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Merseyside History.  ROMANS.


FINDINGS from this period are a little scarce in the Merseyside area. Some Iron Age finds have been found but are only things like Celtic torques and other jewellery. But this period does overlap with the Roman Invasion of England. Now the Romans didn't have a settlement here on Merseyside but they did have a fort at Chester, which they called Deva, built in 73AD. This is where the XXth legion was stationed, their mission to curb the Brigantes, the local Celtic tribe in the North of England, raiding the roman settlements and supply routes. Now outside of the Roman Settlements life continued as it had from Neolithic times, families hunting and gathering and occasionally meeting up for trade and marriage and war. But within the settlements life had reached Iron Age standards, with iron tools and weapons replacing the older Bronze ones. The most important area on Merseyside can be found at Wilderspool near Warrington, but there was a camp in Woolton, and a Roman road can be found in Grassendale running between Aigburth and Garston. It was found to be only 7 inches under the old Victorian road that was there. Another section of the same road was found at Otterspool. 

Elsewhere the Romans where a lot more active, but because they were constantly having to put down rebellions and policing their conquered subjects in the South of England, they didn't have time to waste on the North, so they mostly left them to their own devices. Hence why they built Hadrian's Wall to the North. They feared the Scots, then called the Picts, because of their fearsome aspect and their skill in battle, actually for  most of the English tribes of the day, warfare was a way of life, with most young men being given a sword at the age of 5 and learning how to fight with it. 

The geographer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, mentions Liverpool as Portus Segantiorum, but does not ever mention the Mersey Estuary itself. Not really surprising as the 19th century engineers Stephenson and Telford both theorised that the Mersey Estuary would have been created by a large earthquake during the Roman occupation of England around 400AD.

St Patrick is also said to have preached in Liverpool before continuing on to Ireland. The place where he apparently preached is roughly the site of the Holy Cross Church at the corner of Tithebarn Street and Marybone.

Photographs taken by Patrick Trollope BA(Hons) LBPPA. 

Mersey Reporter and Liverpool Reporter are Trade Marks of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright Patrick Trollope 2013