The tesseUae of this floor 
are made of the same material as the cream-coloured tessellse 
of the pavements of the corridor of the Basilica. 

After the close of the Roman empire, the tessellated pave- 
ments, like the hypocausts, were discontinued in western 
Europe, and probably for the same reason, that they belonged 
to a higher state of cultivation, and that the result was no 
longer looked upon as commensurate with the labour of their 
construction. A very small number of mediaeval tessellated 
pavements is known, and these mostly under circumstances 
which may be considered exceptional. There is a very remark- 
able example in a small early chapel outside Eipion, which had 
formed the pavement of the altar platform, but its proximity 
to Aldborough, the Isurium of the Romans, celebrated among 
modern antiquaries for its tessellated pavements, would lead us 
to suspect that this pavement, or at least the materials, had 
been brought from that site. It is, I think, an example unique 
in our island. In the middle ages, the encaustic tiles took the 
place of the tessellae, but these were used chiefly for public 
buildings, more especially for buildings of an ecclesiastical cha- 
racter, and in houses, of whatever kind, no attempt appears to 
have been made to ornament the floors, until carpets were intro- 
duced. Nevertheless, the mediaeval builders had studied at 
■least the designs of the pavements left by the Romans, and we 



trace in the designs and arrangement of the encaustic tiles 
evident imitations of them. M. de Caumont, in his Abecedaire * 
gives an example of encaustic tUes from the ruins of Saint- 
Sampson-sur-Eille, in France, which are exact copies of the 
geometrical designs of a Eoman tessellated pavement found in 
that district. In the same manner, the accompanying engrav- 

Pavement of Encaustic Tiles, from Beaulieu Abbey. 

ing, representing part of a mediaeval pavement found in the 
abbey of Beaulieu in Hampshire, is almost a copy of the panel 
of the tessellated pavement of the corridor at Wroxeter, a 
portion of which is given in our previous cut. 

At the time when the practice of making tessellated pave- 
ments died away in the western provinces of Eome, it took a 
new development in the east, and it was thence that at a later 
period the art was brought l>ack into the west. It appeared also 
under a new name. In monuments, mostly of a popular cha- 
racter; going as far back at least as the fourth century, we find 
this pictorial work formed by very diminutive dies of different 
substances, indicated by the name of musivum ojms, musive 

* De Caumont, Abccedaii'e on Rudiment d'Archcologie (Arcliitecturc Ecligieuse), p. l^r 
4th edition. 

206 URICONirM. 

work. An inscription given in Muratori,* speaks of a fountain 
which was adorned with such musivum opus ; and ^lius Spar- 
tianus, in his life of Pescennius Niger, speaks of a picture of 
that general in an arched portions at Eome executed in this 
same musive work.t One of the laws of Constantine the Great 
related to artificers in musive work — musivarios artifices. 
Again, a Eoman inscription found near Tunis, given by Spon,J 
and another printed by Gorius,§ speak of chambers ornamented 
with museum opus ; and another of the minor historians of the 
emperors, Trebellius PoUio, mentions a civic crown pictured 
with museum work. || The origin and primitive meaning of this 
word are, I believe, totally unknown, and the people who used 
it were evidently uncertain as to its form. At a date almost 
as early as that of the words musivum and museum,, we find 
another form, musaicum opus, and this, though not much in 
use tni a considerably later period, finally took the place of all 
the others under that of mosaic, which is still in use.^ 

Among the Byzantine Greeks, this tessellated work appears 
to have been no longer used for pavements, but almost exclu- 
sively for ornamenting the walls, in place of the Roman fresco 
painting. This is the position in which we find nearly all the 
musivum opus, in the east. Some of the old antiquaries held 
that it was correct to call a pavement tessellated, and that 
musivum opus, or mosaic, was a term exclusively applicable to 
the tessellated work on the walls. And in the instances of the 
use of the word just given, the picture of Pescennius Niger in 
the porticus, must have been on the wall, and the ornamenta- 

» Fontem hnnc Lysium quern.. .. C. Lycius Poatumus opere musivo exomavit. 

+ Hunc in Commodianis hortis in porticu curra pictum de musivo inter Commodi amicissi- 
mo8 videmus Sacra Isidis ferentem. — Ji:iii Spartiani Pescennii Nigi-i, p. 216. 

J Et hoc amplius pro sua liberalitate cameram supei-posuit et opere museo exomata. 

§ Camera opere museo exomata. 

II Coronam civicam picturatam de museo. TrebelUi Follionis Tetrious Junior, inter Hist. 
August. Scriptores. 

^ From the pavements and walla, the miisivium opus, or mosaic work, woidd soon be carried 
to the ornamentation of objects of various kinds, and we know of its use for this pui-pose at a 
vei7 early period of the middle ages. Such no doubt was the civic crown of Tetricua. But 
the practice of mosaic in western and southern Europe is generally considered to have been 
derived chieflv from the east. 


tion of the chambers and of the fountain of Lysius, were 
probably of the same character. It is a very remarkable 
circumstance that, in two of the rooms we opened in excavating 
the Baths of Uriconium (marked 1 7 and 1 9 in the plan) we 
found that the waUs had been ornamented with this mosaic 
work, identical in every respect in its structure with the mosaic 
of the tessellated pavements of the Basilica. The lower part 
only remained perfect, in consequence of the breaking away of 
the walls, but it presented the design of a guUloche border, 
which no doubt had enclosed a large central pattern, or possibly 
a picture. It has nearly all fallen since it has been exposed to 
the atmosphere, but a piece of it is preserved in the Museum 
in Shrewsbury. This is the only example of such mural orna- 
mentation yet found among Eoman remains in this country, 
and I know of none found in Gaul. It belongs probably to a 
late Eoman period, when this sort of ornamentation had come 
into vogue in the west, where it was probably never very 
popular. It remained, however, in great favour among the 
Byzantine buUders in the east until the eleventh century, after 
which time it was superseded by fresco-painting. 

Another kind of pavement is foimd very generally at Wrox- 
eter. It is formed of small tOes, resembling more in form our 
modem bricks, about six inches long, by three inches wide, and 
an inch and a half thick. These are laid edgeways, and placed 
in zigzag rows, forming what is commonly called herring-bone 
work. They composed thus a handsome and good floor, and a 
dry one ; and they appear to have been used generally in 
small courts, passages, and rooms, which were open to the sky. 
The central part of the Basihca, and that of the Latrinse, the 
court of the supposed Market Place, and some rooms of the 
baths, were paved in this manner, and present excellent exam- 
ples of the herring-bone pavement. 

Hitherto we have had no opportunity of making ourselves 
acquainted with the manner in which the architectural orna- 


mentation of the buildings was distributed over the town of 
Uriconium, but we have good reasons for believing that it was 
employed in abundance. Shafts of columns, capitals, cornices, 
mouldings, and other sculptured stones, have been found in all 
parts where we excavated, but generally more or less bruised 
and broken, and under circumstances which seemed to show 
that they lay on the spot where they were dropped or thrown 
when, at a later period, the building materials were carried 
away for other purposes. Eelics of a similar description, 
which have been accidentally dug up by the farmers' labourers, 
are preserved in the gardens and farm yards in the present 
village and its immediate neighbourhood, especially in those 
of the vicarage and of Mr. Stanier and Mr. W. H. Oatley. 
Many of these monuments are also brought up from time to 
time from the bed of the river, where also they were no doubt 
dropped from the boats or rafts in the course of transporting 
the buildings by water. But in no case, except, perhaps, the 
pillars of what we believed to be the Forum, can we assume 
with any certainty that a sculptured stone of any kind has 
belonged to a building which stood upon or very near the spot 
where the stone was found. Thus, when we first began our 
excavations, at the southern side of the Basilica, the capital 
of a column was found lying on the ground, near the wall 
separating the Basilica from the Baths, and it was at first 
supposed to have belonged to a doorway leading from one of 
these buildings into the other ; but it seems now tolerably 
certain that there was no doorway at all at this spot. At the 
western end of the Basilica were found plinths of stone and 
other indications of a grand entrance which had been remark- 
able for architectural display. Sculptured stones, of different 
Idnds, Avere found in several parts of the Baths. Pieces of 
stone cornices and other architectural fragments lay in the 
middle of a small room near to the buildings of the Baths. 
The shaft of a Inrge column was found in what we call 



the enamel] er's shop : and capitals as well as portions of 
the shafts of columns AA^ere found scattered about what is 
supposed to be the market-place. 

Two parts of capitals, found in the quadrangular court, or 
market-place, and now preserved in the Museum at Shrewsbury, 
which perhaps belonged to the fagade of a temple, and of the 
more perfect of which an engraving has already been, given in 
the present volume,''"'' approach near to classical elegance. But 
in general the style of the Uriconian sculptures is veiy de- 
based, and evidently of a rather late date approaching to 
mediaeval. It all displays the tendency to profuse ornamental 
detail and to that love of quaint forms, which is so peculiar 
to mediacA^al, and especially to Byzantine architectrue. Two 
capitals, formed of grey conglomerate, procured by Mr. Oatley 
of Wroxeter, from the bed of the river, were presented by him, 
I beheve when churchwarden, to be placed on the two columns 
of the new entrance gateway to the modern churchyard, where 
they still stand, though becoming more and more defaced by 
the weather. They are represented in the accompanying cut. 


Capitals of Columns from Wroxeter. 

It will be seen that these capitals present the same character 
of design, and, although the design itself is veiy much varied 

* Sec before, p. 157. 


in detail, there can hardly be a doubt that they belonged 
originally to the same colonnade, or, at least, to the same system 
of columns. They are each about sixteen inches in height. 
Another capital, identical in style with the preceding, but 
presenting further varieties in detail, is represented in the first 
figure of om* plate of Eoman capitals found at Wroxeter. Like 
the others it is sixteen inches in height, and about twenty 
inches in diameter across the top. It was also, as well as the 
two other capitals given in the same plate, dredged from 
the river, and preserved by Mr. Oatley. One of these (fig. 2) 
measures twenty inches by twelve, and the other (fig. 3) nine- 
teen inches by sixteen. A number of other capitals of columns 
may be seen in the garden of the late Mr. Stanier ; and others 
may be seen in the Shrewsbury Museum. A plain capital of 
a very large Eoman column, which has been hollowed out into 
a mediaeval font, may be seen in the church. 

Among the Roman remains in Mr. Oatley 's garden, are two 
fragments of columns which he preserved from being used in 
building a wall, and which are represented in our plate of 
Eoman columns found at Wroxeter. They are both made of 
grey sandstone, but not, as usual with the shafts of columns, 
smooth or fluted. The first, which is thirty-one inches in length 
and thirteen in diameter, is ornamented, in the upper part, 
with scales, and beneath, with crossed bands or trellis work. 
Upon it is sculptured a figure which appears to be intended 
for that of Atys, with the hraccce, or trowsers, thrown open 
in front, as he is commonly represented carrying them. 
In the animal by his side, we may probably recognize a 
shepherd's dog.* The lower part only of this figure remains. 
The other column, which is thirty-four inches long by twelve 
in diameter, is entirely covered with the scale ornament, and, 

• My frientl, Mr. Roach Smith, is of opinion tliat the figure may possibly liaye heen intended 
to represent " a Bacchus, and that the animal on tlie right hand may have" heen intended for a 
iwnther, the head of which seems directed to some object, pi-ohahly a wine-cup, or hunch of 
Ri-apo9." See his Collectanea Antiqua, vol. iii. p. 31. If Mr. Smith he correct, the sculptor 
was certainly not a very skilful delineator of animal life. 


on the lower part, the sculptor has represented a cupid, kneel- 
ing upon a pannier and holding bunches of grapes. They 
appear to be two columns from the same colonnade. This 
style of ornamenting the shafts of columns is very unusual 
among the Eoman remains in Britain ; but, as Mr. Eoach 
Smith remarks, examples are not uncommon in some of the 
temples in Italy, and the scale or leaf ornament is common, 
especially in the south. I believe there are fragments of 
columns of somewhat sunilar character in Mr. Stanier's garden. 
The Eomans appear rarely to have had upper floors in their 
houses, but all the rooms were situated on Avhat we should 
caU the ground floor. In the present condition of the remains, 
it would, of course, be difficult to say what was the original 
elevation of the buildino-, or whether there had been rooms 
above, or not ; but an upper-floor requires a stair-case, or 
something of that kind, and in all our exploration of Eoman 
houses in Britain, whether in viUas or in towns or stations, I 
believe that no one has yet found the slightest traces either of 
a stair-case or of anything which could be suj)posed to be a 
place for a stair. The principal rooms were probably lofty. 

The roofs appear to have been generally ridged, whether 
high or low we have no means of judging, at least as far as 
regards the Eoman buddings in our own island. In Italy 
the roofs were covered with tiles (tegulcej, which are said by 
Phny to have been first introduced about the time of king 
Pyrrhus, that is, in the first half of the third century before 
Christ. The roof-tiles were square, with two parallel edges 

flanged. They were laid in rows, from 
the bottom of the roof to the lidge, 
-ttdth the flanged edges upwards and 
joining, so as to form parallel lines, 
which lines of flanges were covered 
with other tiles made in the form of 

Eoof-tiles and imbrices. J^^^^f ^^^^^_ ^^^^J ^.j^^gj tCChnicallv 


imbrices. When Plautus would describe the effects of the 
storm on the roofs of the houses, he says that it broke both 

the tegulce and the imbrices. 

■ — Tempestas venit, 
Confregit tegulas imbrioesque. 

Plautus, — Mostellaria, act i. sc. 2. 

This arrangement of the roof-tiles will be best understood by 
the accompanying cut. 

These roof-tiles, which were used also for other purposes, as 
for forming the beds of drains, and even sometimes in the 
place of wall-tiles, are found scattered about at Wroxeter, but 
not in very great numbers. They are abundant among the re- 
mains of Eoman buildings in the midland, eastern, and southern 
counties, where they were certainly the favourite materials fo-r 
the Eoman roofs. But in the rocky districts of the west and 
north, especially where the rocks were of a slaty chara.cter, or 
split easily into lamiuEe, the roof was more commonly made of 
thin slaljs of stone. The slab was made in the form of an 
elongated hexagon, as represented at b in the annexed cut, with 

a hole at the upper angle 
r"°~l » '^J^^jXj^.'CJ^Xj,/^ for a nail or peg, by 
'"^ J\J<''''^Jr\y\ a€ which it was fixed to the 

wood-work. They were 
placed overwrapping one 
another, so as to form 
a pattern oi lozenges, as 
represented in the cut. Half-hexagons, as represented at a 
were made to place at the top, so that they should finish in 
a straight line, and a row of ridge-tiles was probably carried 
along the line. From the great quantity of these slabs which 
are found scattered about among the ruins of Uriconium, and 
many of which still retain the nail in the hole, it is evident 
that this was the sort of roofing most in use in the Eoman city. 
They are formed of the micaceous laminated sandstone which 
is found on the edge of the Shropshire and North Staffordshire 

DMOONiUM. 213 

coal-fields, and the particles of mica are so thickly scattered in 
it, that the roofs of Uriconium, when seen in the sunshine, must 
have sparkled and glittered in a most extraordinary manner. 

When exploring the remains of Eoman houses and other 
buildings in Britain, we are often surprised at the small num- 
ber of doors with which we meet. Often indeed we find a 
room without any apparent entrance. Perhaps this is to be 
explained by supposing that the sill of the door was jalaced 
sometimes higher above the floor than the present elevation of 
the ruin of the waU. The Eomans appear nearly always in 
this country to have placed the siUs of the doors at some height 
above the level of the floor, perhaps with a view to securing 
internal dryness and warmth. They would no doubt be 
approached on either side by a step, or steps, most likely of 
wood, or some other perishable material. We have met with 
several instances at Wroxeter where the door-sill, raised to a 
certain height in the wall, was approached by a step of stone. 
Probably the doors of the houses were not much decorated, 
and in our excavations we have not yet found a single frag- 
ment of ornament which can have belonged to them. The 
door to the hypocausts in the Baths had a circular head very 
nicely turned with tHes, but these have in great part perished 
since exposure to the atmosphere. 

We know less of the character of the windows of the 
Eomano-British houses than of the doors, and there can be no 
hope of finding any of the walls of Wroxeter remaining to a 
sufiicient elevation to throw any light on this part of the sub- 
ject. But of this we are certain, that the Eoman windows 
were glazed, for several pieces of undoubted window-glass have 
been found in the course of the excavations, and examples 
will be found in the Museum at Shrewsbury. Window-glass 
had already been met with in exploring the sites of Eoman 
settlements in this island. In the excavations at Lympne in 
Kent, the site of the Eoman Porius Lemanis, carried on under 

214 tJRICONirM. 

the direction of my friend, Mr. Eoach Smith, I myself picked 
up, on the iioor at the foot of a wall in the interior of a large 
room, a number of fragments of window-glass, which had 
evidently fallen from the windows in the wall when they were 
broken. In this instance the glass was thin, much like the 
ordinary glass of the windows of our old houses. I believe 
that glass of a similar description has been found in one or 
two of the Eoman villas in our island. At Wroxeter, the 
glass hitherto found is of fine qiiality and rather more than 
the eighth of an inch in thickness, resembling our modem plate 
glass, except that it is less transparent. In fact it appears to 
have been intended for admitting light, rather than for seeing 
through, presenting almost the appearance of ground glass. 
This glass was found chiefly on the site of the public Baths. 
It is a curious circumstance that similar glass was met with 
in the Baths of Pompeii. In the vaulted roof of the Apodyte- 
rium of these Baths a window was found, two feet eight inches 
high and three feet eight inches wide, closed by a single large 
pane of cast-glass, two-fifths of an inch thick, fixed into the 
wall, and ground on one side, it is supposed for the pui'pose 
of preventing persons on the roof from looking into the bath. 
Many fragments of this glass are stated to have been found 
among the rums of the Baths of Pompeii. 

Our excavations have not yet been carried far enough to 
throw any light upon the character of the drainage of the 
domestic buildings in Uriconium, but we know that the Eomans 
always gave great attention to the sanitary condition of their 
towns. The drains, or cloacce, of Rome were celebrated for their 
great dimensions and for their extreme antiquity, and, there- 
fore, durable character. The principal sewers in the city of 
Rome are stated to have been built by Tarquin the Elder, who 
died in the year 578 before Christ, and to have been so 
wide and lofty that a wagon laden with hay could pass along 
them. We have hardly any knowledge of the system of 



tlrainag-e of Roman London, partly from the circumstance 
that excavations in London have always been accidental, and 
never carried on with an antiquarian object, and still more 
because the Roman sewers probably lie at a greater depth than 
the excavators usually reach. The accompanying cut represents 
the section of what appears to be a sewer) and is certainly of 

the Roman period, which was 
discovered somewhat more 
than twenty years ago at 
a considerable depth under 
Little Knight Rider Street, 
in the city of London. It 
passed through a wall of 
Kentish rag ; and the arch 
was formed of tiles about 

Roman Sewer in London. twclvC iuchcS Ions'. The 

dimensions of this sewer were about three feet by two.* Another 
apparent sewer, also arched, and three feet wide by three feet 
and a half high, was found about the same time under Old 
Fish Street Hill.t Sewers have been met with in excavations 
among the stations on the line of the Roman waU. But the 
most interesting examples of Roman sewers yet discovered are 
those at Lincoln, the Roman Lindum, which are still in good 
preservation, and present not only the main cloacce, but the 
transverse drains running from the houses into them. They 
are built of excellent masonry, but, instead of being arched, 
are covered with large flags of stone. The cut on the next page 
represents one of these sewers in its present condition, with the 
mouths of two of the transverse drains. Mr. C. Roach Smith 
walked up it without diflficulty more than a hundred yards. 

The finest sewer yet discovered at Wroxeter is that in the 
Baths, already mentioned.^ It crossed a square pit, resembl- 

* This relic of Roman London is described in the Journal of the British Archspologicil 
Association, vol. i. p. 25.3, from which our cut is borrowed. 

f See the same volume of the ArclifEological Association, p. 45. 

J See pp. 119 and 130 in the present volume. 


ing a cess-pool, and ran directly north towards the Old Wall, 
through which probably it passed, and no doubt in one direction 
or the other, it emptied itself into a main sewer, running 

A Roman Main Sewer at Lincoln. 

down perhaps to the river. It is hardly probable that the 
Bell Brook, running through the middle of the town, and slow 
enough in its course, would have been used by the Eomans as 
an open sewer, as some have supposed, who imagine that these 
drains in the higher ground emptied themselves into it. The 
masonry of this drain, and of all the buildings adjacent, is 
extremely good, with a profusion of the large Roman tiles. 
These form the sides of the drain, which was opened only to 
a very inconsiderable distance towards the north. It is 
covered by a large block of stone, belonging to a course of 
similar stones which run horizontally along the Avail. The 
floor of the drain is formed of a course of roof-tiles, the flanged 
edges turned upwards. When first uncovered, the square pit 
and drain were in a remarkably good state of preservation, 
and are accurately represented in the cut on the next page, 
but they have since sufli"ered by exposure to the air. 

We can hardly doubt that there must have been a drain 
from the latrinse, though its outlet has not yet been traced ; 



but a still more curious monument of tlie care of the Eomans 
in this island for the good drainage of their towns has been 
discovered at the south-western corner of the excavations. 
Here no doubt is the southern extremity of the ancient Forum, 
which was entered at this point by a rather wide street from 
the east. The line of houses forming the southern side of this 


Drain in the Baths at Wroxeter. 

Street^ is carried westward considerably beyond the line of the 
eastern side of the Forum, and then turns at right angles and 
formed the side of a street running to the south, and coinciding 
with the present Watling Street Eoad. At a very small dist- 
ance from the wall of the houses, running along the side of 
this street, we found, in a perfect condition, an open drain, 
which may properly be described as a gutter. It is well 
formed, of good squared stoneS;, and is about two feet wide by 

218 tTfelCONlUM. 

fifteen inches deep ; but its most remarkable feature is, that, 
at short intervals, square stones are placed, diagonally towards 
the sides of the gutter, and filling it so as hardly to leave any 
passage for the water, which must, therefore, have filled the 
channel and flowed over. The stones have evidently been 
placed in their position by design, but what their object may 
have been, except for stepping stones, it is difficult to conjec- 
ture, and for this purpose they were unnecessary, and would 
not be of much use. At all events we have here a unique 
example of a Eoman street, with a gutter at the side much 
like that of our old mediaeval towns. It would seem to show 
also that the streets of our Eoman towns had no paved way 
at the side for foot passengers. 

The Eomans used pipes for conveying water under ground, 
or at least concealed from view, usually made of lead, and to 
which they gave the name fistula. Directions for the con- 
struction and use of these fistulce are given by Vitruvius.* 
They were made of plates of lead, bent round into the form of 
a tube, not perfectly cylindrical, but having a sort of ridge at 
the juncture of the edges. Fragments of leaden tubes, answer- 
ing exactly to this description, were found to the north-east of 
the Baths and Basilica, in the direction towards rather higher 
ground in which springs are said to be plentiful, so that they 
had probably been laid there for the purpose of carrying 
water to the Baths. They are preserved in the Museum at 
Shrewsbury. Similar pipes had been met with in the excava- 
tions made in 1788 on another part of the site of Uriconium, 
described in an earlier part of the present volume.t 

Water is easily obtained by sinking a shaft in almost any 
part of the site of the ancient city, and at various times 
Eoman wells have been found in several diff"erent places, pro- 
bably belonging, in most cases, to private houses. One is 
understood to have been met with towards the south-eastern 

* De Architectnra, lib. viii., c. 7. 
+ See page 104. 

umcoNiuM. 219 

extremity of the extensive field which includes the present 
excavations. We came upon a very perfect and interesting 
well at the upper part of the field in ^^lich the skeletons with 
deformed heads were found, to the westward of the church. 
It consisted of a circular shaft, two feet and a half in diameter, 
and about fourteen feet deep. The wall was built of small 
tdes. Above was a small square platform, measuring six feet 
by six feet seven inches, and formed of four irregularly shaped 
flag-stones, about four inches thick. In the middle there is a 
circular opening over the well, over-passing the brick-work 
below by about an inch and a half all round. The appearance 
of this platform when uncovered is represented in the accom- 
panying cut. No doubt there was originally some structure 

Mouth of a Roman Well at Wroieter. 

above this platform, with, perhaps, rude machinery for raising 
water out of the well ; but this was probably made of wood, 
and has perished long ago. When uncovered and cleared out, 
the water immediately appeared in this well as of old, and it 
.has been since used as a well. But it was found to eutad 
some inconveniences on the farmer, which have caused it to be 
again covered up. 




Much of the domestic furniture of a house in Uriconium 
would no doubt be made of wood, or of other perishable 
materials, and that portion which was made of metal Avould 
probably be considered either useful or valuable by the rude 
invaders who destroyed the town, and would be carried away 
among the plunder, so that we can hardly expect to find any 
relics of it, as in to^vns like Pompeii and Herculaneum, which 
were destroyed by natural causes, and not exposed to pillage. 
The site of our excavations, too, has not yet introduced us to 
the private houses of the inhabitants of Uriconium. It is not 
therefore to be wondered at if we have as yet found little tend- 
ing to illustrate the way in which the Romans lived indoors, 
to show us what was the character of their tables and seats, 
in what form and posture they took their meals, how and on 
what they reposed, and to answer a number of similar ques- 
tions ; l3ut every object we have met -ndth is so purely Roman 
in its character, that we are justified in assuming that this 
was the case also with what is lost, and that the Romans in a 
town like Uriconium lived just as Romans did in other parts 
of the empire, and even in Rome itself We are not, however, 
quite Avithout monuments of the domestic life of the Urico- 


nians, for a considerable number of relics have been found 
during the course of the excavations which tend to throw at 
least a partial light on this subject. First of these, and in 
many respects the most important, is the pottery, which is 
found too generally broken, but in such large quantities, that we 
cannot doubt of its having been used in great profusion by the 
Eoman householders. From the purposes for which a very large 
proportion of the pottery was evidently intended, and from its 
very elegant and ornamental character, we cannot doubt that 
the table was covered witL it at every meal. 

As we collect the potteiy from the excavations on Eoman 
sites in Britain, we quickly perceive that, as in modern times, 
the earthenware used in Eoman Britain had issued from a 
number of different manufactories, which differed very widely 
in the character of the ware they produced, and a certain 
number of the most remarkable of these estabhshments are 
already well identified with the pottery which they sent forth 
into the market. The extent to which the trade in pottery 
was carried is proved by the circu.mstance that we hardly ever 
excavate on a Eoman site in Britain, no matter how remote, 
where Eoman pottery is found, but we find samples of almost 
every description of Eoman ware which we know to have been 
in use. It will be well to give a review of the more remark- 
able of those which have been found in the ruins of our ancient 
border city. 

The pottery which was evidently most valued in Eoman 
Britain, and no less so in Gaul and the other provinces of the 
west, was a bright red ware, presenting in colour and texture 
a close resemblance to red sealing Avax. The vessels made of 
this ware are evidently of a superior class, in shape very 
elegant and extremely varied, and a great proportion of them, 
at least, seem intended for holding the difi'erent articles, solid 
or liquid, which were served at table. Many of these vessels 
are quite plain ; but a very great number are ornamented 


with figures in relief, presenting a great variety of subjects, 
and often executed in a very good style of art. Antiquaries 
seem generally agreed in calling this pottery Samian ware, 
and the reasons for adopting this name appear tolerably con- 
clusive. The isle of Samor was certainly so celebrated in the 
days of ancient Greece for the manufacture of pottery, that 
there was a legend that this manufacture was invented there. 
We learn from ancient writers that there was, among the 
Eomans in Italy, a class of earthenware, much valued and in 
general use, to which they applied the name of Samian. The 
expressions used by these writers in speaking of it, enable us 
to recoenise several of its characteristics. AVe learn that the 
Samian ware of the Romans was red. Pliny infoi'ms us that 
the Samian ware was in great favour for the service of the 
table, and he adds immediately afterwards an allusion to the 
potteries at Arctium, in Italy, which would almost lead us to 
suppose that this Samian ware was made there.'"" The Eoman 
Samian Avare was brittle, and easily broken. One of the per- 
sonages in the Mensechmi of Plautus begs another to knock 
gently at the door ; he replies, " I fancy you are afraid that 
the doors are made of Samian ware !" 

M. Placide pulta. P.Metuis, credo, ne foros Samias sient. 

Plavti Menahmi, act i., sc. 2. 

And again, in another comedy of the same writer, one of 
the characters speaking of a woman who Avas a native of 
Samos, his companion, punning on the name, says, " Pray, 
take heed that no one handle her without care, for thou 
knowest that a Samian vessel is quickly broken." 

Vide quaaso, ne quis tractet illani indiligens, 
Scis tu, ut oonfringi vas cito Samium solet. 

Plauti Balchides, act ii., sc. 5. 

This description applies perfectly to the red ware found in 
Britain to which we give the name of Samian, wliich is 

» Major quoque pars hominum terrenis utitar vasis. Samia etiamnum in esculcntis 
laudantur. Retinet hanc nobilitatem et Arctium in Italia. Plinii Hist, Nat,, lib, xxxv, c, 46,. 

ITfiioONlUM. 223 

undoubtedly brittle and easily broken, and which appears to 
have been considered of so much worth, that, when broken 
in ancient times, it was mended, which was done usually by 
means of rivets and clasps of metal, lead or bronze, but most 
frequently the forjner. Pieces of Samian vessels thus mended 
are frequently met with, and some examples have been found 
at Wroxeter. 

We have, however, some other means of identifying this 
pottery, which are curious, and rather accidental. A¥e have 
seen that Pliny speaks of Aretium, in Etruria, as the great 
manufactiire of pottery in Italy. Isodore, who wrote at the 
beginning of the seventh century, was well acquainted with 
the fame of the Aretine vessels, which, he says, were of a 
red colour.'" The ancient Aretium is represented by the 
modern Itahan town of Arezzo, and there in recent times 
the remains of the ancient potteries have been discovered, and 
plenty of the pottery which was made in them. An account 
of this pottery was given by an antiquary of the locahty, A. 
Fabroni, in an octavo volume, entitled Storia degli antichi 
Vasi fittili Aretini, published there in 1841, illustrated mth 
coloured engra^dng-s of specimens of the ware. These present 
a general resemblance to our Samian ware, but Avith differ- 
ences quite sufficient to show that they are not identical, 
whilst other points of less perfect resemblance, would lead us 
to suppose that the red ware we fiud so abundantly in Britain 
and Gaiil was originally an imitation of that of Aretium. The 
Aretine Avare is of a deeper shade of red ; it is ornamented 
similarly with figures in relief, but they are in a much supe- 
rior style of art ; and there is another point in which they 
differ altogether. The vessel of what we call Samian ware is 
almost always stamped with the name of the maker in a label. 

* Aretina vasa ex Aretio Italia? mttnicipio dicuntur, sunt enim rabra, de quibus Sedulius, 
Eubra quod appositum testa mijiistrat ulus. 
Isidori Orig., lib. xx., cap. 4. Sednlios was a Christian poet of the fifth century, so that 
the ware of Aretium must have been in common use at that time, unless the title of Aretine 
had been extended to all ware of this description, bo as to include our Samian ware. 


Examples of these stamps are given in our cut, taken, in this 
instance, from Samian ware found in excavations in London. 

l^^ cmB^Jl'^iTl (i\^lk)ETll°M l (MSEV 


Potters marks on the Samian ware. 

The name is usually stamped across the bottom in the inside, 
but, in some cases of the embossed vessels, it is found stamped 
on the outside. The formula of the inscription differs. Some- 
times the name is put in the nominative case, and followed 
by F or FB, for fecit, made ; in other cases, perhaps the most 
common, the name is given in tJie genitive case, and is accom- 
panied by or of, for officina, from the workshop, or M or MA, 
for manu, by the hand, either before or after the name. Thus, 
in the examples given in our cut, the name on the circular 
label is sabinvs.fe, Sabinus fecit, or Sabiuus made it. Of 
the others, one reads OF sevepj, officina Severi, from the 
workshop of Sevei-us ; another of.l.cos. viril, officina L 
Cosii Virilli, from the workshop of Lucius Cosius Virillus ; 
a third, mepeti.m, Mepeti manu,, by the hand of Mepetus. 
Sometimes the name is put alone in the genitive case, as here we 
have on one, wliich like the last, has ligulated letters, (or combi- 
nations of two or more letters in one), paternvli, ioi Paternuli, 
i.e., the work of Paternulus, and ivl.nvmidi, Julii Numidii, the 
work of Julius Numidius. The stamps on the Aretine ware 
give totally different names of potters from those found on our 
Samian ware, and they are placed in a different position. A 
few years ago, a friend, the late Mr. W. Burckhardt Barker, 
(son of the Avell known John Barker, of Suwaidiyah, near 
Antioch), gave me some fragments of pottery which had 
been found among remains of the Grteco-Roman period, in 
excavations at Tarsoos, the ancient Tarsus, which bore a close 


resemblance to our Samian ware. I afterwards transferred 
them to the collection of my friend, Mr. Mayer, of Liverpool, 
and I believe they are now in the well-known Mayer Museum. 
This ware, also, was rather of a darker red than our Samian. 
The pieces alluded to were plain, but the potter's name, which 
was in Greek characters, was stamped much in the same 
manner. Perhaps we may regard these different sorts of 
pottery, the specimens from Tarsus, the Aretine, and the red 
ware of our western provinces, as all belonging to one 
description of earthenware, the manufacture of which, as the 
fine pottery for the table, had spread westward, and Mr. 
Barker's specimens may represent the original manufacture of 
the isle of Samos. All these facts well considered, we feel 
justified in continuing to call our red ware of this description 

The potters' marks on our Samian ware have a historical 
value. The variety is very great. I have given, in " The Celt, 
the Eoman, and the Saxon," a Hst of some hundreds of different 
names of potters, and almost every new discovery of Samian 
pottery of any extent, adds some new name or names to the 
number. The potteries, therefore, wherever they stood, must 
have been of very considerable extent, and if they had existed 
within our island, traces of them must have been met with. 
Yet among all the discoveries and all the explorations made in 
Britain, nobody has yet found a trace of a pottery for the 
manufacture of Samian ware. But, on the other hand, pot- 
teries of Samian ware have certainly been found in France, 
chiefly in the neighbourhood of the Ehine, along with some of 
the tools used in the making ; and here again the names of 
the potters come to our aid. There can be no doubt that a 
considerable number of these names are Gaulish, and those 
stamped on the specimens found in our island are generally 
identical with those found in France. We seem, therefore, 
justified in considering that the potteries in which what we 

226 URICONroM. 

call Samian ware was made, were situated in Gaul, chiefly on 
the banks of the Rhine, and that it was imported into Britain. 
The forms and sizes of the various examples of this Samian 
ware usually found point all to their use for the table. Many 
them are of small dimensions, and were evidently employed as 
cups, and perhaps to hold sauces and condiments of various 
kinds. Our cut represents three of the commoner forms of these 

Forms of plain Samian Ware. 

small vessels, especially the two outer, which are of very fre- 
quent occurrence. The form of the vessel in the centre is less 
frequently met Avith. This latter is two inches high by four 
and a half in diameter ; the cup to the left is two inches in 
height by five in diameter ; while that to the right is two 
inches by four. The smaller vessels are usually plain, but 
they are always elegant in form. Some of them, however, are 
ornamented with wreaths or borders of ivy-leaves, which form 
the simplest article of ornamentation Ave find upon them. The 
ivy, we know, was dedicated to Bacchus ; and in their great 
carouses the Romans were accustomed to wear wreaths of ivy on 
their heads. This circumstance, therefore, points further to the 
uses for which this ware was employed. The larger bowls and 
other vessels of this ware are profusely ornamented with figures, 
as before stated, in relief. One of the chief characteristics of 
these ornamented vessels is the prevalence of the festoon and 
tassel, or, as some have called it less appropriately, egg and 
tongue border, which so generally surrounds them, and which 
presents some slight variations in its form. I give four of 
these varieties, from Samian vessels found in London, in the 
cut on the left. Others Avill be met AAdth in the samples 



of this ware given in the following pages. It is a remark- 
able fact in confirmation of wliat has been said in comparing 
our Samian ware with the Aretine pottery, that in this 
latter also the festoon and tassel border prevails as the favourite 
ornament, with its own varieties, though varying more widely 
from the same ornament on the Samian ware. Three ex- 
amples of the border as it appears on the Aretine ware are 
given in our cut on the right, from engravings in Fabroni's 
book, and it will be seen at once that they are substantially 
the same as those given in the cut on the left. The designs 


© © © © © 

The festoon and tassel border from 
Samian Ware. 

© o © o © o o 

The festoon and tassel border from 
Aretine Ware. 

with which the exterior surface of this ornamental pottery is 
usually covered are extremely miscellaneous, and are formed 
of figures of men and women, of animals, birds, and fishes, and 
of other objects. Some of these present clearly defined sub- 
jects, taken from classic poetry and romance ; or hunting 
scenes, combats of gladiators, scenes of domestic life, &c. 
Others are far more comphcated, presenting to the eye often a 
very inexplicable picture, in which figures of all descriptions 
are thrown together in the utmost confusion Avithout any 
relation to each other. I shall endeavour to explain this cir- 
cumstance a little further on. 



Many specimens of Samian ware of all kinds have been 
found at Wroxeter, and a certain number, ornamented, as 
well as plain, are preserved in the Museum. I give, selected 
from these, three examples of the ornaments of the Uriconium 
Samian ware. The smallest of these is evidently intended to 

Samian and imitation-Samian ware from Wroxeter. 

represent a boar-hunt, and Avill serve as a good specimen of 
the bold style in which the figures are usually executed. The 
upper fragment represents a sea-monster, semi-human, combat- 
ing with a club a number of other sea-monsters of different 
shapes. To the right is the figure of a man, in an attitude not 
quite intelligible, but holding what may be a sceptre or rod, 
with which he is perhaps exerting authority ; it has been 
suggested that this figure is intended to represent Neptune. 
To the left is a figure of a more jocular character, represent- 
ing a hare standing on its hind-legs, and playing on the double 



pipes. This, of course, can have nothing whatever to do with 
the rest of the picture, and can only have been introduced to 
fill up a blank space. It may be remarked that, in the original, 
the sea-monster in the centre is clearly represented as andro- 
gynous. The subject of the third fragment is quite as unintel- 
ligible. The scene appears, from the branches of trees, to be 
intended for a forest, filled Avith wild animals, running about in 
all directions, but without any particular object in view. The 
centre is occupied by the nude figure of a female, with her 
hands apparently tied behind her, — in fact, we can hardly 
doubt that this figure was intended for the classic Andromeda, 
who is as much misplaced in this example as the musical hare 
in the former ] for we know that Andromeda was bound to a 
rock on the shore, and exposed to a monster of the sea, and 
not to the beasts of the forest. Perhaps it will be well if, to 
illustrate the character of the forms and ornamentation of the 
specimens of Samian ware abeady deposited in the IMuseum at 
Shrewsbury, and of those which are constantly added to it, we 
enter a little further into the description of the designs which 
are usually found on this class of pottery, and describe the 
mode in which it was manufactured. 

The next cut represents a perfect bowl, five inches liigh by 
nine inches in diameter, found some years ago in Bermondsey. 

BoTvl of Samian Waro. 

Nearly half of a bowl of the same type will be found in the 
Museum at Shrewsbury. It is chiefly remarkable for the rich- 



ness of the ornamentation, and as illustrating the love of these 
Eonian artists for figures of wild animals. The next cut 
represents a vessel found in London, of not very large dimen- 
sions, and of a totally different form, but stdl more elaborately 
ornamented. It is five inches high by six in diameter. The 
figures represented in the different compartments of its outer 
surface belong to a class which is very common on this ware, 
and was evidently a great favourite with the people who used 
it, subjects taken from classic fable. The figure to the left, a 
female modestly dressed and armed with bow and arrows, was 


perhaps intended for Diana, or for one of Diana's nymphs. To 
the left we see one of the heroes slaying with a club a serpent 
or dragon ; perhaps it may be intended to represent one of the 
exploits of Hercules. The central figure can only be described 
as a hero, naked, in the act of combating. — Mr. Roach Smith 
considers it, and probably with reason, to represent a per- 
former in the Pyrrhic dance ; but perhaps we may find it 
in some other pottery design combined with figures which 
would enable us to define more exactly its meaning. It will 
be observed that the figure of the nymph is rather too large 
for the place she occupies, and that the head intrudes upon the 
bead border and to some degree upon that of the festoons and 

Among the Samian ware found at Wroxeter, there are 
many fragments ornamented with a class of subjects which 


I believe belongs to a rather late date. I give as an example 
a piece found at Colcliester, the Eoman colonia known 
by the name of Camulodunum ; it will be seen that serpents 

Samian Ware found at Wroxeter 

and serpentine forms are its prevailing ornaments. It is 
rather a curious circumstance that these forms are found in 
the Aretine ware of Italy, and Mr. Eoach Smith was led, 
by the examination of the fragments found at Colchester, to 
beheve that this design was a direct imitation. It will be 
seen that there is here an unmistakeable peculiarity in the 
border ornaments, the festoon and tassel, &c., which distin- 
guishes it from most of the Samian ware found in Britain ; 
and it is iateresting to find even this rarer variety of the 
Samian pottery in use so far ia the distant west as the city of 

I return to the Samian ware of I beheve an earlier, and 
evidently a purer style. Our next cut represents a fragment 
of this ware found in the excavations on the site of the 
New Corn Exchange in London, and presents as usual rather 
a confusion of subjects. The figure to the right no doubt 
represents Fortune, holding the rudder and cornucopia, her 
characteristics. The other figures are not so easily explained, 
but the bird cannot be misinterpreted, for it represents un- 



mistakeably a fighting cock. Cock fighting, introduced into 
Britain by the Eomans, seems to have become a perfect passion 

Samiim Ware, with a Fighting Cock. 

among the Eoman colonists. Among the animal bones found 
in profusion at Wroxeter, have been found many ] egs of the 
fighting cock, with very large natural spurs, which leave no 
doubt that this cruel amusement prevailed to a very great 
extent in ancient Uriconium. The love of the Eomans for 
sanguinary exhibitions is well known, and it seems to have 
gained force in the distant colonies for want of other occupa- 
tion. Every town in Eoman Britain was provided with its 
amphitheatre, generally of considerable extent. The games of 
the amphitheatre, and especially gladiatorial combats, are 
favourite subjects on the Samian ware, and appear to have 
been in great esteem in Britain, for they are found among the 
fragments of that description of pottery on most of the Eoman 
sites which have been hitherto explored. Sometimes two or 
three figures of gladiators are introduced among others with 
which they have no direct relationship. The handsome bowl 
represented in our next cut was found at Bermondsey, near 



London, and is, as usual, decorated with rather miscellaneous 
subjects. On the side shown in the cut, we have, first, a scene 

Samian Vase from Bermondsey. 

from a stag-hunt, and next, towards the left, a scene in which 
the retiariv^, who was armed with a trident and net, mth 
the latter of which he entrapped his antagonist, and then killed 
him with the former, is represented in face of two gladiators 
of the class termed Samnis, or Samnite, because they were 
said to be armed in the fashion of the ancient Samnites. Our 
next cut represents a fragment of a handsome bowl, found also 
in London, but a bowl of the same pattern, nearly complete. 

Samian Ware with figures of Gladiators. 

found at Wroxeter, may be seen in the Museum at Shrews- 
bury. Some of the groups are placed over garlands not unlike 



those in the fragment given on page 231. The figures repre- 
sent a Samnite apparently flying from his antagonist, who is 
armed with a sword and circular shield, and probably belongs 
to the class of gladiators who were termed Thracians. Another 
Samnite is seen to the left. Such figures of gladiators are 
among the most common ornaments of the Samian pottery, 
and in general they resemble very closely in all their details 
the pictures of the same class which occurs on the Eoman monu- 
ments found in Italy. All the following groups have been 
found on fragments of Samian ware found at Wroxeter, and 
most of them are to be seen in the Museum. In the lower cut 
on the left we see the retiarius, armed only with the trident, 
engaged with a Samnite, who covers himself with a shield 
peculiar to his class, wlnle he is fighting with liis sword. 
Above is a Samnite engaged Avith a Thracian, the latter dis- 
tinguished by his circular shield. The lowered shield and 
sword of the Samnite shows that his antagonist has gained the 

Gladiators from Samian Ware. 

victory. In the upper cut on the right the two combatants are 
;armed similarly, except that one is apparently without greaves. 


The latter is evidently vanquished, and he is imploring mercy of 
the spectators, for it was on their decision it depended whether 
his conqueror should slay him or not. The other couple are 
also both armed with curved swords, but they differ consider- 
ably in their dress. Both have greaves ; the figure to the 
right has the shield, and perhaps the helmet, of a Samnite, but 
the helmet and shield of his antagonist present an entirely 
different character. Combats of wHd beasts, and of men with 
beasts, and especially with bulls, were among the favourite 
games of the amphitheatre, and are often found on the Samian 
ware. An example is given in our next cut, from pottery of 

which examples have been found at 
Wroxeter, in which the bestiarius, as 
the man employed in such combats 
was called, armed -with shield and 
axe only, is engaged with a bull. The 
buU-fight appears to have been the 

Ball-fight from the Samian ware. ^ p ^ i i * i 

only one of these combats which out- 
lived the Eoman period, and we all know how largely it 
entered into the popular amusements of the middle ages, with 
the single change that dogs were substituted for the human 
combatant. In the mediaeval towns in England, the amphi- 
theatre was replaced by the Bull-ring. In Spain the combat 
between the man and the bull is still preserved, and in some 
examples on the Samian ware we actually find the man armed 
mth the sword and veil which shows the bestiarius literally as 
the predecessor of the Spanish 'matador. 

At the first glance it would seem difficult to explain the 
process by which the ornaments of the Samian ware were thus 
made in rcHef ; but, fortunately, some of the tools which the 
potters used have been found on the sites of their workshops. 
The potter's name was impressed from a stamp on which it was 
incised, so that on the pottery the letters appeared in relief. 
Single figures, whether of men, animals, or other subjects, were 


made upon similar stamps. M. Brongniart, in his work on the 
art of pottery,* has given engravings of both these classes of 
stamps. Moulds were then made of clay, carefully turned, 
presenting on a smoothed surface internally the form which 
was intended to be given to the vessel, and on this internal 
surface the potter stamped the figures while the clay was still 
soft, and the moulds were then baked. The vessel itself, formed 
of soft clay, was placed in the mould and pressed to it, so that 
it took the figures in relief, and when dry it had no doubt 
shrunk sufficiently to be taken out. Some years ago, in the 
Museum of the Comte de Portales in Paris, I examined some 
of these moulds which perfectly explained the process of the 
manufacture. Among the stamps given by M. Brongniart, 
one has upon it a single element, one festoon and one tassel, of 
the well-known festoon and tassel border, whence it appears 
that this border was made on the mould by a repetition of 
impressions from the same elementary stamp. At first, no 
doubt, the different figures on the stamps were employed 
so as to form regular and intelligible subjects, taken from 
history, or fable, or from the popular manners of the day, 
and this probably continued to be the case among the 
more skilful workmen ; but others stamped them in without 
any design of this kind, and seem to have had only one object, 
that of filling up the whole surface. Hence we continually 
find such incongruities as occur on the specimens we have 
already given, Andromeda bound in the midst of a forest, a 
hare playing on the pipes to sea-monsters, and the like We 
even find that the workmen sometimes used their stamps so 
carelessly that they put in their figures reversed, so as to give 
a rather singular appearance to the picture. ^Ye have a curi- 
ous example of this in the fragment given in the cut annexed, 
which is here drawn the actual size of the original, and on 
which we have a hare or rabbit, no doubt accidentally placed 

* Brongniart, Traite des Arts Ceramiquea ou des Poteries, 8vo., Paris, 1844. 



in a reversed position. This method of making the ornamented 
Samian ware also explains to us how it happens that the figures 

Saiaian Ware, with reversed figure. 

in relief are so often imperfect, and why they are so seldom 
sharp and fresh. 

