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Historic England Research Records

Verulamium

Hob Uid: 361847
Location :
Hertfordshire
St. Albans
St. Albans, St. Michael
Grid Ref : TL1340007300
Summary : The site of Verulamium was first occupied shortly after the Claudian invasion when a fort was constructed to guard the river crossing. This fort was short-lived and was quickly replaced by a civil settlement which was granted the status of a 'municipium' probably in AD 49. The earliest timber buildings were probably constructed by army engineers, and the town was encircled on three sides by a defensive ditch and on the fourth side by the river. This settlement was destroyed in the Boudiccan revolt of AD 60. Reconstruction was slow and haphazard and was still going on 20 years later in some areas. A new Forum was built and completed by AD 79. The first century defensive ditch was filled in by 125 AD and then built over. A disastrous fire destroyed at least 52 acres of the town, including the central area, in about AD 155. Reconstruction in masonry included a new forum, theatre, and a number of large town houses. The Fosse earthwork is of this period and was probably a defensive circuit for the town which remained unfinished. The final circuit of the Town Wall was built on a different line and the two monumental arches were also erected at this time. The North-West and South-East Gates may be contemporary with the Fosse and the Wall Towers may be later additions to the Wall. By this time many substantial masonry houses had been built in the town so that little reconstruction was necessary during the 3rd century. Another period of rebuilding took place about AD 300 with occasional new building during the 4th century. The Theatre had gone out of use by about 380-90 but as the Theatre was probably an adjunct of the nearby Temple this may have been due to the spread of Christianity. Occupation continued well into the post-Roman period but had probably ceased by the mid-6th century.
More information : (Area centred TL 134073) VERVLAMIVM ROMAN TOWN (R) (1)

The site of Verulamium was first occupied shortly after the Claudian invasion when a fort was constructed to guard the river crossing (see TL 10 NW52). This fort was short-lived and was quickly replaced by a civil settlement which was granted the status of a 'municipium' probably in AD 49. The earliest timber buildings were probably constructed by army engineers, and the town was encircled on three sides by a defensive ditch (TL 10 NW 4) and on the fourth side by the river. This settlement was destroyed in the Boudiccan revolt of AD 60. (2-10)

Reconstruction was slow and haphazard and was still going on 20 years later in some areas. A new Forum (TL 10 NW 10) was built by Agricola and a dedication insription dates its completion to AD 79. The first century defensive ditch (TL 10 NW4) was filled in by 125 AD and then built over.

A disastrous fire destroyed at least 52 acres of the town, including the central area, about AD 155. Reconstruction this time took place in masonry, with a new forum (TL 10 NW10), a theatre (TL 10 NW 15 ) and a number of large town houses. The Fosse earthwork (TL 10 NW 3) is of this period and was probably a defensive circuit for the town which remained unfinished, as no trace of it has been found south of Bluehouse Hill.

The final circuit of the Town Wall (TL 10 NW5) was built on a different line and the two monumental arches (TL 10 NW 8&53) were also erected at this time. The North-West and South-East Gates (TL 10 NW 5.1, 5.3) may be contemporary with the Fosse and the Wall Towers (TL 10 NW 5.4) may be later additions to the Wall.

By this time many substantial masonry houses had been built in the town so that little reconstruction was necessary during the 3rd century. Another period of rebuilding took place about AD 300 with occasional new building during the 4th century.

The Theatre (TL 10 NW 15) had gone out of use by about 380-90 but as the Theatre was probably an adjunct of the nearby Temple (TL 10 NW 11) this may have been due to the spread of Christianity.

Occupation continued well into the post-Roman period but had probably ceased by the mid-6th century.

Verulamium (site of) - scheduled (8). Name 'VERVLAMIVM' accepted for 4th edition RB map.

See index and map diagram for individual sites within the Roman town.

Due to the threat posed by ploughing further limited excavations took place in September/October 1978 within the NW corner of the City. (11)

The known number of pavements from Verulamium is 24. Half date to the 2nd century, half to the 4th century.
Details of those from:-

Building XXVIII, 3., room 9, dated circa 145 - 150

" XXVII, 2., room 8, dated after circa 380

" XXI, 2., room 4, dated late C2nd

" XIV, 5., room 3, dated late C3rd/early C4th. (12)


INDEX TO VERLVAMIUM SITES.

