Roman St Albans
The ancient city of Verulamium grew from an Iron Age settlement, or oppidum, to become a prosperous Roman provincial town. After the Claudian invasion of Britain in AD43, it has been theorized that Verulamium achieved the status of ‘municipium’ - a semi-independent city state, though there is no evidence to confirm this. Destroyed
by Boudica in the 1st Century AD, the town recovered to become a significant Roman town, complete with theatre, forum and basilica. Parts of the city walls still stand and a hypocaust hints at the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Romano-British citizens.
Extensive archaeological investigations have taken place at Verulamium over many years - and the famous pioneering archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler tested his revolutionary methods at the site in the 1930s. In addition to the visible Roman features and structures, we will enjoy a tour of the Verulamium Museum (including specially arranged access to the archives), which contains both impressive mosaics and elaborate lead coffins, as well as more intimate hints of the realities of life in the town.
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Study Day -
Please note that start and finish times below are exact but other timings may vary slightly.
10:15 - Tea and coffee then an introductory lecture on the day, there will also be a guided tour of the Museum, taking in some Roman highlights – including the rare semi-circular design of the Shell Mosaic and the Bronze statue Verulamium Venus. A visit to the Museum stores
with Museum Curator, David Thorold, to see some of the published material from the Wheeler collection, plus other artefacts from Verulamium not currently on display.
13:00 - A two-course lunch at a local public house.
14:15 - A visit to the theatre - the best preserved Roman theatre in Britain! We will walk through the Park to see the Roman Town House, with its famous hypocaust and hypocaust mosaic, unearthed by Wheeler in the 1930s. We’ll also take in the late Roman walls, still visible in the park.