This reversed rabbit is further curious in its bearing on 
a rather disputed question in mediaeval archaeology. The 
buildings and objects most frequently ornamented with figures 
in the middle ages were, as might be supposed, those of an 
ecclesiastical character, and one party among our ecclesiologists 
insist that these figures have a hidden and symbolical meaning 
of which they sometimes give rather extraordinary interpreta- 
tion.='. My own opinion has always been that these figures 
are to be ascribed chiefly to the imagination or iugenuity of 
the workmen, who took any subject which presented itself, 
and no doubt often copied, to the best of their skill, classical 
figures which were continually met with upon ancient monu- 
ments. At the meeting of the British Archseological Associa- 
tion at Ludlow, in 1867, a drawing was exhibited, of figures 
taken, I think, from painted glass in a church in Shropshire, 
which had evidently been copied from a well known picture of 
a part of the ancient Bacchic mysteries, the mystica vannus 
lacchi of the poet Virgil. On the same occasion, there was an 


exhibition of drawings from sculptured stones found in a 
reversed position in the walls of buildings, and certain questions 
and some remarks were made on the subject, tending to show 
that they were placed in that position intentionally with a 
mystical or symbolical meaning. Some of them, I suspect, 
owed their anomalous position to mere accident, while others 
were probably copies from older designs which the ignorant 
workmen misunderstood. Among them, I remember, was a 
rabbit reversed in the midst of other figures which were in an 
upright position, just as here on our piece of Samian ware. 
In the middle ages, the Eoman Samian ware must have been 
dug up continually, and have often fallen into the hands of 
the old designers and served them for models. Some one of 

Samian Ware found in London. 

them had perhaps obtained a piece with the rabbit thus 
reversed, and considered it as being in this posture an integral 
part of the picture. 

Another class of the Samian ware is found in this country, 
though it is extremely rare, and was no doubt of much greater 
yalue than the other. Mr. Roach Smith possessed, in his fine 
collection of Antiquities (now transferred to the British 


Museum) seven fragments of this ware, two of which are given 
in the above cut. They differ from the common ware of the 
same class in the much superior style of art displayed in 
the execution of the figures, but still more in the manner in 
which they were made. They are in much higher rehef, and 
instead of being stamped in moulds according to the process 
before described, they have been moulded separately, and care- 
fully affixed to the surface of the vessel by means of a 
graving tool. This process is distinctly indicated iti all the spe- 
cimens, and the mark of the tool used for polishing in the line 
of junction, and freeing it from excrescent clay, is clearly dis- 
cernible. In the fragments of this pottery we find the substance 
of the vessel sometimes broken without breaking the figures 
attached to it, which remain projecting over the fracture, as in 
the case of the head and leg of the figure on the first of these 
examples, and in part of the head on the other. 

I have stated that we have every reason to believe that the 
manufacture of this so-called Samian ware was foreign to 
Britain ; but we find in considerable quantities in Eoman sites 
in this country, a ware which was evidently imitated^from 
the Samian pottery, though it presents very considerable differ- 
ences. It presents nearly the same texture as that which I 
have been describing, but it is of a lighter shade of red, and 
the ornamentation, which consists chiefly of geometrical forms, 
has been produced either by stamping on the pottery itself, 
when soft, or, more frequently, by incision after it was baked, 
with some instrument like the tool employed by engravers. 
Eather numerous fragments of this ware have been found at 
Wroxeter, and two of them are represented in the group I have 
given before (p. 228,) of which the idea of the ornament on the 
example to the left is partly formed upon the festoon and 
tassel border of the real Samian ware. This pottery may have 
been made in Britain, where principally it is found, but no 
potteries have yet been traced from which it might be derived. 


I believe that the late Mr. Artis found it among the remains 
of the potteries of Durobriv£B, of which I am now proceeding 
to speak, under circumstances which led him to think that 
it may have been made there.* 

Edmund Tyrell Artis was land-steward to Earl Fitzwilliam, 
and was warmly patronized by the Duke of Bedford. He 
resided at Castor, near Peterborough, and was possessed of very- 
considerable native talent, with a great love of archaeological 
research. To him we owe the discovery of a very extensive 
site of potteries of the Eoman period in that neighbourhood, 
which corresponds with the Durobrivae of the fifth Iter of 
Antoninus. Mr. Artis published a series of plates illustrative 
of these discoveries under the title of " The Durobrivis (for 
Durobrivse) of Antoninus identified and illustrated," without 
any text, but an account of the discoveries was given by 
Mr. Eoach Smith in the pages of the Journal of the British 
Archaeological Association. Until our own time, no attempt 
had been made to distinguish and classify the various descrip- 
tions of pottery of the Eoman period found in Britain, but now 
these have been found to be numerous, and their varieties 
are sufiiciently characteristic. This ware, the sources of which ■ 
was first discovered by Mr. Artis, certainly stood in the first 
rank. Its ornamentation consisting of figures in low relief, 
though executed by a very different process, was, we can hardly 
doubt, imitated from that of the Samia.n ware ; but the ware 
itself was totally different in its texture, and equally so in its 
colour. The latter is blue, or slate colour, and the ornament- 
ation is frequently laid on in white ; and these characteristics 
are so strongly marked, that, once known, it may be easUy 
recognized wherever it is found. We meet with it in consider- 
able quantities in almost every Eoman site in Britain, so that 
it must have been very abundant, and very much in vogue. 

• Very excellent papers on the Samian ware, by Mr. C. Eoach Smith, will be foxmd in the 
Journal of the British Ai-chffiological Association, vol. iv., and in his valuable Collectanea 
Antiqua, vol. i. I have borrowed some of my illustrations from the former. 



The character of the pottery made at Durobrivse (or Castor) 
is altogether peculiar. It is generally of a bluish or slate colour, 
and, like all Roman pottery, its forms are elegant. It is usually 
adorned with ornaments in relief, 'which were laid on with the 
hand after the vessel had been made and partly baked, and 
are sometimes white. The plainer of these ornaments 
consist of scrolls and other such patterns. The character 
of this simple ornamentation will be best understood by the 
two examples given in the accompanying cut, both found in 

Dnrobrivian Pottery, from Colchester.. 

excavations at Colchester, the Camulodunum of the Romans. 
They are given with the shading to furnish a better notion of 
the general appearance of this pottery. 
I give the other examples in outline> 
merely to represent the forms of the 
vessels, and the subjects with which 
they are ornamented. The next is a 
cup, six inches in height, ornament- 
ed with an elegant scroU pattern. It 
was found with other pottery in a 
sepulchral interment ia the neighbour- 
hood of the Upehurch marshes. As I 

, 1 T J , 1 T 1 Durobrivian Pottery. 

nave already stated, a peculiar charact- 
eristic of this pottery, and one which we can hardly doubt M'as 



imitated from the Samian ware, is the introduction, very 
extensively, of pictorial subjects among the ornaments ; these 
subjects being, however, of a local character, for, instead of 
groups taken from the classical mythology and from purely 
Koman life, they usually represent hunting scenes or games 
practised no doubt in this island, and they thus doubly interest 
us as pictures of real life in Eoman Britain. Stag and hare 
hunts are extremely common, and they were no doubt favourite 
amusements among the people of our island at this remote 
period. The two examples here given are from pottery of a 

stag Hunt, from Durobrivian Pottery 

brown colour, for it must be understood that the colour is not 
always quite uniform. Sometimes it assumes a rusty copper 
tint. No doubt we have here correct figures of British stags, 
and of the original British stag-hounds. The hounds intro- 
duced in pursuit of the hare are identical with these ; but we 
also find sometimes a much fiercer and stronger dog, which 
seems to have been used for hunting the boar, and which was 
probably that ferocious dog for which, as we learn from the 
Roman writers, the island of Britain was celebrated. The cut 
to the left on the next page represents a fragment of Duro- 
brivian ware found at Colchester, in which we have a good 
figure of the stag-hound. It is engraved exactly one half the 
size of the original. Fishes, especially dolphins, are also intro- 



duced on this ware, an example of which is given in our 
cut to the right, from a fragment found at Castor. Their 

A Dolphin, from Durobrivian Ware. 

A British Stag Honnd. 

forms were particularly suitable for the process employed iu 
producing the ornamentation of the Durobrivian pottery. 
Sometimes vessels, which are usually of a darker copper 
colour, are ornamented with indentations Hke the niches in a 
wall, an example of which wdl be given in a subsequent cut. 
In some cases these indentations are found filled with upright 

Our interest in this particular class of Eomano-British pot- 
tery is greatly increased by the circumstance that we have found 
not only the site of the potteries in which it was produced, 
but some of the kilns in a perfect state, and sufficient evidence 
to leave no doubt as to the manner in which it was made. I 
prefer describing this in the words of Mr. Artis himself, as 
taken down and published by Mr. Eoach Smith.'''" Mr. Artis 
gave to the kilns at Durobrivse the name of smother-kilns, 
from the peculiar manner in which the colour was given to the 
pottery, which he explains as follows : — " During an examin- 
ation of the pigments used by the Roman potters of this 
place, " he says, " I was led to the conclusion that the blue 
and slate-coloured vessels met with here in such abundance 
were coloured by suffocating the fire of the kiln at the time 
when its contents had acquired a degree of heat sufficient to 

• See the Jonmal of the British Archseological Association, vol. i. p. 3, 


ensure uniformity in colour. I had so firmly made up my mind 
upon the process of manufacturing and firing this peculiar 
kind of earthenware, that, for some time previous to the recent 
discovery, I had denominated the kilns, in which it had been 
fired, smother-kilns. The mode of manufacturing the bricks 
of which these kilns are made is worthy of notice. The clay 
was previously mixed with about one-third of rye in the chafi", 
which, being consumed by the fire, left cavities in the room of 
grains. This might have been intended to modify expansion 
and contraction, as well as to assist the gradual distribution of 
the colouring vapour. The mouth of the furnace and top of 
the kiln were no doubt stopped : thus we find every part of 
the kiln, from the inside wall to the earth on the outside, and 
every part of the clay wrappers of the dome, penetrated with 
the colouring inhalation. As further proof that the colour of 
the ware was imparted by firing, I collected the clays of the 
neighbourhood, including specimens from the immediate vi- 
cinity of the smother-kilns. In colour, some of these clays 
resembled the ware after firing, and some were darker. I sub- 
mitted these to a process similar to that I have described. 
The clays dug near the kilns whitened in filing, probably from 
being bituminous. I also put some fragments of the blue 
pottery into the kiln, they came out precisely the same colour 
as the clay fired with them, which had been taken from the 
site of the kilns. The experiment proved to me that the 
colour could not be attributed to any metallic oxide, either 
existing in the clay, or applied externally ; and this conclusion 
is confirmed by the appearance of the clay wrappers of the 
dome of the kUn. It should be remarked, that this colour is 
so volatile, that it is expelled by a second firing in an open 

After some further observations on the condition in which 
the kilns were found, Mr. Artis goes on to say : — " I now 
proceed to describe the process of packing the kiln, and 
securing uniform heat in firing the ware, Avhich was the same 


in the two different kinds of kilns. They were first carefully 
loose-packed with the articles to be fired, np to the height of 
the side walls. The circumference of the bulk was then grad- 
ually diminished, and finished in the shape of a dome. As 
this arrangement progressed, an attendant seems to have 
followed the packer and thinly covered a layer of pots with 
coarse hay or grass. He then took some thin clay, the size of 
his hand, and laid it flat on the grass upon the vessel ; he then 
placed more grass on the edge of the clay just laid on, and 
then more clay, and so on until he had completed the circle. 
By this time the packer would have raised another tier of pots, 
the plasterer following as before, hanging the grass over the 
top edge of the last layer of plasters, until he had reached the 
top, in which a small aperture was left, and the clay right 
round the edge ; and another coating would be laid on as before 
described. Gravel or loam was then thrown up against the 
side wall where the clay wrappers were commenced, probably 
to secure the bricks and the clay coating. The kiln was then 
fired with wood. In consequence of the care taken to place 
the grass between the edges of the wrappers, they coiold be 
unpacked in the same sized pieces as when laid on in a plastic 
state, and thus the danger in breaking the coat to obtain the 
contents of the kiln could be obviated." 

Mr. Artis goes on to describe one of the furnaces which he 
beheved to have been used for the purpose of glazing, and 
then he explains what appeared to him to have been the 
method employed to produce the ornamentation. "The 
vessel," he suggests, " after being thrown upon the wheel, 
would be allowed to become somewhat firm, but only sufiiciently 
so for the purpose of the lathe. In the indented ware, the 
indenting would have to be performed with the vessel in as 
pliable a state as it could be taken from the lathe. A thick 
slip of the same body would then be procured, and the 
omamenter would proceed by dipping the thuml) or a round 
mounted instrument into the slip. The vessels, on which are 


displayed a variety of hunting subjects, representations of 
fishes, scrolls, and human figures, were all glazed after the 
figures were laid on ; where, however, the decorations are 
white, the vessels were glazed before the ornaments were added. 
Ornamenting with figures of animals was afi"ected by means of 
sharp and blunt skewer instruments and a slip of suitable con- 
sistency. These instruments seem to have been of two kinds : 
one thick enough to carry sufiicient slip for the nose, neck, 
body, and front thigh ; the other of a more dehcate kind, for 
a thinner slip for the tongue, lower jaws, eye, fore, and hind 
legs, and tail. There seems to have been no re-touching 
after the slip trailed from the instrument. Field sports seem 
to have been favourite subjects with our Eomano-British artists. 
The representations of deer and hare hunts are good and 
spirited ; the courage and energy of the hounds, and the dis- 
tress of the hunted animals, are given with great skill and 
fidelity, especially when the simple and ofi"-handed process 
by which they must have been executed, is taken into 
consideration. " 

From the costume of the human figures on this pottery, it 
has been concluded that it belongs to a rather late date ; but 
at whatever period of the Eoman occupation of our island the 
potteries of Durobrivse were established, they must have been 
very extensive, and have produced an immense quantity of 
the ware. Mr. Axtis traced the site of the potteries over an 
extent of more than twenty miles ; and he estimated the 
number of hands who must have been employed at once in 
them at not less than two thousand. 

It may be remarked further that the use of this description 
of pottery was certainly not confined to Britain, for it is found 
in great quantities in France, especially in HoUand, Belgium, 
and Flanders. It is not improbable that the earthenware of 
Durobrivee may have been an article of export from Britain. 
The cut on the next page represents a vessel of this pottery 
which was found at Bredene in the department of the Lys. 


The favourite subjects of hunting the stag and the hare figure 

upon it, but there are some charact- 
eristics in the ornamentation which 
seem to distinguish the workman- 
ship from that of the Durobrivian 
ware. However, among the frag- 
ments of Durobrivian ware met 
with at Wroxeter, there are some 
which bear a resemblance to this 
example found in Flanders. 
There is another description of 

Durobrivian Pottery from Flanders. .^ f ii -n ■ i 

earthenw^are oi the Koman period, 
of which the potteries, covering a great extent of ground, have 
been found in our island. A short distance above the mouth 
of the Medway, the southern bank, for a considerable distance, 
is formed of low flat land, which is called marshes, though at 
present it has no particular claim to that name. The action of 
the tide of the sea has gradually formed creeks which penetrate 
to a considerable distance inland, and have exposed to view 
the true character of the ground in this locality. Originally — 
at least, in Eoman times — it was a mass of clay, of a kind 
very favourable for the manufacture of pottery. It had been 
taken possession of by a settlement of potters, who erected 
kilns of apparently the same description as those discovered at 
Castor by Mr. Artis, and used up the clay gradually as they 
advanced, throwing upon the exhausted ground behind them 
their refuse of spoilt and broken vessels. After the Roman 
times, through some unexplained (perhaps) geological movement, 
the ground seems to have sunk below its former level, so as to 
be overflowed by the sea. It appears to have remained in this 
condition long enough to allow the formation of alluvial soil of 
from two to three feet thick ; after which some other movement 
must have taken place which raised the level again to a certain 
height above the sea-level at high water. Since that period the 
sea has cut these creeks into it which discover a state of things 


seemingly justifying the foregoing explanation. The bed of 
the creeks is formed of the original clay in a liquid state, 
forming a very tenacious mud. The banks of these creeks are 
in some parts perpendicular, while in others they slope rather 
abruptly. In these banks we find a regular layer of broken 
pottery, about a foot thick, resting upon the clay, and, above 
this, the hard alluvial earth. The liquid mud forming the bed 
of the creek is full of this pottery, which may be cbawn out by 
handfuUs. The immense extent of these potteries may be 
judged from the fact, that they have been traced continuously 
in a line along the coast to a distance of not less than seven or 
eight miles, and that their site extends in the transverse 
direction as much as three miles, so that they must have 
covered, reckoning some of the ground which has no doubt 
been carried away by the sea, an extent of considerably more 
than twenty square miles. A great quantity of pottery must 
have been manufactured to leave a bed of refuse twenty miles 
square and a foot thick ; and we need not be surprised if we 
find this class of pottery so commonly among the remains of 
the Eoman period.'"" 

The predominating colour of this pottery is a blue-black, 
exactly similar to that of the Durobrivian pottery, and imparted 
by the process of sufi"ocating the vessels with the smoke of 

Examples of Upchurch Pottery unoruamented. 

vegetable substances in the kilns to which Mr. Artis gave the 
name of smother-kilns. The varieties of shape are extremely 

♦ A visit to the Upchurch marshes, with a description of the 'locality and pottery found 
there, forms one of the chapters of my Wanderings of an Antiquary, 8vo., 1854, pp. 162 — 171. 
An excellent paper on the same subject, by Mr. Eoach Smith, from whom I have borrowed 
largely, will be found in the Journal of the British Archseological Association, vol. ii. p. 12S. 
See also The Odt, the Soman, and the Saxon, p. 212. 


numerous and equally varied, and they seem to have been 
designed for almost every possible purpose. They are aU elegant 
in their forms, which an experienced eye recognizes at once as 
purely Roman. A few examples are given in the foregoing cut 
of the commoner and less ornamented types. 

Besides the blue-black vases, many fragments have been 
found of a red ware, made of the same kind of clay, but sub- 
jected to a stronger degree of heat in the burning, which had 
the effect of destroying the black and imparting a red colour 
in its place. This variety of the ware has been found chiefly 
in Otterham creek and its immediate neighbourhood. It was 
used especially in the manufacture of vessels having the form 
of an amphora, with narrow mouths, and handles, two examples 
of which are given in the preceding group. The accompanjdng 
cut represents a remarkably interesting example of a vessel of 

Vessel of Upchnrch Ware 

this form met with in the railway excavations some years ago 
at Chichester, and supposed to have been manufactured in the 
Upchurch potteries. It is of a dark clay, with the ornamental 
patterns in white, and is seven inches in height. Fragments 
of vessels of the same form, of the Upchurch ware, have been 
found at Wroxeter. 



Our next cut represents a group of vessels in the ornamented 
ware made at Upchurch, the forms of which are equally 
characteristic. The ornament sometimes consists of bands of 

Ornamented Pottery maniafactured at Upchurch. 

half-circles, made with compasses ; and in many instances lines 
are drawn from these half-circles down to the bottom of the 
vessel. Other vessels exhibit various patterns of wa"vy, inter- 
secting, and zigzag lines. An example of the wavy lines is 
given to the right of our cut, and in another in the first 
example in our next group. Another kind of ornament con- 
sisted of raised points, sometimes forming bands round the 
vessel, at others grouped into squares, diamond patterns, and 
circles. Some of these are shewn in our next group of vessels 
from the potteries at Upchurch. Another favourite pattern 
consisted of straight lines intersecting so as to form a bed of 

Ornamented Ware from the Upchurch Potteries. 

diamonds. Numerous fragments of this pottery have been 
found at Wroxeter, and some will be found in the Museum. 

I have to remark further on this subject, that we have as yet 
no clue to the name which this locality bore in Roman times. 


Yet it must have been a place of great celebrity, and well 
known for its potteiy over the whole of Britain. Moreover, 
large quantities of a ware so like it that we can hardly doubt 
its identity have been found amongst the Roman remains 
at Boulogne ; so that we are justified in assuming that there 
was a considerable export of this pottery also into Gaul. 

We have by no means exhausted the varieties of Eoman 
pottery found at Wroxeter, but most of those I have not 
described are less important and doubtful as to the place in 
which they were made. But two classes of pottery of the 
Eoman period have been discovered here which are apparently 
new, and which are of greater importance to us as belonging, 
we beheve, to our own locality. One of these is a white ware, 
which experiments made by my friend Dr. Henry Johnson, of 
Shrewsbury, have proved, beyond doubt, to be formed of what 
is now known as the Broseley clay. Broseley is well known 
as a town on the banks of the river Severn, a few miles 
below Shrewsbury, and its clay in modern times has been 
employed chiefly for the manufacture of tobacco-pipes. The 
pottery I am aUuding to is of rather coarse texture, but 
the vessels formed of it display the same elegance of form by 
which aU the Eoman pottery is distinguished. The greater 
number of the vessels made of this ware are tastefully formed 
jugs, and dishes made for the same culinary purposes as our 
modern mortars, and called by the Eomans mortaria. The 
internal surface of these latter is covered with small grains of 
flint, or other very hard stone, which aided in the process of 
triturition. None of the vessels of either of these classes have 
yet been found whole, but fragments of the same vessel are 
met with in sufl&cient numbers to enable us to restore these 
forms. Eather numerous fragments have also been found of 
bowls of this ware, painted with stripes of red and yellow. 
Perhaps the potteries in which this ware was made will one 
day be discovered, and it is not improbable that they may have 
been located in Uriconium itself. 



The other Romano-Salopian pottery found at Wroxeter is a 
red ware, differing in tint from most of the Roman red wares 
before known, and of a finer textm-e than the white ware just 
described. It is also made from one of the clays of the Severn 
Valley. Among the vessels formed of this ware are jugs, not 
unlike the white-ware jugs in shape, but distinguished by 
some peculiarity of form in the neck and mouth. A fragment 
of one of these vessels is given in the accompanying cut to the 
left. The next cut to the right represents one of the several 

Bomano-Salopian Ware from Wroxeter. 

Cullender of Komano-Salopiau Ware. 

simdar vessels made of this ware found in the excavations, 
which are pierced with small holes, and have evidently served 
the purpose of cullenders. The pottery of both these wares 
seems to have been in very common'use in'ancient Uriconium. 
The three examples here given are rather common types of 

Examples of Jugs In White Ware. 

jug-formed vessels in this white ware which are met with 
frequently on Roman sites in this island. The two first are 



each of them seven inches and a quarter high ; the other, five 
inches. It is only necessary to call attention to one other 
example of the pottery found at Wroxeter, and now preserved 
in the Museum at Shrewsbury, and that on account of its 
singular shape. This vessel — which was broken into frag- 
ments, but most of the pieces found Ipng together, and 
have been carefully joined — is represented in our cut, which 
will give a far better notion of it than any verbal description. 
It appears to have had a second button- 
formed handle on the left side as seen in 
the cut, and some sort of mouth has 
])' en attached to the circular hole in 
liont, which, it may be added, is the 
only opening into the interior of the 
\ ssel. 

From the description already given, 
tlie reader will, without difficulty, form 
a picture of the character of the pottery 
11 -ed at table by the inhabitants of Eo- 
man Uriconium, as weU as of that which 
served the purposes of the kitchen. 
The variety of the different wares is 
quite remarkable, and it wlU not be beside our purpose if 
we present a few groups showing how this variety prevailed 
all over the island ; and in whatever part of it we trace a 
Eoman site of any extent, we usually find there examples 
of nearly all the difierent wares employed in Britain, however 
distant it may be from the locahty of the potteries in which 
the difierent varieties were made. This reveals to us a regular 
and perfect system of communication between difierent parts 
of Britain during the Roman period which requires evidence 
of this description to be understood. 

The pottery we find on the site of a Eoman town, or of a 
Eoman villa, had no doubt been collected during a long period 
of years, and we should not be justified in assuming that any 

Vessel in Earthenware, from 



number of particular examples found in the same place had 
been in use at the same time ; but there are other circum- 
stances under which the pottery is met with which are in this 
respect of a more satisfactory nature. The Eomans buried 
pottery with their dead, (a practice of which I shall have to 
say more in a subsequent chapter), not only sepulchral urns, 
but vessels of almost every description, many which no doubt 
contained fluids of difi'erent kinds placed as affectionate 
oblations in the grave, and others had been used as receptacles 
for the cinders of the deceased. These vessels, of course, 
were all contemporary, and in use not only at the same 
time, but in the same family, and a single grave sometimes 
contains a considerable number. Two or three examples of 
such " finds " will hardly be uninteresting. It is well known 
that the abbey church of St. Albans occupies a part of the 
extensive cemetery of the Eoman city of Verulamium. 
Some twenty years ago, in digging in a meadow near the 

Pottery from the Boman cemetery of St. Albans. 

church, the labourers came upon an interment from which 
were taken about a dozen earthen vessels, half of them of a 
rather common description, but among them were those 
represented in the accompanying cut. The two in front, I 
need hardly state, are good examples of the Durobrivian ware. 



with the scroll ornament. The two others, one of which has 
a cover, are ornamented with a pattern which antiquariest term 
" engine-turned," and which has been found by Mr. Artis in the 
potteries of Durobrivse. The two large vessels in the back- 
ground are ordinary burial urns, the largest ten inches and a 
half high. About the same time as that of the discovery just 
mentioned, a sepulchral interment of the Eoman period was 
found near the town of Billericay in Essex, which produced a 
considerable number of examples of pottery, the most inter- 
esting of which are represented in our next cut. In this the 

Pottery from a Roman Cemetery at Billericay in Essex. 

three small vessels grouped in front are Samian ware of the 
commoner and less ornamented description, one being quite 
plain, and the two others only ornamented with the ivy leaf. 
The fragment to the right, representing a human face, belongs 
to a class of Eoman pottery which is of extreme rarity. The 
broken vessel behind it, and the one to the extreme left, are 
Upchurch ware. That in the middle Ls an example of the 
Durobrivian indented ornamentation. The two large urns 
behind are again sepulchral Examples of Samian ware exactly 
resembling these have been found at Wroxeter.* 

A Eoman road crossed the river Lea in the parish of Poplar 

• Both these groups of pottery discovered in sepulchral interments are taken fr vrj t1i« 
Jonmal of the British ArohEological Association, toI. iii. pp. 250 and 331. 


in Middlesex, at a spot which is called the Old Ford, where 
there was no doubt some sort of a Eoman settlement, and 
close to it was discovered some years ago a Eoman burial place. 
From it were taken the examples of pottery represented in the 
accompanying cut.* We have here an example of the Up- 
church pottery in the vessel in front, which is of dark clay, 
with white ornament. It is three inches in height. The vessel 

Koman Pottery from Sepulchral interment at Poplar in Middlesex. 

to the extreme left, ornamented Avith circles, is also of dark 
clay, seven inches in height. The jug, with the mouth 
moulded into the form of a human face, of which examples 
are found not very commonly, is of a hght red colour. 
Behind it is a burial urn, mth a Hd, eight and a half inches 
high, and made of black clay. The large jug- shaped vessel 
standing beside it is ten inches in height, and the bowl in 
front of it, five inches, both of yellow pottery. 

I will add one other example of the varieties of pottery 
found in the Roman sepulchral deposits. They were taken 
from a burial place discovered in the Hoo Marshes, on the 
banks of the Medway, in Kent. The largest vessel is an 
example of one form of the amphora, or vessel for holding 
wine ; it is eighteen inches and a half in height, and seventeen 
inches in diameter, and has lost one of its handles. It had 

• Taken from the Journal of the British Archseological Association, vol. iv. p. 393. 



been used for the purpose of a burial urn, and the cup of 
Samian ware to the right of our cut had been placed in its 
mouth, and was found lodged in the neck. This cup was two 
inches and a half in height, and four inches in diameter. The 
small bottle-shaped vessel was found close by the side of 

Pottery from the Hoo Murslies. 

the large ujn. The vessel to the left, which is four inches 
and three quarters in height, is a good specimen of Durobri- 
vian ware. Another urn found in the same burial place, 
contained a dish of Samian ware nine inches in diameter, 
and a glazed vessel three inches and a half in height, the 
ornamentation of which had been scratched on the glaze. 

The cemetery of Uriconium has furnished us with a con- 
siderable cjuantity of objects not only in pottery, but of glass. 
Some examples of both are given in the cut on the next page. 
All the objects represented in it are drawn on a scale of 
three inches to a foot. The large flat dish at the back is made 
of the light red ware found rather plentifully among the Eoman 
ruins at Wroxeter, which appears to have been manufactured 
in the district. The fractured vessel to the right has been 
a very handsome bowl of Samian ware. The vessel to the 




extreme left furnishes an example of a much more uncommon 
ware ; it is small and slightly made, three inches and a half 
high, and of a lemon-yellow drab colour, and ornamented with 
rows of small knobs. 




No object in the Museum at Shrewsbury is more worthy of 


remark than the great variety of Roman glass, which is usually 
of fine manufacture, and some of it could not be excelled at the 
present day. There appears no reason to doubt that glass, as 
well as pottery, was manufactured in our island under the 
Romans, but the sites of the manufactories have not yet been 
traced, though some facts have been discovered, leading us 
to suspect that there were Roman glass works on the coast 
of Sussex. ■^^ Unfortunately, glass is a very brittle material, 
and it is mostly found in a very fragmentary state, except in 
sepulchral interments, where it has remained unmoved and pro- 
tected. Such is the case mostly with the glass from Wroxeter. 
The Roman glass found in Britain is very varied and often beau- 
tiful in colour, and in many cases it is richly adorned with 
ornament in relief. It consists most largely of cups and jug- 
shaped vessels of various forms. The handsome glass bowl in 
the middle of our last cut, which was taken from one of the 
graves in the cemetery of Uriconium, presents a type which is 
by no means uncommon in Britain. It is Avhat is called pillar- 
moulded, a process which our practical glass manufacturers, as 
we learn from Mr. Apsley Pellatt, look upon as one of the great 
modem inventions in glass-making, yet we here discover that 
it was well known and largely practised in Britain in the 
remote period of Roman rule. The glass bowl in our cut is 
five inches and a half in diameter. Among the glass from 
Wroxeter. are several fragments of what have been very hand- 
some jugs and bottles. The small glass phials, of which 
several examples are given in our cut, are found in great num- 
bers, but they are almost exclusively confined to the burial- 
places. I shall give a more particular account of them in a 
subsequent chapter. 

It wiU have been seen that at least some of the pottery 
described in the foregoing pages belonged to the kitchen rather 
than to the dining table. Among these, many fragments of 

• On this subject, see my book, "The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon," p. 229. 


which have been found in the course of the excavations, two 
are remarkable for several reasons. One of these classes of 
kitchen utensils is a cullender, or strainer, of earthenware, the 
bottom of which is pierced with a great number of small 
holes. An example of these cuUenders has already been given 
in p. 252. The other object to which we allude is the morta- 
rium, or mortar, a strong basin-skaped vessel, used no doubt 
for pounding various objects used in cookery. It is usually 
made of a light coloured pottery, and the surface of the 
interior is "studded with diminutive fragments of silicious stone 
and other hard materials, designed, no doubt, to assist in the 
process of pounding. Fragments of these mortaria, from 
Wroxeter, will be found in the Museum at Shrewsbury. They 
are very common in most of the Eoman sites in Britain, and 
on the continent. Another vessel belonging to this class, is 
the amphora, or vessel used to hold Avine. These were 
strongly made, generally of a light coloured pottery, and of 
considerable dimensions. The commoner form was a long 
slender shaped vessel ; the other is much more spherical, and 
more capacious. Both are pointed at the bottom, for the pur- 
pose, it is said, of aflSxing them in the ground. Their 
forms are so well known that it is hardly necessary to give 
pictures of them here. Fragments of these aniphorcB are 
found in abundance in digging on the site of Uriconium ; and 
they are plentiful wherever we explore the sites of Roman 
towns or country houses in our islands. This circumstance 
leaves no room for doubt that the use of wine was very general 
and extensive in Roman Britain. 

The abundance of the mortaria and earthenware strainers is 
also a curious fact illustrative of one part of the character of 
domestic life among the Romano-Britons. People are accus- 
tomed to suppose that in these remote ages the diet was sim- 
ple and plain, and that it consisted chiefly of joints or pieces 
of flesh meat boiled or roasted. The presence of these cookery 


vessels in si\ch large numbers, lead us to the conclusion, 
that, on the contrary, the inhabitants of this country, in 
the Eoman period, indulged very extensively in the use of 
made dishes, and the epicurism of the table, which prevailed 
to such an extravagant extent in Italy and Gaul, had no doubt 
found its way into our island. The subject of the diet of the 
Eomans in Britain receives illustration from another class of 
relics which are foimd in great abundance, the bones of ani- 
mals and birdsj and the shells of molluscs, and even the bones 
of some fishes. An immense quantity of these articles have 
been collected at Wroxeter, and are carefuUy preserved, but 
hitherto they have not undergone that careful examination 
they require. It is evident that the Eoman inhabitants of 
Uriconium and its neighbourhood indulged greatly in the 
pleasures of the chase, and that .there were in this part of the 
country kinds of wild beasts which have long ceased to exist in 
England. Among these were th&,wild boar, the elk, and several 
varieties of the deer, one at least of .which is stated to be 
extinct. The varieties of animal bones found in the course of 
the excavations are also extremely numerous, and contain some 
extinct varieties. Foremost among these is the bos longifrons, 
a very large variety of ox, which is now claimed as belonging 
to the domain of the geologist. Yet we have here, the evi- 
dence that they existed abundantly during the Eoman period, 
in the numerous examples of their massive skulls, wdth the 
large long foreheads, from which they take "their scientific 
name, and of theii thighs and other bones. That they were a 
common article of food there can be no doubt, for in some 
cases the forehead of the ski^U is broken in by the blow 
of the axe with which the Uriconian butcher slew it for the 
market. There is said also to have been traced among these 
bones, remains of an extinct variety of the sheep. The 
varieties of birds, the bones of which have been met with in 
the excavations, are quite as numerous as those of animals, 


and equally interesting to the naturalist who wiU undertake 
the examination of them. Among the domestic fowls, the 
remains of which were thus brought to light, I must not omit 
mentioning that rather numerous legs of the fighting cock were 
found, with remarkably large natural spurs, which would seem 
to show that cock-fighting was a favourite amusement among 
the inhabitants of this ancient city. Among the shells are 
those of the oyster in abundance, as well as those of whelks, 
cockles, muscles, and others. 

Among the group represented in our last cut are two other 
objects of earthenware, or terra-cotta, which are found in 
Eoman sites in great abundance. These are lamps, and they 
introduce us to another part of the economy of the interior of 
the house, that of lighting it. The Eoman writer Apuleius, in 
describing the operations of a party of robbers in a house they 
were plundering, and the eQ"ect of an accident which roused 
the people of the house, says that the latter assembled 
"with tcBd(B (torches), lucernce (lamps), cerei (wax tapers), 
sehacei (candles of tallow), and the other instruments of noc- 
turnal light."'"' We have here a distinct enumeration of the 
four ordinary means of producing a portable light — -torches, 
lamps, candles of wax, and candles of tallow. Of the 
first of these we can of course expect to find no remains 
among the objects met with in our excavations. 

As I have already stated, terra-cotta lamps are found in 
considerable numbers, and, in fact, when used to give light to a 
room, it would require a considerable number of them to light 
it sufiiciently. Their general form is nearly uniform. The body 
of the lamp is usually circular, from two inches and a half to 
three inches in diameter, with a small handle on one side, and 
a spout with a hole for the wick on the other. A hole, or 
sometimes two or even three holes, in the circular face allowed 

• Nee mora, cum numerosffi familias frequentia domus tota oompletur, tiedis, lucernis, cereis, 
sebafris, et ceteris iioctiirni lumiuis instramentis clarescuut tenebr*. Atmleii Metamornlio- 
aeon, lib. iv.p. 281, ed. Odendorf, dto, Lug. Bat. 1786. 


the air to pass, and the spout was sometimes double or treble, 
to admit two or three separate wicks. This circular surface, or 
field, although sometimes plain, was usually ornamented with 
pictures in relief resembling those on the Samian ware, but 
still more varied in their description. This description will be 
better understood by the accompanying cut of a terra-eotta 
lamp found at Colchester, which is here drawn on a scale of 

Ten-a-cotta Lamp, fl'om Colcliester. 

one half the actual size. It has in its field the representation 
of a caduceus between two cornucopias, which latter termi- 
nate in heads of animals. The three represented in our plate 
were found at Wroxeter, and are preserved in the Museum. 
The first has in the field a figure of a dolphin ; the second, the 
head of Hercules, enveloped in the skin of the Nemean lion ; 
the thirds a man in a kneeling posture. The lamp was some- 
times made of bronze, or other metal, and then it often 
assumed more fantastic forms, and is sometimes found with 
a chain attached for suspension. But these bronze lamps 
are comparatively rare. When employed for domestic pur- 
poses, the lamp was placed on a candelabrum, or small disc, 
raised on a shaft. Two leaden stands, with handles, for carrying 
lamps about, were found in York, the Koman Eburacum. 


In the earlier part of our excavations at Wroxeter, we found ^ ^ ^ 
a rather singular object, which is represented in the accom- 
panying cut. The notion of its being a candlestick, or of its 
being like one, struck me for a moment ; but 
nobody had seen a Roman candlestick like it 
before, and it was found under some circum- 
stances which seemed to contradict this sup- 
position. It lay on the floor of the Basilica, 
and not far from a piece of strong chain, 
Avhich might have served for the purpose of 
chaining prisoners, and hence the prevailing 
opinion seemed to be that it had been fixed 
by its socket on the head of a staff, and that 
it had thus perhaps formed one of the insignia 
of public office. Nothing further was thought 
""^A^^oxete."'™ of it till last ycar, when my friend Mr. Roach 
Smith gave in the Gentleman's Magazine 
for March, (1867), an account of a similar object preserved in 
the JMuseum of Andover in Hampshire, and found among 
other objects on the site of a Roman villa at Abbot's Ann in 
that neighbourhood, which he judged to be a candlestick. The 
Andover relic is represented in the cut on the next page, and a 
comparison of it with that found at Wroxeter will be sufficient 
to show that they are identical in the objects for which they 
were made. 

Mr. Roach Smith is right, and no doubt these objects are 
candlesticks. Another example has since been found at Wrox- 
eter, so that now there are two preserved in the Museum at 
Shrewsbury. The second is somewhat more mutilated. The 
Andover example had, like those from Wroxeter, three legs, but 
one of them has been broken ofl'. The socket appears as shown 
in the cut on the next page, a hollow notch, not circular, but 
open on two sides. It is five inches high. The Wroxeter can- 
dlestick is, like that in the Museum at Andover, made of 



iron, and differs little in size, being four inches and three 
quarters high, instead of five inches. The diameter of the 

Koman Candlestick from Hampsliire. 

socket, which is ferule-formed, is about an inch, and the legs 
are splayed two inches apart. 

In the same communication to the Gentleman's Magazine, 
Mr. Eoach Smith has described another example of the Roman 
candlestick, in this case made of copper. It was " discovered 
in Belgium on the site of a Roman villa, at Petit Fresin, and 
published in a very recent Bulletin 
of the Commissions Roy ales d'Art 
et d'Archeologie of Belgium, from 
■jvhich the wood-cut here given has 
been copied The size is not given. 
It is called a three-footed cande- 
labrum similar to another from the 
Dry Tommes of Fresin, and the 
material copper plated with tin, or silver, rather, as a further 
examination seems to decide. M. Schuerman remarks that 
every doubt on the destination of this object to the purpose 

Roman Candlestick from Belgium. 


of a candlestick is removed by this specimen, which retains 
almost intact the point to which the candela was fixed ; the 
engraving, however, from which the cut is copied, does not 
show a sharp point." 

The point for fixing the candle was probably intended for a 
wax candle (cereus) ; but I am able to add to this curious 
example of the ordinary Eoman candlestick, the discovery, 
within the limits of our county, of Roman candles, and those of 
tallow, the humbler class of the means of furnishing light 
enumerated by Apuleius. Juvenal marks strongly the dis- 
tinction of the rich man with his " aenea lampas," and the 
poor man, who is satisfied with his candle, and arranges and 
moderates its wick so as to economize it : — 

Me, quam luna solet deducere, vel breve lumen 
CandelcB, cujus dispense et tempero filum, 
Contenipnifc. Juvenal, Sat. iii. 286. 

The remains of the Roman lead-mines on Shelve Hill, the 
property of Mr. More, of Linley Hall, have been described in 
a former part of this volume,* and I have stated how the 
modern cuttings cross or open into the ancient works. A few 
years ago, the miners, in crossing unexpectedly into one of 
the old Eoman galleries, found candles, which have every 
appearance of being coeval with the period when those mines 
were worked. The ignorant men carried them home to their 
cottages ; and after trying in vain first to light them, and 
afterwards to make them useful in greasing their boots, threw 
them away as worthless. Mr. More had heard of these disco v-, 
eries too late to recover the curious objects thus brought to 
light, but he subsequently succeeded in obtaining other speci- 
mens ; two of which are now in his possession, one of which is 
represented in the annexed cut. As will be seen, it bears a 
close resemblance to a modern tallow candle ; and we can 
hardly doubt, from an examination, that the material of 

* See before, pp. 49—52. 



which they were made was originally tallow, but it has 
undergone the change into adipocere, which frequently takes 
place in fatty substances during exposure for a very long time 
to certain atmospheric actions, and by which it has become 

Eoman Candle from Lead Mine at Shelve. • 

extremely hard and almost chalky in its character. The wicks 
appear to be of flax. Pliny (Hist. Nat. Ub. xvi. c. 70), tells us 
that the pith of a kind of rush was commonly used for making 
wicks to candles. It has been supposed that these candles 
were not made like our dips, but that they were formed by 
rolling a sheet of tallow or wax round the wick, from the cir- 
cumstance that there appears upon the side of each of Mr. 
More's examples (which are carefully preserved at Linley HaU) 
the appearance of a slight indentation as though marking the 
extremity of the sheet where it joined with the rest of the 
material in folding round. We know, however, from the 
ancient writers that the substance with which the Eomans made 
their ordinary candles was sebum, or tallow, and that their 
phrase for making a candle was sebare candelam, meaning 
literally to smear it with tallow. Columella* enumerates 
among the works which the rustic population might lawfully 
do on the ferice, or hoHdays, during which all agricultural 
labours were forbidden, the making of the two implements 
necessary for furnishing lights under different circumstances, 
torches and candles, which he expresses by the words faces 
incidere, candelas sebare. The very form of the phrase 
seems to imply that the candle was made in the same manner 
as at present, by dipping in the melted tallow ; and a fracture 
in the side of one of Mr. More's examples, the one here engra- 
ved, reveals an inner core, which would arise from its being 
formed by two successive dippings in the melted tallow. 

» De Be liustica, lib. ii. c. 21. 

268 URICONIUM. f ' 

We could hardly expect to find among the ruins of the 
Eoman buildings in Britain any objects which would throw 
light on the manner in which the interior of the house was 
furnished during the Eoman period, and we can only assume 
that in this, as in almost every thing else, every article was 
identical with, or closely imitated from, that which existed in 
Italy. Most of the articles of domestic furniture in the houses 
of Uriconium, were probably made of more or less perishable 
materials, and, where this was not the case, they were objects 
which would naturally enough attract the attention of the 
plunderers, and would be carried away in the sack of the town. 
The ordinary articles of domestic furniture, which were pro- 
bably far from abundant in the Eomano-British houses, were, no 
doubt very rare, and greatly valued among the barbarian inva- 
ders, and a chair, or a table, or a bed or couch, or any object 
of that kind, especially if they were adorned or strengthened 
with metal, would appear in their eyes far too good to be 
left behind. 

One class of objects, however, or rather of part of an object, 
connected with the domestic economy of the Eomans in 
Britain, is not at all uncommon, that is, keys and locks. Of 
these, several interesting samples have been found in the 
course of the excavations at Wroxeter. The keys are much 
more numerous than the locks, for the very evident reason 
that door-keys and keys for many other local purposes could 
be of no use to the invaders, and that the invaders, doubtless, 
seldom found the keys attached to the locks of boxes and 
coffers, which, in regard to their contents, they thought worth 
carrying away. Those to whom they belonged no doubt car- 
ried them on their persons. Some of the smaller Eoman keys 
have a ring, in such a position as to show that they were 
intended to be carried on the finger. 

The only perfect lock which has as yet been yielded by 
our excavations at Wroxeter, was found in a grave in the 



cemetery. The contents of the coffer to which it belongs have 
been described on a former occasion f it belonged, no doubt, 
to a Eoman surgeon. This lock, which was the only part of 
the coffer, or box, preserved, is represented in the accompany- 
ing engraving. Some of the wood to which it was fixed 

Roman Lock of a Coffer, from the Cemetery at Uriconium. 

remained attached to it, showing the material of which the 
box had been made. The dimensions of the plate of this lock 
are three and three quarter inches by two and three quarters. 
The works of this lock, and the key by which it was opened, 
seem to have been of very simple construction. A lock 

Boman Lock fonnd at Colchester. 

very similar to it was found at Colchester, also in a Roman 
sepulchral interment, and is represented here for the sake 

* See page 165 of the present volume. 


of comjaarison. In this case the lock is of bronze, and 
measures four inches by two and three quarters. The hasps 
of the two locks are exactly similar ; the end of the Wroxeter 
example is unfortunately broken ofi"; and in both cases the 
key-hole had a protecting cover. Other locks, of exactly the 
same design, have been found on Eoman sites in our island, 
and almost always in cemeteries, and they appear to have 
belonged to wooden boxes in which the funeral oiFerings 
were deposited, and where they have remained undisturbed 
till they have been brought to light by the antiquarian re- 
searches of modern times. 

The lock, among the Romans in earlier times, was merely a 
latch inside, and this simple kind of fastening a^jpears to 
have been in very common use down to a late period. The 
key was a common latch-key, which was thrust through a 
hole from the outside, and lifted up or turned, so as to raise 
the latch. The two represented in the accompanying cut, 
found in the same locality and at the same time with the 
bronze lock above described, both of iron, and the one eight 
inches in length, the other five inches and a half, are by no 
means uncommon types. Two keys closely resembhng these 
were found in the course of the excavations at Wroxetei', 
and are deposited in the Museum. They present all the 
characteristics of such latch-keys as I am describing. They 

Roman Latcli-Keys found at Colchester. 

could hardly be used in any other Avay than by lifting up 



to raise a latch. One has an eye, and the other a hook, at 
the extremity of the handle, no doubt for hanging it, pro- 
bably to the girdle. This is also supposed to be generally 
the use of the rings in which most of the handles of Eoinan 
keys found in this country terminate. These are shown in 
the group of keys given in our next cut, aU found in 1848, at 
Coville Manor, near White Eothing, and here reproduced from 
the Journal of the Archgeological Association for that year. 
They show us a few of the forms, extremely varied, and some- 
times very singular, and even grotesque, of the Eoman keys 
found in Britain. Two of them have evidently been used as 
latch-keys. The small example bears some resemblance to the 
finger keys, except that in the latter the ring was larger, and 

Koman KeTs. 

usually placed so that the key lay flat along the side of the 
finger. An example of a finger key will be found in the 
Museum at Shrewsbur}r. 

The Eoman keys hitherto found at Wroxeter are not numer- 
ous, but in the earlier period of our excavations there occurred 
one or two examples of an object, made of iron which 
is represented in the cut to the left. The cross bars have holes 



at the ends, which were evidently intended for the passage of a 
rod. The use of this object seemed at first very problematical, 

Part of a Eoman Padlock 
irom Wroxeter. 

