The Romans in the Nene Valley

The March meeting of the History Society was quite a special event and was very well attended. Our speaker for the evening was none other than Professor Stephen Upex who is a leading authority on the Roman and early Saxon period in East Anglia. Professor Upex is a Tutor at Madingley Hall Cambridge,  in addition, he lectures widely within the UK and works as a freelance archaeologist and consultant. He is a member of the Institute for Field Archaeologists and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 

He has excavated and written about his research for over 40 years. His new book, ‘The Romans in the Nene Valley’ will be of major interest to anyone living around Peterborough wishing to know more about local history. His talk cover the period from before the Roman invasion of 43AD  until the Saxon period and covered all the major archaeological sites along the Nene Valley. 

He explained how the Roman town of Durobrivae, the forerunner of modern Peterborough, became an important industrial centre on the main Roman South to North transport road, Ermine Street. How the Landscape anomalies seen from aerial views can help in identifying important archaeology sites  He talked about the impressive building or Praetorium found under Castor Village. This was one of the largest buildings in the whole of the Province. Evidence of a Roman stone wall is still to be found embedded in the wall surrounding the original rectory of St Kyneburgha Church. The church itself was built from stone repurposed from the original Roman building. 

Our thanks go to Professor Upex for a fascinating insight into the Roman antiquities and archaeology of the Nene Valley area surrounding our City.

Professor Upex’s book  ‘The Romans in the Nene Valley’ costs £15 (P&P free)can be obtained from the NVAT, website, or by post from  ℅ 15 Helpston Road Ailsworth, Peterborough. PE5 7AE. Enclosing a cheque for £15 payable to the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust and add your name and address. 

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