Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
of the Thames Valley
- In AD 43, the Romans
invaded Britain. They set up towns and cities all over the country and
taught people lots of new ways of doing things. They ruled for nearly
- The Romans turned the Royal
village of the local Atrebates tribe into a big town called Calleva
Atrebatum. A council was
set up there which ruled over the northern part of the tribal region. They collected taxes and upheld
Roman laws for the Emperor.
- Calleva became a big city with
lots of important buildings. The Romans built lots of roads to it
across the Thames Valley.
- There were several small Roman
towns in the area we now call Berkshire. Abingdon
was the biggest. It was a trading town (place where things were bought
& sold) on the river. Thatcham and Wickham Bushes
(at Easthampstead) were manufacturing towns (places where things were made).
Frilford was a religious centre with lots of pagan
- Other temples were built on
their own, often on hilltops at the side of the road. They were
visited by lots of pilgrims just like churches in later Christian
times. The Uffington
White Horse was also important in Roman religion. They held fairs
there every year.
- We only know the name of one
Roman place in Berkshire. Speen, near Newbury, was called 'Spinis'. It
was the site of an Imperial Posting Station. This was a stopping
point for postmen delivering messages for the Roman government.
- Most of the Romano-British
people lived in simple farms or villages with single-room round
houses. The Romans built posh rectangular farmhouses called 'villas',
with lots of rooms and expensive Roman luxuries.
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