A Roman Lock from Ches- 
terford in Essex. 

but it was suggested that it might have belonged to some 
description of fastening implement, which would come under 
the general term of a lock. Subsequently two examples of 
the complete padlock were found wdth a great number of other 
implements in iron by the late Lord Braybrooke, then the 
Hon. R. C. Neville, in excavations made under his directions 
at Chesterford, Essex, and they are preserved in his Museum 
at Audley End. One of these, with its key, is represented in 
the above engraving to the right. It will be seen at once 
that this curious padlock solves the whole mystery of the 
fragment of iron found at Wroxeter, for the latter evidently 
represents the upper part of the bar on the right hand which 
enters the box of the lock, and which sHdes along the rod 
attached to the latter. This bar terminates in a bolt, which 
has a strong spring of steel starting Ijack from its point. 


To lock it, this bar is thrust through a hole at the end 

of the box of the lock, which presses the spring close to its 

side until it has passed the hole into the interior, and the spring 

collapses, and renders its withdrawal impossible. The whole is 

then hung by the end which is here placed downwards, to the 

staple of the door or other object which is to be fastened. To 

open it, the key, which is here represented from the example 

found at Chesterford, is inserted through a hole at the other 

end of the box, and embraces the end of the bar and, being 

pushed forward with sufficient force, presses the spring against 

it as it proceeds, until it reaches the other end, and then the 

spring is brought so close to the bar that it may be withdrawn, 

and the lock is opened. 

I will only add that I possess a padlock, a little different in 
form, but exactly of the same construction and action as the 
one here described, given me by my friend Mr. E. E. Hodges, 
many years a resident in Hayti, and British Vice-Consul at 
Jacmel. It is probably at least a century old, and, as he 
believes, is either Spanish, or made in one of the Spanish 
colonies. It is an illustration of the persistence with which 
the Roman arts and forms of useful manufactures have been 
preserved in the Roman provinces long after modern ingenuity 
had invented implements in every way superior for the same 



THE ladies; objects of the toilette, and personal 


The more we collect and compare the relics of the Eoman 
period found in diiferent parts of our island, the more we 
become convinced that the population which then occupied 
it collectively as Romans, though known in other parts of 
the empire as Britons, and which consisted in reality of 
a mixture of almost all the races of mankind in the known 
Avorld (as then known), had adopted Eoman civilization with- 
out reserve. Their houses, their works of art, their vessels for 
table or for kitchen use of whatever material, their manufac- 
tures, their ornaments, are all purely Roman, and identical 
with the same objects as found in Italy and in other parts of 
the empire. There can be no doubt that they had also adopted 
the Roman costume, for, if we possess none of their articles of 
dress, we have a sufficient number of sculptures and other 
pictorial representations of men and women to make us fully 
acquainted with their general character and materials. As our 
modern ideas of fashions did. not exist in those times, the cos- 
tume appears to have been nearly uniform throughout at least 
the western empire and during the whole period of its existence ; 
and the clotliing of the wealthy and of those who were not 
wealthy differed almost only in the richness of the materials 
and in the number, beauty, and value of the personal orna- 
ments. The materials of dress are especially perishable, and 


hardly a fragment of them remains. Almost a unique exception 
is furnished by the shoes, a certain numlaer of which have been 
found under peculiar circumstances. Mr. Roach Smith pos- 
sessed, in his museum which has now been transferred to the 
British Museum, a number of Roman sandals. They were found 
with other objects, imbedded at a considerable depth in soil of 
a description which was impervious to the air, and which in 
other respects was especially favourable to their preservation. 
The upper leathers of these shoes were punched into orna- 
mental open-work in very elegant patterns, and were looped to 
receive strings for drawing them tight together, and tying 
over the instep or across the leg. The soles, which were all 
right and left, were formed of four layers of leather, and were 
fastened together without stitching, by nails, which had large 
projecting heads. In some examples, and this was probably the 
common practice, the whole under-surface of the sole was 
covered with these nail heads.* The soles of the Roman shoes 
have been found elsewhere in our island, sometimes in sepul- 
chral cists, and they are always covered with these large 
heads of nails, which indeed seem to have been their pecu- 
liar characteristic, for they are alluded to by the classical 
writers. Juvenal, describing the inequality existing between 
the people and the soldiers, and the partiality shown to the 
latter in the courts, and warning the former that by attempting 
to resist any of the military they would only expose themselves 
to so many more kicks, tells them that they have only two legs 
to expose to so many thousands of shoe-nails. — 

Signum erit ergo 
Declamatoris mulino corde Vagelli, 
Quum duo crura habeas, offendere tot caligas tot 
Millia clavorum. Juvenal, Satir. xiv, 1. 22, 

I dwell longer upon this circumstance of the nails, because 
these shoe-nails of the Romans in Britain appear under other 

* Several examples of these shoes are engraved in Mr. Eoach Smith's " IlluBtrfilions of 
Eoman London," pp. 131 — 1.35, with a full account of the circumstances under which thoy 
were found. 


n,nd rather cvirious circumstances. The structure of the 
Roman tiles has been already described/^ In the process of 
making, they were not baked or burnt, but dried in the sun, 
and during the long period they were exposed to the air for 
this purpose, they appear to have been occasionally walked 
over not only by dogs, sheep, pigs, and other animals, 
but by man also, and, according to the softness of the clay, all 
these left the impressions of their feet more or less deeply 
marked in them. Roman tiles thus marked occur very fre- 
quently. The shoe-soles found impressed on the Roman tiles 
are always characterized by the large heads of nails just descri- 
bed. Some tUes marked with the impressions of men's feet 
have l^een already mentioned in the present volume t as 
found in the Roman villa at Acton Scott; and they have also 
been found at Wroxeter, and examples are preserved in the 
museum at Shrewsbury. 

No remains of Roman dress of any kind have been yet 
discovered at Wroxeter, but the number of personal ornaments 
which have been met with at different times, and which may be 
seen in the museum, is very considerable. Among the most 
common of the personal ornaments, for they are all more or less 
ornamental, found at Wroxeter and on other Roman sites, are the 
hair pins. They were used especially for holdkig together the 
knot into which the Roman ladies rolled up their hau' behind, 
and they usually swell out in the middle, and diminish again 
towards the head, which Avas no doubt intended to prevent 
the pins from slipping out of the knot of hair. The material of 
which they were made was usually bronze or bone, but they 
were not unfrequently made of silver, and sometimes of wood. 
Those made of the precious metals were much more richly orna- 
mented than those of commoner materials ; several hair-pins 
of silver haA'e l:ieen found in Britain, and one, at least, had a 

* See before pafie 187. 
1 See before p. 32 of tlie present volume. 



diminutive statuette for its lietid. The heads of the bronze 
hair-pins are also frequently very elegant, sometimes worked 
into the form of human heads and l)usts. Those found at 
Wroxeter are of a common 
description, most of them 
of bone, with two or three 
of wood. A selection of 
them is given in the ac- 
companying cut, in which 
they are drawn about half 
the size of the originals- 
Of course wooden hair- 
pins, under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, would have 
perished long ago, but 
those found at Wroxeter had been perfectly saturated with od, 
which was no doubt the cause of their preservation. We are 
justified in assuming from this circumstance that the inhabi- 
tants of Uriconium were in the habit of using oil upon their 
hair very profusely ; and it helps to explain a brief epigram on 
a golden hair-pin (axus aurea) by IMartial, in which we 
are told that the hair-pin was thrust through the ladies' locks, 
to hold them up, least, when damp (with oil of course), they 
would fall upon the dress of dehcate sdk and spoil it : — 

Koman Haii'-pins found at Wroxeter. 

Tenuia ne madidi violent bombycina crines, 
Kgat acus tortas sustineatque comas. 

Martial, Ep. lib. xiv. ep. 24. 

It is pleasant to l)e thus able to illustrate and explain the 
language of the classical writers of Kome by objects dug up in 
our own county. At Wroxeter the hair-pins are found most 
abundantly in the pubhc baths, where we might naturally 
suppose that the female bathers would have them with them 
for their toilette. Perhaps supphes were kept there for sale. 



The Eomans appear to have used the comb (pectenj, as we 
do, for the two different purposes of combing the hair, and of 
holding the hair in a form which has been artificially given to 
it. We learn from the ancient writers that the first of these 
was usually made of box-wood, and the use of this material 
was so general, that the name of the wood fbuxusj was em- 
ployed as a synonym for a comb. Wood is, of course, a 
perishable material, and we could hardly expect the wooden 
combs to be preserved to the present day. But examples 
have been found of more durable materials, such as bone 
and metals, both on the Continent and in Britain, and these 
are commonly made, as now, with a double row of teeth. 
The other class of combs were made of richer materials, and 
were more ornamental. Two combs found at Wroxeter, 
both made of bone, are represented in our cut, of the same 

Eom.m Combs, found at Wroxeter. 

size as the originals, 

The one above is only a portion of the 
original comb, which has been broken. It consisted of a plain 
piece, in which the teeth were cut, and on each side of which 
an ornamental piece of bone was fastened by means of iron 
rivets. The smaller comb is complete, except that it wants 


some of its teeth, and its form is by no means devoid of 
elegance. Among other objects connected with the toilette 
found commonly among Eoman remains are small tweezers, 
usually of bronze, called in Latin volsellce, which were no 
doubt employed in plucking superfluous hairs from the body. 

In those ages when the modern system of varying fashions 
in the make of dress was unknown, and its form remained uni- 
form, the costume of different ranks and individuals differing 
only in the richness and beauty of the materials, and the pride 
or wealth of an individual was shown in a great display of 
personal ornaments. The more precious of such ornaments 
would be objects of plunder to the barbarians who overran 
the Eoman provinces in the later days of imperial rule, and 
are therefore now seldom found on Eoman sites, except in 
sepulchral interments ; but the commoner articles of this 
description are met with in abundance, as the museum at 
Shrewsbury will sufiiciently testify. Among the most common 
of these are the brooches, or, as the Eomans called them, 
JihulcB. The dress of the Eoman of either sex, consisted in 
great part, not of close-fitting garments, but of pieces of cloth, 
ornamented with fringes, &c., which were wrapped round or 
over the body, and fastened with these fibulae. Virgil intro- 
duces Dido wearing a purple vest fastened by a fibula of gold. 

Tandem progreditur, magna stipante caterva, 
Sidoniam picto oMamydem circumdata limbo ; 
Cui pharetra ex auro, crines uodantur in aurum, 
Aurea purpuream subnectit fibula vestem. 

Virgil. ZSn. iv. 136. 

The fibulae found on Eoman sites in Britain are usually of 
bronze, but sometimes of silver, or even of gold. The bronze 
fibulae were often, if not mostly, thickly gilt, so that to the eye 
they appeared like gold. They present two distinct classes, 
each uniform in its general shape, but differing considerably in 
detail. Our cut on the next page represents six examples of the 
first of these classes, which is usually termed bow-shaped, sq- 



lected from those found at Wroxeter, and will give a sufficient 
idea of their general character. They are all of bronze. No. 1, 
which is seen in front, is one of the least ornamented. No. 2 is 
rather a common form, but it appears to have been a favourite, 
for it has been found I believe more than once in England, of 
large dimensions, and made of solid pure gold. A large gold 
fibula of this type was found at Odiham in Hampshire, in 1844. 

Roman Fibulce from Wroxeter. 

The ornamentation of this class of fibute is extremely varied, 
and it becomes often c[uite grotesque. Figs. 3 and 4 present 
examples of ornamental fibulse selected from those found at 
Wroxeter ; and fig. 6, from the same collection, is curiously 
grotesque. It presents the rude figure of a dog, and is probably 
of rather late woi'kmanship, and the *maker appears to have 
been so well satisfied with his work that he has stamped his 
name upon it, though the name itself disappeared. 

The fibula was fastened into the dress by a pin on the back, 
which sometimes moved on a hinge, and sometimes acted as a 
spring. As this pin was more fragile than the fibula itself, 
and was sometimes made of iron or steel, it is often wanting 
in those found in the course of excavations, and this is the 



case in the examples from Wroxeter given above. The fibula 
represented in the accompanying cut, found at SHchester 
in Hampshire (the Eoman Calleva) is perfect, and it is 
shown both sideways and in front, in order to display its 
construction as well as its ornamentation. A fibula of rather 
a different character, but belonging to the same class I am 
^tcscribing, is shewn in the next cut. It was found among 
Eoman remains at East Farleigh, near Maidstone in Kent, in 

Koman Fibula from 

Roman Fibula from Kent. 

1841. The metal of this fibula was an alloy of tin, which is 
of far less common occurrence than bronze. 

One of the fibulae in the preceding group from Wroxeter, 
which has not yet been described, presents another interesting- 
feature in the character of the Eomano-British personal orna- 
ments. The circular face divided by rings, is enamelled. The 
art of enamel appears to have been introduced, with that of 
neillo, at a rather early period into the north of Gaul and 
Britain, and we are justified by the quantity of examples 
found among Eoman remains in assuming that it was practised 
in our island to a considerable extent during the later Eoman 
period. I have ventured to suppose that we have found in 


Uriconium the workshop of a practiser of both these arts.* 
In the fibula from Wroxeter (fig. 5), the enamel is iirranged in 
two concentric rings, with a centre, of which the latter is green, 
the inner ring blue, and the outer ring brown. The fibula repre- 
sented in our next cut was found in the suburbs of Colchester, 
the Roman Camulodunum, on the side 
towards Lexden, and affords another 
very good perfect example of an orna- 
ment of this description. The semicir- 
cular space in front is set with green 

The second class of fibulae spoken of 
before, which are of a perfectly circular 
Roman Fibula from Colchester. £qj.j^^ ^^^ ^^^^ frequently enamelled 

than the others, and are oftener made of the precious metals. 
The pin behind for fastening exactly resembles that of the 
other class. They are sometimes small, not much larger than 
a common button, but often of more considerable dimensions. 
The exact manner in which the fibulae of the first class were 
used is not known with any great certainty, but they 
seem to have been employed more by females than by the 
other sex. In a Eomano-Gallic sculptured monument found 
at Mayence (the Roman Maguntiacum), representing a Roman 
family of that city, the lady, who was evidently a " belle, " 
appears to have at least two of these fibulae on her breast. 
The circular fibulae is seen more frequently on the figures in 
coins and sculptures, and one of its principal uses appears to 
have been to fasten the pallium on the shoulder. These were 
no doubt the larger and richer articles of this class. Two of 
the smaller round fibulae found at Wroxeter are beautifully 
enamelled. One has a centre of enamelled ornament, alter- 
nately of scarlet and blue, surrounded by a circle of triangles 
filled with blue enainel. Studs and buttons are also found 

* See page 163 of the present volume. 



among the Roman remains of Britain, but the particular man- 
ner in wliich they were employed on the dress is not well 
known. They are like the circular fibulae, sometimes perfectly 
flat, and at others convex. Several of these studs or buttons 
have been found at Wroxeter. A very elegant example of 
steel damaskeened was found in the room supposed to be an 
enameUer's workshop. One of the buttons or studs found at 
Wroxeter is made of jet. 

Another class of ornaments connected with the dress are the 
buckles, which of course were used for attaching girdles and 
belts. They are of sufficiently common occurrence among 
Eoman remains in this country, and resemble closely in form 
the buckles of modern times. Two examples are shown in our 
next group of personal ornaments of the Eoman period found 
at Wroxeter, figs. 7 and 8. They are both of bronze, offering 
nothing calling for particular remark in their ornamentation, 
but one wants the tongue. 

Koman Eings and Buckles from Wroxeter. 

A few rings found in the excavations at Wroxeter are here 
grouped with the buckles. Finger rings appear to have been 
worn in great profusion among the Romans, and they are 

284 URICONIUM. ■ ■■- • • 

found rather abundantly in excavations on Koman sites. They 
are often made of gold and silver, but their forms are so varied 
that it would be impossible to give a general description. 
Those found at Wroxeter are for the most part of a rather 
ordinary description. There is, in the Shrewsbury Museum, a 
fragment of one of jet; and at least one is of silver; it is repre- 
sented in fig. 4 of our group. The rest are of bronze. I have 
stated before that small keys, no doubt belonging to coffers, 
were often attached to rings, that they might be carried on the 
hand ; the key usually stands at right angles to the plane of 
the ring, so that it lay flat to the finger. Fig. 2, in the pre- 
ceding group, represents one of these key-rings. Another 
example in the museum of Wroxeter antiquities at Shrews- 
bury is a plain ring made of twisted bronze and iron wire. In 
the ring was not unfrequently set a gem, or an intaglio, and 
examples have been found at Wroxeter of rings which have 
preserved their settings. 

The Eomans not only covered their fingers with rings, but 
they loved to wear on their ams bracelets (armillcB), an article 
of rather frequent occurrence among objects of antiquity found 
on Eoman sites. Gold and silver were more frequently em- 
ployed in bracelets than in the fibulee, but those hitherto 
found at Wroxeter are of inferior character. The bronze 
armillce are sometimes of large dimensions, and very richly 
ornamented, but their forms are extremely varied. The 
cut on the next page represents two very elegant Eoman 
bracelets of silver, found at Castlethoi'pe in Buckinghamshire, 
in an urn filled with Eoman coins, which all belonged to the 
earlier empire. The bracelets are here given of the size of the 
originals. The Eomans wore a collar of metal round the neck, 
as well as a bracelet round the arm ; they called this a torques, 
or torquis. As the torques, at least during the earlier period, 
Avas usually made of gold, and was of very considerable weight, 
it was not so likely to be lost as other articles of personal 




ornament, and it is therefore more seldom found in antiqua- 
rian explorations. A torques of gold, described as being 
twisted and -wreathed, found at Pattingham in Staffordshire, in 
1700, weighed three pounds two oimces ; and one found in 
Needwood Forest, in the same county, in 1848, weighed a 

- I i . -1 I . I ' il i.i- i ir-fg :- 

Pioman ArmiUcs from Castletliorpe. 

pound and nearlj- two ounces. I am not aware that any per- 
fect torques has been found at Wroseter, but one or two 
fragments of ornamental bronze have been picked up, which, 
on account of their peculiar cur^^e, were judged to have been 
parts of torques. 

The torques was considered among the Eomans, as an orna- 
ment of the person used by men, rather than by females, and it 
was understood to have belonged originally to the barbarians, 
and especially to the Gauls, from whom the Eomans derived 
it. Dio Cassius, however, describes queen Boadicea as wearing 
a torques of gold round her neck, and, as some ornament very 
hke a torques is traceable in figures of females on sculptures, 
it may have been adopted by women in the later part of the 
Roman period. Tlie Eoman ladies wore more usually instead 
of the collar of metal, a necklace of beads. Beads are found 



very abundantly among Koman antiquities in our island, so 
that they must have been in universal use. They are made of 
several materials, of which the most common is earthenware. 
But the glass beads are hardly less numerous — I believe that, 
as far as Wroxeter is concerned, I may say much more numer- 
ous. In either material, the beads are very commonly of mixed 
colours, which are worked together with great skUl. A very- 
usual form of the glass bead is that of a ribbed sphere. A bead 
of this form, of red earth, no less than an inch and a quarter 
in diameter, was found at Wroxeter. Another common form 
of the glass bead is represented in the accompanjdng cut, 
which is of the exact size of the original. 

This kind of bead is not uncommon, 
and it used to be known by the ridicu- 
lous and very incorrect name of " druid's 
beads," arising from a notion that it 
had some connection with the druidieal 
superstitions. Jet, or Kimmeridge coal, 
was also used extensively in the manu- 
facture of beads. The two beads descri- 
bed above are of unusually large dimen- 
sions. Those found at Wroxeter are 
generally much smaller and present no 
features which require particular descrip- 
tion. The glass bead, of which the en- 
graving is here given, was found near Southampton. 

From the dress of the women, we naturally turn to that of 
the other sex, but of this we have less to say. That which 
would interest us most would be their arms and armour, but 
it is a very remarkable circumstance that among the vast 
quantities of Roman antiquities found in Britain, a weapon 
made of steel or iron is very rarely found, and that a sword 
is almost unknown. This might, to a certain degree, be 
explained by the circumstance that the Romans did not, like 

Eomau Glass Bead, from 

URICONIUM. - ' 287 

the Anglo-Saxons, bury their arms with the dead; and 
weapons of war were so highly valued by the barbarians who 
overran the Roman provinces, that they would naturally carry 
them off among plunder, in preference to many other things. 
StUl, this is but an unsatisfactory explanation ; and if weapons 
of iron were in common use among the Eoman troops in Bri- 
tain, it cannot but be considered as very extraordinary that 
none of them are now found. 

In face of this we have another circumstance, equally worthy 
of attention. Weapons of various descriptions, swords, dag- 
gers, spear-heads, and arrow-heads, are found throughout Bri- 
tain, in great abundance, but made of another metal — bronze. 
These bronze weapons are assumed by a new school of archae- 
ology, which has been recently formed, to be " prehistoric, " 
that is, to belong to another people, if not race, who lived here 
ages before either Eomans or Britons, and who Avere acquainted 
with no other metal than bronze. One cannot but be startled 
at the notion of the existence of a people ia our island, at 
such a remote period, who possessed the skUl and artistic 
taste to produce such beautifully shaped objects as these bronze 
weapons of which I am speaking, and who were at the same 
time so numerous and warhke that they left the ground fiUed 
with their weapons of bronze, while the Romans have left us 
hardly a single example of their weapons of iron. I wiU 
repeat, on this subject, some remarks which I made in an ad- 
dress delivered before the British Archaeological Association, 
as one of its vice-presidents, in the opening meeting of the 
session of 1867.* 

" Bronze is a mixed metal, and not one of simple or easy 
formation. It was no doubt invented in Greece and the 
East, where iron did not exist, or where, at least, it was not 

* Printed in the Journal of the British Archjeological Association for that year, p. 60. See 
also my paper " On the True Assignation of the Bronze Weapons, &c., supposed to indicate a 
Bronze Age in Western and Northern Europe," in the Transactions of the Ethnological Society, 
vol. iv. p. 176. 


known until a comparatively late date, and where, therefore, 
people in a tolerably advanced state of civilization had to 
find a mixture of metals which would be hard enough to 
serve the purposes for which iron was afterwards used. For 
a long period, bronze was the only metal employed for such 
purposes in Greece and Italy ; no doubt it was communicated 
from thence to the Gauls, when the intercourse between 
these peoples became intimate, and through them it would 
in time reach the Britons. But long before the natives of 
Britain could have reached that knowledge of metallurgy 
which would have enabled them to invent bronze, they must 
have become acquainted with iron and with all its utility. 
At the time when Caesar invaded our island, although the 
Britons worked iron, they had no bronze of their own, and 
all they had was imported, no doubt from Gaul. The 
quantity of it was probably small. But the advocates of the 
new system of periods appeal to a certain number of objects in 
bronze found in Britain, as well as in Gaul, Germany, and 
other parts of Northern Europe, consisting principally of 
swords, spear-heads, daggers, and chisel-formed implements 
Avhich are commonly known by the name of " celts", as being 
older than the invention of iron, and as belonging to a 
bronze period. In fact, it is upon the existence of these 
objects that the whole belief in such a period is founded. 
These objects are inet with under circumstances which asso- 
ciate them so closely together, that they undoubtedly belong 
to the same period. I believe them to be all Eoman. I 
cannot, on an occasion like this, enter into an examination 
of the cjuestion in its various bearings, but I will state it 
briefly in regard to the most important of these implements, 
and that on which the advocates of the system of periods 
insist most, the sword. ■^■' 

* I would refer, for a more extended examination of the arguments used by the supp ortera 
of this system, to my paper, " On the true Assignation of the Bronze Weapons," in the 
Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London, vol. iw p. 176. 


" It is hardly necessary to remark that the sword is uot a 
weapon which belongs to a low state of social development. 
The savage is essentially a coward. He tries to hurt his 
enemy from a distance, and, if possible, from behind a tree, 
or a rock, or other shelter, that he may be out of reach of 
hurt himself. Your wild men of the " stone me," would no 
doubt ia the earher times fight by pelting their enemies with 
stones. As they advanced in civilisation (if we may apply 
the term to them), and gained courage to fight hand to hand, 
they would jDrobably use a club, or a long staff -ndth a stone 
tied to the end of it, with which they could still strike at a 
little distance. When metal was introduced, the first weapons 
were similarly the spear and the dart, and when the sword 
was brought into use, it was a long heavy sword, still intended 
for striking at a cUstance. In the heroic ages of Greece, the 
spear and the javelin were the favourite arms. It is to the 
Romans we must look for the more refined and discijolined 
use of the sword, which was the weapon of the legion. When 
we read in Cgesar, or Tacitus, of Liwy, or Polybius, or any of 
the historians of the Eoman wars, of their combats with 
barbarians, whether Germans, or Gauls, or Caledonians, or 
others, we meet always the same feature, — the advantage of 
the Eoman consisted in fighting at close cjuarters with a short, 
poiated sword, intended for stabbing, against men who were 
armed only with long swords without points, intended for 
striking. The Eoman manner of fightiag requu-ed a very 
high degree both of courage and discipline ; but it is evident 
that when he once closed in with his opponent, the long 
sword was useless, and the man wlio carried it lay at his 
mercy. That the Eoman legionaiy was armed with a short 
sharp-pointed sword, is, therefore, a notorious fact. 

" Now, let us look at the Eoman monuments, and incj^uire 
what information they give us on this subject : and first 


Coin of Caius Senilius. 


among these we will take the most interesting of the Eoman 
coins, those of the consular series. In these we find numerous 
representations of the Roman holding his sword. I will only 
call your attention to one example : it is a coin of Caius 

Rervilius, a contemporary of 
Julius Caesar, and on its 
reverse we see two military 
figures, each holding a sword. 
These swords are short and 
pointed, and their form is 
that which is commonly described as leaf-shaped. The same 
form of sword is found on others of the consular coins ; 
while some of them represent swords, still short and pointed, 
but with straight edges, tapering towards the point, or parallel 
until they are brought suddenly to a point. When we look 
to other monuments, we find the same form of sword, down to 
a rather late date. This leaf-shaped sword is seen in the 
hands of the Eoman soldiers in the sculptures on the Arch 
of Constantine at Eome. The same form of sword occurs 
on many sculptures of the Eoman period, found in various 
j)arts of the Eoman empire, several of which are engraved 
in Moutfaucon. I give a group of swords from rather rude 
sculptures on Eoman sepulchral monuments at Constantine 
in Algeria, which show us both the leaf-shaped sword and the 
sword with parallel edges. If we look, again, at the Eoman wall- 
paintings at Eompeii or elsewhere, at the Etruscan pottery, 
at almost any pictorial monuments of Eoman antiquity which 
are in sufficient number, we shall find continually recurring 
this same short leaf-shaped sword."'" It appears, indeed, to 
have been the sword of the ancient Greeks, which had been 

* In looldng over the diiferent collections of Greek and Etruscan vases, we see that 
tlic cmiimon weapons were the spear and javelin. The sword is of much rarer occurrence ; 
but it is almost always the short leaf-shaped weapon, and it has the fonn of sheath usually 
found on Homan monuments. In B'Hancarville, vol. ii., plate 30, we have a figure of a 
wanior drawing the leaf-shaped sword from its scahbard. A good figure of the sword in 
its sheath will he found on plate 41 of the same volume. 



brought by them into Italy, and had become the uatioual 
weapon of the Ilomans, the sword of the Roman legionaries. 

Eoman Swords from Canstantine in Algeria, 

" It becomes, then, a fair question. Are all traces of the 
sword of the Eoman legionary lost ? Among the vast quantity 
of Eoman antiquities which have been at various periods 
brought to light, and which are laid up in so many museums, 
is there not a single example of it preserved "? I answer, 
there is ; and I have no hesitation in pointing to the four 
swords represented in the group on the next page as the re- 
presentations of that sword. They are the swords which the 
advocates of the new system of periods ascribe to a bronze age. 

" The objection which has been raised consists chiefly in 
the metal ; and yet this apj)ears to me to have no good 
foundation. We know that in earlier times, both in Greece 
and Italy, the sword was made of bronze, and the Eoman 
sword under the kings was certainly of bronze. We have no 
authority for stating that the metal of the short sword of 
the legionary was changed at any subsequent period. For 



such a sword, used for stabbing and not for striking, bronze 
was almost as effective a metal as iron, and it offered several 
advantages. As the metal only required melting in a mould, 
the sword could, when wanted, be made or re-made easily 
without the trouble of forges and anvils. On the other hand, 

Examples of Bronze Swords. 

whenever we find the bronze swords within the limits of 
the Eoman provinces, it is almost invariably under circum- 
stances Yvliich must lead us to presume that they are Eoman. 
Such is the case certainly in Britain. I may mention a 
Ijronzc sword fouud in Silchester, the Eoman city of Calleva, 
an account of which is given in the first volume of the 
Journal of the British Archaeological Association, (p. 14). In 
two instances in France, recorded by the antic|uary Mongez, 
they were found with Eoman imperial coins, in one case of the 
Emperor Caracalla, in the other of Maxentius, which would be 
nearly contemporary with the Eoman sculptures alluded to 
above. I have no doubt that further discoveries will furnish 
abundant evidence in confirmation of the Eoman character of 
these objects. The Emperor Napoleon III. informs us, in the 
second volume of his Tlistoire de Jules Cesar, that ten spear- 
heads, two axes (I suppose he means what are among us called 


" celts"), and two swords, all of bronze, were found deposited 
in the fosse of Caesar's line of circumvallation round the 
Gaulish oppidum of Alesia. A little research amono- the 
scattered and forgotten records of discoveries in past times 
would no doubt bring to light many cases in which these 
bronze weapons and other implements have been found in 
former times with objects of undoubted Roman manufacture, 
and even with Roman coins. In the time of Borlase, bronze 
"celts" were found at Karn-bre in Cornwall, along with 
Roman corns, some of which Borlase obtained, and has 
described.* One of these Avas of the Emperor Constantius 
which is curious as bringing them to the date of the sculptures 
and bronze swords akeady mentioned. Borlase tells us 
that they had also been found along with Roman coins at 
Aldborough in Yorkshire, the site of the Roman city of 
Isurium :f although this went against his own opinions on 
the subject, he speaks of it as a fact too well ascertained to 
admit of a doubt ; but he seeks to ex2:)lain it by supj)osiug 
that the Romans of the province had adopted the older 
weapons of the Britons, and that thus they had continued in 
use, while he urged as an objection to their being Roman, 
what he believed to be the fact, that they had not been found 
in Italy. In this, however, he was mistaJven. They did exist 
in Italian collections ] and I have recently received a series 
of privately printed engravings of a small collection of in- 
teresting antiquities in the possession of Hodder JM. Westropp, 
Esq., of Bookhurst, near Cork, among which there are no 

* *' In tlie year 174-i, in the side of Kam-bre FTiU, were dug up several hollow insti-uments 
of brass, of different sizes, called '' celts," whose shape is most easily apprehended from tlie 
drawings of two of them" [he has given a i)late of them], "with others fi-om diilorent 
parts of the kingdom, placed together for the better illustration of one another. AYith 
these instruments were found several Koman coins, six of which came into my hands. 
One of ANTONiNVS AVG. ; No. 2, uncertain ; No. 3, divo constantio pig ; reverse, memoria 
FELIX; No. 4, defaced; No, 5, severvs Alexander ; No. 6, defaced." — Boi'lase, Antiquities of 
Cornwall, p. 281 ; second edition, 1769. 

+ " They are found here at Kam-bre, and have been found at Aldborough (the ancient 
Iimrinw) in Yorkshii-e, in company with many Koman coins." — Bnrlase, p. 28.3. 

294 URicoNiUM. 

less than five bronze "celts," found in difierent parts of 
Southern Italy, and apparently of Roman manufacture/'^ 

" Ail the objections which have been raised to the Roman 
oiigui of these bronze weapons and implements appear to 
me either very trivial or founded merely in error. They rest 
i-hicfly on weak negative evidence. No direct evidence has 
yet been shewn that they are not Roman, much less that 
they belong to any other people. One of these objections, 
for instance, was founded on the small size of the handles 
which, it was alleged, could only be held by very small men ; 
whereas, the objectors represented, if we judge of the ancient 
l^y the modern Romans, they were large men ; and this was 
considered as a proof that the people who had used these 
swords was an oriental race. Of course, such a statement 
could only have arisen from a want of knowledge ; for, on 
the contrary, the ancient writers are sufficiently explicit in 
stating that the Romans were a race of small men, and we 
have only to appeal to the evidence of Csesar himself In 
descril^ing the siege of the oppidum of the Aduatuci {Namur), 
he tells us that, generally, the Romans Avere objects of con- 
tempt to the Gauls on account of the smallness of their 
stature; t and as, in his account of Britain, he tells us that the 
Britons were bigger men than the Gauls, and we know that the 
Britons w&te not giants, we can have no doubt of the small- 
ness of the Romans. Besides, a sword used only for stabbing 
does not require the same strength or weight of handle as 
one for striking with the edge. A much greater apparent 
difficulty arises from the circumstance of the bronze swords 
and celts being found in great numbers in the countries into 

* " Collectanea Antiqica, in the possession of Plodder M. Westropp, Esq., Kookhurst, 
Cork." Large 4to. 

t CfBsar's words are, — " Ubi, vineis actis, aggere exstnicto, turrim procul constitui 
viderant, primnm inridere ex mui'o atque mcrepitare vocibus, quo tanta macbiuatio ab tanto 
spatio institueretur ? quibusnam manUms, aut qr.ibus viiibus, jjra'sertim lwmin£9 tantula^ 
staturce {iii\.va 2)leruinque bommibus Grallis pro? magnitudinc corporum suorura brevitas nostra 
contemtiii est) tanti oncris turrim in niui'os sese conlocare ooniiderent ? " — Ca?sar, J)e Bello 
GaUico, lib. ii, c. 30. 


which the Romans never penetrated, such as Scandinavia ; 
but this, too, now admits of an easy explanation. It is true 
that these bronze swords are found in nearly all the countries 
outside the Roman provinces to the north and north-west, 
in Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany, and even in Hungary ; but 
they all bear so close a resemblance to each other that we 
cannot reasonably doubt that, they must have been all carried 
from one common centre. The accounts of all the ancient 
writers shew most satisfactorily that, when the Romans first 
came in contact with any of these peoples, they did not find 
them using weapons of this description ; but we can easily 
understand that, when the barbarians did become acquainted 
with the Romans, they would on one hand be glad to obtain 
articles of Roman manufacture, whUe on the other, Roman 
dealers would be ecj^ually glad to make a profit out of them 
by selling. These bronze swords, by their form and ornament, 
were just the things to attract the attention of the barbarians ; 
and it is not improbable that they rather wore them as 
ornamental weapons {des armes de luxe) than used them in 
war, for they seem never to have displaced the old long sword 
of the Celts and Germans. In a paper on this subject, read 
before another Society,^' I have called attention to the numer- 
ous traces of dealers of this description which are found in 
the Roman provinces, and which leave no doubt that there 
was a very extensive traffic carried on in these bronze imple- 
ments by men who wandered over distant lands, like the 
mediaeval pedlars, taking with them their implements for 
casting them. Thus these bronze swords and spear-heads and 
dago-ers and " celts" were of Roman origin, but were carried 
into distant countries by travelling merchants or manufac- 
turers ; and perhaps natives of those countries would in 
course of time learn to make them for themselves. Of the 

• See my paper, " On the true Assignation of tlie Bronze Wtnpoiis," ijuoteJ in a former 
note, and " The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon," p. 73, '2nd edit. 


four swords represented in our group, the first was found in 
the valley of the Somme in France (it is one of those 
described hj Mongez), the second was found in the Lake of 
Neufchatel in Switzerland, the third in Sweden, and the last 
also in some part of Scandinavia. The further objection, 
that no Roman coins, or other objects known to be Eoman, 
accompany these swords when found in Scandinavia or other 
countries beyond the limits of the Roman power, it is hardly 
worth discussing, because it is exactly what might be expected 
to be the case. A man's buying a foreign sword does not 
imply the necessity of his buying some other foreign objects 
to store up Avith it, especially if those objects had no relation- 
ship to the weapon, and were of no use to him ; for what 
use could Roman coins be in countries where there was no 
monetary circulation ? And why should the barbarians, when 
they bought bronze weapons from the Romans, be obliged to 
buy some Roman coins to bury with them, in order that 
people who happened, after many centuries, to dig them up, 
should know whence they obtained them 1 

" We have thus, in sufficient abundance, all the evidence 
necessary in such a case. We have bronze swords answering 
exactly in form and size to those of the Roman legionaries, and 
they are found deposited with other undoubted Eoman remains." 

After the swords, the most remarkable of these bronze 
weapons are the daggers, which have an interest more closely 
connected with our city of Uriconium. The shape of the 
bronze dagger is toleraljly uniform wherever it is found, 
whether in Gaul, or in Britain, or in Ireland, or in the north, 
which is in itself a sufficient cause for supposing that it must 
have belonged to a period when there was an easy mode of 
commiinication between all those countries. To show more 
strongly the identity of these daggers, I give in the cut on 
next page an example from the farthest point west — a bronze 
dagger from Ireland, because, at all events, the difference in 



form between it and anything Roman found in Italy, must be 
the greatest possible. It is, like all the daggers of this class, 
broad-bladed, the blade ribbed, with chamfered edges. The 
blade, of course, is the characteristic part of either dagger or 
sword, and where we find the handles, which 
is less frequently, as they were no doubt 
commonly made of wood, they differ some- 
what in different localities. In the present 
instance it is of a very Irish character, of a 
style of art bearing to that barbaric style 
which probably existed in the sister island 
during the latter part of the Eoman period, 
and through the early Christian period, per- 
haps I may say down to the ninth or tenth 
century. Now let us turn to Rome itself, 
and inquire what was the form of daggers 
there, and the question is immediately 
answered, by a class of monuments of 
extreme interest, the consular coins, on which daggers occur 
not unfrequently, and they are all, as near as can be pic- 
tured on so small a scale, of this same peculiar character, 
broad-bladed, and ribbed, and with handles of the same 
general character. I will give an example which presents 

It is a coin of Junius Brutus, 
the celebrated patriot who slew 
Julius Csesar with his dag- 
ger, and no doubt represents 
the form of the weapon with 
which that memorable deed was 
performed. It is engraved from 
the original coin preserved in the numismatic collection in the 
British Museum. On the obverse we have the name l. plaet. 
CEST, i. e. Lucius Plaetorius Cestianus, one of the ofiicers of 
Brutus, by whose order the coin was struck, and who gives to 

Bronze Dagger 
from Ireland 

a very peculiar interest. 

Coin of Junius Bmtus. 


his chief the title brvt . imp., i.e., Brutus imperator. On the 
reverse appear the terrible emblems, the pileus (or cap of 
liberty) in the middle, a dagger on each side, broad-bladed and 
ribbed, and under them the words eid. mar,, i.e. Eidus (the 
archaic form of Idus) Martioe, the day on which the deed 
was done. A glance at this curious coin is sufficient to con- 
vince us that the dagger with which Caesar was slam was 
identical in form with those which are so often found in our 
excavations in Britain. But I am able to bring home still 
more directly to our county of Salop and to our ancient city 
of Uriconium this curious question. My friend the late Eev. 
Charles Henry Hartshorne gave me a drawing of a bronze 
dagger which, at the time he made the drawing, in 1838, was 
in the possession of William Anstice, Esq., of Madeley Wood, 
and was preserved there as without any doubt having been 
found within the site of Wroxeter. We are of course no 
longer able to interrogate the individual who found this curious 
relic, but I know no reason whatever to doulDt the truth of 
the statement. I give a cut of it here from Mr. Hartshorne's 
drawing, with the caution, that the drawing 
was made in outline, and I fear that the 
rather high relief of the central part may be 
ascribed in some degree to the imagination 
of my engraver. It will be seen that it 
presents the same form as the other bronze 
daggers, the broad ribbed blade which pierced 
the heart of the great Dictator. 
, Our neighbourhood, at least, has furnished 

us with further evidence of the Ptoman charac- 
V * ter of these bronze implements. A great part 

of the trade and manufactures of the middle 

Bronze Dagger from ■ n i i n 

Wroxeter. agcs was camcd on through a system oi 

pedlars, who travelled about from place to place, carrying with 
them articles of commerce, or materials and implements for 
making them. It was one of the necessities of the condition 


of society, when intercommunication between different parts 
of tlie country was slow and uncertain. Tliis was so strictly 
the case, that, long after the invention of gunpowder, men 
who were skilled in making it travelled about the country 
from one great town to another, carrying mth them the 
materials which could not be obtained locally, and the people 
of the different towns, and all others who wanted the gun- 
powder, awaited their arrival, with the commoner ingredi- 
ents of it ready prepared. Any one who wdl examine the 
local records of the town of Southampton will find sufficient 
evidence of this practice in regard to gunpowder. This 
medieeval custom, like so many of the other forms of medi- 
aeval society, was no doubt derived directly from the Eomans ; 
and, curiously enough, we find abundant traces of this practice 
in relation to the bronze weapons and implements. They 
consist in discoveries of deposits, usually of an earthen vessel 
for melting bronze, of which there is sometimes a residuum at 
the bottom, of moulds for casting, and generally of some frag- 
ments of broken swords or other bronze implements, no doubt 
intended as metal to be melted down, and of similar articles 
entire, constituting stock-in-trade. These deposits are almost 
always found near a Eoman road, or in the neighbourhood of 
a Roman station, and we are therefore justified in considering 
that they belonged to Eoman subjects, who had travelled as 
manufacturers of these Ijronze implements along the Eoman 
roads, and halted at those spots for personal or local reasons 
which are unknown to us. Discoveries of such deposits 
have been very numerous in Britain, Gaul, Switzerland, and 

The first example I will give of such discoveries was made in 
the immediate neighbourhood of Uriconium. Some years ago, 
one of such deposits was found near the foot of the Wrekin, 
not far from the great Roman road known as the Watling- 
Street ; it consisted of a quantity of bronze celts, some entire 
and others broken. I believe that another similar discovery 


was made near the remains of a Roman villa at Pontesford in 
Shropshire, on the border of the great Eoman lead-mining 
district. Other such deposits under similar circumstances have 
been found in different parts of the island. One was found at 
Sittingbourne, on the Kentish portion of the Watling-Street, 
among which there were fragments of a bronze sword ; another, 
consisting of bronze punches, chisels, and other implements, 
with several pieces of unused metal, one of which was evi- 
dently the residuum of the melting pot, at Attleborough in 
Norfolk, on the Roman road between Thetford and Norwich; 
another, again, consisting of sixty bronze chisels, &c., with a 
portion of a bronze sword , and a piece of bronze which appeared 
similarly to be the residue from melting, all contained in an 
earthen ]3ot, at AVeston in Yorkshire, on the Roman road from 
Old Malton, where there are the remains of a Roman town, to 
York. It is unnecessary to adduce further examples, and I 
can only imagine one fact that can be drawn from them. It 
was the Roman itinerant manufacturers who made the bronze 
weapons and bronze imj^lements of which there has been so 
much talk. 

So general was the use of bronze for the manufacture of 
arms and armour among the Greeks and Romans in the earlier 
times, that the person of the warrior, when he presented him- 
self, was said poetically to glitter with bronze. This was called 
in Greek (by Homer) auge chalkeie, a bronzy shine, and in 
Latin lux aena, a bronzy light. Thus, in Virgil, when Pyrrhus 
presents himself in full armour : 

Vestibulum ante ipsum pvinioque in limine Pyrrlius 
Exultat, telis et luce coruscus aena. 

Virr/il. ^n. ii. 4G9. 

Within the limits of our own border, too, has been found 
an object connected with the accoutrement of the Roman 
soldier of much greater rarity. This was a portion of the 
lorica, the warrior's armour or mail. The earliest Roman 


armour made of metal appears to have been scale mail, 
the scales of which were formed of flexible bauds of steel. 
This was the lorica squamata, of which a description is 
given by the early glossator, Isidore of Seville, according to 
whom it was "made of steel or bronze plates chained 
together in the nianner of the scales of a fish, and receives 
its name from the brightness as well as the resemblance of the 
scales."* Some scales belonging to this description of armour 
were found among the large deposit of articles of Eoman 
manufacture in metal found at Hod HUl, in Dorsetshire, by 
Mr. Burden, and are engraved in one of the plates to the 
description of these antic[uities by my friend Mr. C. Eoach 
Smith, in the sixth volume of his Cf)llectanea Antiqua.f 
These scales were of bronze silvered, which must of course 
have given them the brightness described by Isidore, and 
they were fastened to each other by rings or hooks at the sides 
and tops, in rows, the lower extremity of one row overlapping 
the upper part of that beneath, thus resembling the scales of 
fish, and the whole appears to have been originally sewed to 
leather or linen. As IMr. Smith informs us, other examples of 
this kind of armour have been found at Pompeii ; in the ruins 
of the amphitheatre of Avenches in Swit- 
zerland ; and, among antiquities of the 
Eoman period, at Catteiick in Yorkshire, 
the site of the Eoman station of Catar- 
actonmm. My friend has also given at the 
page quoted an engraving of three of the 
squamcB found at Catterick, which I gladly ^°Tom''catteriS'°" 
transfer hither. 

Mr. Eoach Smith himself possessed in his museum several 
collections of rings of brass, or bronze, which were found 

* Squama est lorica ferrea ex laminis ferreis vel a^reis concatenata in modum squamarum 
piscis et ex ipso splendore squamanua et simiJitudiiie nuncupata est. Iddori Origines, ed. 
Colon, p. 158. 

+ C. Eoach Smith, Collectanea Antiqva, vol. \i. pi. iii, and page 8 of the text. 


among unquestionable Roman remains in excavations made in 
Eastclieap at London, and which have evidently belonged to 
armour. They were all in lengths made of four welded together 
at the edges, and they seem, like the scales, to have been 
made to be attached to leather or some other suljstance. Two 
of these lengths are represented in the accom- 
panying cut. Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick saw other 
examples of Roman rings, exactly resembling 
in character those just mentioned, in the col- 
lection of Lord Prudhoe. 

Those however to which I would more par- 
ticularly^ call attention as having been found 
on the Welsh border were in Sir Samuel 
Meyrick's O'Wti collection. We gather from foom\o™on.' 
the classical writers that the armour which seems to have 
been most valued by the Romans, and probably, was most 
fashionable, was chain-mail. These suits of armour were 
called in Greek alysidotous thoracas, hauberks made of chains 
or linked rings. They were worn especially by the Roman 
hastati. According to Athenseus,* at the magnificent games 
celebrated by King Antiochus at Daphne, the grand proces- 
sion was led by men armed in the Roman fashion, in 
breastplates of chain armour, all men in the flower of youth, 
to the number of four thousand. Virgil more than once speaks 
of mail as being formed of rings hooked or linked into one 
another. Among the arms of Neoptolemus, Avere : — 

Loricaui cousertam liamis auroque trilicem. 

Virgil. JEn. lib. iii, /. 4G7. 

Similarly, among the prizes given by iEneas at his games, 
was : — 

Levibus huio hamis consertam auroque trilicem 

^n. Ub. V, /. 259. 

* AtJtenwi Deipnosojfldst . lib. v. c. 22. 



and so, on another occasion, in the Avar with Turnus, one of 
the heroes : — 

Hie galeam teoUs trepidus rapit ; ille fremeiites 
Ad juga cogit equos, clypeumque auroque trilicem 
Loricam iuduitur, fidoque accingitur enso. 

yEii. lib. vii. I. 637. 

In the earlier days of the British Archgeological Association, 
Sir Samuel Meyrick exhibited at one of the meetings an object 
which is represented, front and back, in the accompanying cuts, 

Eoman Chain Armour found at 
Kuardean ; front. 

Roman Cliain Armour found at 
Euardean ; back 

and of which he gave the follo^ving account. * It was obtained 
from the neighbourhood of Euardean, on the immediate border of 
the counties of Hereford and Gloucester, and was said to have 
been originally found in some church in that neighbourhood, but 
this seemed to be rather an uncertain tradition of something 
like thirty years old. It was made of steel ; and had fallen 
into the possession of a rope-maker, who used it, by rubbing 
violently up and down, to smooth down the little rough pro- 
jections caused in the making of the rope, and Ijy this process 
it had been considerably worn. Sir Samuel saw at once that 
it had formed part of a suit of ring armour, but he imagined 
it to be mediseval, and rather hastily assigned it to the 
reign of Edward II. When, however, it was shown to 

■ See the .Journal of the British Archseological Association, vol. i. p. 142. 


