Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wroxeter Roman City

I woke up last Friday morning to glorious blue skies and decided a bike ride was the order of the day. All I had to do was rush into work, resolve a few issues and then I was free for the day. On the way into work I called Matt up to see if he fancied tagging along for the jangle. The phone rang and rang and rang and rang. I was just about to give up when what sounded like a frog answered the phone. The conversation sort of went a bit like this:

Me: Weyheyyy, morning mate.

Matt the croaky frog: Ohhhhh I feel sooooo bad. What time is it?

Me: It's 9.15 you bone idle lazy..........

Matt the croaky frog: Ohhhhh I was sooooo drunk last night (then a brief croak about wine, beer, spirits and vintage port).

Me: Yes well very good. Now sort yourself out, we're going for a jangle (or words to that effect).

Eventually it was decided we should go and see a pile of old rubble in the form of what was once the fourth largest town in Roman Britain.

Apparently (although our mate Archaeology Pete would disagree) Wroxeter was nicked off the Cornovii by the Romans and subsequently renamed Viroconium Cornoviorum. It started out as a legionary fortress and later developed into a thriving city. Today most of the city is buried deep within the soil but the Baths have been extensively excavated to reveal some fascinating ruins. It's also worth noting that there's an award winning vineyard at Wroxeter where you can take a tour and/or buy red and white wines...... Of all the rotten luck!!!

Matt at the visitors centre.

What was once the Basilica. Bathers could exercise here before entering the baths' suite. If you look closely towards both edges of the picture you can see the circular footings where great pillars once stood within the Basilica. At the top of the picture and in the photo below you can see the only remaining piece of the Basilica wall. The entrance in the middle led into the baths.

The main heated bath rooms showing the remains of the tile pillars forming part of the hypocaust.

Below are a few photos of some of the objects in the museum that have been found at Wroxeter.

Wroxeter is located 5 miles south east of Shrewsbury on the excellent biking road the B4380, which as well as having one lovely bend after another also has some gorgeous views of the rolling countryside.

At the end of our jangle and following tradition we frequented the local pub for a pint where we bumped into Gaz, who unbeknown to us had spent his Friday at Mallory park doing a track day. So there we were, Matt and I all relaxed and chilled from our cultural jangle and Gaz on a high no amount of drugs could get you too.

The left hand side of Gareth's rear tyre.

Dean's spanking new Yamaha R1.

Neil just about to take Matt's TDM out for a test flight.


Rig said...

Great write up and yet another place that looks very interesting to visit.

ellie said...

Never ceases to amaze how clever the Romans were but would still have preferred the visit to Mallory Park.

Miss Understood said...

What fabulous pictures! Looks like an amazing place.

Peter M said...

Been there before, great place very interesting, I wish I could have joined you, thanks for thew call. Great Pics too

Mike said...

Rig - It's definitely worth a visit. There's a church just down the road that has two Roman pillars at its entrance that were taken from Wroxeter. Also the one side of the church is built from stone looted from the city after the Romans left.

Ellie - There's another track day at Donington on the 12th November. If the weather is nice we're going.

Miss U - It was better than working on a Friday afternoon.

Pete - It's a shame they don't excavate more of the place.