The fort was established by AD 48. It was part of a network of forts
across the Midlands, linked by a network of roads. Part of the Roman
road which ran from the Birmingham Roman fort (Metchley) to another fort
at Wall near Lichfield can still be seen in
The fort was located near a road junction and on a plateau near good
water supplies. It was originally about 200m square, and was defended by
a turf and earth bank with a timber wall and towers, and double ditches.
The fort contained rows of timber buildings, including barrack blocks, a
granary, a workshop and a store.
The fort was extended on three sides by the addition of defended
annexes, which were used for tethering horses, storage and small-scale
industrial activity such as ironworking.
Later the fort's buildings were replaced by other structures including
compounds which suggest that it was now being used as a stores depot.
In the later 1st century AD a smaller fort was built inside the earlier
Pottery from the site, and additional defensive ditches on different
alignments from the earlier ones, show that the fort was occupied until
the end of the 2nd century AD, possibly as a 'mansio' or stopping point
along the road network for official travellers.
There was a civilian settlement or 'vicus' outside the fort -
Birmingham's first village. It consisted of timber buildings and yards
alongside a road leading from the fort's west gate, and was occupied for
just a few years, when the fort was at its largest.