Mr. Roach Smith, he at once claimed it as Eoman, and pro- 
duced evidence which convinced Sir Samuel himself that this 
was correct. In fact, it agrees very well, as will be seen by 
the cut, with the epithets applied to the lorica by VirgU. 
Since that time (April, 1846), Mr. Eoach Smith has engraved 
in one of the plates to the second volume of his Collectanea 
Antiqua a fragment of chain armour of precisely the same 
description, which he purchased with other antiquities at 
Cologne, and which were afterwards deposited in the fine 
museum of Lord Londesborough at Grimston Park in York- 
shire. All the objects obtained by Mr. Eoach Smith on this 
occasion were stated to have been found in an early Frankish 
grave, or barrow, in the immediate neighbourhood of Cologne, 
and they consisted of a mixture of objects, Frankish and 
Eoman, which is generally the case m. the Frankish, and in 
the early Anglo-Saxon graves. It was quite natural for a 
Frankish chieftain to be in possession of a Eoman lorica. 




It is not my intention to give a catalogue of the miscella- 
neous objects found among the ruins of Uriconium, and 
preserved in the Museum at Slirewsbury. It could only be a 
very imperfect list, and "would be of little use in a volume like 
the present, for we can easily understand how, in the tumultu- 
ous plundering of a great city like Uriconium, a vast number of 
miscellaneous objects of almost every description must have 
been left scattered over the floors and in the streets, and how 
every new step in advance in exploring the site adds to our 
collection. In fact, we rarely make even a small excavation, if 
of sufficient depth, within the circuit of the ancient walls, 
without bringing to light some object of Eoman workmanship. 
Of course, many of these are the ordinary implements of com- 
mon use, such as knives, choppers, nails, &c., most of them of 
rather common workmanship, resembling in forms the same 
classes of objects foimd abundantly on other Eoman sites, and 
not differing very greatly in their character from similar imple- 
ments made in modern times. They are all interesting as 
illustrative of the character of domestic and industrial life in 
our island under Eoman rule, but some here and there are 
of more especial interest as illustrating peculiarities of that 
life with which we should not otherwise become acquainted. 
Many of these have formed the subjects of the preceding chap- 
ters ; and I will now only notice a few of thou which did not 


appear to come very easily under any other general head than 
that of miscellaneous. 

One of the first classes of objects which here attracts our 
attention comprises those connected with the trades and 
manufactures of the Roman period. These have to us a spe- 
cial interest, because there can be no doubt that we derive 
from the Romans our system of trades, the general character of 
our older commerce, and especially our trade corporations. In 
regard to many of these objects, the persistence with which 
their forms are traced as continuing through so many centuries 
is very remarkable. We may quote as an example the imple- 
ments used for weighing, all which we appear to derive from 
the Romans. The common balance, or scales, (libra or hilanx), 
was we know in common use among the Romans, as it is 
mentioned by their writers, and frequently pictured on monu- 
ments, but it is not commonly found among Roman monu- 
ments, and especially in excavations in this country. However, 
it is found in the Anglo-Saxon graves of the pagan period, 
and in these cases its Roman character is proved by the skill 
and delicacy displayed in its construction. When found in 
the grave, Roman or Anglo-Saxon, it appears usually to have 
belonged to a dealer in money, or in ingredients for medicine, 
or in some objects more or less precious, and is of diminutive 
form. It is not the implement for weighing used in ordinary 
trade, This was the statera, or trutina, which is called in 
English of the present day a steelyard. The steelyard con- 
sists, as every reader knows, of a beam of metal, suspended 
on a pivot near its one end, to the short arm of which the 
object to be weighed is suspended, while the longer arm is 
graduated to fractional parts of a pound, and has suspended 
upon it a constant weight. The form of the Roman statera 
is exactly similar to this, and both the beam and the weight, 
separately, are frequently found on Roman sites. One of the 
lieams, which closely resemble each other, has been found 



at Wroxeter, and may be seen in the Museum at Shrewsbury. 
It is notcbed and half-notched, with further fractional divisions 
marked on it. Two others, rather more perfect, were found 
at Eichborough, (the Eoman Rutupice), so carefully excavated 
some years ago under the care of Mr. Eoach Smith and his 
friend IMr. Eolfe of Sand\vich, and are figured in Mr. Eoach 
Smith's volume, " The Antiquities of Eichborough, Eeculver, 
and Lymne," from which I have borrowed them in the accom- 
panying cut.'" 

Boman Steelyards, from Eichborough. 

The origin of the modern English word steelyard appears 
to be very uncertain, and it is perhaps a mere corruption. 
We have no direct indication of the existence of this form of 
balance under the Anglo-Saxons, and it was probably known 
chiefly among the traders in the towns. There existed in the 
city of London from an unknown period down to the sixteenth 
century a trade corporation of considerable importance known 
as the Merchants of the Steelyard, who were perhaps derived 
from Eoman Londinium. The French have preserved the 
tradition of the Eoman origin of the steelyard down to the 
present day by the name it has borne in French from an early 
period of a romaine. It was also called in the French of the 

* It may be well to remark that, by a mistake of the ai-tist, the upper example is here 
draiTO the wrong way upward. 


days of old Cotgrave the lexicographer, that is in the time of 
our James I. and Charles I., a crochet, under which word 
Cotgrave explains it in his Dictionary in English as " a 
Romane beame, or stelleere." This latter word is perhaps the 
old form of our modern word steelyard. 

There was one characteristic of the Roman steelyard which 
is especially entitled to our notice. The weight suspended to 
it was remarkable for the artistic elegance of its forms. The 
weight to the Roman steelyard from Richborough given 
above is of a less ornamental character than usual ; but 
it was often formed into the heads of animals, such as a dog, 
or a lion, or of birds, as in two given in Mr. Roach Smith's Anti- 
c^uities of Richborough representing a cock and a goose, or into 
busts of nymphs or divinities, or ot Roman emperors and other 
historical personages, all executed in a very good style of 
art. Two examples given in my book, " The Celt, the Roman, 
and the Saxon," represent one, an ordinary female bust, the 
other, a bust of the goddess Diana. I am enabled to give 
two other good examples of these Roman steelyard weights 
found on Roman sites in England. The first is in the form 
of a male bust, which was found at Silchester in Hampshire, 

Eoman Steelyard 

Weiglit, found ut 


Eoman Steelyard 
Weight from Essex. 

within the walls of the Roman city of Calleva. It was exhibited 
before the British Archteological Association in 1845 by Mr. 


Fairholt. The other is also a bust, perhaps of a Roman 
senator, found in the Essex marshes near Grayes, where other 
Eoman remains have been met with, and which was also 
exhibited by its possessor to the British Archgeological Associ- 
ation. I am not aware that any of the weights of the 
steelyard have yet been found at Wroxeter. 

AVe have hitherto been occupied mainly in exploring the 
buildings of Uriconium which were more or less of a public 
character ; but as the excavations proceed over the sites of the 
domestic buildings of the ancient city — among the citizens — 
the number and variety of objects of a miscellaneous cha- 
racter will no doubt increase rapidly, and our knowledge of 
social life in Roman Britain will be proportionally enlarged. 
Among the articles abeady assembled in the Museum at 
Shrewsbury, are a considerable variety of knives, choppers, 
and other ciitting instruments. Several axes and picks present 
forms not unlike those of modern times. One or two present 
the appearance of gardening tools. Nads were found also in 
abundance, and the Museum contams one hammer, which is of 
a cylindrical form, and, curiously enough, is made of lead. 
One of the nails in the Museum is made of bronze. Of course 
the district bordering upon Uriconium is the country of lead, 
and we need not be surprised at finding that metal in common 
use here, which is not usual on other Roman sites. Among 
leaden implements in the Museum will be seen a little bowl, 
or cup, about three inches in diameter, and of not inelegant 
form. Another metal, of very rare occurrence among early 
remains, whether Roman or other, has been found here. It 
is a handle, seven inches in length, perhaps of a culinary 
vessel, made of block tin, a 
fragment of the vessel to 
which it belonged remaining 
attached to it. It is represen- 
ted in our cut. The other 

HifiuUe of Block Tin, from ^Vl■oxttez■. 


cut represents an implement found at Wroxeter years ago, 
Avhich was in the private possession of some person in the 
neighbourhood of Wroxeter. 
The drawing of it was given 

to me by the late Eev. C. H. 
Hartshorne ; the engraver to 

whom I entrasted it, lost the g^^^^ topl^ent from wroxeter. 

di'awing on which the in- 
scription was written, but, to the best of my recollection, it 
was of large dimensions, and made of stone. Stone, as a 
material, appears to have been used for many purposes in 
ancient Uriconium. Among the objects in the Museum we 
have a stone handle of a knife. 

Another material, used very extensively, was bone. It was 
a material wliich was, as may be supposed, in very common 
use among the Eomans, in aU parts of the world, and it 
will be rememljered that in the market-place of Uriconium 
we found in one of the chambers a depot of animal bones 
under circumstances which seemed to show that they were 
materials for sale.'"' Eoman needles made of bone have been 
fouud at Wroxeter, and may be seen in the Museum ; and 
among other objects is a very curious bone handle, apparently 
of a sword. 

Among the domestic utensils more frequently found on 
Eoman sites are the spoon, which appears under two forms, — 
one large bowled, the cochlear of the Eomans, and the small deli- 
cately formed spoon which was called a ligula. The handle of 
the former usually ended in a point, which appears to have 
been commonly used for picking periwinkles, or snails, out of 
their shells, for we know that the Eomans were passionately 
fond of these delicacies. Martial's epigram on the cochlear is 
well known, in which he speaks of its double use for picking 

* See before, page 191. 



out periwinkles with one end, and for ecating eggs with 
the other : 

Sum cochleis habilis, sed nee minus utilis ovis, 
Numquid scis potius cur coclileare vocer 1 

Martial, Lib. xvi. ep. 121. 

The ligula was a much smaller and more dehcate form of 
spoon, which is supposed to have been used for taking omt- 
ment and other similar objects from the long-necked bottles. 
Two o-ood examples of Eoman ligulce, found at the Eoman 
station of Richborough, near Sandwich, are represented in 
the accompanying cut. The spoons of both descriptions 



Roman Ligulse and Stylus, from Eicliborougli. 

have been found at Wroxeter, and may be seen in the 
Museum, but the UgulcB are not quite so good as those here 

The object between the two ligulcB in the preceding cut, 
which is usually made of l^ronze, and of which more than 
one example has been founid in Wroxeter, introduces us to 
another phase of social life. It is the Roman stylus. People 
in general among the Romans, all except those who were 
professed scribes, did not use pen and ink in writing, 
but wrote upon tablets (tabulce), upon which was laid a 
layer of wax, with an implement usually made of bronze, 
one end of which finished in a sharp point, while the other 
spread out into a flat broad shape as here represented. This 
was called a stylus, a name which holds a rather remarkaljle 
place not only in literary but even in political histoiy. This 


stylus, or, as it was called by another name, grapMum, when 
of tolerable size, is a sufficiently formidable weapon, and 
when Julius Caesar \^'as attacked by the conspirators, he 
had one of them in his hand, and it was with it that he 
wounded Cassius before he was assassinated. It is from the 
name of this instrument that we use the expression of style 
in ■writing. Styli of bronze and iron have been found at 
Wroxeter, so that they were no doubt in generaluse among the 
inhabitants of Uriconium. The mode of literary correspond- 
ence at that perio'd was as follows : An individual wrote his 
letter on the waxen tablet with the pointed end of his stylus, 
and sent it closed up to his correspondent ; the latter read it, 
erased it, smoothed the wax with the broad end of the stylus, 
and then wrote his answer on the same wax, closed it, and 
returned it by the same bearer. 

Among other miscellaneous objects fou.nd on the site of 
Uriconium, we may notice a horse's bit and a spur. Both are 
of bronze, but they present no very striking peculiarity. The 
latter is, like all the early spurs, a prick-spur, with rather a 
short prick. The rowel-spur is a comparatively modern 
invention. In the neighbourhood of the market were also 
found the remains of a chariot, which are deposited in the 
Museum. These consist of the iron tire of a wheel, three feet 
three inches in diameter, and an inch and a half in breadth, 
and of two iron hoops, which appear to have belonged to the 
nave of the same wheel. 

In the same neighbourhood was obtained another object of 
some curiosity. In one of the walled recesses on the eastern 
side of the market place, which had been conjectured to have 
formed shops, a small round box of iron was picked up, with 
a flat lid, but it had become hermetically sealed by the 
decomposition of the metal The lid, however, has been sawed 
off, and it appeared to have contained some description of un- 
guent, but it was no longer possible to discover of what it 

URICONIUM. '" -_ 313 

' was composed. "We may also mention, among other miscel- 
laneous objects, a small leaden figure of a cock, which is 
supposed to have been a child's toy ; and a number of roun- 
dels, formed chiefly out of the bottoms of earthenware vessels, 
which seem to have been used for some game. We often 
find, on Koman sites, traces of the love of the Romano-Britons 
for gambling. The larger examples are about an inch and a 
half in diameter, but others are smaller, and the last especially 
arc often made of bone, and have holes in the centre, whence 
they are supposed to have served for buttons. 

We will now tmm to another class of objects, many of 
which have been found on the site of Uriconium, but they 
are unfortunately of a character which causes them to be 
eagerly picked up and carried away, and their local interest 
is forgotten in their more or less value as works of art. I 
mean the cameos and intaglios. 

The art of engraving on precious stones, or glyptography, 
as it is usually termed, appears to have been practised at a 
very early period among the Egyptians ; but it was carried to 
its greatest perfection by the Greeks and Eomans. Among 
the latter people especially such engraved stones were in 
very common use, and great importance appears to have been 
attached to them : and this fashion extended through the 
empire into its most distant provinces. Pliny speaks of the 
love of precious stones as being in his time a "universal 
passion." Besides their extreme beauty, and that value which 
is always conferred by rarity and great dearness, these pre- 
cious stones were the objects also of superstitious feelino-s ; 
for people were rather naturally led to beheve that objects 
in which nature had crowded so much beauty and value in 
^so small a space, must also possess hidden virtues which 
were not shared by ordinary objects. By working upon this 
first idea, they began to associate special quahties with the 
particular colour, or shape, or degree of brilliancy, of the stone 


itself. Thus the possession of one stone gave the wearer 
fortitude and courage, another preserved him from danger, a 
third gave him health, a fourth might ensure fidehty in his 
engagements. People sought to increase the force of these 
various virtues by engraving upon them figures and subjects 
which they imagined to have some mysterious relationship 
with those qualities, under circumstances favourable to their 
development. Thus the figm-e of Mars engraved on a par- 
ticular stone, and commenced at an hour of the day when 
the heavens were in a particular astrological position, was 
supposed to ensure to the wearer victory in battle. It was 
from such feehngs, apparently, that the art of glyptics took 
its rise. 

It was thus, too, that these engraved gems came into use 
as signets, and were set in rings for the convenience of 
carrying them on the fingers. A letter or other object, 
sealed ^Adth an engraved stone, was believed to derive from 
that circumstance a certain character of authority and sacred- 
ness which it would not otherwise possess. Moreover, par- 
ticular rings became characteristic of particular persons, and 
were used as tokens in which entire trust might be placed, 
in confidential communications. The personal history of the 
ring, indeed, would be a very curious one, and the materials 
for it are abundant. It was a common belief that the great 
powers possessed by remarkable individuals in eloquence, 
in influencing people's minds, in commanding fortune, in 
conciliating love, and even in ruling over the hidden powers 
of the spiritual world, were contained in a ring. According 
to the eastern and mediaeval stories, it was a magical ring 
which gave Solomon power over the demons and genii. One 
day, when Solomon laid down his ring to enter his bath, it 
was carried away by an evil l^eing, who threw it into the 
sea. The wise king overcome with grief at the loss of his 
power over the supernatural world, made a vow never to 


sit again upon his throne until he had reaovered his ring ; 
and at the end of forty days, on opening a large fish which 
was served at the royal table, the precious jewel was found 
in its beUy. This story is similar to that told by the 
ancients of Polycrates of Samos, who, alarmed by his long 
run of uniform good fortune, lest it might be followed by 
some great and disastrous change, sought to appease the 
fickle goddess by subjecting himself to voluntary loss ; and, 
with this view, he threw away into the sea his ring, in which 
was a precious stone which he looked upon as one of the 
most valuable of his treasures. The ring was immediately 
swallowed by a large fish, which was soon afterwards caught; 
and, being purchased for the table of Polycrates, the ring 
was found in its belly, and restored to its right owner. 
The ring, with its engraved stone, sometimes possessed the 
power of rendering its owner invisible at wiU. Such was 
the ring of Gyges the Lydian, which he employed to gain 
secret access to the queen of Candaules, and seduce her affec- 
tions, — an intrigue, the result of which Avas the murder of 
Candaules, and the elevation of Gyges to his throne. 

But to return to the more authentic stories of the use of 
engraved stones, Pliny (lib. xxxvii, cap. 3) tells us that 
king Pyrrhus possessed an agate on which was engxaved 
by nature the figure of Apollo and the Nine Muses. The 
same writer records the subjects of some of the engraved 
stones possessed by men of celebrity. The dictator SyUa 
used for his signet a stone on which was represented the 
surrender of Jugurtha. The emperor Augustus was in the 
habit first of using the figure of a Sphinx for his signet, one 
of two engraved stones presenting the same subject which 
he found among his mother's jewels. As this device gave 
rise to jokes on the enigmatical language in which he used 
to write, Augustus subsequently abandoned the sphinx, and 
adopted as his signet a stone engraved with the head of 


Alexander the Great. A frog was engraved on the signet 
of his minister, Maecenas. AVealthy individuals began soon 
to make collections of engraved stones; and, at a very early 
period in the history of the empire, it was a subject of 
great pride at Eome to possess a well-stocked dactyliotheca. 
The eagerness for the possession of engraved stones, and 
the value set upon them, seemed to increase as the empire 
declined ; and they were no less highly prized by the bar- 
barians who settled upon its ruins, and who considered 
them as a valuable part of their plunder. The art, too, 
was continued, although in a very debased state. As we 
have seen, in the earlier period, the engraved stones pos- 
sessed two distinct values : one for their extreme beauty, for 
they belonged to the highest class of ancient art, and were 
executed by men celebrated for their talent ; the other, on 
account of their supposed occult qualities. The first of these 
qualities was gradually neglected and lost ; while people set 
so much increasing importance on the latter quality, that 
they were satisfied if the figures were only sufficiently Avell 
drawn to indicate what they meant. The engraved stones 
executed in the later times of the Eoman empire, were 
almost entirely amulets and talismans, the works of astro- 
logers and magicians. The art had, indeed, descended so low 
that, shortly afterwards, when the empire had sunk into 
mediaeval Europe, the beautiful intaglios dug up so fre- 
quently upon ancient sites seemed so extraordinary and 
inexplicable, that people believed that they were not the 
work of human hands, and invented all sorts of singular 
interpretations for them. In this all were agreed, that they 
were endowed with powerful and mysterious virtues, and 
they tried to discover these virtues through conjectural in- 
terpretations of the figures. According to these interpreta- 
tions, many of them acted as powerful cures for diseases ; 
others gave courage and success in battle ; others again 



protected from evil influences ; and the rest were similarly in 
possession of other beneficent quahties. The monks and other 
ecclesiastics of the middle ages, believing in all these quali- 
ties, collected diligently the ancient intaglios which the 
plough or spade frequently turned up on Eoman sites ; and 
many of the. monastic treasuries became thus enriched with 
beautiful specimens of this art, which have since become 
the pride of modem museums. And they must at one time 
have been in very common use even in this distant pro- 
vince of Roman Britain, from the frequency with which they . 
are stiU found in excavations among Roman remains in all 
parts of the island, but they have been generally carried 
away and lost sight of The example given in 
the accompanying cut was found some years 
ago at Caerleon, and was exhibited before the 
British Archfeological Association. It thus belongs 
to our border, but whither it has passed at pre- 
sent I am not able to say. It represents Venus intagUo found 
Victrix, and no doubt was believed to possess 
its "virtues." No doubt, considerable numbers of intagUos 
have in past times been found on the site of Eoman Uriconium, 
which were thus carried away and soon lost all connection mth 
the locality whence they were derived. I had collected in the 
accompanying plate aU those which I was able to assure 
myself were kno^vn as found at Wroxeter. They are not 
numerous, but they are of very different styles of workman- 
ship, and belong evidently to several periods of the history 
of glyptic art. 

The first example given in the plate, fig. 1, which was 
found in 1840, is in the possession of W. H. Oatley, Esq., of 
Wroxeter. It is engraved on a black stone, with a vem of 
pure white upon its face, and the cutting shows up a black 
figure. The workmanship is rather inferior. 

Fig 2 is also of inferior workmanship, and both probably 
are works of rather a late period. It is engraved on a bright 

318 URicomuM. 

red stone, and is here given from an impression in wax ; but 
I am not aware in whose possession the original is now to 
be found. 

Fig 3. This is the first engraved stone we found in the 
course of our present excavations. It is very diminutive, 
but not ill executed, and the subject is full of fancy and 
imagination : it represents a fawn springing out of a nautilus 
shell. The nautilus was a favourite emblem among the anci- 
ents, and occurs not unfrequently in intaglios. A rather 
curious circumstance connected with this stone is, that it is 
set in a small ring of iron, which is not a metal frequently 
used for such a purpose ; but I think that I have read some- 
where, in the mystical directions on this subject, that the 
magical virtues of some stones are strengthened by setting 
them in iron rings. This intaglio with its ring, as found, 
may now be seen in the Museum of Wroxeter Antiquities in 

Fig. 4 belonged formerly, with one or two other intaglios, to 
the Rev. W. G. Rowland, of Shrewsbury, and a drawing of it had 
Ijeen preserved by Mr. Farmer Dukes, the well-known Shrews- 
bury antiquary. Mr. Rowland's collection was dispersed after 
his death, and it was not known where they were preserved ; 
but some time ago. Dr. Kendrick, of Warrington, kindly sent 
me an impression in gutta percha of this identical seal, as still 
existing in a private collection, and from this impression it is 
here engraved. It represents a huntsman on horseback flying 
from the pursuit of a lion, and is perhaps the best, certainly 
the most spirited, of them all in artistic execution. 

Fig. 5 is a small figure of a bacchante^ carrying a thirsus 
over her shoulder. 

Fig. 6, as AveU as the next, is only known to me through a 
drawing by Mr. Farmer Dukes, from which they are engraved 
in a plate in a volume of the Transactioiis of the Gloucester 
Congress of the British Archaeological Association. It repre- 
sents the hippocampus, or sea-horse, an imaginary animal, of 


frequent occurrence on Eoman monuments of all kinds and in 
all parts. It is by no means an unusual figure on Eoman 
monuments found in our island. 

Fig. 7. This also is rather a favourite idea among the 
playful subjects on Eoman works of art. One Cupid, having 
placed an enormous tragic mask over his head or shoulders, 
is in this disguise to frighten a fellow Cupid, who 
appears to be somewhat taken by surprise. In an intaglio in 
one of the continental collections, in which the same subject 
is treated a little differently, the second Cupid is so frightened 
that he is falling over on his back. 

We see at one glance that these intaglios, though few in 
number, are not only very diverse in subjects, but that they 
belong to different and distinct styles of art. They present 
no examples either of the best style of glyptic art, or of the 
worst ; but they fairly represent, as far as they go, the history 
of that art as it was known in Eoman Britain. Examples 
have been found in our island much superior to any of these, 
and many have been met with much inferior to them. When 
we consider the variety of such monuments found in Britain, 
and the numbers, — not forgetting that the mere fact of so 
many being found amounts to a proof that they were in very 
common use, — it leads us naturally to raise the question. Was 
the glyptic art itself established in this distant province ? It 
would require more space than I have now at my disposal to 
discuss this question as it ought to be discussed ; but I am 
inclined to answer it in the afiirmative, and to avow my belief 
that glyptography was practised in Eoman Britain ; as, indeed, 
were nearly aU the arts and manufactures of the Eomans. At 
first, no doubt, the conquerors of the island, and their com- 
panions and followers, brought with them the beautiful intag- 
lios of their native country ; and they, no doubt, continued to 
be imported into Britain. But examples of such fine Italian 
work are certainly of rare occurrence ; and there is a certain 


character stamped ou most of the engraved stones we find 
here, which seems to mark them as belonging to provincial 
art. If this were the case, the interest of these relics would 
be much increased, as we might read in them the history of 
one branch of Eoman art as it was transplanted to Britain ; 
and some of the examples which are found hei'e are so 
extremely rude in design and execution, that we may conclude 
the art was practised in our island down to a very late period. 
Another class of small objects of art found commonly on 
Roman sites are the statuettes in bronze, with which the Eoman 
house, in our island, as elsewhere, was evidently well furnished. 
Many of them represent the lares, or household gods, which 
possessed many of the characteristics of the different classes of 
fairies of more modern superstition, and w^hose favour all 
sought to conciliate, and for this purpose they distributed 
their figures in conspicuous places in different parts of the 
house. Others are figures of the various deities of the 
ancient mythology, which were perhaps placed in positions 
of the house where the passer by might pay his reverence 
to them, and at the same time they served for ornament. 
Others of the smaller bronze images were, we can hardly 
doubt, children's toys. These statuettes, when found in exca- 
vations, are even more than the intaglios liable to be carried 
away and dispersed, and as this is not usually done openly, 
the articles are not easily traced or with any certainty, and 
dishonest dealers pass bronzes as coming from this or that 
locality merely to give them a price. Frequently bronze statu- 
ettes have been shewn to me which were stated to have come 
from Wroxeter, w'ithout the least evidence that that was the 
case. Many, no doubt, have been found there, but two only 
are preserved in the Museum at Shrewsbury, one a figure 
of Venus, representing in attitude the Venus de Medici, the 
other a Mercury. Mr. Oatley, of Wroxeter, possesses a 
partially mutilated bronze statuette of Diana. 


I will speak briefly of another class of remains wliich occur 
in great abundance over every part of the site of the Eoman 
city, to a degree, indeed, which is not easily explained. These 
are the bones of animals, which no doubt had been eaten. 
A large heap of these bones has been collected on the field of our 
inclosure at Wroxeter, and a few selected examples are depos- 
ited in the Museum ; and it is very desirable that they should 
all be carefully examined l)y a skilful and experienced physiolo- 
gist. Such an examination would throw hght on the character 
of the table of the Komano-Briton, which was evidently well 
furnished -with great variety of dishes. The people of Uri- 
conium were no doubt much given to hunting, and we find 
in abundance the bones of all kinds of game, both birds 
and quadrupeds. Among the latter are bones of the roe, 
the red deer (Cervus elephas), and fragments of the horn of 
a species allied to the elk of Ireland {Strongylocerus spelceus). 
Nor did the chase stop here, for there have been found 
numerous remains of the wild boar, and I believe also 
some of the wolf. Among the skulls of the dog, one be- 
longs to a dog of the mastiJf kind, which is considered to 
be a species now unknown. Extinct species of some other 
animals are said to be indicated by the bones found here. 
Among these are crania of the Bos longifrons, one of Avhich, 
now in the Museum, bears on its spacious forehead the mark 
of the blow of the butcher's axe by which it was slaughtered. 
Bones of another species of ox are found which is said not 
to be now known, and I am told that there are indications 
of an extinct species of the sheep. We find here also indi- 
cations of the extreme love of the Romans for sheU-fisli, 
which extended even to snails. The shells of oysters, mus- 
sels, cockles, periwinkles, and whilks, are common. Another 
of the animal remains found here is curiously characteristic. 
In the course of the excavations it has Ijeen not at all an 
uncommon occurrence to meet with the legs of the fighting 


cock, which are generally furnished with very large natural 
spurs. Several examples may be seen in the Museum. The 
citizens of Uriconium must have been great lovers of cock- 
fighting, which indeed is known to have been a favourite 
sport among the Romans. 

From the bones of animals we may turn to those of the 
human race, which present many points of equal interest. 
Independently of the regular interments in the Eoman 
cemeteries of Uriconium, human remains are found scat- 
tered here and there among the ruins of the city. The 
state of these ruins, and all the circumstances connected 
with them, prove beyond doubt that Uriconium was taken 
by some of the barbarians who assisted in tearing to pieces 
the enfeebled body of the Roman empire, that a frightful 
massacre of the inhabitants followed its capture, and that the 
plunderers set fire to it before they abandoned it. It was 
found, as stated before, in excavating the extensive mass 
of buildings in the middle of the city, consisting chiefly of 
the basilica and the public baths, that many of the terrified 
inhabitants, pursued by the barbarians, when they were masters 
of the city, had evidently sought refuge in these build- 
ings, which were full of hypocausts, and other places difficult 
of access, and not very likely to be explored even by the 
victorious savages, almost as eager of blood as of plunder. 
In what appeared to be an entrance court of the baths, one 
or two skeletons of men were found where they had evidently 
been overtaken by their pursuers and slain. In the corner of 
the same court the skuU and some of the bones of an infant 
of the age when children are carried in the arms, was found 
under circumstances which would lead us to imagine that its 
mother had been perhaps overtaken in the room above, at 
the top of a staircase which, now uncovered, still leads down 
to the hypocausts, whither she was probably flying to conceal 
herself, and her child snatched from her, murdered, and tossed 


out through a window into the yard. In one of the hypo- 
causts, which had been approached from the large inner court 
of the baths, three skeletons were found near together, under 
rather curious circumstances. In another hypocaust, to the 
eastward of that containing these three skeletons, another 
skeleton was found, which shows that in the midst of the terror 
with which the population of Uriconium was overwhelmed 
in this terrible moment, there was a general impulse to seek 
concealment in the hypocausts. Other bodies, including more 
than one child, were found in different parts of the ruins, 
and in the supposed market place were found the remains 
of six dogs, which appeared also to have been massacred 
by the merciless invaders of the town. 

Of these numerous victims, the bones, and especially the 
skulls, were generally so much broken and decayed that 
very few of the latter could be preserved and deposited in 
the Wroxeter Museum, at Shrewsbury. To judge, however 
from the small number of examples which admitted of examin- 
ation, they presented no peculiarities which might not be 
found in any civUized town, and nobody who has examined 
the remains of Eoman Uriconium which have been brought 
to light, win doubt that it was a town in a high state of 
civilization. The skull of the old man, found in the hypo- 
caust, was remarkably weU formed. 

But we now come to the most remarkable, if not the most 
important, part of this subject. At a corner where what is 
now called the Watling Street road, or at least a branch from 
it, turned down to the river Severn, and crossed it by a 
ford, is a large open field extending on a level to the 
edge of the high bank, or cliff, which overlooks the Severn. 
In the course of trenching this field for the purpose of 
ascertaining if there were remains of buildings under it, 
we found, not far from the turn of the AVatling Street 
road, a series of regular interments )l human bodies. The 


ground is an orchard planted with a few fruit trees, and 
covered with grass. The bodies were laid on their backs, 
stretched out, with their arms extended by their sides, or in 
one or tM'o cases, one arm bent across the body, and parallel 
to each other east and west, but without indications which 
would lead us to conjecture the age to which they belong. Of 
five skulls first taken up, four were singularly and uniformly 
deformed, having an unnatural twist which causes one eye to 
advance before the other, and gives an obliquity to the face. 
Further trenching of the ground brought to light ten other 
skuUs, three of which presented the same deformity, while 
three were not deformed, and the other four were in too 
imperfect a condition to be satisfactorily examined, though 
some of the fragments seemed to have belonged to similarly 
deformed skulls. Thus, out of eleven skulls which could be 
examined, seven presented the same remarkable deformity, 
with this only difi"erence, that in one or two instances the 
twist is in the contrary direction from that in the others. 
There has arisen a difference of opinion on the subject of these 
skulls, whether the deformity existed before death, or whether 
it has arisen from posthumous causes ; and the question does 
not appear yet to have been satisfactorily, or at all events 
finally decided. It is not my intention to enter into it anv 
further than to state one or two facts relating to the circum- 
stances under which the skulls were found, which wUl require 
to be attended to in any physiological discussion. 

The field in which they lay is within the limits of the town, 
on a height above the river, and near a probable entrance to 
the town, but where I believe the river itself was the only 
defence. As it struck me, at first sight, that the deformity 
might have been produced artificially in infancy by the 
pressure of two boards, and as Ave know that some of the 
barbarians, the Huns for example, did produce such defor- 
mity in their children, I thought that these might possibly 


tave been the remains of some of the attacking party, who 
had been slain on this spat, and who had been buried by their 
companions before they left ; for it appears to have been an 
open place without any buildings. But this was a mere hasty 
conjecture, which I am not at all inclined to sustain. On the 
contrary, I am now disposed to suspect that these bodies 
belong to a later period than was at first supposed. The soil 
in which they are interred was mixed, both above them and 
below, with Roman debris, which could only be the case in 
earth which had been formed upon the surface of the Roman 
level, and this formation would have required a considerable 
period of time. At the date of the destruction of the town, 
these bodies, which w^ere when discovered only from about 
a foot to eighteen inches below the surface, would have 
been above ground. Moreover, there is a very suspicious 
proximity to the modern churchyard, from which this field is 
only separated by a road. At the same time, it must be 
remarked that this road is the Watling Street road, and that 
it must therefore have been older than the period at which 
these bodies were iaterred. 

My friend Dr. Henry Johnson, in a very able paper read 
before the Royal Society, has endeavoured to show that 
there are chemical elements in the earth in which these remains 
lay, which might have so far affected the substance of the bone 
as to render it pliable and capable of being thus deformed 
after deatL But, supposing this to be the case, we seem to 
want entirely the mechanical causes of deformation. They 
were not buried sufficiently deep to have a weight of earth 
upon them — in fact, when buried, their graves must have been 
very shallow ; no weight of buildings or of ruins has lain upon 
them, but, on the contrary, from the quantity of small fibres 
of roots which are mixed with the earth, I suspect that during 
the middle ages the place had been covered with low brush- 
wood, which, indeed, was generally the case with deserted ruins. 


Again, we can hardly understand why such a cause affecting 
bones in this field, should not equally affect the skulls of the 
bodies interred in the adjacent churchyard, or why all the 
deformed skuUs in this field should have the same deformity, 
or why the other bones of the body should not be similarly 
affected. The skulls of the Eoman inhabitants, which are 
found with a great weight of ruins over them, have, in no 
instance yet observed, undergone any similar deformity. It 
must be added that the few skulls not deformed which were 
found among these deformed skulls in the orchard, are compa- 
ratively good types of skulls, and that one is well developed 
and finely formed. It is perhaps to be desired, as calculated 
to throw further Light on the real history of these skulls, that 
the whole of the ground should be carefully explored by 




It is a frequent subject of wonder why, whenever we dig 
upon a Eoman site, we almost invariably find the Eoman 
money scattered about everywhere. This is eminently the 
case at Wroseter, where, for centuries the Roman coins 
have been picked up in abundance by the peasantry, who 
gave them the local name of dinders, which represents the 
Anglo-Norman denier, and the Latin denarius. The word 
itself is a proof of the length of time during which it 
has been customary to pick up the Eoman coins here, for 
no doubt it was derived from the Anglo-Norman language, 
when that language was commonly talked on our border. 
In many parts of England the peasantry were so surprised 
at finding the Roman coins thus scattered about, that it 
became a part of their superstitions, and they called them 
fairy money. At the first glance, indeed, one is almost led 
to suppose that, before the Romans left the place, they 
amused themselves with throwing their money about. A little 
reflection, however, will perhaps enable us to explain this 
circumstance without much difficulty. 

The Romans had nothing like our system of banks for the 
deposit of their money, and they were obhged to keep it at 
home. The usual receptacle for it was an ordinary earthen 
vessel, more or less capacious, according to the quantity it was 
required to hold. So much of the money as was not in use 
appears to have been generally concealed by burying the 


vessel a little depth under the ground, either within the house, 
or in its court. The owners probably sometimes died far away 
from home, and their treasures were forgotten, or they were 
obliged to leave under circumstances which prevented them 
from carrying them away. In the course of ages, during the 
various operations of agriculture, the earthen vessels have been 
broken, and the money spread widely tlirough the ground. 
Again, the barbarians who overran the Roman provinces were 
generally unacquainted with the use of money, and when they 
plundered a town, or a viUa in the country, they probably 
placed no value on the coins, unless they were made of the 
precious metals which they knew how to appreciate, and they 
threw them away in order to load themselves with other objects 
which seemed to them more useful. Most of the coins picked 
up under the circumstances of which I am speaking are of 
copper or brass. 

Vessels of earthenware — crocks, as the country people call 
them, — such as those just mentioned, filled with Roman coins, 
are frequently found in different parts of our island, so that the 
practice of burying them must have been very general. Such 
discoveries had already attracted the attention of our Anglo- 
Saxon forefathers, and given rise apparently to theories and 
conjectures ; for whoever wrote this part of the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle tells us, under the year 418, "In tlais year the 
Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and 
hid some in the earlb, that no man might afterwards find 
them, and conveyed some mth them into Gaul." Yet, at the 
time when this paragraph was written, the practice of deposit- 
ing money by burial in the ground can have been no novelty, 
for it was continued during the middle ages, and we actually 
find, by his own Diary, worthy Samuel Pepys, in the reign 
of Charles II., laying by his money in the same manner by 
burying it in his garden in London. A singular example of 
the practice occurred in Ireland in the earlier part of the 


fourteenth century, and became the cause of family troubles 
of a rather remarkable character. At the beginning of that 
century there lived at Kilkenny a rich usurer named William 
Outlaw, who had received in deposit from one Adam le Blond 
a sum of money to the amount of three thousand pounds, 
which with a hundred pounds of his own he buried in the 
ground within his house as in a place of safety ; but 
WUUam Kiteler, sheriff of Kilkenny, a relative of Outlaw's 
wife, Alice Kiteler, went with force one night, entereil the 
house, dug up the money, and carried it all away. When 
the Outlaws took proceedings for the recovery of their pro- 
perty, the plunderers set up the plea that it was treasure trove^ 
as it was found buried under the ground, and that it belonged 
to the king. The affair led to a series of strange proceedings, 
which show the turbulent and lawless condition of Ireland 
under the first of the Edwards, and finally developed itself into 
a grave charge of sorcery against Alice Kiteler. '^^ 

Crocks of coins, which have been thus buried, have been 
found at Wroxeter, and the last discovery of this class occurred 
under circumstances curiously illustrative of popular sentiments. 
Such crocks appear also to have been used as common recept- 
acles for money in the house. The coins found at the entrance 
to what we have called the enameller's shop appeared to 
have been carried in a small earthen vessel, the fragments of 
which were found near them. The coins found near the skele- 
ton of the old man in the hypocaust had been contained in a 
small box or coffer of wood. However, there were other ways 
of carrying money in the house, or perhaps out of the house 
the evidence of one of which has been found in the course 
of our excavations. This was a curious skiff-shaped vessel, 
with a circular handle, resembling a basket, made of bronze, 
which might, from its appearance, have been intended to be 

* I edited the records of these extraordinaiy proceedings years ago in a volume for the 
Camden Society, and a full account of the prosecution for mtchcraft wUl be found in my 
" Stories of Sorcery and Magic," vol. i. p. 25. 


carried by a lady in her hand, or suspended to her arm. The 
basket part had a lid, fastened by a small flat bolt, and 
when found it is said to have contained some coins. A 
vessel exactly similar", filled with Eoman coins, was found 
concealed in a cleft in the rock, in an ancient quarry near 
Thorngrafton in Northumberland, in the year 1837, and both 
the coins and their receptacle are engraved by Dr. Colling- 
wood Bruce in his excellent work on " The Eoman Wall." 
I am afraid no note was made of the coins found in the little 
basket at Wroxeter, but those in the Thorngrafton vessel were 
of gold and silver, the latest of which was of the emperor 
Hadrian. We may perhaps, therefore, conclude, that this was 
the sort of receptacle in which the Eoman ladies carried their 
money in the earlier half of the second century after Christ. 
Instances occur from time to time of much more curious recept- 
acles for the preserving of Eoman coins. John Leland tells of 
the discovery by a shepherd in his time of the shank-bone of 
a horse, the mouth closed with a peg, which was filled with 
Eoman silver coins ; and in much more recent times, a shepherd 
boy found, in the neighbourhood of High Wycombe in Buck- 
inghamshu-e, ten British gold coins inclosed in a hollow flint. 
These singular methods of keeping money appear to have 
prevailed to a comparatively recent period. At the close of 
the month of May, 1863, a workman employed in excavations 
at the Castlegate, in the town of Malton in Yorkshire, found 
the remains of a beast's horn, which appeared to have been 
fUled with coins of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, for 
amonff those examined were some from the mints of kings 
John, Edward I., and Edward H. But let us return to the 
story of the last crock of money found at Wroxeter. 

There lived in Wroxeter some years ago — I know not if 
she be still alive — a village woman named Betty Fox, the 
wife of a wheelwright, who was much given to grubbing 
about within the limits of the Eoman town and to dreaming 


of finding treasures. For a while her researches met with no 
success, and of course her fellow villagers laughed at her, but 
§he was not discouraged. At length, one night. Mother Fox, as 
she was called by her neighbours, had a very important dream, 
inasmuch as it was revealed to her that there was a crock of 
money buried at a certain spot, near an alder bush, in the bank 
at one side of the lane leading from Wroxeter to the Horse Shoe 
inn. Anybody who has visited Wroxeter will remember that 
this lane is cut rather deep through an elevated part of the 
ground on which the ancient town stood, and which we know 
to have been covered with some of the best houses, and the 
bank on each side of the road, near the scene of Betty Fox's 
adventures, are very high, and descend much below the level 
of the Eoman floors. The good wife awoke, and told her 
husband of her dream, but he only laughed at her, and 
recommended her to go to sleep again. She did so, and the 
same dream was repeated, so, rising quietly and dressing her- 
self, she took one of the tools out of her husband's basket, 
and trudged away towards the scene of her dream. It was 
about three o'clock in the morning, and of course there were 
not many people about, but a cottager's Avife was roused by 
the noise she made, went to her window, and asked Mother 
Fox whither she was going. " Ah," she said, " I've dreamt it 
at last ! " and hurried onwards. When she reached the lane, 
she proceeded to the first alder bush which offered any resem- 
blance to that seen in her dream, and set vigorously to work, 
and, surely enough, she had not gone far before she came upon 
a Eoman vessel of earthenware, which she broke to pieces 
with a blow of the implement with which she was digging 
before she saw it. The vessel had been filled with Eoman 
silver coins, which had no doubt been deposited there by the 
Eoman proprietor of the house which had stood above, for 
the place in which it lay would lie a little below the founda- 
tions. Betty Fox, in great joy, gathered the coins into her 


apron, and hastened home with them. As she passed the 
cottage of the villager's wife just mentioned, the latter, who 
had heard her approach, was again at the window, and, to 
her inquiry, received the answer, " I have found it." On 
arriving at her own cottage, Mother Fox emptied her coins 
into what is called in Shropshire a " twopenny dish," and 
then said to her husband, who had called her a fool before 
she started, " Fool or no fool, Fve found the coins," It was a 
large parcel of coins, and in very good condition. Mr. Oatley 
of Wroxeter, who told me that he had the first choice of 
them, bought a hundred at a shilling each ; other persons in 
the neighbourhood purchased some of them ; and I have been 
told that the remainder were carried to Wellington and sold 
there.* The old woman realized altogether by the sale of them 
twenty-eight pounds. It is a curious story. Betty Fox had 
a son, who inherited from bis mother the faculty of dreaming 
of treasures. He was employed in our excavations on the 
site of the cemetery, which will be described in the next 
chapter, and continually gave us trouble by quitting the spot 
in which he was ordered to dig, and being found digging in 
another spot of his own choosing. It turned out always on 
inquiry that the night before he had dreamt of finding a 
treasure in the locality of his choice I 

It is hardly necessary to inform the reader that coins are 
objects of especial value in these explorations, because they 
enable us to fix dates, sometimes with great exactness, though 
generally they only fix a date backwards, for we can be 
certain that a coin was not deposited in any given place 
before it came from the mint. In former times the coinage 
was never called in, so that a coin of any reign may have been 
deposited in any place at any period after it was struck, until 
it were worn out. A curious instance of the value of coins in 
this respect has occurred at Wroxeter. In the year 1841, a 
waggoner's lad, in grubbing about the Old Wall, puUed out a 

■^ The eon etates the crock coutamed 402 bilvcr tlfnarll. One of the coins hdviug three heacls upon the 
one side of it. This was no doubt the I'everee of the coin of Septinjins Sevcnia, I'Elicitas saec\'li, haying 
the fTill-faccd head of Julia Domna hctAvcen those of Caracalla and Geta. 


piece of the morter, or rather concrete, from the interior of 
the wall, in which was imbedded a coin of the emperor 
Trajan. This coin, which is now in the possession of my friend 
Mr. Samuel Wood, is of large, or as it is called by numis- 
matists, first brass, having the inscription s. p. q. k. optimo 
PRINCIPI, with a figure of the emperor on horseback darting a 
javelin at a prostrate foe, who appears by his bonnet and trou- 
sers to be a Dacian. It is ia a perfect state of preservation, 
and, as it is known to have come from the mint in the year 
105, it affords good evidence to the fact that the Old Wall 
at Wroxeter cannot have been bmlt before that year. As its 
appearance shows that the coin had not been long in circula- 
tion, the building of the wall may have taken place soon 

Julius Caesar has told us himseK that, at the period of his 
first invasion of our island, the Britons had no coinage of 
their own, and that their only medium in its place consisted 
of pieces of metal the value of which was determined by 
weighing. The information given by Csesar is in general 
extremely accurate, and we cannot see how, in this case, he can 
easily have been deceived ; for if a coinage existed in Britain, 
it must have been ia those very parts which he visited, and 
he could hardly have been unacquainted with it. Yet some 
modem antiquaries have disputed Ceesar's authority on this 
point, and insisted that the Britons had a coinage of their own. 
Yet the evidence they bring forward, I confess, appears to me 
to cany very little force, and I still adhere to the opinion that 
Csdsav was correct. The coins which can be identified as 
British are generally inscribed in Eoman characters, and we 
know were struck by chieftains in alliance with the Romans. 
Though they belong to an early date, they no doubt continued 
in circulation down to an indefinite period, that is until they 
were lost, or worn out, or melted down to use the metal for 
other purposes. There was no doubt an earlier coinage in 


Gaul, which was in circulation in Britain along with the British 
coinage during the early Koman period, and it is often found 
in deposits in different parts of our island. I am only aware 
of one example of the Celtic coinage which has been found in 
Wroxeter. It is in the possession of Mr. W. H. Oatley, and 
is of the same type with some gold coins found in Kent, and 
engraved by Mr. Roach Smith, in his " Collectanea Antiqua," 
vol i., plate 7, figs. 1 to 6. They are probably Gaulish, but, 
as the coin possessed by Mr. Oatley may have been brought 
to Uriconium long after it was minted, it cannot be taken as 
furnishing any evidence in favour of the great antiquity of 
the town, though we may perhaps conjecture from its presence 
here that Uriconium was a place of some commercial impor- 
tance early in the Roman period. At the same time it leads 
us to think that no British coinage was known in our city of 

At Wroxeter, as elsewhere, the Roman coinage is found 
in now tolerable well known proportions of the different 
periods, which perhaps represent to a certain degree the 
comparative issues from the mint, but which also no doubt 
arise from political circumstances of Avhich we have but an 
imperfect knowledge. As I have said, the whole of the 
Roman coinage, as far as it existed, was in circulation during 
the whole Roman period. In the earlier period of Roman 
colonization, the want of money in the distant provinces may 
be supposed to have been not great, and therefore we cannot 
expect to find much of the money of the republic or of the 
earlier empire ; but this assumption would not hold good 
entirely, because early coins might come in with those of a 
later date. This is the case, and we find at Wroxeter coins 
of the Roman consuls, though the Romans only came into our 
island at the beginning of the empire. The number of the 
earlier coins in circulation would naturally diminish in the 
course of time, and we find in the two parcels of coins in 


possession of individuals who lived at the latest period of the 
existence of Uriconium/''" in one out of a hundred and thirty- 
two coins only two coins older than the time of the Constantine 
family, one of the usurper Tetricus and one of Claudius 
Gothicus, and in the other no coin older than the reign of 

There are reasons for believing that, among the causes of 
the turbulent condition of the Eoman provinces in the latter 
part of the third century after Christ, one of the more impor- 
tant was the want of a supply of coins of small value. In 
the year 287 of the Christian era, a Eoman officer in Britain, 
named Carausius, usurped the imperial purple, and for two 
years reigned here as emperor. It was under Carausius that, 
for the first time, Roman coins were struck in our island. 
The coins of Carausius found on the border of Wales are 
rather numerous, but, singularly, on the site of Uriconium, 
where we might suppose that a monetary circulation at that 
period was very necessary, they are rare. However, to coun- 
terbalance this defect, there has been found here one of the 
most remarkable coins of the whole Eoman series. In 18.51, 
long before the excavations were commenced, Mr. Eoach Smith 
visited Wroxeter, and obtained from its excellent vicar, the 
Eev. Edward Egremont, a coin of Carausius which is perfectly 
unique. It is well known that on the Eoman imperial coinage, 
the head of the emperor is always given in profile and either 
laureated, or helmeted, or radiated. In this extremely inter- 
estinp- coin, which is of very artistic workmanship, we have a 
portrait of the usurper in a front face, with the head entirely 
bare. The reverse is one of the ordinary reverses of the coins 
of Carausius. This unique and very remarkable coin is now, 
with the rest of my friend's collection, in the British Museum. 