TL 10 NW 3. The Fosse: 2nd cent defences (unfinished)
TL 10 NW 4. 1st cent ditched enclosure.
TL 10 NW 5. Roman wall, gates, towers.
TL 10 NW 6. 2nd-3rd cent. bank.
TL 10 NW 7. 2nd-3rd cent. ditch system.
TL 10 NW 8. Southern triumphal arch.
TL 10 NW 9. Insula VII: Early 2nd cent. Temple.
TL 10 NW 10. Insula XII: Forum.
TL 10 NW 11. Insula XVI: 1st cent. Temple.
TL 10 NW 15. Insula XV: Theatre.
TL 10 NW 49. Insula XXVIII: Town House.
TL 10 NW 50. Insula XIV: Shops/Workshops.
TL 10 NW 51. 1st cent. temporary fort.
TL 10 NW 52. Claudian fort.
TL 10 NW 53. Northern triumphal arch.
TL 10 NW 54. Insula I: Buildings, shops.
TL 10 NW 55. Insula II: 1st-3rd cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 56. Insula III: 1st-4th cent. buildings - house, shop,
smithy.
TL 10 NW 57. Insula IV: 2nd cent. & later houses.
TL 10 NW 58. Insula V: 2nd/3rd cent. buildings; coin hoards (2);
? site of pottery kiln.
TL 10 NW 59. Insula VI: 2nd/3rd cent. house and shops.
TL 10 NW 60. Insula VIII: 1st cent & later shops.
TL 10 NW 61. Insula IX.
TL 10 NW 62. Insula X: ? 3rd cent. building.
TL 10 NW 63. Insula XIII: 1st-4th cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 64. Insula XVII: 1st-4th cent. buildings; Romano-Celtic
temples (2).
TL 10 NW 65. Insula XVIII: 2nd-4th cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 66. Insula XIX: 1st cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 67. Insula XX: 2nd cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 68. Insula XXI: 2nd cent & later buildings.
TL 10 NW 69. Insula XXII: 2nd-4th cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 70. Insula XXVI: Corridor building.
TL 10 NW 71. Insula XXVII: 1st-5th cent. buildings.
TL 10 NW 72. Basilical building.

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : OS 1:10 000 1978
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Verulamium 1936 plans illusts photos (Wheeler)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Herts Archaeology 7 1979 10 - 27 Plans Illust. (J Hinchliffe)
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roman Mosaics in Britain 1981 100-104 (DS Neal)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Antiquity 38 1964 103-112 plans (S S Frere)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Inst Arch Bull 4 1964 61-82 plans illusts (Frere)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Verulamium Excavs 1 1972 plans illusts photos (Frere)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Town & Country 1973 (K Branigan)
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Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : BAR 73 1979 Invasion & Response (eds Burnham & Johnson) 273-80 (Frere)
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) List Anc Mons 3 1978 51-2
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHM Herts 1910 190-1 plan
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : VCH Herts 2 1908 110-1 plan
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Figs. :
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Town, Municipium
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HT 1d
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 6524
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 10 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1596655
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1596652
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM (INSULA XXXIII?)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1800-01-01
End Date : 1899-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1869-01-01
End Date : 1869-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1934-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM (MEADOW COTTAGE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1959-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : MOUNT PLEASANT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM (CEU-26)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : KING HARRY LANE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1981-01-01
End Date : 1981-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM PARK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY MILLS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : LOWER DEANERY GARDEN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM (JESSAMINE COTTAGE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM MUSEUM EXTENSION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : ST MICHAEL'S JMI SCHOOL, KINGSBURY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : ST MICHAEL'S JMI SCHOOL, KINGSBURY
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM MUSEUM EXTENSION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM (FIELDS 1-4)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : VERULAMIUM
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : ST MICHAEL'S JMI SCHOOL, ST MICHAEL'S ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : ROMAN THEATRE, VERULAMIUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND REAR OF 182-186 FOLLY LANE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : WESTMINSTER LODGE LEISURE CENTRE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT VERULAMIUM PARK
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : THE SIX BELLS PH, MICHAELS STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : FOSSE HOUSE, ERMINE CLOSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : WESTMINSTER LODGE LEISURE CENTRE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : KINGSBURY HOUSE, BRANCH ROAD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : JESSAMINE COTTAGE, ST. MICHAEL'S STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT KING HARRY LANE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31