Carausius was murdered in 293 by his officer AUectus, who 
caused himself to be proclaimed emperor, and reigned here 

' See before, pp 68, 69. 

336 uEicoNiUM. 

durina' three years. The coins of Allectus, also struck in 
Britain, are numerous ; but in 293, Constantius, who was 
destined soon afterwards to be emperor of Eome, overthrew 
Allectus, and restored the province of Britain to the empire. 
Constantius was the father of Constantine the Great, and this 
seems to have given to our island a special importance in the 
eyes of the subsequent Eoman emperors. 

The want of money in the Eoman provinces seems to have 
been supplied by various means, some of which are curious 
enough. The Constantine family of emperors appear to have 
understood the wants of their time, and they endeavoured to 
supply it by an unusually large issue of copper coinage. 
Under this dynasty, there were undoubtedly provincial mints. 
Many of the Eoman coins of this period have in the exergue 
the letters p. lon, which is supposed to be an abbreviation of 
pecunia Londinensis, London money, just as other money of 
the same period is marked as coming from Treves, or from 
Lyons (Lugdunum), or from other great provincial towns. It is 
evident that at this time Britain was well supplied with money, 
and it is believed that there were in Gaul large imperial 
depots of the small coinage whence it was sent over to the 
island when wanted. 

The Eomans had found other methods of suppljdng money 
in the provinces, or rather of debasing it. This was simply 
by forgery, but it was in this case the silver coinage, and not 
that of copper, which was tampered with. The quantity of 
spurious money in circulation during the Eoman period, as 
shown by the remains, is very remarkable. We sometimes 
find coins which are made of iron, and some other metals of 
small value, and merely silvered over, to make them pass as 
silver. But the more ingenious method of forging, and, to 
judge from the numerous traces we find of it, probably the 
most common, was by casting in moulds made from other 
coins. Eemains of establishments at which this forgery was- 


practiced have been found at different places in Britain and in 
Gaul, and there are reasons for believing that the forgers were 
in the direct employ of the imperial government. It could 
boast moreover of being a very ingenious deception, as the 
forged coins that were thus manufactured did not represent 
the reigning emperor, but emperors who had reigned at a 
previous time, so that if the fraud were discovered, the odium 
might fall upon them. Thus the fact of the continued cir- 
culation of the coinage through an indefinite period was turned 
to advantage. Impressions were taken in fine clay off genuine 
sUver coins of the emperors of the past, and a number of these 
clay impressions were packed up so as to form a mould, into 
which veiy debased metal was run, and thus a coinage of little 
worth in comparison with that which it represented was made 
and sent into circulation. The remains of these moulds, of 
the implements used in melting, and the coins themselves, have 
been found at Lingwell Gate, near Wakefield in Yorkshire, at 
Caster in Northamptonshire, the site of the Eoman town of 
Durohrivce, and at other places in Britain, in such quantities 
as to leave no doubt that during the Eoman period they must 
have been very abundant. Eemains of these coin-moulds 
have been found at Wroxeter, and one is preserved in the 
Museum at Shrewsbury. It is an impression of a coin of 
Juha Domna, the wife of the emperor Severus. It was found 
at the southern extremity of the site of Uriconium, near what 
I believe was one of the principal gates of the ancient city. 

When the imperial government was withdrawn from Britain, 
the island was deprived of any further supply of money from 
the continent, and the towns, each now left to its own resour- 
ces, appear to have soon felt the want of a small coinage of 
copper. Under these circumstances they made dies and coined 
money for themselves, considerable quantities of which have 
been found on some Eoman sites. These coins, which are 
all made of brass, are very rude copies of the Eoman coins 


of the Constantine dynasty, which were those chiefly in cir- 
culation at the close of the Eoman period, and, from their 
very small size, munimatists have given them the name of 
minimi. The subsequent Anglo-Saxon coinage was also a rude 
imitation of that of the Eomans, but it differed entirely from 

these minimi, it being always 
of silver, whereas the minimi 
are invariably of brass. They 
are found on the sites of towns 
which had existed for a time 
after the withdrawal of the Eo- 
man power. At Eichborough, the 
Minimi toiind at Wroseter. Eoman RutupicB, the existcuce 

of which was continued into 
the Anglo-Saxon period, the minimi are found in considerable 
numbers, and Anglo-Saxon coins also. Mr. Eoach Smith, in 
his book on the Antiquities of Eichborough, enumerates two 
hundred minimi found there, which he had examined. I have 
described two small sums of money which were in the posses- 
sion of individuals in Uriconium at the time of the destruction 
of the town. In one of these, consisting of 132 coins, all of 
copper or brass, there were six minimi ; in the other, consisting 
of thirty-eight coins, three of which were of silver or plated, 
there was one. No Saxon coins have been found at Wroxeter. 
Two of these minimi, found at Wroxeter, are represented in 
the accompanying cut. The lower is the one last men- 
tioned. They are barbaric imitations of two very common 
types of the later Eoman series. One, a soldier bearing a 
victorious standard in his march, with the inscription gloria 
ROMANORVM ; the other, two soldiers holding standards and 
trophies, with the inscription gloria exercitvs. Both occur 
on coins of Constantine, and are repeated on those of later 
emperors. The heads are crowned, and in the style of the 
coins of Tetricus and of the last of the dynasty. 




The invariable custom of the Romans, founded upon religious 
as well as sanitary motives, forbade the burial of the dead 
within the limits of a town. This rule is found to have been 
strictly adhered to in all the Roman towns in Britain the sites 
of which have been hitherto explored. Perhaps I might say 
that all the ground just beyond the walls, or other limits or 
boundaries of the town was good for burial purposes, but the 
word Cemetery as here used must not be taken strictly in its 
modern sense, as a piece of ground enclosed for the sole purpose 
of burial, but merely as signifying the locality where the sepul- 
chral interments were located together. The Romans did not 
consecrate pieces of ground in this manner, but the family of 
the deceased, if they were inhabitants of a town, bought a 
small piece of ground to bury him wherever they could obtain 
it to their own satisfaction, provided it were not within the 
walls of a town. The possessor of a villa in the country appears, 
from the discoveries made in aU parts of our island, to have 
had his burial place within the precincts of his own house. 
In the former case, where the inhabitant of a town bought a 
piece of ground outside the walls, it became consecrated by 
the circumstance of its being the repository of the dead, and 
to trespass upon it was regarded as sacrilege. Nevertheless, 
the ground adjoining the grave might be employed for any 


other purpose ; and suburban houses and villas might be 
intermixed with the tombs, as was the case in Pompeii. 
Indeed the Eoman seems, even when dead, to have still courted 
the proximity of the living, for he always sought by prefer- 
ence to establish his last home as near as possible to the 
most frequented road ; and the inscriptions on his roadside 
tomb often contained appeals to the passers by — in terms 
such as — siSTE VIATOR (stay, traveller), or tv qvisqvis es 
Qvi TEANSis (whoever thou art, passenger) — to think on the 
departed. The epitaph on a Roman named Lollius, published 
hj Grllter, concludes with the following words, which inti- 
mate that he was placed by the roadside, in order that those 
who passed by might say, " Farewell, Lollius ! " 


This feeling existed in Eoman Britain no less than in Italy. 
In most of the Roman towns in this island we find that the 
principal cemetery lay outside the gates on the road leading 
to the chief town in the province. The principal cemetery of 
Uriconium was without the eastern gateway, bordering the 
famous road so well known by the name of the Watling 
Street, which led towards Londinium, now London. Another 
motive might be pointed out for selecting this locahty at 
Uriconium, in the circumstance that it was the highest ground 
round the city, and the least exposed to be overflowed by the 
floods of the river Severn. The site of the cemetery is now 
covered by open fields, and will be better understood by 
the plan on the next page, in which the letter i marks 
the site of the eastern gate of the city of Uriconium, 
the dark line representing the line of the town walls. The 
Watling Street, as will be seen, runs from it in nearly an 
easterly direction. To the south the ground rises froin the 
road in a gentle bank, the brow of which, in the field where 



the excavations have been chiefly carried on, is marked by 
the shading from D to E. Attention had formerly been called 
to this locality by the accidental discovery, it is supposed not 
far from the spot marked e, of three slabs of stone bearing 
interesting sepulchral inscriptions, which are still preserved 

Site of the Cemetery of Uriconium. 

in the library of Shrewsbury School. This field was ex- 
plored very extensively during the year 1861. Trenches were 
carried from the hedge which separates it from the WatHng 
Street road over the whole extent of the bank, and further 
over the field to some distance to the south. Early in the 
course of these researches, at the sjoot marked b on the plan, 
low down on the slope of the bank, the excavators found a 
thick slab of stone, lying on its face ; and, when raised, it was 
found to bear on its face a sepulchral inscription, partly in Latin 
verse, to the memory of a Roman soldier named Flaminius 
Titus. Further exploration showed that the whole of this end 
of the bank was filled with interments, consisting of cinerary 


urns and their usual accompaniments, which appeared to have 
been put into the ground in rows. These interments covered 
the ground marked in our plan with dots. Trenches carried 
further towards the ancient town wall, or beyond the bank 
across the field, gave no traces of burials, so that this appears 
to have been the extremity in one direction of the burial 
ground towards the town. The site of the cemetery probably 
extended over the next field, f, but this has not yet been 
examined. The excavators were subsequently employed in 
the field, H, on the other side of Watling Street, in the farm of 
Mr. Bayley of Norton, but no discoveries were made there, 
and the cemetery would thus appear to have been confined to 
the southern side of the road. But an accidental discovery 
led to the examination of the garden of Miss BytheU in the 
hamlet of Norton, at G in our plan, and there was found one 
well defined interment, besides traces of others. It is not 
improbable, therefore, that the tombs of the citizens were 
scattered over the ground outside the walls along the greater 
part of their extent. 

We know that the Romans had two methods of burying 
their dead, by interring the body entire, when it was inclosed 
in a sarcophagus of stone or in a chest of lead, and by burning 
the body and reducing it to ashes, which were deposited in an 
urn or other vessel. In the age of the Antonines the practice 
of cremation was finally abolished in Italy, but the imperial 
ordinances appear to have had but little efi"ect in the distant 
provinces, where the two forms of burial stiU continued to 
exist simultaneously. Eoman interments of the entire body 
in this manner have been found in many parts of England, 
and especially in London, at York, at Colchester, and in 
several places in Kent, but it is a curious fact that no instance 
has yet been found at Wroxeter. We know that this great 
city flourished till the end of the Roman period, yet every 
case of interment yet found has exhibited to us the body 


burnt, and the ashes buried in an urn. We can hardly doubt 
from this circumstance, that the religion of Christ never pre- 
vailed in Eoman Uriconium. 

To explain the various objects which arc found in the 
Eoman graves, it wdl be necessary to give a brief sketch of 
the formalities which attended death and burial among the 
ancient Romans. The last duty to the dying man was to 
close his eyes, which was usually performed by his children, 
or by his nearest relatives, who, after he had breathed his last, 
caused Ms body first to be washed with warm water, and 
afterwards to be anointed. Those who performed the ofiice 
last mentioned were called poUinctores. The corpse was 
afterwards dressed, and placed on a litter in the hall of the 
house with its feet towards the entrance door, and it was 
to remain there during seven days. This ceremony was 
termed colloccUio, and the object of it is said to have been 
to show that the deceased had died a natural death, and 
that he had not been murdered. In accordance with the old 
popular superstition, a small piece of money was placed in 
the dead man's mouth, which it was supposed would be re- 
quired to pay the boatman Charon for the passage across the 
river Styx. In the case of persons of substance, incense was 
burnt in the hall, and the latter was often decked with branches 
of cypress, whUe a keeper was appointed who did not quit 
the body until the funeral was completed. The public having 
been invited by proclamation to attend the funeral, the body 
was taken out on the seventh day, and carried in proces- 
sion, attended by the relatives, friends, and whoever chose 
to attend, accompanied by musicians, and sometimes l^y dan- 
cers, mountebanks, and performers of various descriptions. 
With people of wealth and honour, the images of their ances- 
tors were carried in the procession, which always passed through 
the Forum on its way to the place of burial, and sometimes 
a friend mounted the rostrum and pronounced a funeral 


oration. In the earlier times, the burial always took place 
by night, and was attended by persons carrying lamps, or 
torches, but this practice seems to have been afterwards neg- 
lected ; though the lamps still continued to be carried in 
the procession. Women, who were called 'prceficos, were 
employed not only to howl their lamentations over the de- 
ceased, and chant his praises, like the Irish keeners, but also 
to cry; and their tears, it is understood, were collected into 
small vessels of glass, and this is termed, in some of the 
inscriptions found on the Continent, being "buried with tears," 
— sepultus cum lacrymis, — and the tomb is spoken of as 
being " full of tears," tvmvl lacrim . plen. 

The next ceremony was that of burning the body. The 
funeral pile, pyra, was built of the most inflammable woods, 
to which pitch was added, and other articles, which often 
rendered this part of the ceremony very expensive. An in- 
scription, preserved by Grtiter, speaks of some persons whose 
property was only sufficient to pay for the funeral pile and the 
pitch to burn their bodies — nee ex eorum bonis plus inven- 
tum est quam quod sufficeret ad emendam pyram et picem 
quibus corpora cremarentur. It had been ordered by a law 
of the Twelve Tables that the funeral pile must be formed 
of timber which was rough and untouched by the axe, but 
this rule was probably not very closely adhered to in later 

When the body was laid on the pile, the latter was 
sprinkled with wine and other liquors, and incense, and 
various unguents and odoriferous spices were tlirown upon 
it. It was now, according to some accounts, that the nau- 
lum, or coin for the payment of the passage over the Styx, 
was placed in the mouth of the corpse, and at the same 
time the eyes were opened. Fire was applied to the pile by 
the nearest relatives of the deceased, who, in doing this, 
turned their faces from it while it was burning ; the kins- 


men and friends often threw into the fire various objects, 
such as personal ornaments, and even favourite animals and 
birds. When the whole was reduced to ashes, these were 
sprinkled with wine (and sometimes with mUk), accompanied 
with an invocation to the manes, or spirit of the dead. The 
reader will call to mind the lines of Virgil :• — 

" Post^iiam collapsi cineres, et flanima quievit, 
. . Eelliquias vino et bibulam lavere favillam, 

Ossaque lecta cado texit Corynajus aeno." 

^n. vi, 226. 

The next proceeding indeed, was to collect what remained 
of the bones from the ashes, which was the duty of the 
mother of the deceased, or if the parents were not living, of 
the children, and was followed by a new ofi"ering of tears. 
Some of the old writers speak of the difficulty of separating 
the remains of the burnt bones from the wood ashes, and we 
accordingly find them usually mixed together. When col- 
lected, the bones were deposited in an urn, which was made of 
various materials. The urn, in Virgil, was made of brass, or 
perhaps of bronze. Instances are mentioned of silver, and 
even gold, being used for this purpose, as well as of marble, 
and those found in Britain are often of glass ; but the more 
common material was earthenware. One of the performers m. 
the ceremony, whose duty this was, then purified the attend- 
ants by sprinkHng them thrice with water, with an olive 
branch, if that could be obtained, and the prceficoe pronounced 
the word Hicet (said to be a contraction of Ire licet, you 
may go.) Those who had attended the funeral thrice addressed 
the word Vale (farewell) to the manes of the dead, and de- 
parted. A sumptuous supper was usually given after the 
funeral to the relatives and friends. 

In the case of people of better rank, the body was burnt 
on the ground which had been purchased for the sepulchre, but 
for the poorer people there was a public burning place, which 


was called the ustrina, where the process was probably much 
less expensive, and whence the urn, containing the remains 
(relliquicBj of the deceased was carried to be interred. The 
tombs of rich families were often large and even splendid 
edifices, with rooms inside, in the walls of which were small 
recesses, where the different urns were placed. None of the 
buildings of the tombs remain at Wroxeter, or, indeed, in any 
Eoman cemetery ia our island, but we can hardly doubt that 
such tombs did exist in the cemetery of Uriconium, and that they 
were scattered along the side of the Watling Street. At the 
spot marked A on our plan, the foundations of a small building 
were met with, which appeared to have consisted of an oblong 
square, with a rectangular recess behind, but the western por- 
tion of it has been destroyed by the process of draining. 
When opened, ashes and fragments of an urn were found in 
the inclosed space, so that it is not improbable that this may 
have been a tomb with a room. The inscribed stone found 
at B, not far from this spot, bears evidence, in its form and 
especially in the appearance of its reverse side, of having been 
fixed against a wall, probably over an entrance door ; and the 
other inscribed stones, found here in the last century, had 
perhaps been placed in similar positions. The urn was perhaps 
here interred beneath the floor of the room. 

In more than one case in the cemetery of Uriconium, the 
corpse was certainly burnt on the spot where the ashes were 
to be buried. At the place marked c in our plan, we 
found undoubted evidence of cremation in the grave. A 
square pit had been made, on the floor of which the funeral 
pile had been laid. My friend Mr. Samuel Wood, Avho was 
present when this pit was opened, remarked that the remains 
of the timber of the funeral pile still remained as it had sunk 
on the floor, and that the ends were unconsumed, and the 
earth underneath quite red from burning. Mr. Wood gathered 
up some fragments of melted glass among the ashes, the 


remains of some of the small vessels containiug aromatics or 
unguents, which were thrown into the funeral fire, and he 
adds, in a letter on the subject written at the time of the 
discovery, " One curious point I noticed, that you could posi- 
tively tell from which direction the wind was blowing at the 
time of combustion, as one side of the hole was quite burnt 
with all the wood ; whereas on the opposite side, the ends of 
the fuel were there, with the one end only charred. The wind 
was in the west, W.S.W. This, of course, is quite unimpor- 
tant ; but one might venture a guess that it occurred in 
autumn, when the prevailing wind is from the west, or south- 
west." At the spot marked G in our plan, where considerable 
traces of Roman sepulchral interments were found in the 
garden of a cottage occupied by Miss Bythell, a similar pit 
was found, with this difference in its circumstances ; in the 
former case, the soil into which the pit was cut is a clayey 
loam, which would itself form a tolerably firm wall ; but the 
soil on the site of Miss Bythell's garden was a light and sharp 
sand which would crumble in unless supported. In this case, 
therefore, the pit, which was somewhat more that six feet 
square, was lined with clay, both bottom and sides, to a thick- 
ness of twelve or fourteen inches ; and the heat of the fire 
had been so great, that the clay was baked quite through, and 
even the sand beyond it showed, in its changed colour and 
appearance, evident marks of the action of fire. Mr. Wood, 
who was also present immediately after this grave was opened, 
described it to me as having somewhat the appearance of a 
large square baked vessel. The remains of the corpse had 
been collected and deposited in a very large urn, which was 
placed upon some flat tiles, and supported and surrounded 
with clay and broken flue tiles. Under it was found a coin 
of the emperor Trajan, of the description termed by numis- 
matists second brass. 

In most of the other cases of interment yet discovered in 
the cemetery of Uriconium, a small hole or pit appears to 


have been sunk in the ground, and the urn, as it had been no 
doubt brought from the ustrina, was placed in it and covered 
up. These interments were not far distant from each other, 
and, as I have already remarked, appear to have been placed 
in rows, nearly parallel to the road. Perhaps the ground 
here may have been bought for this purpose in common by 
associations of the townsmen — such as trade corporations ; or 
it may have been set aside for burial purposes by the muni- 
cipal authorities, and sold in small portions to individuals, 
as the practice now exists in modern cemeteries. It may be 
remarked that the accumulation of soil above the Eomau level 
is here very much less than in the interior of the ancient city, 
where we have frequently to dig from ten to twelve feet to 
reach it. The top of the clay walls of the pit in Miss BytheU's 
garden was from fourteen to sixteen inches below the present 
surface, and the inscribed commemorative of Flaminius 
Titus, which was found lying on its face, on what was pro- 
bably the original level of the ground, or very near it, was 
met with at about eighteen inches below the present surface. 
We may, therefore, probably reckon the accumulation of earth 
on the site of the cemetery at from eighteen inches to two 
feet. The average depth at which the urns have been found 
is somewhat less than four feet, so the Romans appear to 
have dug pits about two feet deep for their reception. 

These excavations in the cemetery contributed a consider- 
able number of sepulchral urns, many of them perfect, and 
others only so broken as to be easily put together, and taken 
to the Museum in Shrewsbury. A few examples, with some 
of the jug-shaped earthen vessels also found in the graves, are 
given in the cut on next page The urns, which are of baked 
earthenware, of different shades of colour, but mostly brown 
or red, are of coarse substance, but always more or less well- 
shaped, and they vary very much in size. The largest we 
have yet found is about eighteen inches high. The jug-shaped 
earthen vessels were perhaps used to contain some liquids 



which were interred with the remains of the dead ; but when 
found they were filled Avith earth. 









The examples here engraved present most of the usual 
forms of the sepulchral urn; but we sometimes meet with one 


of a rarer and more curious shape. The cut given below, 
to the left, represents a fragment of a sepulchral urn pierced 
at the bottom with six holes, somewhat like a colander. It 
was found at a place called Burleigh, near Minchinhampton, 
in Gloucestershire, about the year 1845, and was broken by 
the workmen. When found it was filled with burnt bones 
and charcoal. Another curious urn was dug up at Colchester 
in the earlier part of the year 1845, which presented the pecu- 
liarity of having a lid. It was of a coarse greenish-grey 
pottery, and also contained calcined bones. This urn is repre- 
sented in our next cut given below, to the right. But a 

Roman Um from Koman Urn from 

Gloucestershire. Colchester. 

rather remarkable peculiarity connected with this urn was the 
character of its receptacle. I have stated that usually the 
sepulchral urn, when filled, Avas merely placed in a hole in the 
ground, and covered mth earth. Now and then we meet with 
a curious exception to this rule. In the Wroxeter Museum 
at Shrewsbury we have a sepulchral urn inclosed in a case 
made of lead, just like a man's hat in a hat box. This Col- 
chester urn was found in the interior of a Roman amphora. 
This amphora, which was of large size, is represented in the 
cut in the margin of the next page. The upper part had been 
broken off, as shown by the line in the cut, and had been 
replaced after the urn and other articles were deposited in it, 
and the lower part of a broken sepulchral urn had been used 



Roman Amphora from 

as a cover to it. The articles found in the interiQr were the 

urn just described, one of the vessels commonly called a 

lachrymatory, of pale green glass ; a 

small lamp of coarse earthenware of a 

brick-red colour ; another lamp, of finer 

material, and of a pale red colour ; a 

number of fragments of oxidized iron, 

which appeared to have been nails ; and 

a coin of the second brass, bearing the 

head of Faustina junior. In more than 

one instance, as at Avisford in Sussex, 

in 1817, the urn has been found inclosed 

in a sarcophagus of stone, such as those 

usually employed for the burial of corpses 

without cremation. A stUl more singular 

contrivance was found at Cirencester in the year 1848, and is 

represented in our cut. What oflfers 
the appearance of a portion of a shaft 
of a column, made of calcareous free- 
stone, appears as if cut through, and 
then the lower part had been hollowed 
in the centre so as to form a recept- 
acle for the urn. The latter con- 
tained burnt bones. 

Certain other objects were by 
custom buried with the remains of the 
dead. In a former chapter f I have 
given a group of glass vessels and 
other articles found in the cemetery of 

Uriconium. We know, from allusions in some of the ancient 

writers, as from monumental inscriptions, that tears, unguents, 

and aromatics, were sometimes thrown on the funeral pile, and 

sometimes interred with the dead, deposited, as it may be sup- 

+ See before p. 358 of the present volume. 

Homan Urn from Cirencester. 


posed, in small vessels of glass. An inscription in Grliter 
describes the deceased as being "moistened with tears and 
balsam,"- — evm . lachrimis . et . opobalsamo . vdvm. My 
readers will call to mind, also, the lines of TibuUus (Eleg. 
lib. ui, El. ii, Hne 1 9), in which he speaks of depositing with 
the dead the precious products of Arabia and Assyria, as well 
as the tears of relations and friends : — 

"Et primum annoso spargant colleota Lyaeo, 

Mox etiam niveo fundere lacte parent. 
Post hao carbaseis humorem tollere ventis, 

Atque in marmorea ponere sicca domo. 
Illic quas niittit dives Panchaia merces, 

Eoique Aiabes, dives et Assyria. 
Et nostri memores lacrimas fundantur eodeni ; 

Sic ego componi versus in ossa velim." 

These precious objects are supposed to have been contained 
in the small narrow glass phials which are so commonly found 
in the Eoman graves, and to which, in the belief that they had 
contained only the tears of the mourners, antiquaries have 
given the name of lachrymatories. Experiments made by 
my friend Dr. Henry Johnson of Shrewsbury, upon the 
earth contained in some of these glass vessels which we dug 
up in the cemetery of Uriconium, seemed to confirm the belief 
that they were not merely receptacles of teai's. In one of his 
letters to me at that time he writes : — " Respecting the lachry- 
matories, I have lately seen rather a confirmation of what you 
said of these having been filled with unguents, incense, or 
something of that kind, which would by heat yield much car- 
bon or charcoal. I took two of these little glass vessels, which 
had dark matter in them, and which had never been emptied. 
I put some of the dark matter under the microscope, and I 
conld see pure red grains of the sand of the field,* and inter- 
mixed with these many visible particles of pure black carbon, 

♦ To explain tMs, it must be stated that the soil of the field, which is hardly two feet deep, 
lies upon a deep hcd of pure saiid, and that the interments had all been made in the sand, in 
which the urns and other objects were found. 


evidently introduced artificially into the sand. On putting 
some of the soil into a platinum crucible, and heating it red-hot 
for a few minutes, all the charcoal was burnt away, and I got 
a pure red sand, like that of the cemetery. The contents of 
these two vessels were quite black, though I have no doubt 
they were found deeper than the superficial covering of black 
mould. One of them had evidently been subjected to fire, so 
that the supposition that this had been filled with some 
unctuous oblation, and then acted on by heat in the funeral 
pile, is not at all improbable." 

These glass vessels help to demonstrate that the same forms 
were observed by the Eomans in Britain in their performance 
of the sepuLAral rites as in Italy. Some of them are found 
greatly affected by fire, and have no doubt been on the 
funeral pde; others, on the contrary, are perfect, and have evi- 
dently never been in the fire, but were no doubt deposited with 
the urn. I have given examples of them in iDoth conditions in 
the group above alluded to as presented in a former page. The 
one in the middle of the three to the right in the cut has 
been thus afi"ected by the heat, in a less degree ; but the other, 
lying on the ground beneath it, has been so much melted as 
to have lost its original shape. 

A very usual accompaniment of Eoman interments is the 
lamp, usually made of terra-cotta. There can be no doubt 
that, under the influence of sentiments with which we are but 
imperfectly acquainted, lamps were among the usual oflerings 
to the dead, and that, when ofi'ered, they were filled with od 
and hghted. Lamps were found in the tombs at Pompeii, 
where they appear to have been placed in the recesses of the 
walls by the side of the urns of the dead. Their frequent 
occurrence under such circumstances has given rise to a num- 
ber of old legends of the finding of lamps stiU burning in the 
tombs of the ancients, who, according to mediaeval story, had 


invented a material for the lamp which, once lighted, would 
burn for ever. I might quote various proofs of the import- 
ance v^hich was placed in the circumstance of burying a 
lamp with the dead. One epitaph, found at Salerno, and 
given in Grtiter, which commemorates a lady named Septima, 
expresses, in what appears to have been intended for elegiac 
verse, the wish that whoever contributed a burning lamp 
to her tomb, might have a "golden soil" to cover his ashes: — 



The lamp was no doubt burning when it was placed in the 
grave with the urn. Two lamps only have been found m our 
excavations in the cemetery of Uriconium. They are repre- 
sented in our cut at page 258, and are of the same form which 
the Eoman terra-cotta lamp almost invariably presents. In 
one of them the field is plain ; in the other it is ornamented 
mth the figure of a dolphin. 

The same rarity which characterises the lamps in the Eoman 
interments in our island, is also to be remarked in the Eoman 
coins, of which only one has yet been met with in the ceme- 
tery by the Watling Street, a second brass of the emperor 
Claudius ; and two in Miss BytheU's garden, one of Trajan, 
and the other of Hadrian. The coin of Trajan was found 
under the urn, and must therefore have belonged to the inter- 
ment, and, as it bore distinct marks of having been exposed 
to the flames, it had evidently been burnt with the corpse. 
The early date of these coins is worthy of remark, and, though 
it does not necessarily prove the early date of the interment, 
it mny perhaps assist in explaining their rarity. However 


large may have been the amount of true Roman and Italian 
blood among the founders of the town, the number of the 
inhabitants was no doubt kept up and probably increased in 
after times by recruits from other countries, perhaps much 
of it German; and these strangers to Eoman sentiments, 
when they accepted Eoman manners and customs, may have 
neglected many of their minor details. Perhaps they were 
not convinced of the necessity of exporting the current coin 
of the realm, in however small quantities, to Hades, and they 
may have deliberately retained Charon's passage-fare. They 
may have also discontinued the practice of placing lamps in 
the grave, or it may only have been observed occasionally. 
It must at the same time be remarked, that single coins are 
the objects of all others most likely to escape the notice of 
the excavators. 

Nearly all the graves, however, which were opened in the 
cemetery of Uriconium appeared to have contained the urns 
and small glass phials ; and in some there were other vessels 
of glass and earthenware, and among the latter some inter- 
esting examples of the well-known Samian ware. A few of 
these are given in our engraving on page 258, just referred 
to. All these vessels have no doubt contained the offerings 
of the living to the Manes. 

It may be worthy of remark, that the comparatively slow 
accumulation of earth on the site of the cemetery explains 
easily the almost total disappearance of its monuments which 
stood above ground. We learn from early writers, such as 
the historian Bede, that people resorted to the sites of the 
Roman cemeteries to seek for materials long before they Ijeo-an 
to break up the towns themselves, and as these materials 
must have lain for ages visible on the surface of the ground, 
and at the same time consisted probably of large and u.seful 
stones, they held out a stronger temptation to such depreda- 
tors. Fortunately, the stones most likely to escape were those 


which contained inscriptions, because the people who had 
succeeded the Romans entertained a profound feeling of dread 
of all inscriptions which they could not read, believing them 
to be dangerous magical charms. Hence we find, here and 
there, a single inscribed stone lying where it was thrown or 
dropped, when every other fragment of the monument to 
which in had belonged has disappeared. In some instances 
the inscription has been intentionally damaged or partly erased 
in the hope of destroying the charm. 

I now proceed to describe all the known sepulchral inscrip- 
tions found at Wroxeter. 

In the year 1752, men employed in digging a drain on the 
side of the bank of the cemetery, found the three inscribed 
stones represented at the top of our plate (figs. 1, 2, and 3). 
They are now carefully preserved in the library of Shrewsbury 
School. The first two, we are told, had been fastened by 
tenons into mortices cut into other stones that lay flat within, 
and they had been buried into the ground up to the tablets 
containing the inscriptions. The first of these inscriptions may 
be read without any difficulty, as follows : 

c.MANNivs Cams Mannius, 

t! . F . POL . SECv Caii filius, Vollia, Seen 

NDVS . POLLEN ndus, Polleufoa, 

MIL . LEG . XX miles legionis xx, 

ANOPvV . Lii annoru75i lii, 

STip . xxxi stipenc?^or^i«^ xxxi, 

BEN . LEG . PR heneficiarius hgati Tpvincipalis, 

H . s . y,. hie situs est. 

It should probably be traiUslated, "' Caius Mannius Secundus, 
son of Gains, of the PoUiau tribe, of PoUentia, a soldier of the 
twentieth legion, fifty-two years of age, having served thirty- 
one years, a beneficiary of the principal legate, lies here.'"'* 

* In tlie intei'pretation of this inscription I adopt tLe snf;gestion of Dr. M'Caul, the presi- 
dent of University College, Toronto, who pnhlished in the Canadian Journal, a series of papers 
upon Latin inscriptions found in Britain, wliich are well worthy of the attention of our anti- 
quaries. Dr. M'Caul remarks upon one of the terms employed in this inscription, " The word 

uEicomuM. 357 

The second of these inscriptions may be read as follows : 

M . PETEONivs Marcus Petronius, 
L . F . MEN hucii fiKus, Woiienia, 

VIC . ANN vicsit armis 


■ MIL . LEG miles legionis 

xiiii . GEM xiiii gemince, 

MiLiTAViT militavit 

ANN . XVIII annis xviii, 

, SIGN . FviT signifer fuit, 
H . s . E. hie &itus est. 

It may be translated, " Marcus Petronius, son of Lucius, of the 
Menenian tribe, lived thirty-eight years, a soldier of the four- 
teenth legion called Gemina ; he served as a soldier eighteen 
years, and ■n'as a standard-bearer ; he lies here." It must be 
remarked that the sixth line is now almost defaced by the 
fracture of the stone ; and not only has the x entirely disap- 
peared, but the space would allow of xx. 

Our third inscription is, perhaps, the most curious of them 
all, because it has been the ground of some rather considerable 
errors, arising partly from its not very perfect condition. It is 
divided into three columns or compartments, as wiU be seen in 
the engraving, the first of which appears to be as follows ; 

T> .M 

Diis Manibus. 



AN . LV 

smnorum LV, 


curam agente 


conjuge annorum 



ie., *'To the gods of the Manes. Placida, aged fifty-five ^ 

* principal,' as ordinarily used in EngUsh does not convey the meaning oi principalis is applied 
to a Roman soldier. The Latin term means that the person so styled -n'as one of the prlncipalea- 
a designation given to suh-officers or of&cials, in contradistinction to munifices or greqarii, 
wiiich denoted the common soldiers or privates. (Vide Veget. de Be MiUtaH, lib, ii, c, 7.}'' 


raised by the care of her husband, who had been her husband 
thirty years." 

Former antiquaries have misinterpreted, as standing 
for curator agrorum, and have thus created a municipal officer 
unknown from any other authority. The error has been 
pointed out by Dr. M'Caul in the paper akeady alluded to ; 
and it cannot be doubted that he is in the right. There may 
l)e some doubt with regard to the last two lines, as they are 
rather indistinct ; but we shall perhaps be justified in retain- 
ing the A at the end of the fifth line, and the xxx in the sixth 
line, because, when the stone was first found, and the copy of 
the inscription made, these letters may have been more 
distinct than they are now. 

The second column of this inscription may read — 

D . M 

Dm Manihus. 



S . AN . XV 

s, Siunorum xv. 


cwxam agente 



i.e., " To the gods of the Manes. Deuccus, aged fifteen years ; 
raised l)y the care of his brother." It has been suggested 
that the n at the beginning of the last line is a p (patre) ; 
in which case it was the father of Deuccus, the husband of 
Placida, who had also buried his young son, and who thus 
might have left the third column blank for the reception of 
Ills own name, when he should have been laid beside his 
family. But the stone seems to present distinctly an r; and 
Ave may suppose that Deuccus had an elder brother, and 
that, dying while his father was perhaps absent or dead in 
some distant region, he was buried by his brother's care 
instead of that of his father. 

Another inscribed stone (fig. 4 of our plate), but more 
broken than the others, was found, in 1810, on the side of 


the same bank which furnished the three others, and is pre- 
served with them in the library of Shrewsbury School. It 
may be read without much difficulty. 

TIB . CLAVD . TER Tiherius Claudms Tere 

NTivs . EQ . COH ntius, eqwes cohortis 

THEACVM . AK Thracum, ami 

OKVM . LVii . STiP oruni lvii, stip 

ENDIORVM endiorum 

H . s. hie situs est. 

i.e., " Tiberius Claudius Terentius, a horseman of the cohort 

of Thracians, aged fifty-seven years, having served , lies 

here. " The letters which indicated the length of this man's 
service are no longer visible on the stone, which has suflfered 
much injury. It has been assumed from this inscription, that 
the cohort of Thracian cavalry belonged to Uriconium ; but, 
I think, without sufficient grounds. It would be very rash to 
take, at any time, the presence of a single tomb-stone as a 
proof that the body of troops to which the deceased had 
belonged, was stationed at tliat place, unless we had some 
other information to confirm it. Uriconium appears to have 
been a large city, which must have been frequented by 
strangers and visitors from aU parts, some of whom no doubt 
died and were buried here. Our first inscription commemo- 
rates a soldier of the twentieth legion, which we know had its 
head-quarters at Deva (Chester) ; the second was raised over 
the body of a soldier of the fourteenth legion, Avhich most 
probably was at that time on the continent. The tombstone 
of a horseman of this same body of Thracians has been found 
at Cirencester, the site of the Eoman town of Corinium ; and 
it is hardly probable that it was stationed at both places. 

The fifth inscription on our plate is preserved in the Museum 
of the Shropshire and North AVales Natural History and 


Antiquarian Society at Shrewsbury. Its history has not been 
very clearly ascertained ; but there is reason for believing that 
it was brought from Italy, and that it has therefore no relation 
to Wroxeter. The letters are sufficiently distinct, and the 
words are unusually free of contractions. It may be read ; — 

D . M 


i.e., " To the gods of the Manes. Diadumenus erected this 
to Antonia Gemella, a most affectionate [wife]. She lived 
thirty-three years." 

Fig. 6 of our plate is a mere fragment of what appears 
also to have been a sepulchral inscription ; but it would be in 
vain to attempt an explanation. 

The seventh inscription is also apparently a fragment, 
which is preserved in the garden of the vicarage. The words 
BOKA EEIPVBLIC.^ NATVS are legible upon it, and formed, per- 
haps, part of an inscription commemorative of one of the later 

]\Iore recently a fragment of an inscribed stone has been 
found in the excavations, having evidently been used for ma- 
terials for buildino- — a circumstance of common occurrence in 
the Roman buildings in this country. It is represented on fig. 
8 in our plate. The letters which remain upon it are distinctly 
. r> . M., under which are traced, not less clearly, letters which 
appear to be isvM. The d.m would be taken at once as indi- 
cating a tombstone ; but it is still possible that these two 
letters may stand for deo maximo ; and that this fragment 


may have belonged to an altar dedicated to Jupiter, Jovi 
SYumo, though the formula is more usually d . o . M., i.e., deo 
Optimo maxima. 

But the most interesting of the inscriptions found at Wrox- 
eter remains to be described. A.s I have already before stated, 
in the course of our excavations on the site of the cemetery of 
Uriconium in the autumn of 1861, the men came upon a large 
slab of stone which had e^ddently formed part of a sepulchral 
monument. It was the stone of the monument on which the 
inscription was cut, and above it had been a figure sculptm'ed 
in high relief, of which the feet only remain. The inscription 
itself, which is now in the Museum at Shrewsbury, has been 
unfortunately much defaced, especially in the lower part, 
but, with conjectures at two or three of the letters, it has 
been partly read as follows : 

AMINIVS . T . POL . F . A 


The first three lines may be read without much difiiculty — it 
is assumed that the two first letters were those of the word 
Flaminius, as Aminius is not found elsewhere as a Koman 

i^'Zaminius Titi Pollionis iilius an 

norum xxxxv, stijiendiorum xxii, miles legionis 

FII gemince, militavit aquili/er, nunc hie situs est 

We learn from it that this was the tomb of Flaminius, son of 
Titus PoUio, a soldier of the seventh legion. The rest of the 
inscription is more diflficult, for some of the letters are erased, 


and several are very doubtful. It may be seen at once that it 
consists of hexameters, and professor M'Caul of Toronto has 
proposed the following reading : 

Perlegite et felices vita plus minus justa ; 
Omnibus eequa lege iter est ad Tsenara Ditis. 
Vivite, dum Stygius vitae dat tempus honeste. 




After the discoveries described in the preceding chapters, 
the excavations were discontinued during several years, 
chiefly in consequence of want of funds. This state of 
things continued until the summer of the year 1867. In 
the autumn of that year the British Archaeological Associa- 
tion held its annual congress at Ludlow, and in anticipation 
of that event my esteemed and liberal friend, Mr. Joseph 
Mayer, of Liverpool, whose services to archaeology are so 
well kno"ftTi, sent a contribution of fifty pounds towards 
new excavations at Wroxeter, which had been selected as 
the place to be visited by the Association on one of the 
days of the meeting. The results of the researches pursued 
with Mr. Mayer's gift, possess considerable interest. They 
will be better understood by reference to the following 
plan, drawn by our artist, Mr. Hillary Davies. 

In a former chapter,* I have described traces of a room 
adjoining that which we called the Enameller's Shop, and I 
have there stated the reason which had induced us to leave 
it unexplored. It was my wish that we shoald begin the 
new excavation by uncovering this room, and this was agreed 
to, and a few men were set to work upon it. They soon 
found that it was a square room, of nearly the same dimen- 
sions as the Enameller's Shop, and closely resembling it in 

* See before p. 164 oi the present Tolume. 



other particulars. In the annexed plan the Enameller's 
Shop is marked by the letters aa, while cc marks the 



room to which I am now calling attention. It extended 
from the northern wall of the former to the sonttiern 


boundary wall of the Basilica, (the continuation of the Old 
Wall), which formed its northern side. This room also 
proved to have been a workshop of objects in metal, and 
has in its centre a square platform of masonry similar in 
dimensions and character, and no doubt intended for the 
same purpose, as that in the middle of the Enameller's 
Shop. In one corner of this room we find the remains of 
a low flight of steps, which appear to have been connected 
with some raised -place for work, and at the other end of 
this side of the apartment, at f, there is an irregular block 
of building, which has evidently been a furnace. Here 
many fragments of vitrified earthy and metallic substances, 
or slag, were found scattered about, and not far from the 
furnace lay the bowl end of an iron ladle, which had evi- 
dently been used for melting. The present floor of this apart- 
ment consists, as was the case at least in a great part of the 
former chamber, of pure red sand, over which lay formerly 
another floor of concrete, about eight inches thick, which, 
however, has been removed. Fragments of pottery, and 
various other objects of little importance, were found in 
digging into this apartment, and among them several Eoman 
coins in large bronze, including specimens of the emperors 
Trajan and Hadrian and of the empress Faustina. This 
room is marked cc in the plan. 

Adjoining this room, to the east, was a long room (gg in 
the plan), which had been opened to some extent in our 
former excavations, but it was now entirely cleared out. It 
is five feet wide at one end and six at the other, and 
seventy-one feet long. It separates the room I have been 
describing from the room which has been supposed to repre- 
sent pubHc latrinse.* About fifteen feet from the narrowest 
end of the inclosure gg, and two feet six inches below the 
level of the adjoining chamber, there is a singular opening 

* See pp. 147, 148, of the present volume. 


in the wall, ten inches high and six inches wide. "The 
contents of this chamber or pit," Dr. Johnson observes, 
" were very peculiar, and unlike common soil. On analysis, 
they yielded distinct traces of ammonia, and a considerable 
quantity of alkaline phosphates. Traces of ammonia and 
phosphates might be expected in garden soU or in that 
of the surface of a well-manured field ; but I think the 
abundant presence of these matters in earth taken from a 
depth of several feet is almost a proof of my conjecture 
that this was a cess-pool ; and it is another confirmation 
of this conclusion that it would receive the overflowings of 
the adjacent latrinae by the opening which I have described. 
In this pit, or cess-pool, if I may so designate it, many 
curious things were picked up. Among them was a bronze 
head of a lion, very well made, which had probably been 
the hilt of a sword or dagger; and a beautiful red cornelian 
signet-ring, with an engraved device, in intaglio." This 
device will be seen in the accompanying cut. It represents 
two parrots standing on blocks or perches, Avith their beaks 
approaching each other over a vase placed in the centre of 
the design.* 

After opening out this ancient cess-pool, the 
excavation in the latrinse was continued, and 
the results have fuUy comfirmed the justice of 
the name we formerly gave to this part of gj^^t j;ijj„ jo^^^ 
the buildings. The long interrupted black line atwroxeter. 
in the plan marks the division between the ground excavated 
on the former occasion, and that which was uncov- 
ered in these more recent excavations. I will here 
again speak in the words of Dr. Johnson, who was a 
much more continuous observer of these new operations 
than myself. " On the one side of the paved floor (the 

* It ia to be regretted that this signet ring was stealthily carried away from the Museum at 
Shrewsbury by a i-isitor who happened to be present when it was brought, before it could be 
placed in the case designed for it. 



herring-bone pavement described before), and at a lower 
level, there is a very well formed and deep narrow drain 
(iij, part of which was discovered and laid open in our 
excavations. After it was made, there appears to have been 
some alteration or repair necessary, and a cross-wall has 
been built right across it CjJ, and it is not easy to discover 
how or where it emptied itself. But to our great surprise^ 
we found, on digging down towards the foundation of the 
wall of the Basilica at bb, at a depth of about nine feet, 
that instead of a solid wall we got into a regular drain or 
sewer, so large that one might creep up it for some dis- 
tance each way. There is no doubt that the drain (iiJ just 
mentioned, and one which was discovered and still remains 
open in the Public Baths, have both terminated in this great 
trunk. On the other side of the herring-bone pavement, deep 
in this ground, we traced a small wall running near the 
outer wall of this apartment. There is no doubt, therefore 
that there was a drain on this side as on the other, and I 
have already stated that there is a free passage from this 
drain into the great cess-pool bb. Before making the recent 
excavations, no doorway to the latrinse (hh) was known, but 
now a good and wide one, with two well-made steps, much 
worn, has been uncovered (jj). Some other walls to the east 
of this building, especially about mm, have been laid open, 
but nothing definite has been made out." 

I had formerly supposed that the latrinae had been entered 
from the passage on the south side of the Basilica, by a door- 
way which we discovered in the walls, with its step, at an 
earher period of our excavations. It is now shown, how- 
ever, that this doorway, which has been uncovered at K, led 
into what seems to be a prolongation of the Ambulatorium 
of the Baths, and that it was from this open space that 
the latrinee were entered by the steps and passages at it. 

Such are, briefly described, the results of the last exca- 


vations on the site of Uriconium. The buildings which 
now remain uncovered, and which we have permission to 
keep open permanently, may thus be described as follows. 
They cover a square piece of ground nearly 260 feet from 
east to west, and about 180 from north to south. To the 
north it is bounded by the wall of the Eoman Basilica, and 
southward it was separated by a street from the masses 
of private habitations. All the eastern portion of the 
inclosed space forming nearly a square of little less than 
200 feet, constituted no doubt the public baths of Eoman 
Uriconium. The line of walls forming the western boundary 
of the buildings uncovered, and running along the line of 
the Watling Street Eoad, formed the eastern side of the 
Eoman Forum, and the space between this line and the 
buildings of the Baths, contained first, on the south, a 
Market Place, which has been fvilly described in a former 
chapter ; next, an opening surrounded apparently with walls 
but which has not yet been uncovered ; beyond this, the 
two shops described in this present chapter, the last of which 
joined to the walls of the Basilica ; and, finally, the public 
latrinse and other conveniences which filled up the space 
between the shops and the walls of the Baths. In all this 
we have a very wonderful illustration of the history and 
condition of a great town in Britain under the Eoman 
government, and one, the importance of which, in the light 
it throws upon the political and social history of our island 
under the Eomans, cannot be over-estimated. But we have 
stUl only a small part of the historical information which 
we shall, no doubt, gain as the excavations on the site of 
the ancient city advance further. 







(See p. 70 of the present volume). 

SoilE portion of the text of the present volume to which this 
Appendix refers, was printed a few years ago as an extract in 
one of the volumes of the Archmologia Gamlreiisis, where it 
provoked a rather rude attack from, the pen of Mr. Stephens, of 
Merthyr Tydvil. Mr. Stephens applied to my arguments an elaborate 
criticism couched in terms and in a form which provoked me to 
be a little more severe in my reply than is customary with me, 
but I think it well to reprint it here nearly as it was written. 

I will not enter into any examination of Mr. Stephens's introductory 
remarks on the principles of criticism, because there are many ques- 
tions involved in them. A wise man believes in nothing until he has 
satisfied himself that it is truth. This is the ground of all criticism. 
When a Uterary production professing to be ancient, is found only 
in a modern manuscript, it has always been assumed that the test of 
its authenticity must be sought in internal evidence; and that is 
the only test to which I appeal. The e^ddence which I have 
adduced against the poem of Llywarch Hen would have been fatal to 
any book pretending to be an authentic monument of classical anti- 
quity. Perhaps Mr. Stephens has forgotten that there was a certain 
Greek of late date, who took into his head to personate the tyrant 
Phalaris, and to write letters in his name, in which people believed 


until the mask was torn from the imposter in a very satisfactory 
manner by one of onr greatest classical scholars. It is one of many 
cases in point. We shall see how far Mr. Stephens has weakened 
my evidence against Lly warch Hen by his examination of it. I will 
also pass over his remarks on the antiquity of rhymes, because I do 
not think he has added anything new to the subject, and I had 
not adopted it as a part of the argument I adduced against the poem 
in question. With this same desire of saving space, I offer no 
introductory remarks of my own, but will proceed at once to the 
examination of the strictures of Mr. Stephens on my evidence, which 
rested chiefly on the fact that the writer of this poem knew localities 
only by the modern forms of their Anglo-Saxon names, and that he 
misunderstood and mistranslated these in a manner which could 
only be done by one living about the beginning of the fifteenth 
century, or perhaps a little earlier. I cannot say that Mr. Stephens 
is very fortunate in the first case he handles. He saj's — 

" ]Mr. Wright asserts that ' Y drev Wen,' or ' white town,' of the 
poem, is a translation from Wittington ; and that the latter does not 
signify a 'white town,' but the residence of a family of Withingas or 
AVittiugas. For this we have only the assertion of Mr. Wright, and 
are asked to accept that as being all-sufficient ; but I for one de- 
siderate something more. The correspondence between the Welsh 
and English names far outweighs, in my judgment, the denial of 
]\Ir. Wright ; and renders it of but little, if any, value unless he 
can support it h-j specific evidence that there were Wittingas in 
this locality. He must, moreover, prove them to have been numer- 
ous ; for there are similar names in many other places, and Ave 
should have to conclude that not only two other places in Shrop- 
shire, Whitchurch, and Whittington, near Oswestry, but also Whitby, 
Whitehaven, Whithern, and Whitchurch, in Glamorganshire, and 
many other places, are so called from families of Wittingas. Several 
of these names occur where the Saxons never were ; of others we 
know the origin to be quite different ; and with reference to the 
case in question, we happen to have a parallel instance where there 
can be no doubt of the priority of the Welsh name. When Howel 
Dda was about to revise the laws of Wales, he summoned the 
learned men of the Principality to meet at Y Ty Gwyn ar Dav. 
This irame appears in the oldest MS. of the Welsh Laws, Avhich is 



affirmed by Mr. Anevirin Owen to be as old as the early part of 
the tweKth century —iu fact, the oldest Welsh in existeirce (Preface, 
p. xxyi. Laws pp. iii. and iv.) ; but the place is now only known 
under the English name of Whitland. Here it is evident that the 
Flemish settlers in Pembrokeshire have translated the older Kymric 
name ; and it is to me equally clear that Wittington, ' between the 
Tern and Eodington" [the Eoden ?], is a Saxon name for 

' Y drev wen rhwng Tren a ThrocUvydd.' " 

I feel a little difficulty in meeting this first assault on my posi- 
tion. If you should tell a person who had not been instructed in 
astronomy that an eclipse of the moon was caused by the position 
of the earth between its sateUite and the sun, and he should reply 
that he had only "your assertion" for it, which he would not ac- 
cept, you might perhaps thinlc the reply rather rude, but would 
probably recommend him to learn astronomy. I am sorry to say 
that, in the present case, it is the best answer I can give to Mr. 
Stephens. Let him go and learn the subject ; and for this purpose I 
can recommend him very conscientiously the chapter on "The Mark" 
in Kemble's Saxons hi England. Any one acquainted with the 
Anglo-Saxon language and the antiquities of the Anglo-Saxons, 
knows that all these names ending in "-ington," "-ingham," etc., 
are formed of patronymics of families or clans, and form a very 
important characteristic of the primitive Teutonic system in the 
distribution of land. I have said nothing about any "Wittington," 
for there is no place so called between the Tern and the Eoden. 
The place alluded to by the composer of this Welsh Elegy is With- 
ington. It is a name which, like that of Whittington also, has 
no relation whatever to Whitchurch, or Whitby, or Whitehaven, 
or Whitland, or any name of place which is designated by the 
epithet "white," although it is evident that this Welsh translator 
of it thought that it had. His mistake was one into which 
most people fell during the centuries which followed the Norman 
period; but Mr. Stephens is mistaken in supposing tliat I am 
answerable for the discovery of the truth. The error was excusable ^ 
in the pretended Llywarch Hen, as he had nobody to teach him 
better; but it is not excusable in his modern champion, who 
could so easily have made himself acquainted with the truth, 


" Withington" signifies the "tun" or inclosed place (residence or 
not) of the Withingas ; " Whittingham," the home or manor house 
of the Wittingas. Kemble, in his tables of " Marks," has both 
these names. The Withingas are found in places named -With- 
ington in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, Lan- 
cashire, and Staffordshire ; the Wittingas in places named Whitting- 
ton in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, 
Shroxjshire, Lancashire, Northumberland, Derbyshire, and Norfolk; 
and in Whittingham in Lancashire and Northumberland. In this 
first case, therefore, instead of " having disposed of my arguments," 
as he asserts rather confidently, Mr. Stephens has run his head into 
a blunder by rashly engaging in a subject with which he had not 
first made himself acquainted. Tliere can be no doubt whatever 
that the so-called Llywarch Hen's " Y drev Wen" is a mere mis- 
translation of Withington. 

In my remarks to which Mr. Stephens's criticisms refer, I had 
said : ■> 

" Tlie writer of this Elegy further tells us that ' the sod of ErcaU 
is on the ashes of fierce men of the progeny of Morial ' : 

' Tywar, cen Ercal ar ar dywal 
■^ Wyr, edwedd Morial.' 

This is also an Anglo-Saxon name, and the bard seems not to 
have been aware that the modern Ercal was only a corruption of 
the original name of Ercalewe or Arcalewe,— meaning, of course, 
Erca's ' low' ; and this name is constantly found from the time of 
the Domesday Survey to near the end of the fourteenth century, 
before which period the corrupted form of the word could hardly 
have been used. A -wTiter of the age ascribed to Llywarch Hen 
could not have known the name at all ; and if he had written at 
any time after the name existed, and before the fourteenth century, 
he would have known it better." 

To this I added in a note, — 

" It is probable, from the name, that there was a large ' low,' or 
sepulchral tumulus, at Ercal, which gave rise to the minstrel's 
notice of the " fierce men " having been buried there ; bu.t in all 
probability it was a, Eoman barrow." 

It appears to me that the meaning of these lines is sufficiently 
clear, and I cannot imagine how aiiybody could make out of them 


the confusion and nonsense which are contained in the following cri- 
ticism : a confusion which I will not attempt to unravel any further 
than by observing that Mr. Stephens has made me find things in 
Domesday, and make other statements, of which I Dever dreamt : — 

"Mr. Wright remarks that Ercal is an Anglo-Saxon name; that 
it is a corruption of Erca's-low, or burial-mound ; that Erca's-low 
was not really Erca's-low at aU, but a Eonian barrow ; and that this 
name Erca, or Area (Mr. Wright uses both), is frequently found 
in the time of the Domesday Survey, and from thence to the end 
of the fourteenth century, ' before which period the corrupted form 
of the word could hardly have been used' by the author of Mm-wnad 
Cyndyllan. Let us examine these assertions. We are first told 
that Ercal in its entirety, including the final I, is an Anglo-Saxon 
name ; then, in the same breath, that it is not a true Saxon name, 
but a corruption of an imaginary Saxon phrase ; which phrase, in 
its turn, is assumed to be an imaginary and erroneous description 
of an imaginary Eoman barrow; and finally, that Erca and Ercal 
are identical names ! After this curious reasoning and final begging 
of the cpestion, Mr. Wright takes a leap of four centuries, and 
finds the name Ercad, not Ercal, in the Domesday Survey. Thence 
he concludes the name is Saxon, that it could not have been 
British, and that it coidd not have been named by Llywarch Hen. 
This, again, is very singular argument. It is as cogent as if we 
were to say that the name David occurs as the author of the Psalms, 
that David Jones is a common name in Wales ; ergo, that David 
is an exclusively Welsh name, and that the Psalms are forgeries. 
But to meet Mr. Wright more directly. I deny that the names 
Erca and Ercal are identical, and that the occurrence of the name 
Erca in Domesday Book is conclusive evidence of its Saxon character. 
The presumption is, that neither Erca nor Ercal were Saxon names ; 
for during the six centuries of Saxon domination these names do 
not once occur," etc., etc. 

I can go on copying no longer matter so wide of the question, 
"or so Little matter of fact. As will be seen in my original observa- 
tions upon Ercal, I have found none of these names in Domesday 
Book; and when Mr. Stephens examines that record he wUl not 
find them there. He says that there was a Welsh chief named 
Aircol, and that there was another called Airgol. I may add thai 

376 T7EIC0NIUM. 

there is a chief called the Duke of Argyll at the present day, who 
has quite as much to do with the name of Ercall as the two 
worthies mentioned by Mr. Stephens. The latter goes on to say, — 

" Moreover, Mr. Wright is involved in this further dif&culty. The 
poet says that ' the sod of Ercal covers the ashes of brave men' ; 
but cremation was not practised after the Norman conquest, neither 
were men buried under tumuli. He has endeavoured to evade the 
force of this objection by saying that the barrow was probably 
Eoman; but he thereby destroys his own argument. And further, 
there must have been two Eoman barrows, and both misnamed ; 
for there are two Ercals in Shropshire, — High Ercal and ChUd's 
Ercal. Here again Mr. Wright misses the mark." 

Why Mr. Stephens supposes that I believe in cremation " after 
the ISTorman conquest," I cannot even guess ; but I am quite aware 
that there are two Ercalls, and I could even oblige Mr. Stephens 
with a third ; though I am not aware that there is anything remark- 
able in the fact of several places bearing the same name. And I 
have no objection to the two barrows ; for I believe there may 
have been more than two within these two Ercalls, inasmuch as 
there was a place called Shurlow in High Ercall. As Mr. Stephens 
appears to be astonished at the variations in forms of names, I have 
no objection to indulge him in a few more. At various dates the 
name of High Ercall appears in records under the following forms. 
I have only selected a few examples from many: 

Archelou, Domesday Herkelawe, 1208 Erkalue, 1256 

- Ercalou, llth cent. Hercalewe, 1229 Erkalwe, 1271 

Harchaloua, 1141 Ercalue, 1235 Erkelewe, 1272 

Herchaluu, 1160 Ercalew, 1240 Ercalwe, 1300 

Arcalun, 11G4 Erkalewe, 1245 Ercaluwe, 1315 

Ercalew, 1175, 1186 Ercalowe, 1249 Ercalwe, 1331 

Erkalewe, 12>th cent. Ercalew, 1253 Ercalowe, 1387 

Harcalua, 1212 Hercalue, 1255 Ercalwe, 1397 

I think it necessary to give a still smaller selection of examples 
witli regard to Little or ChUd's Ercall : 

Arcalun, Domesday Hercalewe, 1255 Erkalewe, 1280 

Arkelau, 1200 Erkalue, 1272 Ercalewe 1339 


The Arcalun of 1164 in the first list, and of the Domesday Survey 
in the second, are no doubt eiTors of the Norman scribes, who 
mistook a u for an n. Now anybody who has even but a small 
acquaintance with the Anglo-Saxon language, and any acquaintance 
with the topographical monienclature of Shropshire and Hereford- 
shire, knows that all these forms represent a pure Anglo-Saxon 
form like Erce-hlsew or Erca-hhew. Tlie meaning of the second 
part of this compound word is indisputable ; and it is, in its English 
form "low," one of the most common terminations of oiu- local 
names, such as Ludlow, Munslow, Wormlow, etc. Such names are 
very common in Shropshire and Herefordshire, because the large 
sepulchral mounds from which they arose, were and are scattered 
thickly over those two counties. As far as my researches have 
gone, I believe them to be aU of the Eoman period. With the 
first part of the word there is more diflficulty, which is often the 
case vfith the attempt to explain these early names of places : but 
when Mr. Stephens asserts so positively that it is not Saxon, I fear 
he oversteps a little the limits of his knowledge ; for the first book 
I take up, Kemble's Codex Anglo-Saxonicus, gives me an Anglo- 
Saxon charter which mentions a place named Erce-combe in the 
heart of the kingdom of Wessex. The circumstances which gave 
rise to the name are now often forgotten. Wormlow means the 
"dragon's tumulus"; and there was no doubt connected with it a 
legend of a dragon. Ludlow was supposed to be the " mound of 
the people," either because a rather numerous population had settled 
round, or because people resorted (perhaps for some sort of celebra- 
tions) to the hrU. on which it stood ; but it has now been discovered 
that the Saxon name of the place was L^idc, and that its name 
signifies the " low of Lude." The first part of our name may have 
been ere or arc, a chest or coffer (an ark). I Ijelieve that many, if 
not most, of the sepulchral deposits in these " lows" have been 
originally placed ia wooden chests Avhich have perished through 
the effects of time ; and the discovery of the chest in a barrow 
might have given it its distinctive name. But still I am more 
inclined to think that Erca or Area represents a man's name, which 
la&y be that of some early proprietor of the spot, or a mythic name. 
Mr. Stephens assumes very wrongly that I imagined it to be the 
name of the man who was buried in it. This, however, is plain, 


that Ercall is only a late corruption of the mediaeval name, and 
that the compiler of the Elegy only knew it in this late corrupted 

Mr. Stephens goes on to say : 

"The next objection is to the name 'Frank,' where the poet says, 
' the Frank would not have a word of peace from the mouth of 
Caranmael.' These Franks, says Mr. Wright, were the Frenchmen 
or Anglo-Normans. This passage has always occasioned doubts as 
to the antiquity of this verse ; but it is by no means so assailable 
as it seems. The Franks and Saxons in their early incursions were 
alivays in alliance. Carausius, it wiU be found, was appointed to 
defend the coasts of Britain from the attacks of both ; and when 
he usurped the empire of Britain, he took them into his service. 
He reigned chiefly by the help of Frankish warriors. (Lappenberg, 
History of England, i. 45.) Again, his successor, Allectus, availed 
himself largely of these allies, as we learn from Eumenius' address 
to Constantius : 

" ' Such, invincible Cassar, was the consent of the inmiortal gods 
upon your achievements, that your destruction of the enemy, and 
especially of those of them who were Franlcs, became most signal 
and complete ; for when those of your soldiers, who had been 
separated Ijy a fog from the others, arrived at the town of London, 
they put to death in the streets of that city a large number of 
that mercenary midtitude who had fled thither from the battle, and 
hoped to escape and bear with them the plunder of that city.' 

" The defeat of Allectus took place in the West, probably at 
Campus jElecti, or Maesaleg in Monmouthshire. Would it be an 
absurdity to suppose that some of them fled northward and settled 
themselves on the Welsh border ? Half a century later, namely 
in 364, we find that the Franks and Saxons infested the coast 
of Gaul (Ammian. Marcellin., xxvii. 8), and prolahly of Britain also. 
If they did this during the Eoman occupation, would they be 
less likely to do so when the legions were withdrawn ? As they 
had been in alliance M'ith the Saxons up to that time, would thej- not 
be likely to participate with them in the conquest of Britain ? 
Lappenlierg thinks they did. ' Of the participation of the Franks 
there exist sonie, tjiough not sufficiently specific accounts. Tlie 
same may lie obscr^'ed of the Longoliards. Little doubt can, how- 


ever, be entertained regarding either the one or the other, as we 
elsewhere, in similar undertakings, find Saxons united with Franks 
and Longohards.' {History of England, i. 99.) As a necessary 
consequence, the earlier settlers would be forced westwards, and we 
accordingly ought not to be surprised to find Franks on the Welsh 
border. That there was such a settlement in Shropshire is all but 
certain ; for do we not find even noiu a Franktoiun, — an English 
Frankton and a Welsh Frankton — in the very district to which 
the Elegy of Cynddylan refers. The occurrence of the name Frank 
indicates an unsuspected historic fact. It is not a reason for deny- 
ing the antiquity of the poem." 

There is so much confusion and historical blunder in all this, 
that I have thought it best to repeat Mr. Stephens's observatioDS 
in full ; and I wdl endeavour to give him a little more information 
than he seems to possess about the Franks. Dr. Lappenberg did 
think that the Franks took some part in the invasion of Britain ; but 
he would not have thought so if he had examined his authorities 
more carefully ; and Mr. Stephens has made a number of state- 
ments which Lappenberg cotdd not have made, and for which there 
is no authority whatever. In the time of Carausius the Franks had 
only newly advanced from the interior of Europe, had reached the 
banks of the Ehine, and were pressing hard upon the frontier of 
the Eoman province of Gaid. The Eomans, according to their 
practice iu the decline of the empire, endeavoured to avert their 
hostility by taking them into their pay and giving them lands, and 
only made them more dangerous. It is hardly necessary to say 
that the Franks were not seamen ; but when they carae upon the 
Ehiae and the Scheldt they soon saw the advantage of predatory 
excursions in boats, by which they cordd come quickly and unex- 
pectedly on any point of attack ; and they were very glad to ally 
themselves with the Saxons, who were the best and boldest sailors in 
the world, and thus extend their ravages along the coasts of Gaul, 
which was the province on which their eyes were riveted. The empe- 
ror appoiuted Carausius to the command of a fleet to protect the 
coasts of Belgian and Armorican Gaul against these attacks. Eutro- 
pius says: "Per tractum Belgicce et Armoriccc ...quod Franei ct Sax- 
ones infestabant" ; and Orosius, " Oceani littora, qncc tunc Franei et 
Baxones infestabant." " Oceani littora" of course meant the coasts of 


the Continent. The naval station of Carausius for this purpose was 
Boulogne. There is not the slightest intimation that the coasts of 
Britain were attacked or threatened ; and it is not likely that the 
Franks, who were unaccustomed to the sea, should go out upon it in 
search of adventures, when all their designs were upon Gaul. Mr. 
Stephens seems to forget that the empire usurped by Carausius in- 
cluded Gaul as well as Britain ; and that in fact Gaul, in face of Eome, 
formed at first the most important part of it. He had there naturally 
taken the Franks into his pay ; and it was there, if anywhere, that he 
reigned chiefly by them, "^^^len he was driven from Boulogne by 
Constantius, it appears from the account of Eumenius that he car- 
ried with him to Britain a body of Frankish troops, which remained 
"with his murderer and successor, Allectus. The naval station, and 
the head quarters of these usurpers, was in the Southampton "\*^ater, 
— no doubt at Bittern, — and it was there that Constantius went to 
seek them. The notion that the battle took place to the west, in 
Monmouthshire, is a mere stroke of the imagination. It is quite 
clear from the narrative of Eumenius, who lived at the time, and 
must have been perfectly well acquainted with these transactions, 
that Allectus retreated from Southampton towards London, with the 
intention of plundering that city, and then escaping to the Conti- 
nent ; that he was o^'ert-aken before he reached that place ; and 
that the battle took place so near to it that the victorious troops 
of Constantius entered the town along with, or immediately after, 
the fugitives. The former appear to have wreaked theii vengeance 
especially upon the Frankish auxiliaries of the usurper ; and this 
is the only known instance of Franks having Ijeen introduced into 
this island during the Pioman period. There is no authority what- 
ever for stating that the Franks and Saxons had been ahcai/s in 
alliance, or that they had ever joined in the invasion of Britain. 

But Mr. Stephens finds a proof of their presence on the Welsh 
border in the name of Franktown. I can add to his evidence on 
this point, that there is a Frankwell (anciently and correctly Frank- 
ville) adjoining to Shrewsbury; and I am afraid, if we trace the 
Franks by such names, we might find them all over the island. 
But Mr. Stephens has fallen into a very singular mistake ; and I 
fear that I must venture upon offering him a little information on 
medireval antiquities. The feudal princes and great barons of the 


middle ages soon learnt to appreciate tlie value to tlieir treasuries 
of encouraging commerce on their domains. It was tlie best way 
of obtaining that rare and important article in the middle ages — 
cash. Hence they tried to draw merchants to their lauds by estab- 
lishing little towns with freedom and privileges, either commercial 
or sometiaies municipal, hj which they might be attracted; and 
such places were usually denominated in France by the name of a 
francheviUe, or free town. In England, where the Anglo-Norman 
dialect and the English were oddly intermixed, the form which the 
name took was Frankville or Frankton. On the borders of Wales, 
where two hostile races met, and at the same time felt the need 
of commercial intercourse, such privileged towns were especially 
necessary ; and Frankwell held such a position in regard to 
Shrewsbury, and Frankton for Ellesmere. The latter is called Fran- 
chetone in the Bomesdaij Survey. The names had not the slightest 
relation to any Franks who had come from Germany with the 
Anglo-Saxons, and who had helped to destroy Uriconium. Much 
more absurd would it be to suppose that there were Frankish troops 
engaged in Shropshire against the Welsh in the sixth century, 
when, according to some, Llywarch Hen flourished ; or in the 
seventh, when he flourished, according to Mr. Stephens. Moreover, 
it is evident from the Elegy that these were permanent and much 
hated enemies. 

But if Mr. Stephens will take the trouble to look over the Domes- 
day Survey for the border counties, he wiLL understand how the 
Franks came on the borders of Wales ; and in the Welsh records 
of the three or four centuries following, he will see whom the 
Welsh understood by the Franks they hated so much. I need only 
refer to almost every page of the useful edition of the Chronicle of 
Caradoc of Lkmcarvan, given with the same number of the 
Archosologia C'ambrensis, in which Mr. Stephens's remarks appear. 
It is quite evident that when the composer of this Elegy used 
the name of Franks, he was thinking of the Norman barons ; 
and that he could not, therefore, be a man who lived in the sixth 
or seventh century. 

We may draw from all this a moral which might, perhaps, 
deserve the attention of Mr. Stephens, that any one who intends 
to write critically should not take his autorities at second hand. 


and on the representations of others, but study them with care in 
the originals. 

Mr. Stephens has discovered that the Tren of the composer of 
the Elegy is a different place from XJriconium. He asks, — " As Uri- 
conium is on the hanks of the Severn, would not the author of the 
poem have named it Havren rather than Tren; the latter river 
being further from it, — in fact, half a mile away ?" I answer, with- 
out hesitation, No ! Towns rarely took their names from a large 
river, unless they stood at its mouth ; but usually from a small one. 
A large river like the Severn gives no name distinctive of the 
locality of the town; and there might be twenty different places 
Trtdth an equal claim to the same name. But the objection is met 
at once by the fact that nearly all our old topographers speak of 
Uriconium as standing near, or at, the confluence of the Tern with 
the Severn ; and that was evidently the reason why the composer 
of the legend called it Tren. After some other remarks of no 
importance, Mr. Stephens proceeds : 

" Mr. Wright has here fallen into three errors ; for it so happens 
that the poet did know Uriconium under its proper designation ; 
that he names Tren as a distinct and different town ; and that he 
locates it to the north and west of the Tern, and not half a 
mile southward. He gives us to understand that the enemy who 
destroyed Tren crossed, or came through, the Tern, — evidently from 
the east. Here, then, the critic, so far from convicting the poet 
of ignorance, has only exliibited his own mistakes. He has more- 
over missed a conclusive argument in favour of his own view of 
the date of the destruction of Uriconium; for not only did the 
poet know this Eoman town by its proper designation, but he 
also bears distinct testimony to the fact that it was then a ruin, — 
that in the first half of the seventh century Uriconium was a city 
of the past. It is singular that so significant a verse as the 
following should have been overlooked : 

" 'ISTeur Syllais o Ddinlle Vrecon 
Freuer werydre 
Hiraeth am danunorth brodyrdde.' 

Have I not gazed from the site of the city of Wrecon 

Upon the lands of Freuer, 

"With sorrow for brotherly support. 


I cau assure Mr. Stephens that I had not overlooked these 
verses ; but I was fully convinced, as I am still convinced, that 
they had no relation to Uriconium. Bin-lie, says Mr. Stephens, 
means a place where a city had been. If he wiU take the trouble 
of going up to the top of the Wrekin, which is enclosed with 
ancient and strong entrenchments, he will have no difficulty in 
understanding what the composer of the Elegy meant by " the site 
of the city," and why the composer chose that spot for overlooking 
the lands of anybody which lay within a considerable distance 
around. I am not aware what Welsh name there may be for the 
Wrekin ; but it is singular enough that the bard who has per- 
sonated Llywarch Hen has got hold of the Anglo-Saxon name of 
it, which was Wrecon and Wrecen. This is surely a reply to Mr- 
Stephens's odd remark in an earlier part of this paper, — " Welsh- 
men do not know any difficulties of pronunciation. They can 
sound Wrekin without dropping the iy, and pronouncing it 'Eekin'; 
and old Llywarch Hen could do what most Englishmen cannot, 
viz. sound ' Uricon ' as a word of two syllables." I think there 
can be no doubt that the Tren of the Elegy was intended to 
represent Uriconium. Knowing the course of the river, I confess 
I have a difficulty in conceiving what can have been the shape or 
magnitude of a town which stood "to the north and west of the 
Tern," unless it formed an immense crescent two or three miles in 
extent ; nor can I understand why the enemy " evidently came from 
the east." It seems, on the contrary quite clear that fighting is 
intimated to have taken place at ErcaU (High ErcaU) and at 
Withington ; and I hardly need say that these two places are 
nearly in a line north from Wroxeter, — the direction of invasion 
by the Northumbrian Angles which must have been most familiar 
in the old Welsh traditions. Now in this direction from ErcaU, 
you cross the Eoden to Withington, and from Withington yoio 
cross the, Tern to Wroxeter. It seems to me that Mr. Stephens 
has rather lost himself among my " errors " and " mistakes." 
, Let us now proceed to Mr, Stephens's notable story about Bassa 
and his church. I have said that Bassa is an Anglo-Saxon name, 
and that Bassa's church was an Anglo-Saxon foundation; and argue, 
therefore, as Christianity was only introduced into Mercia in 655, 
this church could not have existed %vithin a hundred years after 


the period when Llywarch Hen is usually understood to have 
written. In addition to this instance of the name of Bassa occur- 
ring in Mercia, we find it in the seventh century in ISTorthumbria 
and in Kent. Mr. Stephens denies that Bassa was an Anglo-Saxon 
name; but let us hear what he has to say on the subject: 

" In the Anglo-Saxon Chronich we read thus : ' a.d. 699. — This 
year King Egbert (of Kent) gave Eeculver to Bass, the mass-priest 
that he might buUd a minster thereon' This Bas, whom Gaimar's 
Chronicle names Bas, viay have been the 'Bassus miles ^duini' 
who fled with Paulinus from Northumbria to Kent, on the death of 
Edwin, in 633. Beinff the friend of Pauliaus he mai/ have been, as 
the name indicates, a Eoman or Italian, and way have come over with 
him in 601. As the missionaries soon after separated, and found 
independent spheres of labour, — Mellitus and Justice to the East 
Saxons and Eochester in 604, and Paulinus to the Northumbrians 
in 625, — so Bassus may have fixed himself on the Welsh border 
at an early period, and have emigrated northward to join Paulinus, 
after the fall of Cynddylan, and on the outbreak of hostilities 
between Edwin and Cadwallon. Bede's statement that Bassus was 
a soldier of Edwin's laeks the appearanee of truth, and may be 
simply a conjecture, as it seems to be at variance with the statement 
of the A.-S. Chron. The Mercian Bassa may have been named in 
honour of the Itahan ; and as the latter was a church builder in 
his old age, so in his earlier years he m,ay have been ambitious to 
found a Eoman church on the Welsh border." 

The words printed in italics are all either statements without any 
foundation, or equally unfounded suppositions, originating only in 
Mr. Stephens's rather fertile imagination. Not one of these " may- 
bes" has the slightest shadow of a fact to rest on. But why Bede's 
statement should be questioned is to me a complete mystery. Bede 
is imiversally acknowledged to be one of the most careful and 
accurate historians the middle ages have left to us. He was writing 
about his own coimtry, Northumbria, with the affairs of which he 
was especially well acquainted ; and these events were then so 
recent that he was no doubt acquainted with people who had 
been eye-witnesses or lived at the time. He was an ecclesiastic 
writing ecclesiastical history; and it is ridiculous to suppose that, in 
such a case, he could have mistaken an ecclesiastic for a warrior; 


and it must be further remarked that his account is perfectly coherent 
and natural. After the slaughter of king Edwin in the fatal battle of 
Haethfeld in 633, there was no safety in Northumbria for any of the 
members of his family, and accordingly the queen Ethelburga fled 
to Kent with Paulinus, to whose charge her father had entrusted 
her, and who was her spiritual adviser. And Bede goes on to say 
that they travelled under the conduct of a most powerful warrior 
of king Edwin's, named Bassus, who was carrying away from 
danger the royal children, ( Venit aittcm illuc duce Basso, militc 
regis JEduini fortissimo.) The use of the word dux coupled with 
miles, is sufficient to shew that Bassus and his followers formed a 
military escort; and Bede says not a word to make us suppose that 
he was a friend of Paulinus, or that there was any acquaintance 
between them beyond that whicli would naturally exist between 
two men of distinction living at the same court; it is a mere 
fancy of Mr. Stephens. I cannot see how this can le at variance 
with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which states, under the year 669 
(not 699, as Mr. Stephens gives it), that king Egbert of Kent gave 
Eeculver to a priest named Bass, "to buUd a monastery thereon." 
It is quite evident that Bassus of Northumbria, and Bass the Kentish 
priest, were two different persons ; and Mr. Stephens's notion that 
the Kentish Bass was the man who went to the borders of "Wales to 
found Baschurch, is not worth a moment's consideration. The Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle does not tell us that he was an old man, or that 
he was a church-builder, or that his ambition in church-building 
lay in the direction of the border of Wales. It simply represents 
him as a pious Anglo-Saxon priest who wanted to found a monastic 
establishment (a very common practice in those times) in what 
was then a solitary place. We thus find the name of Bass in 
Northumberland, again in Kent, and a third time in Mercia ; in 
three very different localities, and among three different branches 
of the Anglo-Saxon race. Surely this is a clear proof that the 
name is Anglo-Saxon. But there is another and very decisive 
j)roof, which Mr. Stephens has entirely overlooked. We find two 
forms of the name, Bas and Bass, with its patronymic, among the 
Anglo-Saxon settlers in this island ; for the Basingas hf ve left 
their name at Basing and Basingstoke in Hampshire, and at Bas- 
ingwerk in Flintshire; and the Bassingas at Bassingbourn in Cam- 


bridgesliire, Bassingfield in Nottinghamshire, Bassingham and Bass- 
ingthorpe in Lincohishire, and Bassington in JSTorthumberland. 

Mr. Stephens has a theoiy about Baschurch T\4jich I can only 
consider as childish. He propounds a doctrine which I cannot un- 
derstand, that, supposing the Mercians were only converted to 
Christianity in 655, "we are to reckon backwards from 655, and not 
forward, if we wish to find Christians who might have built the 
church," and illustrates it by some very irrelevant comparisons. He 
says " it was a protected church in a Christian country," but gives no 
authority for such a statement. In fact, there is no reason what- 
ever for supposing that the church of Baschurch was as old as the 
seventh century; for the earliest mention of it is the information 
that it had been given, Ijefore the compilation of Domesday Book, 
by earl Pioger de Montgomery to Shrewsbury Abbey. But Mr. 
Stephens seems to assume, upon this notion of its being a "pro- 
tected" church, that it was formded by some fugitive Anglian 
Christian l:)efore the Mercians had made themselves masters of this 
country. And then he has another theory, according to which he 
places the death of Cynddylan, conmiemorated in this Elegy, in 
the year 613 ; and thinks that the old bard may have lived on to 
be a witness of the conversion of the Mercians in 655. This unlucky 
bard, Ll}^varch Hen, would seem, by the manner in which he 
gets from one date to another, to have been one of those slippery 
individuals of whom the less said the better. 

I think thus that aU my objections to the authenticity of 
Llywarcli Hen's Elegy have been strengthened rather than weakened 
by Mr. Stephens's attack. It is evident that the writer or com- 
poser of it knew Withington only by its Anglo-Saxon name, and 
that he mistranslated it as it could be mistranslated only at a 
comparatively late period ; that he knew Ercall only by its late 
and corrupted name; that he l^lundered equally in his allusion to 
Baschurch ; that he knew nothing about the real history of the 
destruction of Uriconium, and that he was even ignorant of its 
name ; and that, to crown all, in his bitter feehng against the 
Franks, or Norman lords marchers, he was betrayed into an allusion 
to them which shews that he lived in their time, and not in that 
of Cynddylan. 


These remarks received no reply ; but much more recently, in 
1868 and 1869, they were attacked in a still more violent tone 
by the Eev. E. Harries Jones, vicar of Llanidloes, in the first and 
second volumes of the " Collections, Historical and Archceological," 
issued by an excellent association, the Powys-Land Club. I was 
induced to offer some further remarks in defence of my opinion on 
the character of the Elegy of Llywarch Hen, which it wHl perhaps be 
well also to preserve here, and I therefore reprint them, with the 
simple omission of most of that which owed its iatroduction only to a 
little feeling of resentment at the uncourteous tone in which the 
attack was conducted. 

My long and rather careful investigations on the site of the 
Eoman city of Uriconium, at Wroxeter, had led me to the opinion 
that that city was destroyed in the earlier half of the fifth century 
by some of the barbarians who had thrown themselves upon the 
distant provinces of the Eoman Empire. The preceding remarks, 
in reply to Mr. Stephens, had provoked the anger of the vicar of 
Llanidloes. It is not my intention now to go again regularly into 
the subject, but I wiU. try and give a little satisfaction to my 
new and fiercer assailant. He may think, and be perfectly sure, 
that there was no such place as Penguern, or Shrewsbury, in exist- 
ence at the time when Uriconium was destroyed. Other allusions 
might be pointed out which are equally unjustified, but I will 
confine myself to names and allusions where the evidence is more 
substantial, or ma^ be further displayed. 

And first, as to the question about Baschurch, — the church, or 
churches, of Bass, or Bassa, — I had asserted that Bassa was the 
name of an Anglo-Saxon, and that our Baschurch was a Saxon 
foundation, and therefore of a date subsequent to the Saxon Conquest. 
Mr. Harries Jones himself, who seems to exult over his own 
superior knowledge of Welsh, does not, as far as I can see, say 
that it is a Welsh name; and supposing it were derived from 
Eoman, it would have become purely Saxon long before the period 
of Llywarch Hen. I beg to say that Bassa is, to all appearance, 
a very good Anglo-Saxon name, to which, I believe, no Anglo-Saxon 
would have objected, and I am sorry that in what I said upon this 
name I seem to have failed to be fully understood by Mr. Harries 
Jones. I will try to explain it more clearly and simply. 


If our friend will recall his Greek, he will remember that there 
was an individual, tolerably well known, who was called sometimes 
Achilkus (Achilles), and sometimes Pdeides (the son of Peleus), 
the first, the name given him at birth and distinguishing him 
personally ; the other, teUing from whom he was descended, and 
distinguishing him, as we should say, aristocratically. Another of 
the heroes of Greek romance was called Odysseus, and Laertiades> 
the latter name meaning the son of Laertes. Except in particiilar 
cases, the second of these names was no doubt looked upon as 
the most heroic, that is, the most aristocratic — and a freeman 
prided himself, first of aU things, upon his descent. This aristo- 
cratic feeling was very strong among aU the Teutonic race, and 
especially among the Anglo-Saxons.* The same which was ex- 
pressed by the Greek termination ides, or iades, was exactly 
rendered in the Teutonic dialects by iiig. I need hardly say that 
every prince of the first dynasty of the Franks, the descend- 
ants of ]\Ieroveus (as he is called in Latin) was a Mero^dng, 
and that every one of the family of Charlemagne was a Caiio^dng. 
In the same way, the great Athelstan, and every other son, or 
direct descendant, of king Alfred, was an Alfreding; and any prince 
of royal blood generally was an atheling, because a'tJiel was the word 
Avhich distinguislied royalty of descent. I may cite another well- 
known example of the use of the patronymic. The Teutonic name 
f(,)r war was vng, and a wanior was, in the Anglo-Saxon form, a 
wic/a. Hence those who took to war as a profession received the 
uauie of wifjings, literally children of war, or of the warrior, a 
name which was given especially to those who conducted the pira- 
tical expeditions, whether Danes or others. These, too, have left us a 
a local name on our border, which appears to have been a favoiuite 
resort, as it gave them a convenient sea-board, both to the north and 
south. A well-known localitj^ in Llerefordshire formed perhaps a con- 
venient central place for their encampment, and from this circum- 
stance it received the name of Wiginga-mere, which, to judge from 
the modern form of the word, signified probably the moor of 
the Wigings. In the summer of 921, king Edward, the son of the 
great Alfred, built a fortress here to put a check upon their inva- 

* The same feeling 13 stUl in existence among us, and shows itself when we speak of 
any one, however distinguished individually, as heing a Herbert, or a Howard, or a Percy, 

but we have lost tli'^ patronymic. 


sions, and, as the Chronicle tells us, it did good service before the 
summer was over. The original name has been in course of time 
corrupted to Wigmore. No one, entitled among our Anglo-Saxon 
forefathers to that termination, could be otherwise than Teutonic, 
or, at the least, in the not very likely case that he belonged to 
another race, he must have been thoroughly Saxonised, and have 
gone through a long initiation, perhaps of more than one generation, 
before he could have obtained the aristocratic right of giving the 
patronymic to his family. I therefore said that the fact of 'finding 
the name of Bassa in, at least, two branches and dialects of 
the Anglo-Saxon family, is a tolerably good proof that it -was 
an Anglo-Saxon name ; but that a still, stronger proof of this is 
found in its possessing, from apparently a very early period, an 
Anglo-Saxon patronymic in the families, or houses of the Bassin- 
gas, and Basingas. I do not expect that Mr. Harries Jones wiU 
make it out to be a Welsh name. But he has found out what 
appears to me rather a childish difficulty : it was Bassa's churches, 
he says, and not Bassa's church. There was more than one church 
in " the same churchyard, therefore it was an early Welsh church. 
I confess that I do not feel the weight of the argument, inasmuch 
as I have seen churchyards ia England containing more than one 
church, doubtless of pure English and Anglo-Saxon growth, and I 
think, if it were worth the trouble, I could make out perhaps 
as long a list as that he gives of the duplicate, or triplicate, 
Welsh churches. 

And now I will gladly leave our friend Bassa, for another knot 
which Mr. Harries Jones has got entangled in, and which again 
belongs to this question of Anglo-Saxon patronymics. There comes 
another place into this notable Elegy, A^'hich, no doubt, derives its 
name from an Anglo-Saxon lord, Ijut which the writer of the Elegy 
misunderstood, and in a manner which points out a much later 
date. As I have said, the Teutonic aristocratic feeling was very 
strong among the Anglo-Saxons. Each great chieftain who at the 
time of the early invasions, came here to conquer a settlement, 
collected around him as many companions as he could, all, no 
doubt, men of good famity, who came each with his own follo^^'er,«, 
prepared to share the dangers, and to share the settlement. They 
were exactly those younger sons of aristocratic families, who separ- 


ated from their patriarchal home with the ambition of founding 
families of their own. When the war and invasion of conquest 
were over, each of these received his portion of land— often a good 
large slice — and, as the distribution was no doubt made by lot, 
one of them sometimes obtained two or three pieces of land, and 
thus gained a settlement in more than one locality. On this groimd 
lie immediately established his ham, or home ; or, if he happened 
to have a taste for agriculture, or was more inclined to war, and 
to be a man of power, he raised his tun, or inclosure, either an 
inclosure of gardens and farmyard, or a fortified residence. (A ttm 
was not always a place of residence.) This became the seat of 
his family, after his death, as long as the family lasted, at least, 
in his direct line ; and there is much evidence that the holding of 
these family estates continued direct in the family, in many instances, 
almost, if not qviite, down to the Iforman Conquest. Multitudes 
of these estates are known even to the present day by the names of 
the families whose founder obtained them in the original conquest. 
The great pride of these primeval Anglo-Saxon chieftains was, 
indeed, that of founding a family, to form a part of the new aristoc- 
racy cf their race in Britain ; and the names which the estates 
took were aU characteristic of this feeling ; of cou.rse, while the 
first possessors held them, they must have borne their names ; but, 
perliaps even Ijefore — at aU events, after their death — they were 
considered as the family estate, and as belonging to the sons and 
descendants. Thus some adventurous chieftain, named Wela, or 
WeUa, obtained possession of estates in Shropshire, and established 
a family honie wdtliin an inclosure of some kind or other, which 
became, called from him, the tun, or inclosure, of the family, or sons, 
of Wella, the WeUingas, or, in pure Anglo-Saxon, Wellinga-tun, 
Wellington. Another chieftain, named Beorm, a fine Anglo-Saxon 
name, established a family in a neighbouring county, and their 
estates were in the same manner named from the piatronymic of 
the family — Beorminga-ham, the home of the Beormingas, or sons 
of Beorm — Birmingham. As I have said, one of the conquering 
chieftains sometimes oljtained more than one share, and, probably, 
sometimes chieftains of the same name joined in different expedi- 
tions, and obtained lands in different parts of the island ; or 
jiitIuijis, after gaining land in o))e part, the same cliieftain joined 


personally another expedition, and gained land in another. Hence 
the same local name occurs in different parts. Thus we have, at 
least, four Wellingtons in England — one in our own county, just 
mentioned ; another in Herefordshire, another in Sussex, and a fourth 
in Somersetshire, from which last our great duke took his title. 
I can give another example of this plurality of the same name, 
beginning with our own county. Some chieftain, or perhaps more 
than one chieftain, named Hwita, or Hwitta (or, as we should write 
it in modernised form. White, or Whitt), obtained estates in several 
localities. They have left the name in those of Whittingham 
(Hwittinga-ham, the home of the Whittingas), in JsToithumberland ; 
Whittington, near Oswestry, in Shropshire, a place famous in feudal 
times ; Whittington, in Staffordshire ; Whittington, in Worcester- 
shire ; Whittington, in Gloucestershire ; and, again, Whittington, in 
ISTorthumberland, where we have already formd the Hwittingas at 
Whittingham. Kobody who knows anything of Anglo-Saxon history, 
or of the Anglo-Saxon language, can for a moment doubt the origin 
and meaning of all these names. One of them, Withington, perhaps 
only another form of Whittington, belongs to our subject, for 
it is introduced, as I had remarked, into this Elegy of Llywarch 
Hen long before there cordd have been any place with such a name 
in Shropshire, or any wdiere near it ; and, which is worse, the supposed 
writer of it had misunderstood the word in a manner in which it 
could only have been misunderstood several centuries after he is 
pretended to have -m-itten. He translates it the TVJdte Town ! 

Now, somebody has told ]\Ir. Harries Jones that these names ending 
in ington may be corruptions. I have no objection to this plea. 
Of course, it is a natural consequence when there is a certain 
general rule of forms, that other forms, not very dissimilar, shoidd 
be drawn erroneously, or accidentally, into the same form; every 
law has its exception, for it is generally held that the exception is 
the proof of the law ; but such an objection can only be admitted 
when brought forward by those who can point out the corruption 
itself and its causes. The case adduced is that of Huntingdon, 
which is stated to be a corruption of Huntandun, meaning the 
hunter's hill. Upon the strength of this we are told, as I understand 
it, that Wliittington is not AVhittington, lait tliat it is a corruption 
of something else, and that therefore, it, or Withington, nnist 

392 URicoisritJM. 

have been a Welsh establishment, which was veiy properly known 
to our friend Llywarch Hen. 

Kow, let us consider these pretended corruptions, and especially 
this example of Huntingdon. In the first place, let me remark; 
that a dun, a hill, is neither a ham (home) nor a tun (enclosed 
residence), so that the case is not very well chosen. The objec- 
tors say that Huntingdon is a corruption of Huntan-dun, the 
hunter's hill. On the same principle, as I suppose, we are to 
suppose that Wliittington is a corruption of Whitan-tun. I have 
considerable doubt as to the corruption in the first place, nor can 
I easily explain, if such were the case, why the name of Huntingdon 
is found in full at a very early period : we find it, indeed, in the 
history of Henry of Huntingdon, who "OTote in the earlier half of 
the twelfth century, and who is, I believe, the first who gives this 
explanation of it. He says that " Huntingdon" meant the "hill of the 
hunters," which, of course, could not be correct, as it wordd mean " the 
hill of the sous of the hunter."* But Henry of Huntingdon lived at the 
time when everything Anglo-Saxon was most despised — people, or 
manners, or language — and he himself not unfrecpiently mistranslates? 
when taking the material of his history from the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle. He goes on to say that Huntingdon stood on the site 
of Godmanchester, " once a famous city, but now only a pleasant 
village on Ijoth sides of the river." 

Xow, on this rj^uestion of names, let me make a remark not to 
be forgotten in this discussion. Among the Anglo-Saxons, the 
man indi\'iduaILy derived his name from personal considerations, 
and it was either given hiin at his birth, or he took it afterwards ; 
sometimes from circumstances which pleased himself or struck other 
people. Giving the widest limit we can to this suggestion of 
corruption, and supposing that the original name were Huntan-dun, 
it would signify in Anglo-Saxon the hill of Hunta, a name meaning 
literally a hunter ; but it was just one of those names which would 
V)e assumed by a Saxon chieftain, some great hunter, of lieasts or of 
uien. Hunta would be a good Anglo-Saxon name, answering, though 

* Heniy of Huntingdon's words are (p. 207, in Savili-'s Scrlptores post Bcdam, ei. 1.576) 
HunUndoiaa vera, id est mons venatonim. Tlie form of tlie word, no douljt tliat riven in 
the manuscript, miglit admit of a doubt, if liis translation in tlie genitive plural did not 
show that he knew the word as Huntinga-dun. In Domesday Boolt, which heloncs to the 
previous century, the name is written Ihinttdun, which is probably only one of the numerous 
corrupt speUings by the Norman scribes in taking down the names from the mouths of the 
baxon witnesses. The town is constantly called huntingdone, in the Himdi-ed BoUs, which 
belong to the thirteenth centurj-. 


perhaps more dignified, to Mr. Hunter of our modern English, which 
we know is not a very uncommon name. Now, Huntingdon is a 
very early town, foimded upon the ruins of the Eoman town of 
Ihirolipons, and therefore not very likely to have been a hunting 
station; and we may, perhaps, think it more probable that Hunta, 
the Anglo-Saxon chieftain, had gained the estate in the original 
distribution, that he kept the designation of dun, instead of ttm, 
or ham, and that he left to it, as the home of the family, the 
name of Huntinga-dun, or Huntingdon. As I have already remarked, 
the family residence at the beginning would naturally be called 
Huntandun, and afterwards Huntingadun, and, as it is found in 
this form in early records, the modern name may, in all probability, 
be no corruption at all. 

And now let us turn to Mr. Harries Jones's other corruption. 
As I understand him, I suppose he considers that Whittington 
or Hwittinga-tun, was, like Huntingdon, only a corruption of Hwit- 
tau-tun. Let him have his way : no doubt the founder of the 
estate and family was Hwitta, or Hwita, and this was his tun, or 
inclosure, and in his time it might be known as Hwittan-tun, or 
Hwitan-tun, though afterwards it would be the head seat of his 
family, and would be known generally as the tun or residence 
of the HTOttingas, or family of Hwitta — Whittington. But I do 
not see what Mr. Harries Jones is to gain by this. Probably 
the chieftain Hwitta had made himself known by some white 
mark of distinction, either on his person, or in some other 
way, for the name means the white-one ; and, to explain it all 
more simply, it would respond (to descend from high things to 
low) to our modern name of Mr. White, which, as Mr. Harries Jones 
no doubt knows, is not a very uncommon name among our Eng- 
lishmen ; and the difference of the two forms of the name would 
only be whether it be viewed in the light of the house of Mr. 
White or the house of Mr. White's family. Perhaps the vicar of 
Llanidloes will inform us what there is more of Welsh and less 
of English in the phrase " Mr. White's house," than in that of 
" Mr. White's family's house." It is perfectly clear that the name 
of Whittington belonged to a later date than that of the Prince 
Cynddylan, and the ^vriter of this Elegy upon him, ascribed to 
Llywarch Hen, did not even know what the word meant, and 


mistranslated it in such a way as none in the time of Cynddy- 
lan, or long after, could have done. 

I think my readers "will now understand, better than Mr. Harries 
Jones seems to have done, my reasons against the authenticity of the 
poem of Llywarch Hen. I think what I have already said ought 
to be enough to show that his arguments are not quite so over- 
whelming as he seems to suppose, and I have no great desire to 
follow him any further; but still there remain one or two points 
on which I may venture to offer a remark. 

Mr. Harries Jones is evidently not very perfectly acquainted with 
the history of verse, but he wotild be innocent indeed if he ex- 
pected to find written monuments of Welsh or Anglo-Saxon poetiy 
of the sixth century. Poetry was the literature of the people, of 
the nation, and it was only after the people had risen to a con- 
siderable state of artificial refinement that it was preserved in any 
other manner than by the memory. Thus it lived on from genera- 
tion to generation, from century to century, bu.t let nobody suppose 
that it was thus continued unchanged ; on the contrary, the min- 
strel, the songster, was, to a certain degree, the poet also, and it 
was his business to form and modify his song to the character and 
requirements of the time in which he sang. Hence it would be 
vain indeed to suppose that we find any poetry of these early ages in 
anything like the form in which it was originally composed, or that 
it has any degree of historical value, except for the date to which 
the written copy belongs. The Anglo-Saxon manuscript of Beowulf 
is of late in the tenth century, or of the beginning of the eleventh, 
yet, though the poem certainly belongs to a very far earlier period, 
it is a question of discussion whether, in its present form, it be a 
poem belonging to the Anglo race before it came to Britain, and 
modified by course of time, or a Danish or Scandinavian poem 
translated into Anglo-Saxon. In the same way the Welsh poetry 
would be preserved by the minstrels, was thus legendary, and 
must have been continually undergoing change. From time to 
time, some temporary cause of excitement, some national movement, 
brought this poetry out into stronger relief, and of course, pro- 
duced new modifications and new creations. Such an outburst of 
nationality certainly occurred among the Welsh in the earlier half 
of the fifteenth century, and, as all acquainted with the literary 


history of that period know, there was at that time a far greater 
tendency than even before, during the middle ages, to commit this 
poetry to writing. It was on the eve of the introduction of printing. 
As might he expected, the poems thus produced, purporting to be 
of early date, of which there wou.ld of course be many, can have 
no historical value whatever, because, at the best, they could only 
be founded upon old popular legends, and represent popular feeUngs 
of the day when they were now published. During the feudal 
period the national feeling in Wales was bitter against the Anglo- 
Norman border barons, who were known as Franks or Frenchmen, 
and I had pointed out how this feehng was expressed in this poem 
ascribed to Llj^varch Hen, how it was easy to be understood at 
the time when the poem was published, but how it had no meaning 
at all at the date at which Llywarch Hen is said to have lived. 
If the poem were altogether a new invention, or if it were built 
upon an old popular legend, we can easily understand how the 
destruction of Uriconium was dragged into it. Even at the beginning 
of the fifteenth century the site of Uriconium presented, no doubt, a 
mass of ruins with the traces of burning, which would furnish material 
for any story you liked, — in fact there were legends of Uriconium 
of an earlier date which contained nothing about Cynddylan or any 
of his kin. But, as I have said in reply to Mr. Stephens, the intro- 
duction of the Franks, i.e., the Norman barons, points at once 
to the later date of the poem. It has been attempted to insist 
that these French barons were Franks of the sixth century, who 
came over with the Saxons ; but I think that I have said enough 
on this subject in reply to Mr. Stephens. The vicar of Llanid- 
loes, however, has returned to it. 

Mr. Stephens pretended that the Franks had been introduced 
by Carausius, and that these Franks had settled on the Welsh 
border and preserved their name to the time of Llywarch Hen, a 
theory which was contrary to probability, and had no foundation 
in historical facts of any kind. Mr. Stephens's error, I thought, 
I had sufficiently demonstrated ; but Mr. Harries Jones, as I under- 
stand him, advances another step. He seems to think that the 
Franks were in England with the Anglo-Saxons, and he fiUs some 
pages with quotations to prove that the Franks and Saxons were 
close allies, and usually acted together, a fact whicli is known to 


everybody who knows anything about mediseval history. But I fear 
he has here fallen iuto another blunder, for he seems to think that 
the Saxons who were in alliance with the Franks were the Anglo- 
Saxons, whereas they were the Saxons of Germany, a totally different 
people. But his remarks on this subject are really not worth any 
serious discussion, Amongst the tribes who infested the frontiers 
of Eoman Gaul, at the same time with the Franks, were the 
German Saxons. As we all know, all these invaders were 
always ready to take Ptoman service and Eoman pay, and when 
Carausius, wlio had assumed the empire in Gaul as well as in 
Britain, moved from Gaul into this island, he hired a body of 
Frankish warriors as part of his army, and he had them with 
him in his camp at Southampton. But the history of this body 
of warriors is well known; they did not remain in this island, 
except so far as their corpses found a burial place at London. 
The Franks of the Continent established an empire of their own 
in Gaul, and planted their name there, which was softened down at 
a far later period into French. "William the Norman conquered 
England with an army of Franks, according to the popular lan- 
guage of that time ; and the Anglo-Norman barons were called 
Franks by the English people as well as by the Welsh. This term 
was continued to the barons of the "Welsh border, the Lords 
Marchers. Of course these were objects of great hatred to the 
Welsh, and we can easily understand the introduction of this 
word in a poem written to keep up the national feelings of the 
Welsh in an age like that in which Owen Glendwr lived. 

In what he says about the name of Ercal, Mr. Harries Jones is 
so entirely wrong, and shows so complete an ignorance of the sub- 
ject he is talking about, that it is quite unnecessary for me to enter 
upon a discussion of it. In fact, I liaA'e no inclination to go on 
farther. It is of no use arguing with a writer who believes that 
Shrewsbury, or Penguern, and Uriconium were standing at the same 
time, and tallvs of Uriconium as the Windsor of Penguern ' Why, 
Shrewsbury within its walls, was a very little town in comparison 
to Uriconiimi. The latter was douljle the size of the Shrewsbury 
of the present day, and its destruction in the sixth century would 
have been an event of such an extraordinary importance that it 
cannot have escaped mention in the annals of the Anglo-Saxons. 


Any antiquary who has examined the remains as I have, will not 

doubt for an instant that Uriconium Avas a mass of ruins long 
before that date. 



The following remarks um^e first ]}rinte,d as a communication 
to the " Sheewsbuey Cheonicle," ctt the close of the month of 
November, 1862. 

In the course of compiling my book on Uriconium, I have met 
with two Anglo-Saxon charters, which are cif considerable impor- 
tance for the early history of our county. Both are printed in 
Kemble's " Codex Anglo-Saxonicus." The first, dated at Oswestry 
in the year 855, is a grant of laud by the unfortunate Burhred, 
who was eventually deprived of his kingdom of Mercia by the 
Danes, to the monks of Worcester ; and it informs us that Burhred 
was then (no doubt with the Mercian army) at Oswaldes-dun 
(Oswestry), because the pagans, or Danes, were on Wreocen-setum, 
in the country of the Wreocen-setas or Wrekin-dwellers. The other 
charter is a century more modern, being a grant by king Eadgar, 
in the year 9G3, of two estates in 'p^'ovincia Wrocen-setnct, in the 
province of the Wrocau-setas, called Plcsc ct Eastun. I feel little 
doubt that Plesc is the manor of Plaish, or Plash, in the parish of 
Cardington ; and Eastun may be any place named Aston, possibly 
that in Munslow. In the Anglo-Saxon period, territorial rights 
were proved by witnesses who could speak to the line of 
boimdary of the estate, of which the iahabitants at certain times 
made a formal perambulation. It is said that the school-boys of 
the locality were taken on such perambulations, and that at each 
particular boundary mark they were severely flogged, by way of 
strongly impressing the fact on their memory ; and this, perhaps, 


is the reason why still, in our old towns, the parish school-boys 
are at certain periods made to walk the bounds, though the flogging 
is dispensed with. In the Anglo-Saxon charters the bounds are 
always given in the vernacular tongue, but as they naturally 
contain a good deal of local dialectic forms and local names of 
objects, they are not always translated with ease. One or two 
words in the bounds of Plesc and Eastuu come under this predica- 
ment, but the whole may be translated without much difficulty. 
I give the text with the translation : 

" Sunt autem haec praedicta rura circumcinta istis terminis. 
^rest of Diuwuces psedhe on LilsiBtna gemeere ; andlang brocks 
on eotan ford ; of eotan forda on dhone gretan air ; of dham aire 
on dhone micclan die ; of dham dice on dha haran dene ; of 
dhsere haran dene in dhone deopan mor ; andlang midles dhtes 
mores in aeslices ford ; of ajslices forda andlang mores on hina 
gemeera ; of hina gemaera on dha threo dicas ; of dham dican in 
dhfene longan thorn ; of dham thorn in dhass dices geat ; of dhajs 
dices geate on dha bradan rseue ; of dhsere bradan rseue on mser- 
sic; of mfersice on mperdic ; andlang mterdices on Wiggerdes 
treo ; of Wiggerdes treo dhtet asft on Diowuces pedh." 

Translation : — " And these foresaid lands are inclosed by these 
bounds. Fii-st, from Diuwuc's path to the bounds of the Lilssetas ; 
along the brook to the giant's ford ; from the giant's ford to the 
great alder ; from the alder to the big dike (or embankment) ; from 
the dike to the hare's valley ; from the hare's valley to the deep 
moor ; along the middle of the moor to ^slic's (?) ford ; from 
^sHc's ford along the moor to Hina's (?) bounds ; from Hina's bounds 
to the three dilves ; from the dike to the long thorn ; from the 
thorn to the gate, or pass, of the dike ; from the dike's gate to the 
broad row (?) ; from the broad row to the great furrow (or water- 
course) ; from the great furrow to the great dike ; along the great 
dike to Wiggerd's tree ; from Wiggerd's tree back again to Diowuc's 

These are the boundaries of the estate of Eastune ; those of 
Plesc are as follows : 

"Dhera?fter synt dha laud-gemaero to Plesc. ./Erst of Phesc in 
dhone broc; of dham brajce in thfelbricge; of thaslbricge to dhone 
heh-strfete ; of dhasra heh strajte to strea-wyllan ; of strea-wajllan 


to dham litlau dice ; of dhain dice to hare daiiie ; of hare dene to 
dham stanhifete ; of dham stanhifete upp to dham hedhe ; of dham 
Eedhe to dham sice ; andlang sice to mfenelege : of maenelege to 
dham brajce; of dham brajcaj dasht aift in Plesc." 

Translation: — "Hereafter are the hmd boundaries at Plesc. First, 
from Plesc to the brook; from the brook to the plank bridge; from 
the plank bridge to the high street ; from the high street to straw- 
well ; from straw- weU to the little dike ; from the dike to hare vaUey ; 
from hare vaUey to the stone-quarry ; from the stone-quarry up 
to the heath ; from the heath to the furrow (or water-course) ; along 
the furrow to bad lea ; from bad lea to the brook ; from the brook 
back again to Plesc." 

Perhaps some of my readers in the districts to which these 
documents relate may be able to trace some of these names still 
existing in the obscure local names of fields, brooks, or other 
objects. Unfortunately, they are mostly such objects as the space 
of nine hundred years would easily clear away, yet some of them 
are of a more durable nature. The high-street was certainly a 
Eoman road, and there are, I believe, traces of more than one 
Eoman road in the parish of Cardington, or within no great distance. 
The expression of going up from the stone-quarry to the heath, 
shows that the one was on the side of a hill and the other at the 
top of it ; and we can easUy understand in Shropshire what are the 
furrows (sicas) caused by water-courses among the hills. The dikes 
were no doubt ancient embankments, of which also some traces 
may remain; and the Eotan-ford, or Giant's ford (it is a name 
belonging to the primeval mythology of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers) 
was probably a PbOman ford over a stream, attached to which were 
ancient remains so remarkable as to be believed to have been the 
work of giants. Local names, even when taken from very transitory 
circumstances, often endure through centuries, and even such an 
appellation as " mene lege," meaning, apparently, the bad or mean 
lea, may remain in such a name as Mainley, or Menley; and so 
" haran-dene" might continue to exist in such a name as Harden, 
just as " haran-lege," or the hare's lea, is represented hj Harley. 
We see in aU the boundaries, as given in the Anglo-Saxon charters, 
how observant our early forefathers were of trees, as of all kinds of 
natural objects. But great alders and long thorns are not very 


lone-lived, and their memory is not likely to survive nine hundred 
years. Yet we have plenty of evidence how long the names given 
to trees last, even in our own part of the country, in such names 
as " Oswaldes-tree," which gave name to the important town of 
Oswestry; and " Almodes-tree," now Aymestry, the latter of which 
individuals, Almod, appears to have been as obscure as those who gave 
their names to the Wiggerd's tree or the Diowuc's path of our 

The interest of these Anglo-Saxon charters is not, however, con- 
fined to the mere identification of obscure local names. One 
circumstance strikes me with particular force, the great extent 
which must have been embraced in what is called the country or 
" province " of the Wreocen-setas. It is evident that in king 
Burhred's charter, the statement that the Danes were on Wreocen- 
setum was ecj^uivalent to saying that they were in possession of 
Shropshire ; and the in iwovincia Wrocen-sctna of Eadgar's charter 
e\ddently meant the great part of what we now call Shropshire, 
if not the whole. It seems pretty clear, from the general context, 
that, at least in king Burhred's time, Shrewsbury did not exist 
as a place of any importance. For some reason or other, the 
Wrekin had struck the first of the Teutonic invaders who occupied 
this country so much that they gave its name to the whole 
territory around ; and, but for the extraordinary importance and 
power of the Norman earldom of Shrewsburj^, it is very probable 
that, instead of Shropshire, our county would now have been called 
Wrekinsetshire, like Somersetshire and Dorsetshire. The spirit of 
the name which the county would thus have borne lives in our 
county toast of " All friends round the Wrekin," by which we 
mean all the peo[)le of Shropshire, a toast which, these discoveries, 
if they are worth calling discoveries, show to have a far more 
remote origin than has been hitherto supposed, and which receives 
a new importance from them. May it long continue to bind us 
together in friendly feelings ! 




{Reprinted from the Journal of the British Archceological Association.) 

A curious document, at present in the possession of C. L. Prince, 
Esq., has been communicated to me by a friend (M. A. Lower, Esq., 
of Lewes in Sussex) ; it is a rent-roll of the manor of Wroxeter 
in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of Edward III. (a.d. 1350), 
and appears to me in many respects worthy of being printed. It 
wlU appear at once that a very small portion of the acreage of 
the parish, which is now estimated at 4774 acres, two roods, and 
thirty perches, was then under cultivation ; for, reckoning the 
virgate at sixty acres (I believe the ordinary estimate in this 
pai-t of the country), and the noca or quarter of a virgate, at 
fifteen, we can hardly account for more than six or seven hundred 
acres, including a considerable quantity of waste. I am informed, 
moreover, that some of the land mentioned in this document is 
not now included in the parish. It is evident that a great part of 
the land was then waste,— the ground at Norton was a heath, 
which must have been extensive. Probably a part at least of the 
site of Uriconium was so covered on the surface with the ruins 
of buildings as to be left wild. One of the residents bears the 
very significant name of Johanms attc Walk, or John at the 
Wall, which was in all probability given to him because his 
messuage was adjacent to a part of the ancieirt town wall. The 
whole parish at this time appears to have contained twenty-two 
messuagia, or houses of men holding generally about thii-ty acres 
of land, and eleven cottages. By the census of 1821, the latest to 
which I can at present refer, there were a hundred and twelve 
houses in the present parish. Tlie dominus, or feudal lord, was 
the earl of Arundel. 

There is one local name in this record which is interesting. 
Hugh Maunseil held a piece of pasture " called le Eowemelne," 
melne. laeing of course the usual old English word for a mill. It 
2 A 

402 iTElCONItrM. 

may perhaps be allowable to conjecture that the first part of the 
word is some corruption of Kome or Roman, and that the pasture 
received its name from the ruins of a Roman mill, or the tradition 
that there had been one there. There is, I am informed, a field 
through which the Bell Brook runs, on the right hand of the 
Watling-street road as we go to the Horse-slwe inn, which is still 
called Rue-mill, and which is no doubt the pasture in question. 
Perhaps the Romans had a mill on the Bell Brook, within the town. 
It is also worthy of remark that, of four pieces of pasture held 
by the tenants in common, two have names compounded of the ^ 
word gdc, or gate. Chestergete may mean the gate of the Chester, 
or ancient city, from which the place received its modern name ; 
and its position is thus not defined. Bowegete may possibly mean 
the southern gate, from the curve which, according to the plan, 
its waUs seem to have made. Pole may have been named from a 
pool of water, and Wyggestan, from some remarkable monument 
of stone. 


Bentale dc Wro.vccterc, factum super com]]otum ilidcm ad festurti sancti 

Michaelis anno regrii regis Edwardi tcrtii post con. xxiiij°. 
Abbas de Haghmoun tenet per cartam unam placeam vasti juxta 

Tyi-ne, fossato inclusam. . . reddit vj. s. ad terminum 

Abbas de LilleshuDe pro attachiamento stagui molendini de TjTne. 

r. vj. d. ad eundem terminum. 
Dominus Rogerus Corbet tenet Hadeley pro dimidio feodo militis. 

r. j. spervarium sorum ad dictum festimi sancti Michaelis. 
Johannes de Westoun Coyne tenet Westoun Coyne pro dimidio 

feodo, r. vj. s. viij. d. ad festum Annunciationis, pro omni 

Johannes le Poynotir tenet j. messuagium et dimidiam virgatam 

terrce, et debet sumonere omnes Hberos tenentes curife de Upton, 

et districtiones et attachiamenta facere super eosdem. 
Idem tenet per cartam domini unam placeam brusseti vocatam le 

Lee, et xxv. acras et dimidiam regales vasti, super brueram de 


Nortoun. r. inde per annum ad festa sancti Michaelis et 

Annimciationis, per aequales portiones, xxviij. s. xj. d' 
Thomas de Smethecote tenet xxx. acras regales vasti super brueram 

de Nortoun. r. per annum ad ij. terminos prtedictos xxx. s. 

et sectam curife de Wroxcestre. 
Eogerus de Golynghale tenet super eandem brueram xij, acras. 

r. per annum ad ij. terminos prajdictos xij. s. et ij. apparenc' 

ad magnam curiam ibidem. 
Idem tenet iij. acras regales ibidem, r. per annum iij. s. 
Hugo Maunseil tenet j. messuagium et dimidiam virgatam terras 

ibidem, r. per annum ad ij. terminos praidictos v. s. et sectam 

ad curiam. 
Idem tenet j. placeam pasturae ex traditione seneschalli vocatam le 

Eowemelne. r. ad ij. terminos prasdictos xiiij d. 
Johannes de Donyntoun capellanus tenet ij. cotagia cum uno crofto, 

et iiij. acras teiTffi regales super eandem brueram. r. ad ij. 

terminos viij. s. vj. d. 
Sibilla de Bromptoun tenet j. messuagium et dimidiam virgatam 

terrffi Libere ad terminum vitas, r. ad ij. terminos pr^edictos x. s. 
Eadem tenet j. acram vasti sine scripto. r. ad ij. terminos prasdictos 

xij. d. 
Johannes Selke tenet j. messuagium et dimidiam virgatam terras, et j. 

acram super brueram, r. . . . xj. s. ad terminos. 
■f-^Eicardus Ady tenet j. messuagium, dimi- 
diam virgatam, et j. acram terrte super 

brueram. r. . . . . . xj. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

Thomas le Poynour tenet tantum, et r. 
Eogerus de Wythintoun tenet tantum. 

xj. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

s. ad eosdem terminos. 

xj. s. ad eosdem terminos- 

xj. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

xj. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

Margareta le Hare tenet tantum. r. . 
Johannes Wyteacre tenet tantum. r. . 
Petronilla Baker tenet tantum. r. 
Margeria Hare tentet tantum. r. 
Eadem tenet j. placeam pasture juxta 

gardinimi suum. r. ... ij.gallinasadNat'Domini. 

Eogerus le Hare tenet j. messuagium, 

dimidiam virgatam teiTa;, et j. 

acram super brueram. r. . . . xj. s. ad. ij. terminos. 


-)-Jolianues Selk tenet j. messuagumi, et j. 

nocam terrpe, et j. acram super brueram. r. vj. s. iiij.d. adterminos 

prsedictos. Int' ad festum annunciationis a° xxvj'" 

Johannes de la Grene tenet tantum. r. . vj. s. adterminos prsedictos. 

Johannes Traventer tenet tantuni. r. . vj. s. adterminos prsedictos. 

Idem tenet j. parvam placeam in augmento 

gardini sui. r j. d. ad eosdem terminos. 

Johamies atte Walle tenet j. messuagium 

et j. nocam terrte. r. . . . vj. s. ad eosdem ternunos. 

Idem tenet j. nocam cum gardiao juxta 

grangiam domini. r. ... ij. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

*^ Johannes Knotte tenet j. messuagium et j. 

nocam terrte. r. . . . . vj. s. ad eosdem terminos. 

Idem dat ad eosdem terminos pro j. placea 

in augmento terra?. su£e . . iij. d. et j. gall' ad Nat' Domini. 
Eicardus filius Eegmaldi tenet j. messua- 
gium, et j. nocam terrse, j. acram vasti, 

etj. acram campestrem. r. . . vj. s. vj. d. ad eosdem 

terminos prasdictos. 
Alicia relicta Hugonis filii Eegiiialdi tenet 

j. messuagium, j. nocam terrte, et j. 

acram super brueram. r. . . . vj, s. ad eosdem terminos. 
*Isabella Hare tenet j. messuagium, et j. 

acram super brueram, et j. placeam. r. YJ. s. viij. d. 
SihiUa Jonkneros tenet j. messuagium et 

dimidiam nocam terra3. r. . .iij. s. ad ij. terminos. 
Eicardus de Sywaldesdoun tenet j. eotagium 

et iij. acras terraj. r. . . . iij. s. ij. d. ad ij. termiaos 

Thomas Wy chart tenet j. messuagium et vj. 

acras terras, r. . . . . . v.s. iij. d. 

Amicia le Traventer tenet j. eotagium et iij. 

acras terras, r. . . . . iiij. s. ix, d. 

Matnda Wychart tenet j. eotagium et iij. 

acras terras, r. . . . , .iiij. s. 
Idem (sic) tenet imam forgiam. r. . ■ xij. d. 
* Johannes le Longe tenet j. eotagium cum 

vj. acris terrfc. r vj. s. iiij. d. 


Thomas le Clialoner tenet j. cotagium. r. ij, s. 
*WiIlelmus Fishare tenet j. cotagium. r. ij. s. 
Willelmus Wychart tenet j. cotagium et iij. 

acras terrse. r ij. .s. x. d. 

Isolda Eaynald tenet j. cotagium et iij acras 

terra, r ij. s. x. d. 

Jonkin le Baker tenet ^g. acras terrae domi- 

nicse et j. acram vasti sine messuagio. r. iij.s.ij. d. addictosterminos 
Petronilla Swetedoughter tenet j. cotagium 

cum gardino. r. . . . ■ . xviij. d. ad ij. terminos. 

Et prfedicti tenentes tenent quatuor placeas pasturse, videlicet 
pastur' de Chestregete, Pole, Bowegete et de Wyggestan. 
r. per annum ad ij. terminos . • vj- s- 

•fThomas de Berewik dat pro licentia pis- 

candi super Tyrne .... iij. s. uij. d. ad ij. terminos. 
Et villata de Atyncliam dat pro aisiamento 

habendo ad riveram de TjTue . . yj. d. ad festum sane. 

Michaelis tantum. 
Summa totalis redditus . xyj. li. ij. s. x. d. 

r Ad festum sancti Michaelis . viij. li. xiiij. d. 
1 Ad festum Annunciationis . viij. li. xvj. d. 
Item, ad Nativitatem Domini . iij. gallinas. 
Item, ad Gulam Augusti . j. spervarium,vel ij. s. 

{In dorso) 
Item, de firma gm'gitis ibidem. 

Item, de abbate de Buldewas vj. plaustratas claustruraj singulis annis 
pro dicta gurgite rejiaranda ante Pascham, quandocunque domino 
quEerere placuerit. 

1 + In each of the cases indicated by this mark the name of one tenant is crossed 
out to make way for another, the latter being the one given in the text. Thus, in 
the first instance, the name of the tenant was Adam Ourry, which is crossed out, and 
Eioardus Ady wiitten above ; so, in the second case, Adam de Hamegge occupied the 
place of Johannes Selk, and, in the third, Stephanus de Lee de ]?restoun that of 
Thomas de Berewike. Stephen de Lee had given up the fishing after the rental had 
been written, and it was let out to Thomas de Benvick. 

2 • Each of the sentences to which a star is prefixed, is marked vae^ {vacat) in the 
margin, as being unoccupied, the tenant having quitted. 




Weoxeter has long been celebrated for the great number of 
Eoman coins which are found, not only in the course of digging 
and excavating, but which are picked up almost on the surface of 
the ground. In a manuscript account of Travels in England, 
written in the year 1743, and preserved in the manuscripts of the 
British Museum (MS. Addit, No. 15,776, fol. 167), the writer 
I'emarks, speaking of Wroxeter : " They very often find Eoman 
medals here. I got a very good one of Posthumus in large brass, 
which was found here but a few days before." The peasantry of 
the place have generally some of these medals for sale, and various 
persons have at different times made collections of more or less 
extent. They are locally called dinclers, a word no doubt corrupted 
from the Latin denarms. The following list of Eoman coins found 
at Wroxeter has been kindly communicated to me by my friend 
]Mr. Samuel Wood. They are now preserved in the Museum of 
Natural History and Antiquities, Shrewsbury ; and it will give 
some notion both of their abundance, and of their interest. 

In collating and arranging coins discovered at Wroxeter, my 
friend remarks : " Many very interesting questions arise in our 
mind. First, the vast numbers that have from time to time been 
picked up would make it appear as if the ground had been sown 
broadcast with them. Many thousands have passed through my 
hands, and I am sure I speak within bounds when I say I have 
seen at least a peck. 

"Secondly, one is struck with the worn appearance of them, so 
much so, that, generally, the legends are nearly obliterated, and in 
many the emperors to whom they belong can only be made out by 
a person familiar with their portraits on coins. 

" Thirdly, the very small number of gold. — I have not seen more 
than four or five ; the scarcity of the silver, and the vast number of 


"From these circumstances one would be led to the conclusion 
that for a long time no Eoman mint was established in Britain, 
but that the coin was brought over and circulated for many years 
without any renewal. Hence specimens of the coins of the Consular 
type are rare among those discovered at Wroxeter. We possess 
examples of two families only. The Second and Third Brass of the 
lower empire are generally in fair, and some even in fine, condition, 
excepting the reigns of Tetricus, Victorinus, and Claudius Gothicus. 
It would appear that the Emperors of Britain often restamped 
with their own portrait and device, the coins of previous Emperors, 
for we frequently find coins of Gallienus beariag the portrait of 
Carausius over that of the other Emperor, and his successor Allectus 
adopted the same practice. Of the coins of Carausius a remarkable 
and imique one was picked up here, bearing the full face and 
bare head of this Emperor. It was in fine presevation, and is 
now in the British Museum. After the Piomans had left Britain, 
coins were struck of the governors or generals who succeeded the 
Emperors in command, for tliere are numerous coins bearing 
illegible inscriptions, barbarous imitations of Tetricus, Victorinus, 
Gothicus, and the Constantines, so rude in design and workman- 
ship, that their origin from the barbarous successors cannot be 
doubted. It is a remarkable circumstance that no Saxon coins have 
been found here ; at any rate I have only seen one, a " styca," the 
monarch's name not decipherable. This may have been accidently 
dropped there long after the destruction of the city. The absence 
of Saxon coias clearly proves, I think, that Wroxeter must have 
been completely destroyed before the arrival of the Saxons, or by 
these conquerors, and that it was never inhabited by them as a 


ANT . AVG . IIIVIE . R . P . C. A Gaily. 

LEG . XIX. Three military Standards. 

FONT . EOMA. A GaUey, with three rows of Oars, a Pilot, and 
military Standards. 

P. L^CA. Winged head of Minerva, before X above EOMA. 


TEOVOC . A citizen standing and being crowned by a military 
figure, behind whom stands a lictor. The 
only Consular coin found in the Wroxeter hoard. 

TIBEEIUS. A.D. 14 to 37. 
TI. CAESAR DIVI. AVG. F. AVGVSTUS. Laureated head of 
Tiberius. (Aureus.) 

PONT . MAX . Tiberius Seated as Chief High Priest, 

OTHO. A.D. 69. 
IMP , OTHO . CAESAE. Head to right with curled hair. 

SECVEITAS . P . E . Female standing stolated, holding a garland 
and hasta. 

VESPASIAN. A.D. 69 to a.d. 79. 
CAESAE, . VESP . AVG P.M. Laureated head. 

AVGVE . TEI . POT . Pontifical Instruments. 

IMP . CAESAE , VESPASIANVS . AVG. Laureated head to right. 

CAESAE . AVG . F . COS . CAESAE . AVG . F . P . E . The heads of 
Titu.3 and Domitian, face to face, struck to 
record the honour of the first attaining his 
first consulship, and the second on his being 
proclaimed Prince of the Eoman Youth. 

COS . ITE . TE . POT . Draped female, holding caduceus and olive 

CAESAE . VESPASIAN . Laureated head. 

PONTIF . MAXIM . A Caduceus. 

PONT . MAX . TE . P . COS . VI . The Emperor seated, holding an 
olive branch. 

COS . VII . An eagle with expanded wings, holding in his talons 
a thunderbolt. This device was struck in honor 
of tlie Apotheosis of A'espasian. 


COS.ITEE.TE.POT. Female figure seated, holding in her right 
hand an olive branch, in her left a caduceus. 

TEI . POT . COS . Ill . P . P . Female figure seated, holding in her right 
hand an olive branch, in her left a caduceus. 

Emperor seated in a curule chair. In his right 
hand is a spear, in his left a palm branch. 

PON. MAX.... TE. P. COS. VI. Female figure .seated. In her 
right hand an olive branch, in her left some 

TITUS. A.D. 79 to A.D. 81. 
IMP . TITVS . CAES . VESPASIAIST . AVG .P.M. Laureated head 
of Titus. 

TE . P . IX . IMP . XV . COS . VIII .P.P. Upon a stool draped a 
thunderbolt. Titus was seven times consul 
with his father, consequently this coin recording 
his eighth consulship, and was struck in the 
first year of his reign, A.D. 79. 


A.D. 79 to A.D. 96. 

CAESAE . AVG . F . DOMITIANTS . COS . VII. Head of Domitian. 

IWENTVTIS . PEINCEPS . A Helmet surmounted by a military 
ensign. In the centre two right hands joined. 

IMP . CAES . DOMIT . AVG . GEEM . P . M . TE . P . VI . Laureated 
head to right. 

IMP . XIIII . COS . XIII . CEWS . P . P . P . Minerva standing upon 
the capital of a rostral pillar, holding a spear. 
At her feet an owl. 

IMP . XXI . COS . XV . CENS . P . P . P . As foregoing. 



FOKTUN . A . . . Female standing. foregoing. COS. XVI. 

MONET . AVGVSTI . Equity standing, with attributes. 

A.D. 98 to 117. 
IMP . CAES . NERVA . TEAIAE" . G-ERM . Laureated head. Veiled figure, seated, holding 
a patera. 

P . M . TR P . COS . II . PP . Stolated female, seated. 

P . M . TR . P . COS . nil .P.P. Figure of Hercules standing. 

P . M . TR . P . COS . nil .P.P. Victory holding a palm branch and 

COS .V.P.P.S.P.Q.R. OPTIMO . PRINC . Victory standing on 
a capital of a column. 

COS. V.P.P.S.P.Q.R. OPTIMO PRINC . The Emperor standing, 
draped, holding the cornucopia and caduceus. 

S . P . Q . R . OPTMO . PRINCIPI . The Emperor standing, draped, 
holding the cornucopia and caduceus. 

COS .V.P.P.S.Q.R. OPTIMO . PRINC . Female figure leaning 
on a column, and holding olive branch. 

P . M . TR . P . COS . VI P . P S . P . Q . R . Nude figure, holding in 
his right hand a patera, and in left ears of 


VIA. TRAIANA . S . P . Q . R . OPTIMO . PRINCIPI . A female re- 
clining against a bank and supporting a wheel. 

P . COS . V. P . P . Laureated profile bust of 


S . P. Q . E . OPTIMO . PPvINCIPI . A female draped figure seated 
on a pile of arms, by the side of a trophy. 

Same legend. — Ceres standing before an altar, holding ears of 

COS.V.P.P.S.P.Q.R. OPTIMO . PEINC . Across the field, AET . 
AVG . A veiled female holding two urns, from 
which fire ascends. We have here an example 
of a votive coin struck in honour of this 
popular Emperor, by order of the Senate 
and people of Eome, expressing the vain 
wish, " May the King live for ever." 

quest of Dacia is here commemorated by a 
male figure seated upon the now useless armour, 
and in token of the entire subjugation of this 
province, the figure has his hands tied behind 
him. The conquest of Dacia, which occurred 
in ] 03 A.D., cost Trajan fifteen years' war Tra- 
jan, the more readily to keep the Dacians in 
order, built that magnificent bridge over the 
Danube, consisting of twenty arches, each 170 
feet span, and sixty feet in breadth. 


A.D. 117 to A.D. 138. 

HADEIANVS . AVG . COS . Ill . P . P . Profile bust, bearded. 

MONETA . AVG . The Goddess Moneta standing. 

P . M . TE . P . COS . Ill . The Emperor standing with the hasta pura 
and ears of corn. 

EOMVLO . CONDITOEI . Eomulus marching to right, carrj-ing a 
trophy on his left shoulder, a javelin in his 
right hand. 

SALVS . AVG . Hygieia standing feeding a serpent which is rising 
from an altar. 


P . M . TK . P . COSIII . Across the field, VOT . PV . A veiled 
Priestess standing with upraised hands, oflering 
up prayers. May have been struck to record 
the general prayers which were offered up for 
the recovery of Hadrian during the painful 
illness which terminated his life. 

ALEXAISTDEIA . A female, standing holding in her right hand 
the sistrum. Eecords the travels of Hadrian. 

NILVS . A colossal river god whose upper half is naked, reclining 
on the bank of a stream, with a reed in his 
right hand and a cornucopia on his left arm. 


SABINA . AVGVSTA . Profile bust of the Empress. 

VENEEI . GENETEICI . An elegant female figure standing, attired 
in light robes, holding a portion of her dress 
with one hand, and an apple in the other. 

A.D. 138 to A.D. 161. 
IMP . T . AEL . CAES . HADEI . ANTONINVS . Profile bust. 

AVCt . PIVS . P . M . TE . P . COS . DES . II . Equity personified. 

ANTTONINTS . AVG . PIVS . P . V . TE , P . XIII . Laureated bust 
of Pius. 

COS . IIII . Hygieia standing. 

COS . IIII . Fortune standing -with attributes. 

LIB. IIII. TE. POT. COS. IIII. A robed female standing, with 
tessera and cornucopia. 

COS . IIII . A female standing, holding ears of corn in her right 
hand, her left being placed on armour. 


VOTA . SVSCEPTA . DEC . Ill . COS . IIII . The Emperor, clothed 
as Chief Priest, sacrificing. 

PIETATI . AVG . COS . IIII . Faustina, holding two chHdren in her 
arms, whUst two others stand at her side. 

DIWS . ANTONIlSrVS . Naked head of the Emperor. 

CONSECEATIO . A magnificent rogus or funeral pile. 

DIVO . PIO . An altar in the centre of which is a grated door. 

ANTONINVS . AVG . PIVS . P . P . TE . P . COS . Ill . Bare head of 

AVEELIVS . CAESAE . AVG . PII . F . COS . This very interesting 
coin bears on the reverse the naked head of 
the youthful Marcus Aurehus, with curly hair, 
and his shoulders covered with the laticlavium 
fibulated. This was minted a.d. 140, the year 
in which Antoninus, having given him his 
daughter Faustina in marriage, advanced Aure- 
lius to the Fasces. 

ITALIA . A majestic female, attired in magnificent robes, is seated 
on a celestial globe; she' is crowned with 
turrets, to denote the very numerous cities of 
which she is the mother. In her right hand 
she holds a scorpion, and in her left the wand 
of divinity, by which she claims universal 
power, as the "Boimtiful queen of the world." 

TE.POT.XX in field, S.C. Fortune standing. 

DIVA . FAVSTINA . Draped bust of Empress, hair decorated 
with pearls. 


AETERNITAS . A robed female standing, holding a floating veil 
over her head. In her right hand she supports 
a globe. 

CONCOEDIA . The Emperor and Empress joining hands. 

AVGVSTA . The Empress veiled, and holding in her right hand 
the wand of divinity. 

As foregoing, but with the addition of a torch in one hand. 

AETEENITAS . Veiled female, holding an orb, and a long rudder. 

FAVSTINA. AVGVSTA. Draped bust, of Fortuna. 

DIANA . LVCIF . Diana standing with long torch. Diana is here 
represented in her capacity of Genetyllis. 

A.D. 180 to A.D. 192. 
M - AVEEL : COMOD (sic). AVG. Youthful bust of Comniodus 
laureated, beardless. 

TR . P . VI . IMP . II . COS .P.P. Ceres seated. 

M . COMM . ANT . AVG . P . BEIT . FEL . Laureated and bearded 
head of Commodus, who here takes the name 
of Britannicus. 

FOET . EED . IMP . T E . P . VII . COS . COS .P.P. Fortune seated 
with attributes. 

APOL . MONET . P . M . TE . P . XV . COS . VI . ApoHo leaning in an 
easy and graceful attitude, on a column. 


SEVEEUS. A.D. 193 to 211, 
SEVERVS . AVG . PAET . MAX . Bearded and laureated head of 

PAET . ARAB . PART . ADIAB . Two captives in oriental garb 
seated at the foot of a trophy. The device here 
alludes to the successes of Severus, a.d. 195, 
when he crossed the Euphrates to chastise the 
Osrhoeni, Adiabeni, and Arabians. He ob- 
tained some success over the Parthians, but 
apparently not in open warfare, since he could 
not assume the title of Parthicus, which, oddly 
enough, occurs three times on this coin. 

S . P . Q . E . Emperor on horseback. 

ADVENTVI . AVG- . FELICISSIMO . The Emperor on horseback, 
with right hand raised. Struck to record the 
Emperor's return to Eome, a.d. 196. 

EOETVNI . EEDVCI . Draped female figure standing with cornu- 
copia and olive branch. 

MONETA . AVG- . Female standing with cornucopia and balance. 
The silver coins were struck in the temple of 
Juno Moneta, hence the device. 

PM TE . P . Ill . COS . II . P . P . Jupiter marching with attributes. 

P . M . TE . P . XVII . COSH .P.P. The Emperor standing with 
spear and shield. (This is a Eoman forgery). 

SECVEITAS . Security personified. 

VICT . AVG . COS . II . P . P . Victory marching. 


EESTITVTOE . VEBIS . The Emperor standing sacrificing. The 
compliment conveyed in this reverse was well 
merited by this Emperor. He found an ex- 
hausted exchequer, yet he left behind him 
more money than any of his predecessors, and 
left the Empire strong and lasting to his sons. 

VIETVS . AVG . COS . Ill . P . P . Armed male figure. 
VOTA. Emperor sacrificing. 

DIVO . SEVEEO . PIO . Bare head of Severus. 

COJSrSECEATIO . A magnificent rogus, on the top of which is 
seen a laurel crown. 



IVLIA . AVGVSTA . Profile of the Empress. The hair is curiously 
braided, brought over the ears and turned up 
at the back of the head. 

CONCOEDIA . Seated with cornucopia and patera. 

DIANA . LVCIFEEA . Diana Lucifera standing holding a long 
torch. In the field the moon in crescent. 

As foregoing, but without the moon. 

HILAEITAS . Draped standing female figure, holding cornucopia 
and palm branch. 

MATEI . CASTEOEVM . Veiled female standing before an altar, 
with a censer in the left, and a patera in the 
right hand. Opposite the altar, two military 

PVDICITIA. An elegant female figure, veiled and seated. 


PONTIF . TE . P. X . COS . II . The Emperor standing : at his feet 
are three captives. 

LATEITIA . PVBL . Fortune standing with attributes. The device 
on this coin appears to record the general 
rejoicings which tooli place on the passing of 
an Edict of Antoninus Caracalla, which con- 
ferred on aU the free inhabitants of the Empire. 
"The name and privileges of Eoman Citizens." 
Gibbon's Decline, vol 1., pp. 205-214. 

MAES.VICTOE. Mars marching with spear and trophy. 

P . M . TE . P . XVIII . CO . IIII .P.P. Aesculapius standing holding 
the mystic staff and serpent, at his feet a 

VEKVS . VICTEIX . Venus Victrix marching. 

A. D. 211 TO 212. 

P. SEPT. GETA. CAES. PONT. Youthful, unlaureated head of 
Geta. shoulders draped with paludamentum. 

FELICITAS . P"\T3LICA . Felicity, personified by a female standing 
and holding a cornucopia and caduceus. This 
reverse was probably struck upon a reconcilia- 
tion taking place between the brothers. Dio tells 
us that when their dissensions became public 
the senate ordered a sacrifice to the gods, and 
particularly to Concord. 

A. D. 218 TO 222. 
IMP . ANTONINVS . PIVS . AVG . Laureated head of Emperor. 
VICTOEIA . AVG . Victory flying, in her hands a thunderbolt, a 
her feet two shields. In field a star. Struck 
A.D. 218. 

SVMMVS . SACEEDOS . AVG . The Emperor standing by an altar, 
with fire on it. In his right hand he holds a 


patera, in his left a palm branch. In the field 
a star. There are many slight differences in 
the type of this reverse, a favourite device of 
this Emperor, as high priest of the sun. 

FIDES . EXEECITVS . A female figure magnificently robed seated 
holding in her right hand a bird, and in her left 
a laurel crown. 

LIBERTAS . AVG . Liberty standing, holding the freed-man's cap 
and a wand. A star in the field. 

P . M . TR . P . Ill . COS . Ill . P . P . A female standkig, holding a 
cornucopia. At her feet a globe. 

P . M . TE . P . Ill . COS . Ill . P . P . The Sim marching. In his left 
hand he holds a whip. A star in the field. 
This dates a.d. 220, and the device is com- 
plimentary to the Emperor as the high priest 
of that great luminary. 

P . M . TE . P . nil , COSIII .P.P. The sun marching. 

SVMMVS . SACEEDOS. The Emperor sacrificing. A star in the 



IVLIA . SOAEMIAS . Head of this Princess. The hair neatly 
dressed and bust closely draped. 

VENTS . C^LESTIS . Venus Cfelestis. Astarte or Urania, in full 
robes, standing. In her right hand she holds 
the apple, and the lance or wand of divinity 
in her left. 

As foregoing. Venus or Astoreth standing, in her right hand an apple, 
and in her left a palm branch. 


VENVS . CAELESTIS . Beautiful figuie of Venus Urania, magni- 
ficently attired, seated on a throne, holding 
the wand of divinity and the apple, which a 
naked Cupid is catching at. 


(geandmothee of elagaeolus.) 

IVLIA . MAESA . AVa. Profile of Empress. The hair neatly 

gathered into plait behind. 
FOEIVNA . EEDVX . Female figure seated with attributes of 

IVNO . Juno standing with her peacock. 

PIETAS . AVG- . Jidia Maesa in full robes, standing before an 
altar, from which fire ascends. This lady was 
a Priestess of the sn.n at Emesa, and was called 
Maesa ; Mese in the Syro-Plrcenician language, 
meaning sun. 

SAECVLI . FELICITAS . The Empress standing at an altar, hold- 
ing in her right hand a patera, in her left a 
long caduceus. On her head is a chaplet. In 
the field a star, having direct reference to her 
office of Priestess. 


A.D. 222 to A,D. 235. 
IMP . M . AVE . SEV . ALEXANDER . AVG . Laureated head of 

Alexander Severus. 
ANNONA . AVG . Ceres standing with cornucopia and ears of 


AEQVITAS . AVG . A robed female standing, holding a balance 
in the right hand, and a cornucopia on the 
left arm. The scales, that natural emblem of 
justice, are used by Persius to express the 
decision of right and wrong. 

FIDES . MILITVM . A female, standing and holding two standards. 


10 VI . VLTOEI . Noble figure of Jupiter, the avenger seated, hold- 
ing in his right hand victory, in his left the hasta. 

LIBERALITAS . AVG- . Liberty standing, a holding cornucopia and 
a tessera. Minted a.d.. 222. 

MAES . VLTOR . Mars marching, with spear and shield. 

P . M . TE . P . COS . The Emperor seated on a chair, and holding 
the sacred patera. 

P.M. TE . P . COS . Hygeia seated, feeding a serpent out of a 

P.M. TE . P . COS . Mars holding the hasta pui'a and an olive 

P . M . TE . P . V . COS . II . P . P . Ceres standing sacrificing at an 

P . ]\I . TE . P . VI . COS . II . P . P . Equity standing with attributes 

P. M.TR. P. VIII. COS. III. P. P. Mars marching with spear 
and shield. 

P . M . TR . P . X . COS . AVG . ApoUo standing, holding a globe. 

PEOVIDENTIA . AVG . Ceres standing with her attributes, before 

an altar. 
SPES . PVBLICA . Hope personified, in her right hand is a lotus 

flower, whilst she holds back her robe with the 


VICTOEIA . AVG . Victory marching. This device alludes to the 
Emperor's victory over Artaxerxes, king of 

VIRTVS.AVG. The Emperor standing, his right foot raised. In 
his right hand he holds a globe, and in his left 
the hasta. 


lOVI . PEOPVGN-ATOEI . Jupiter. 

MARTI . PACIFERO . Mars standing, holding in his right hand an 
olive branch, and in his left the hasta. 

SALL . BAEBIA . OEBIAISrA . AVG . Bust of the Empress, with the 
hair closely and elaborately dressed. 

CONCOEDIA . AVGG- . A stately female figure seated on a throne, 
with patera in her right hand, and supporting a 
double cornucopia on her left arm. 

JULIA MAMAEA, a.d. 235. 
IVLIA . ]\'IAMAEA . AVG . The Empress with her hair neatly dres- 
sed and bound ' an anaderaa. 

FELICITAS . PVBLICA . Female figure in elegant attire, seated, 
with a caducous in one hand, typical of celestial 
benefits, and in the other a cornucopia sym- 
bolical of earthly enjoyment. 

VEKEEI . FELICI . Mamaea attired as Venus : in her right hand 
she holds the rod of divinity, whilst on her 
left arm she supports an infant. 

VESTA. Veiled female supporting a figure, probably the idol which 
was supposed to confer universal rule upon 
those who kept it; and was consequently 
committed to the custody of one vestal only. 

VESTA. The goddess standing, holding the hasta pura and a 


From A.D. 235 to 238. 
IMP . MAXIMINVS . PIVS . AVG . Laureated head of Emperor. 
SALVS . AVGVSTI , Hygeia standing, feeding a serpent out of a 


FIDES . MILITVM . The Emperor standing and holding in each 
hand a military standard. 


A.D. 238 to A.D. 244. 

IMP , GORDIANVS . PIVS . TEL . AVG . Head of Gordian, with 

radiated crown. 
AETERNITATI , AVG . Female figure standing, lifting up the right 
hand ; in the left a globe. 

FEL . TEMP . Draped female, holding long caduceus and cornu- 

LAETITIA . AVG . N . A stolated figure standing, holding in her 
right hand a wreath, in the left a sceptre. 

ROMAE . AETERNAE . Roma Nicephora, seated on a throne, hold- 
ing the hasta pura in the left hand, and the 
figure of victory in her right. This device 
alludes to the eternity promised to Rome by 
all the oracles of antiquity, and echoed by all 
the Latin poets. 

VICTORIA . AETER . A figure of victory, at her feet a captive. 

PHILIP 1st. 

A.D. 243 to A.D. 249. 

IMP.M.IVL.PHILIPPVS. AVG. Head of PhiUp wearing the 
radiated crown. 

ANNOISTA . AVGG . Anuoua standing with cornucopiae. This re- 
verse records the donation of grain given by 
tlie Emperor and his son, A.D. 247. Of these 
devices there appears to have been Abundan- 
tia, a profuse giver of all things at all times. 
Copia, who seems to have been restricted to 
provisions, and Armona to the management of 
the sup])ly for the current year. 


FIDES . EXERCITVS. Four legionary standards. The standards 
represent the four divisions of the legions. The 
Velites. Hastati. Principes and Triarii. 

FIDES . MILITVM. A female, supporting two legionary standards. 

lOVI . COISrSERVAT. Jupiter holding in his right hand a sceptre 
and in his left a spear. 

SAECVLAEES . AVGG . A cippus inscribed COS . III. This coin 
was struck in the third Consulship of Philip 
A.D. 248, in which j^ear he celebrated the 
Secular Games, in honour of the completion of 
the lOOO'th anniversary of Eome. 

Same legend. A stag. In the exergue, 01. 

VICTOEIA . AVG. Victory marching, holding a laurel crown in 
her right, and a spear in her left hand. 

Same legend. Victory marching, holding laurel crown and palm 




PIETAS . AVG . IsT. Figure of a female, with an infant, standing. 

PIETAS . AVGVSTAE. Piety personified, standing. 


A.D. 237 to A.D. 249. 

M . IVL . PHILIPPVS . CAES. Youthful head of the younger Philip 

PEINCIPI . IWENTVTIS. The young Prince habited in a camp 
dress holding a globe in his right hand, and 
the hasta pura in his left. This distinction was 



often the reward of merit, and at all times 3 
badge of honour, as well as a symbol of 
avithority. Marcellus is described by Virgil as 
" pur^ juvenis qui nititur hasta." 


A.D. 249 to 251. 

IMP . C . M . Q . TEAIANVS . DECIVS . AVG . Bust of the Emperor 
crowned. The brow is wrinkled, and the face 
indicative of age. 

GENIVS . EXEEC . ILLYEICANI . A naked genius standing, 
holding a patera in the right hand, and a cor- 
nucopia on the left arm ; behind him is a 
military standard. This coin was struck 249, 
to shew that Decius justly enough ascribed his 
advancement to the Illyrican army ; " a mili- 
tibus Illyricianis Imperator factus, ab Senatu 
Augustus appellatus est." 


Two stolated and veiled females standing in the 
middle of the field, the one holding a sceptre, 
and the other a military standard. This inter- 
esting device illustrates the ancient divisions 
of the Province into superior and inferior; the 
separation being made by the river Arabo. 
One of the divisions is called Pannonia prima 
and the other Pannonia secunda, which by the 
standard is shown to have been garrisoned. 



HEE . ETEVSCILLA . AVG . Profile bust of Empress, with her 
hair elaborately dressed, and wearing a diadem. 

PVDICITIA . AVG . A robed female seated; in her left hand she 
holds a long sceptre, and with her right she 
lifts the flammeum, or bridal veil, which covers 
her head. Chastity was a virtue highly prized 
by the Eomans. 


■,:. . -',: :. '. ■ GALLUS. 

'■ "■ A.D. 251 to A.D. 254, 

IMP . CAES . C . VIB . TEEB . GALLVS . AVG- . Head of GaUus with 
short hair and beard, wearing the radiated 

SALVS . AVGG . Hygeia richly attired feeding a serpent out of a 
patera. The malady which probably gave 
occasion for the striking of this medal seems 
to be that disease which travelled from Ethi- 
opia, and is said to have raged for fifteen 
years, destroying incredible numbers of people, 
so that the altars of the gods were earnestly 
resorted to, and each particular one was 
invoked to arrest the plague. From the 

, AVGG, for Augustorum, it is clear that his 

son, Volusian, was reigning at this period as 
joint Emperor. 



A.D. 251 to 254 

IMP . C . C . VIB . VOLVSIANVS . AVG . Crowned head of Volu- 
sian with close-cut hair and whiskers on the 
side of face only. 

VIETVS . AVG . Volusian standing with spear and shield. This 
was minted on the occasion of the father and 
son's magnificent entry into Eome, and was 
intended to shew that they obtained the throne 
by valour, and not by treachery. 


A.D. 254 TO 260. 

VALEEIAISrVS .P.P. AVG . Crowned head of Valerian, with hair 
cut short ; the face is fat, and neck thick, and 
shoiUders draped. 


OKIENS . AVGG . Figure of Apollo walking, his head radiated, 
his right hand raised in command, his 
garments floating behind him. This device 
was, probably, minted with a view to appease 
" the lord of the silver bow, ' so that the 
disease (mentioned in the description of No. 1 
Gallus), may be stayed. Whence Shakespeare : 

"Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves 
Do strike at my injustice." 

PIETAS . Pontifical implements. 

VIETVS . AVGG . Two military figures standing. This device was 
struck in honour of his valour and probity ; 
and certainly none deserved it better. 


A.D. 260 TO A.D. 268. 

G-ALLIENVS . AVG . Crowned bust of Gallienus. 

DIANAE . CONS . AVG. A stag standing in the exergue IX. 
Besides the stag, which was sacred to Diana, 
there appears a great many other animals on 
the coins of Gallienus, as the lion, panther, 
wolf, bull, goat, boar, hippocampus ; there are 
also the eagle, ibis, and stork, and the mon- 
sters, centaur, griffin, Capricorn, &c. These 
were all sacred to the tutular deities, to whom 
Gallienus offered so many supplications, that 
he obtained the title of " Conservator Pietatis." 

FELICITAS . TEMP . A female figure standing. From history it 
would appear that his chief happiness consisted 
in gluttony. 

FOETVNA . AVG . Fortune standing with rudder placed on a 
globe, and other attributes. 

VIETVS . AVG . A soldier holding a shield in his right hand, and 
in his left a spear. 




SALONIKA . AVG- . Head of Salonina, with hair neatly dressed 

and wearing a diadem. 
FECVKDITAS . AVG . Elegant figure of the Empress, standing, 

holding a cornucopia, at her feet a child. In 

the field, L. 

IVNO . REG-INA . A veiled female standing, with the sacred virga 
in her left hand, and a patera in her right. 
This is in compliment to an Empress, " moribus 
Sanctis," as a mark of decorum and decency. 


A.D. 253 TO A.D. 259. 

P . C . L . VALERIAJSrVS . NOB . CAES . An interesting head of the 
youthful Prince crowned. 

PRINCIPI . IWENT . A young warrior bare-headed, standing in 
a graceful attitude, on his right hand he sup- 
ports a globe, whilst in his left he holds a 
spear with its point to the ground; the first 
shewing the world ruled, and the other that 
arms were ready against such as disturb the 
public peace. 

POSTUMUS. (In BiUon.) 

A.D. 258 TO A.D. 267. 

IMP . C . POSTVMVS . P . P . V . G . Fine profile of Postumus, head 

crowned, and bust draped. 
HEEC . DEVSONIENSI . Spirited figure of Hercules standing naked, 

with club and lion's skin. 

PAX . AVG . Peace standing. In the field, O . 

IMP . POSTVMVS .P.P. AVG . Head of Postumus. 

LAETITIA . A galley. In the exergue, S . C . This device records 
the rejoicing which took place on his German 



A.D. 266 TO 267. 
IMP . C . VICTOKINVS . P . F . AVG . Profile of Victorinus, with a 
full beard, shoulders draped, and head crowned. 
INVICTVS . The sun marching. This invincible man was mur- 
dered after a reign of only two years. 

PAX . AVG . Peace standiag with olive branch and spear. 

PAX . AVG . Peace standing with the olive branch and spear. 

PIETAS . AVG . A female figure standing. Minted to record 
his sacrifices to the gods on attaining to the 
sovereign power. 

VIETVS . AVG . A soldier standing, holding in his right hand a 
shield, in his left a spear. 


A.D. 267 TO 272. 


IMP.PES.TETPJCVS.P.r.AVG. Crowned head of Tetricus, 

with flowing beard. 
Legend on reverse defaced. Female figure standing. 

HILAEITAS . AVGG . A female figure standing, with cornucopia 
and palm branch. This device indicative of 
general joy, with peace and plenty, would from 
the letter G being doubled indicating two 
Emperors, be intended, no doubt, to record the 
general rejoicings which took place upon the 
younger Tetricaus being elected Augustus 
with his father. 

A.D. 364 TO A.D. 378. 
D . N .VALENS . P . F . AVG . Draped profile bust of Valens, wearing 
a diadem. 


EESTITVTOE.KEIPVBLICAE. The Emperor standing, holding in 
his right hand the labarum, whilst his left 
supports a winged victory towards which he 
is looking. In the exergue, TES. 

SALVS . EEIP . The Emperor standing in a military habit, hold- 
ing the standard of the cross, and a victory 
standing on a globe, his right foot is placed upon 
a kneeling captive. Two stars in the field. In the 
exergue, SMTES . 

VEBS . EOMA . Eome personified seated, holding in her right hand 
victory, in her left the hasta pura. In the 
exergue TE . PS. 

GLQEIA . EOMANOEVM . A military figure holding in his left 
hand the labarum, and dragging a captive by 
his hair. In the exergue, P . COIST . 


A.D. 375 TO A,D. 383. 
D.N. GEATIANTS .P.P. AVG . Bust of Gratian, wearing a dia- 
dem, and draped with paludamentum. 

GLOEIA . NO VI . SAECLI . (Sic.) The Emperor with the labarum 
and resting his hand on a shield. In the 
exergue, P . CON . 

VIETVS . EOMANOEVM . The Emperor seated in a chair of state 
holding in his right hand a globe, significant of 
universal power, and in his left, the hasta pura, 
emblematical of mercy. In the exergue, TE.P.S. 

VEBS . EOMA . Eome seated, holding a victory. In exergue, T. E . PS. 



1st BEASS. 

B.C. 106 TO B.C. 48. 
MGN. Double head of Janus. Eeverse ; prow of ship. Above 
PIVS. Below IMP. 

2nd BEASS. 

B.C. 48 TO A.D. 14. 

AVGVSTVS . TEIBVmC . POTEST . Within a garland. C.N. 
PISO.C.lSr.F.E.A.A.A.F.F. Signifying, 
ex-Auro, Argento, Aere, Flando Feriundo. In 
the centre an archaic S . C . Cneius Piso was 
Consul under Augustus. 

AVGVSTVS . Bare head of Augustus. Eeverse ; an eagle with 
expanded wings, standing on a globe. In 
field, S . C. 

AYGVST . PONT . MAX . TEIBVNIC . PO. Bare head of Augustus. 
M . MAECILIVS . TVLLVS . Ill . VIE . A . A . A . E . F . In the centre 
of the field, S . C. 

DIVVS . AVGVSTVS . PATEE . Eadiated head of Augustus . S . C . 
A veiled female seated. 

1st BEASS. 

B.C. 38 TO A.D. 38. 


TI . CLAVDIVS . CAESAE . AVG . P . M . TE . P . IMP. Male figure 
standing between the letters S . C. 


1st BEASS. 

B.C. 15 TO A.D. 19. 

GEEMANICVS . CAESAE . TI . AVG . F . DIVI . AVG . Bare head 

of Germanicvs. 

In centre, S . C. 

1st BEASS. 

A.D. 41 TO A.D. 54. 

head of Claudius. Behind the head a counter- 
mark, (countermarks are often seen on Eoman 
coins, and were used to render them current 
in other states.) 

EX . S . C . OB . GIVES . SEEVATOS . Inscribed within in an oaken 
garland. This honour appears to have been 
awarded to Claudius for his recalling those 
who had been banished by Caligula without 
sufficient cause. 

2nd BPuASS. 
TI . CLAVDIVS . CAESAE . AVG . TE . P . P . Bare head of 

LIBEETVS . AVGVSTA . Liberty personified, holding the freed- 
man's cap in her right hand. In field, S . C. 

3rd BEASS. 
TI . CLAVDIVS . CASESAE . AVG . An altar. 
IMP . COS . DES . II . PON . M . TE . P . In centre of field, S . C. 

1st BEASS. 



Laureated head of Nero. 
EOMA . In exergue, S . C . In field, a galeated female of majestic 
aspect; intended to represent Eome. 


2nd BEASS. 
NERO . CESAR . (Sic) AVG . GERM . IMP . Laiireated head of 

PACE . P . E . VBIQ . PARTA . lANVM . CLVSIT . The temple 

of Janus, with closed doors. In the field, S . C . 

1st BRASS. 

IMP . CAES .VESPASIAN . AVG . PM . TR . P . PP . COS . Ill . The 
head of the Emperor laureated. The stern and 
fixed features of Vespasian are strongly marked. 

IVDAEA . CARTA . The Emperor standing : in his right hand a 
spear ; his right foot on a helmet : in the 
centre of the device stands a palm tree ; at 
the foot of which is seated in an attitude of 
grief, a weeping female. In the exergue, S. C_ 
Perhaps to us this coin, the Judea Capta 
of Vespasian, is one of the most interestiag, 
and serves to show how vividly single facts in 
history are proved by the devices on coins. 
There are several varieties of this particular 
type, all are of universal interest, relating as 
they do to the destruction of the Holy City 
Jerusalem and the conquest of Judea by Titus 
the son of Vespasian, the theme of so much 
thought and of so much song. All these coins 
bear on the reverse a Palm tree, the distinguis- 
ing product of the country. Some like the 
present have the Emperor and sedent female 
figure, others the fettered Jewish Chief Simon 
and under the palm tree sits a weeping and 
downcast Jewish Maiden with an expression 
of unutterable woe. Simon held out against 
the power of Rome with great obstinacy, and the 
city was only ceded bit by bit, the Jews retiring 
within the second and third wall only as their 
numbers were so thinned by slaughter that^ 
they could not longer defend the larger space. 


2nd EEASS. 
IMP . VESPASIAN . AUG . COS . Ill . Laureated head of Vespasian. 
S. C. An eagle with expanded wings. 


1st BEASS. 

IMP . CAES . DOMITIAN. AVG . GEEM . COS . XI . Laureated head. 

lOVI . CONSEEVAT. Jupiter standing between the letters S . C . 

In his right hand a thunderbolt ; in the left 

a lance. 


2nd BEASS. 

IMP . CAESAE . DOMIT . AVG . GEEM . COS . XV. Laureated head 

of Domitian. 
FOETVNA. A female standing in an easy and very graceful attitude. 
In field, S.C. 

As above COS . XXI. 

MONETA . AVGVSTI . Equity standing with balance and cornu- 
copia. In field, S.C. 


2nd BEASS. 


Laureated profile of the Emperor. 
AVGVST . In the field, S.C. A female standing, holding a 

1st BEASS. 
IMP . CAES . NEEVA . TEAIANO . AVG . GEE . D AC . P . M . T . E . 
P . COS . V . P . P . Fine laureated profile bust of 
Trajan. This coin is in fine preservation, and 
covered with light green patina. 
S . P . Q . E . OPTIMO , PEINCIPI . In the exergue, S.C. 


Legend on obverse and reverse as foregoing, Ceres standing before 
an altar holding in her right hand ears of corn, 
and in her left the hasta puia. 

EOMAE AETEEKAE. A dignified female figure, wearing helmet 
and armotir, is seated on a pile of arms ; in her 
left hand she holds the hasta pura, whilst her 
right supports a winged victory. In the field, S.C. 

S . P . Q . E . OPTIMO . PEINCIPI . In ex. S.C. The Emperor on 
a richly-caparisoned horse, darting a javelin 
at a prostrate foe, who by his trousers is known 
to represent a T)acian. A coin of this type 
Avas found emloedded in the mortar of that 
portion of wall still standing at Wroxeter. The 
date of minting was in the Fifth Considship 
of Trajan, which corresponds with A.D. 105. 

2nd BEASS. 
i:\IP . NEEVA . CAES . TEAIAK . AVG . GEE . Crowned or radiated 

head of Emperor. 
TE . P . Female, seated on Curule chair, composed of a double 

cornucopia. In exergue, S.C. 


1st BEASS. 

IMP . CAES . TEAIAN . HADEI . P . M . TE . P . COS . Lameated 

head of Hadrian. 
EESTITVTOEI . OEBIS . TEEEAEVM . The Emperor raising up 
a prostrate female. In exergue, S.C. 

HADEIAISrVS . AVGVSTVS . Laureated head of Emperor. 
COS. III. A female figure, standing in a graceful attitude, holding 
the hasta pura. 

2nd BEASS. 
HxiDEIANVS . AVGVSTVS . Laureated head of Hadrian. 
FELICITATI . AVG . COS . ITT .P.P. A galley with the Gubernator 
ami six rowers. 


ANTONINYS . AVG . PIVS . P . P . TR . P . COS . Ill . Laiireated 
head of Emperor. 

1st BEASS. 

ANTONINVS . AUG . In exergue, COS . IIII . Stolated female 
figure standing. Between the letters, S . C . In 
her right hand the caduceus. In her left an 
olive branch. 

EOMAE.ATEENAE. In field, S.C. A dignified female, with 
helmet and military vestments, seated in a com- 
manding attitude on a pile of armour ; her left 
hand holds the hasta pura, on her right she 
supports a winged victory, which presents a 
laurel wreath to the " Eternal IMistress." 

Legend obliterated. Laureated head of Antoninus Pivs. 
TE.POT.XX. Infield, S.C. Fortune personified. 

2nd BEASS. 

ANTONINVS . AVCt . PIVS . P . P . TE . P . COS . HIT . Head of 

GENIO . SEJSTATVS. Figure of Genius standing between the letters 

S.C. In his right hand a laurel wreath ; in 

his left a sceptre. 

ANTONINVS . AVG . PIVS .P.P. TEP . The wolf suckhng Eomulus 
and Eemus. 

1st BEASS. 


DIVA . FAVSTIlSrA . Head of Empress, with the hair magnificently 

decorated with pearls. 
AVGVSTA. Ceres standing holding a torch and ears of corn. In 

the field, S.C. 



1st BRASS. 

AVRELIVS . CAESAR . ANTON . AVG . PII . E . Bare head of 

TR . POT . X . COS . Ill . Minerva standing. 



FAVSTINA . AVG . PII . AVG . FILIA . Beautiful head of Eavstina 

VENEEI . GENETEICI . The Empress standing half dressed. In 

field, S . C . 


IMP. C.M.AVR.ANTONIN^^S. PONT. AVG. Extremely fine 

head of CaracaUa, laureated. 
SECVRITAS . PUBLICA . Security personified. 

IMP . C A.ES . M . AVR . ANT . AVG . P . TE . P . II . Laureated bust. 
SPES . PVBLICA. Hope walking, (off?) 

SALVS . ANTONINI . AVG . Hygeia standing feeding a serpent out 
of a petera. 


GALLIENVS . AVGG . Head of Emperor crowned. 
DIANAE . CONS . A stag. 

LIBERO . P . CONS . AVG . A panther. In exergue, E , 


Reverse imperfect, figure standing. 


SALVS . AVG- . Hygeia standing feeding a serpent out of a patera. 
Struck to propitiate tire gods during tlie 
Emperor's illness. 

SALVS . AVG . Hope walking, holding in her right hand a flower 
whilst her left is employed to hold up her robes, 
so as not to impede her onward progress. This 
elegant device of Hope appears to have been 
a great favourite, as it is found on the coins 
of many of the Eoman emperors. 

VBEETTAS . AVGG- . A female standing, holding a cornucopia and 
a purse. 

VICTOEIA . AVG . Victory marching. 


A.D. 267 TO A.D. 272. 

C . PIVEVS . TET . CAES . Crowned head of the younger Tetricus. 

Youthful countenance. 
SEES . AVG . Hope walking. 

CLAUDIUS II. (Gothicus.) 

A.D. 268 TO A.D. 270. 

IMP . CLAVDIVS . AVG . A^ery characteristic head of Emperor 
wearing the radiated crown. 

CONSEEVAT . AVG . The Emperor standing armed, in his right 
hand he holds a figure of victory. This device 
was, probably, meant to record his victory 
over the Goths, Avhence his surname. 

lOVI . COITSEEVAT . Jupiter standing with attributes 

VBEEITAS . AVG . Eemale, standing v/ith cornucopia. 

VIETVS . AVG . Female figure standing 


VIETVS . A.VG- . A soldier ; in his right hand a laurel branch, in 
his left a spear, at his feet a shield. 

VIETVS . AVG . A soldier walking ; in his right hand a spear, and 
carrying a trophy over his left shoulder. 

CONCOK . AVG- . Two veiled women, each holding a torch, and 
ears of corn. 


A. D. 275. 

IMP . C . M . CL . TACITVS . AVG . Crowned bust of Tacitus. 
CLEMTIA . (Sic.) AVG . Mars Pacifer marching. In the exergue, 

TEMPORVM . FELICITAS . Felicity standing with cornucopia 
and long caduceus. In the field, A.A. 

A.D. 287 TO A.D. 293. 

ADVEXTVS . AVG . The Emperor on horseback ; his right hand 
raised holding a globe. In the exergue, M . L . 

COiSrCOED . AVGG . Two figures joining hands. In the exergue, C . 
This device probably alludes to the acknow- 
ledgment of his title by Maximian, when the 
wily admiral by depriving him of his fleet had 
put it out of his power to punish hini. 

DINE . (Sic.) CONS . A stag. In the exergue, XX . 

EIDES . MILITVM . A woman holding two standards. 

LAETITIA . AVG . Female standing with ears of corn. In the 
field, S . P . 

LEG . II . AVG . Capricorn. lu the exergue, M . L . 


MAES . Mars marcliing;. 

OEIENS . AVG,. Sun marching, with whip. 

PAX . AVG . Female standing with olive branch and hasta. In 
exergue, M . L . 

Same legend. Peace personified. In field, P . 

Same legend. — Peace standing witli olive branch. 

PAX . AVG . Female draped ; in her left hand an olive branch, 
and in her right a spear. In the field, S . P . 

Same legend.— Female standing between the letters, S . P . In the 
exergue, MLXXI. 

PROVIDENTIA . A female figure standing holding in her right 
hand a globe, and in her left a spear. In the 
field, E . E. 

IMP . CAEAVSIVS . P . F . AVG . A Full faced bust of Carausius, 
bare headed ; the hair cut square across the 

SALVS . AVG , A female figure holding the hasta pura, standing 
by an altar feeduig a snake. 

The history of this fine and unique coin is as 
follows. It was found, years ago, at Wroxeter ; 
and presented to Mr. Eoach Smith, F.S.A., 
who engraved it for the second volume of his 
" Collectanea Antiqua," (from which the fol- 
lowing account is given) ; and subsequently it 
was ceded with his London Collection to the 
British Museum, where it now is. 

"It is the portrait which gives value to tliis 
remarkable piece. The gold, silver and brass 
coins of Carausius have uniformly a profile ; 

,•' and in no instance, save in this specimen, is 



the head bare. It is either laureated, or hel- 
meted, or radiated. Upon contemporary coins 
moreover it was not the practice to give a 
front face ; and the exceptions are few. This 
fact coupled with that of the superior work- 
manship of our new specimen, suggests a 
belief that the portrait is the result of a care- 
ful and successful attempt by the artist to 
produce a portrait. Those who are familiar with 
the portraits of Carausius in the better preserved 
specimens, will recognise in the front face the 
peculiar character of the former with an expres- 
sion of countenance indicative of decision and 
benignity which the side face does not always 

A.D. 296. 

niT . ALLECTVS . P . F . AVG . Laureated head of AEectus. The 

shoulders draped. 
FIDES . MILITVM . A female figure standing and holding an 

ensign in each hand. In the field, S . P . In 

exergue, C . 

Same legend. — C . L . in the exergue. 

10 VI . COiN^SEEVATOPJ . Jupiter standing holding the hasta and 
a thunderbolt. In the field, S . P . 

LAETITIA . AVG . A woman standing, holding in her right hand 
a branch, and in her left a javelin. In the 
field, C. 

PAX . AVG . Peace standing, holding a flower in her right hand 
and the hasta pura in her left. In the field, 
S . P In exergue, C , 


PEOVIDENTIA . AVG . Female standing, holding a globe and 
hasta pura. In field, S . P . In exergue, C. 

VIETVS . AVG . A gaUey. In exergue, S . C . 

CONSTANTIUS 1st, {Ghlonis) 
A.D. 305 TO 306. 
CONSTANTIVS . NOB . CAES . Head of Constantius. 
standing between two ensigns, A . Q . P . In 

FOETVNAE . EEDVCI . AVGG . NN . Fortune standing. In field, 

B. and a star. In exergue, TE. 

GENIO . POPVLI . EOMAjSTI . Figure standing at an altar ; right 
hand holding patera, left cornucopia. 

GENIO . POPVLI . EOMANI . Genius standing with his attributes. 

GLOEIA . EXEECITVS . A military ensign between two soldiers 
with spears and shields. In exergue, PLC . 

HEEGVLI . VICTOEI . Hercules, standing ; his right hand on his 
club, his left holding the apples of Hesperides, 
the lion's skin thrown over his arm. In field, 
VI . In exergue, SIS . . 

10 VI . COXSEEVAT . Jupiter standing, holding a victory on a 
globe, and the hasta pura. In field, VI. In 

exergue, SIS . B . 

10 VI . CONSEEVATOEI . A similar type. At the foot of Jupiter 
an eagle. In field, Z . In exergue, S M K . 

VIETVS . AVGG . ET . CAESS . N . N . The Emperor on horseback 
riding over two prostrate figures. In exergue, 
Q . S. 


PIETAS . AVG . The Emperor raising up a woman, who kneels 
at his feet. In field, G. In exergue, P . TE. 

ViSTDIQUE . VICTOEES . The Emperor standing in a military habit, 
holding a victory and a spear. In field, B . 


BOEN 248, DIED 328. 

FL . HELENA . AVGVSTA. Head of Empress. 

PIETAS . AVGVSTAE . Female figure with two chHdren. 

PEOVIDEISTTIA . AVGG . The Prcetorian Camp. 

A.D. 308 TO 313. 

IMP.MAXIMINTS.P.F.AVG. Youthful head of Maximus, 

laureated, shoulders draped. 
GENIO . CAESAEIS . Genius standing holding a patera and 

cornucopia. In field, a star and A . In exergue, 

SM . TS. 

CONCOED . IMPEEII . Female holding hasta pura. In field, VI. 
In exergue, SIS . V . 

GENIO . POP . EOM . Genius standing holding a patera and cor- 
nucopia. In field, T . F . In exergue, S . TE . 

VIETVS , EXEECITVS . A military figure marching, with trophy 
In field, a star and A . In exergue, ANT . 

A.D. 307 TO A.D. 324. 
IMP . LICINIVS . P . F . AVG . Laureated head of Licinius. 
GENIO . POP . EOM . Genius personified. In exergue, VTE . 

URicomuM. 443 

SOLI.mVICTO.COMITI. The sun marching. In the exergue, 
SVE . L . Others with PLN . in exergue. 


A.D. 306 TO A.D. 337. 
ADVENTVS.AVG.N". The Emperor on horseback, before him a 
captive, seated on the ground. A star in tire 

field. In exergue, PLN. 

GENIO . AVGVSTI . Genius standing, holding a patera and a 
cornucopia. In the field, a crescent and A . 
In exergue, SIS . 

GENIO . CAESAPJS . A simUar type. In field, KA . F. In exergue, 

TEMPOEVM . FELICITAS. EeHcity standing. In exergue, P. L. C. 

VIETVS . PEEPETVA . AVG . Hercules strangling the Nemasan 

lion, his club on the ground. In exergue, P. T . 

PEINCIPI . IVVENTVTIS . The Emperor standing laureated, as 
Prince of the Eoman youth, holding two 
standards. In field, S . A . In exergue, P. T . E . 

GLOEIA . EXEECITVS . Before two soldiers stand two military 
standards ; others with A . S . TES . Various 

Same legend, but with laurel crown between the standards. In 
exergue, P . CONST . 

GENIO . POPVLI . EOMANI . Figure standing, holding a patera 
and cornucopia. In exergue, SMAE. 

FELICITAS . TEMP . EEPAEATIO . A military figure on horse- 
back, about to cast a javelin at a prostrate foe. 

SOLI . INVICTO . COMITI . Apollo standing. In the field, T . F 
In exergue PLN. 


Same legend and device. In exergue, Q . AEL . Others with A. F . 

TES.PLON.S.P. and various letters, in the 
field and exenjue. 

GLOEIA . EEIPVBLICAE . A winged victory marching with palm 
branch. In exergue, SEAQ . 

GLOEIA . EXEECITVS . Two soldiers standing ; between them is 
the labarum or sacred standard charged with 
the monogram of Christ. In the exergue 
P . CONS . The labarum is described as a 
long pike, intersected by a transverse beam 
from which depended a silken veil charged 
with the sacred syinbol. It is recorded by 
Eusebius that one evening as Constantine was 
meditating on the dangers of his position, he 
implored Divine assistance. It was then, as 
the sun was declining, that there suddenly 
appeared a pillar of light in the heavens, in 
the fashion of a cross with an inscription in 
Greek, " In this oveecojie." 

Such an event caused the greatest astonish- 
ment in the Emperor and his whole army. 
Constantine the day following caused a royal 
standard to be made like that he had seen 
in the heavens, and commanded it to be 
carried before him In his wars, as an ensign 
of victory and celestial protection. He then 
embraced Christianity and made a public 
avowal of that sacred persuasion. The same 
symbol sanctified the arms of his soldiers, 
the cross glittered on their helmets, was 
engraved on their shields, and interwoven into 
tlieir banners; and the consecrated emblems 
which adorned the person of the Emperor 
himself were distinguished only by richer 
materials and more exquisite workmanship. 


FVNDAT . PACIS . An armed figure bearing a trophy, and dragging 
a captive by tlie hair. In exergue, EP . or ES 
or ET. 

LIBEETAS . PVBLICA . Victory standing on a galley. In field 
B . In exergue, COJSTS . 

MAETI . CONSEEVAT . Mars standing. In exergue, P . TE . 

EEL. TEMP. EEPAEATIO. A soldier standing in a ship; in his 
right hand a globe, in his left a spear, a 
captive kneeling at his feet. 

PEHSrCIPI . IVYENTVTIS . The Emperor standing, holding two 

ensigns. A star in field. In exergue, P . LN 

Same device. In field, S . E . In exergue, P . TE 

PEOVIDENTIA . AVG . An altar supporting a globe inscribed 
VOTIS . XXX . In exergue, P . LON" . 

SOLI . INVICTO . COMITI . Figure standing, holding a globe and 
patera. In field, T . F . Another with P . IN 

Inscribed within a garland VOTIS . XX . In exergue, E . P . 

SAEMATIA.DEVICTA. An armed victory running; in her 
right hand a caduceus, in her left a palm 

SPES . EEIPVBL . The Emperor on horseback, trampling on a 
captive. In exergue, P . LIST . 

VICTOEIA . LAETAE . PEINCPII . (Sic) . Two victories standing 
supporting a shield resting on a cippus, and 
ins cribed OT . P . E . In exergue, S . TE . 

VIETVS . EXEECIT . A magnificent trophy, at the foot of which 
are two captives. This device in all proba- 
bility records the victories of Constantino over 
his rivals Maximinus and Licinius. 


Same legend. A trophy inscribed VOT . XX . at the foot of which 
are two captives seated on the ground. In 
field, E . S . In exergue, P . LC . 

BEATA . TEANQVILITAS . An altar inscribed VOTIS . XX . Upon 

it one large star; above are three small stars. 
In exergue, P . TE . 

Coins inscribed CONSTANXmOPOLIS, &c. 
COlSrSTAlSrTINOPOLIS . Helmeted and armed female bust, with 
hasta pura over her shoulders, intended to 
represent the new city, Constantinople. 
Eeverse. A winged victory marching with spear and shield. In 
the field, a star. In exergue, A . Q . F . 

Another with P . CONS . in the exergue 

Others with TE . P . TE . S . and other letters in exergue. 

POP . EO]\IANA^S . A youthful head laureated. 
CONS . V . and a star within a garland. There are others with CON'S 
B . CONS . T . CONS . E . and other letters. 

POP . EOAIANVS . Shmlar head. 

CONS . C . or E . and other letters. A bridge with towers at the 
ends, restincf on boats. 

VEBS . EOMA . Helmeted head of Eome. 

Without legend. Eomulus and Eemus suckled by the wolf In the 
field, two stars. In the exergue, * P . L . C . 

Others with TAP . TEP* . TES . TSIS . and other letters in the 

D.N. CEISPVS . NOB . CAES . Head of Crispus wearing hehnet. 

BEATA . TEANQVILITAS . A globe charged with three stars and 
placed on a cippus inscribed VOTIS . XX . 
In the exergue, PL . C . Constantine after 
having murdered his son, here wishes him a 
comfortable repose ! 


lOVI . CONSEEVATOEI . CAES . Jupiter standing. In the field 
a garland and E . In exergue, SMK . 

SAECVLI . EELICITAS . A cippus : above a buckler, inscribed 
AVCt . In field, P . E . In exergue, E . Q . 

IVL . CEISPVS . NOB . C . Hebneted bead of Crispus. 
CAESAEVM . NOSTEOEVM . Within a ^^eath VOT . X . In 

exergue, P . T . S . 

Others with P . LOND . and ST . and other letters in exergue. 

VIC . Two victories standing, on either side a cippus holding a 
buckler inscribed OT . P . E . 

VIErS'S . EXEECITVS . Two captives seated at the foot of a 
spear, from which is suspended a square 
standard inscribed VOT . XX . In the exergue 
P . L . N . This device is probably intended 
to record the splendid daring and victory of 
Crispus over Licinius, at Byzantium, when he 
commanded the fleet of Constantine, and after 
two days' fighting forced the passage of the 
Hellespont. In this engagement one hundred 
and thirty vessels were destroyed, and five 
thousand men slain. 

A.D. 335 to 340. 

COISTSTANTINVS . IVIST . NOB . C . Bust of the younger Constantine 
laureated, holding a globe surmounted by a 

BEATA . TEANQVILITAS . An altar, on which stands a globe 
inscribed VOTIS . XX . above, three stars. 

Another with P.LON. in exergue. 


CAESAEVM . NOSTROEVM . A laurel wreath, in which is in- 
scribed VOT . X . In exergue, V . SIS . *** . 

GLOEIA . EXEECITVS . Two soldiers standing, between them are 
two standards. In exergue, P . E . S . Another 
has TE . S . 

Same legend. A wreath between two standards. In exergue, S . 

lOVI . CONSEEVATOEI . CAESS . Jupiter standing, holding a 
victory and the hasta. A captive at his feet. 
In field, B. Constantine the Great embraced 
Christianity a.d. 311, and here, on coins of 
his son struck probably about 335, we see a 
Pagan device. 

VOTA . PVBLICA . Isis standing. 

Same legend. Anubis standing. 

VOT.XV.ET.XI.F.ET. within a laurel garland. 

A.D. 335 to 350. 2nd BEASS. 

D.N". CONSTANS . P . E . AVG . Diademed bust of Constans. 

EEL . TEMP . EEPAEATIO . The Emperor standing on the deck 
of a galley, holding a victory in his right 
hand, and in his left, the labarum charged 
with the monogram of our Saviour; at his 
feet is a larger figure of victory kneeling. In 
the exergue, T . E . S . We here have a Chris- 
tian device, whilst about the same year his 
brother's coins bare Pagan. (See above.) 

Same legend. A male figure in complete armour, at his feet a 
a figure kneeling, behind whom is a tree. 


3rd BEASS. 
FL . CONSTATS . NOB . CAES . Laureated head of Coiistans. 
GLOEIA.EXEECITVS. Two soldiers, between them a standard. 
In exergue, SMNA. 

CONSTANS . P . F . A . V . Diademed head of Emperor. 
Eeverse, no legend. Victory marching. 

EEL . TEMP . EEPAEATIO . A globe surmounted by a Phrenix, 
around whose head is a nimbus. In exergue, 

VICTOEIA . DD . NN . AVGG . Two victories holding laurel crowns. 
In the field, P. On this coin we have both 
legend and device doubled, shewing the associa- 
tion of the two brothers in the event intended 
to be recorded. 


A.D. 335 to A.D. 361. 

F . IVL . CONSTANTIVS . NOB . CAES . Profile bust of Constantius 

wearing diadem. 
FEL . TEMP . EEPAEATIO . A globe, on which stands a Phcenix, 
his head surrounded by a nimbus. In the 
exergue, TE . P . Others, TE . S . in exergue. 

GLOEIA . EXEECITVS . Two soldiers standing, between them 
two military standards. 

GLOEIA . POPVLI . EOMANI . Female figure standing at an altar, 
holding a patera in right hand, and cornu- 
copia on left arm. 

HOC , SIGNO . VICTOE. EEIS . The Emperor in a military habit 
standing, holding in his right hand the 
standard of the cross. Victory placing a gar- 
laud on his head. In field, A. In exergue, 


A. SIS. Another, T . SIS . This remarkable 
device shews that the standard of the cross 
was considered invincible by the Emperors 
who succeeded Constantino the Great, and as 
such, used by them. 
VICTOEIA , AVGG. Victoiy marching with garland and palm 
branch. In iield, monogram of Christ. In 
exergue, B . SIS . * 

A.D. 350 to A.D. 353. 
D . N . FL .aiAGNENTIVS . P . E . AVG . Profile head of Magnentius. 
EEL . TEMP . EEPAEATIO . Magnentius standing on the deck of 
a galley, holding a victory and a spear ; a 
winged genius kneeling at his feet. In the 
field, A . In the exergue, TE . E . 

SALVS.D. AVG.ET.CAES. The monogram of Christ between 
the letters alpha and omega. In the exergue, 

This revei-se alludes to his having created his brother Decentius 
Cffisar, at Milan, a.d. 351. 

VICTOEIA . AVG . LIB . EOMANOE . Magnentius in a military 
habit holding the standard of the cross and a 
laurel branch ; a captive kneeling at his feet. 
In field, N . In the exergue, P . E . 

A.D. 351 to A.D. 353. 
D.N. DECENTIVS . NOB . CAES . Profile bust of Decentius. 
VICTOEIA . AVG . Victory, with garland and palm branch, a captive 
at her feet. 

JULIANUS II. (The Apostate.) 

AD. 360 TO A.D. 373. 
D.N. IVLIANVS .P.P. AVG . Diademed profile head of Emperor. 
SPES . EEIPVBLICAE . A military figure standing, holding a globe 
and spear. In exergue, CONS . A . 


VOTA . PUBLICA . Isis and Osiris, their forms terminating iu 


A.D. 364 TO A.D. 375. 

D.N. VALENTINIAlSrVS .P.P. AVG . Profile bust of Valentinian, 
wearing a diadem. 

GLOEIA . EOMANOEVM . The Emperor standing ; in his left hand 
he holds the labarum, whilst with his right he 
presses down a kneeling captive. In the field, 
Q . and K . In exergue, B . SIS . EV. Other 
reverses have S. CONS. S . MA . T . SIS. P. CON. 
In exergue, F . E . A ., and other letters in the 

SECVEITAS . EEIPVBLICAE. Victory marching with laurel wreath. 
In exergue, S . CON . Another has OE . II . in 
field, another has E. E. P . In exergue, SIS . C. S. 

VICTOEIA . AVGG- . A soldier marching ; in his right hand he 
carries the labarum, whUst his left supports a 
globe. In exergue, S . LVG. 

VOTA . PV . B . The Praetorian Camp, beneath the Porta, . 

VOTA . PVBLICA . Isis seated on a dog, holding the sistrum and 
the hasta. 


A.D. 364 TO A.D. 378. 

D.N. VALENS .P.P. AVG . Head of Valens, crowned with a diadem. 

GLOEIA . EOMANOEVM . A soldier standing ; in his left hand the 

labarum, charged with the monogram of Christ ; 

with his right hand he holds a captive by the 

neck. In the field, OF . II . Another, OF . I . 
Same legend. Victory marching, in her right hand a laurel crown ; 

in her left a palm branch. In exergxie, TE . P . 

Another P . CON . 

SECVEITAS . EEIPVBLICAE . Victory marching, in her hand a 
laurel wreath. In exergue, P . CONS . 


Others, witli Victory holding laurel crown and palm branch OF . I . 
toten letters in field ; and SMAQP. in exergued 
and other letters. 

VOX . XX . MVLT. XXX . Within a laurel wreath. This device is very 
common, with various letters in the exergue. 

VOTA . PVBLICA. Isis seated, suckling Orus. 


A.D. 375 TO A.D. 381. 

D.N. GEATIANA^S . P . F . AVG . Diademed head of Gratian. 

GLORIA , EO^NIANOEVM . A soldier walking, and carrying in his 
left hand the standard of the Cross, whilst he 
seizes a prostrate captive by the hair with his 
right. In the field, X P. Another has T . SISC 
in exergue 

D . X . GEATIANVS . AVG . G . AVG . Head as on former coin. 
Various interpretations have been given to this 
legend. It is generally supposed to be GEA- 
I think a better reading would be Augustorum 
Augustus. He gave the title of Augustus to 
Valentinian the younger, and to Pendovius the 
Great. He may have calLecl himself, as we 
woidd translate it. Emperor of the Emperors. 

GLOEIA . XOVI . SAECVL . A military figure standing, holding the 
standard of the Cross, and resting his hand upon 
a shield. Another reverse has OF. III. in field. 

EEPAEATIO . EEIPVB The Emperor bearir.g a victory in his left 
hand, is raising a prostrate female, with a crown 
on her head. In exergue, P . COX . Another 
has S . in field, and LVG . S . in exergue. 

SECVEITAS . EEIPVBLICAE . Victory marching. In the exergue, 
T . COX . Others have P . COX . ET . and other 


VOTA . PVBILICA . Isis holding the hasta and a vase. 




As some of our readers may be curious, and wish to understand 
the apparently cabalistic letters on the coins here described, we 
have added for their information a list of the usual abbreviations 
occurring on the coins of the Eomans. This, it is hoped, will render 
the legends and exergual marks and letters more intelligible, and 
also assist the reader to decipher any coin that may, by chance, 
come into his possession from this or other Eoman stations. 

A.A. A.F.F. 

A . or A . N . 
AED . S . 



AVG . DF . 
B or BEAT . 

B. E.P.NAT. 

CENS . P . 
CVE , X . F . 

Auro Argento Aere Flando Feriundo. 




^dilitia Potestate. 

^des Sacra. 

^dilis Curulis. 

^dilis Plebis. 

/R inib' nfi. 


Annona Augusti. 

Antonius or Antoninus. 

Arabia Adquisita. 

Angus, Augusta or Aixgustus. 

Augustus Divi Filius. 

Two Augusti. 

Three Augusti. 


Bono Eepublicffi Nato. 


Censor Perpetuus. 

Conservatori Suo. 

Curavit Denarium Faciendum. 

Decreto Decurioruui. 




Dominus Noster. 

EX . S . C . 

Ex Senatus Consiilto. 


Fortuna reduci. 








Gneius, Genius. 


Germanicus Daccius. 





GL . E . E . 

Gloria Exercitus Eomani. 

GL . P . E . 

Gloria Populi Eomani. 


Genio Populi Eomani. 






luno Sospita Mater Eegina. 




Julius or Julia. 



II . VIE . 

Duum yiri. 

Ill . VIE . E . P . C . 

Triumviri Eeipublica ConstituendBe. 


Quatuorvir or Quartuorviri, Auro or 

Argento, or Aere, Publico Feriundo. 



T,EG . I . &c. 

Legio Prima. 

LIB . PVB . 

Libertas Publica. 





LVD . CIE . 

Ludi Circenses. 

LVD . EQ . 

Ludi Equestres. 


Ludi Saculares Fecit. 


Mater Castrorum. 


Marci Filius. 

MON . or MONET . 


MAE . VLT . 

Marti Ultari. 


Nobilissimus Caesar. 

NEP . EED . 

Neptimo Eeduci. 








P . or POT . 












SEC . OEB . 





TE . MIL . 

TE . P . 



Ob Cives Servatos. 



Pius Pelix or Pii Eilius. 

Pater Patriae. 

Populus Eomanus. 

Princeps Juventutis. 


Pontifex Maximus. 

Eei Publica Constituendas. 

Sseculi Felicitas. 


Senatus Consulto. 

Secirritas Orbis. 

Securitas Perpetua. 

■ Temporum. 

Signata Moneta. 

Senatus Populiisque Eomanus. 

Tribunes Militares. 

Tribunitia Potestate. 
> Votis Decenalibus. 
-' Vicennalibus. 

Decern or Denarius. 





AQ . . B . F . 

A . SISC . 

B . SIEM . 



Antiocheusis Moneta Secundse 

Prima Percussa Lugduni. 
AquUeise Officinse Secundae Fabrica. 
AquUeise Signata. 

Prima in Officina Sisciaj. 
Secunda Sirmii. 



CON or CONS , 



LVG . P . S . 





P . LON . 

P . LVG . 



E . EO . EOM . 





SMA . 


S . M . E . 







Lugdunensisvel Londinensis Pecunia 

Lugdun Pecunia Signata. 

Moneta Londinensis vel Lugdunensis 

Moneta Officinas Secundse Trevero- 

Moneta Signata Treveris. 
Percussa or Pecunia Arelate. 
Pecunia Londinensis. 
Pecunia Lugdunensis. 
Pecunia Eoma or Percussa Eoma. 
Pecunia Treverensis. 

Eomae Pecunia Signata. 

Sisciensis Pecunia. 
Siscia Urbis. 

Signata Moneta Antiochiffi 
Signata Moneta Niconiedii3e. 
Signeta Moneta Eom^e. 
Signata Treveris. 
TessalonicEe Of&cina Secunda. 
Treveris Officina Secunda,