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Bristol in the Roman Period

Map of Bristol in the Roman period

The major Roman settlement in Bristol was the town of Abona at Sea Mills which is recorded in the Antonine Itineraries of the early third century AD. The site may have a military origin but a civilian town had been established by the early second century. Archaeological excavations have found evidence for the street pattern and shops within the town and the cemeteries outside it.

Abona was linked to Bath by a Roman road, a section of which can still be seen at Durdham Down. This was part of a larger network of roads whose form is still largely conjectural.

The Roman settlements elsewhere in Bristol seem to have been rural in character. There were villas at Kingsweston and Brislington. At Kingsweston the villa had a bath suite, rooms with mosaic floors and hypocausts - the Roman system of underfloor heating. There were also a number of smaller farmsteads spread along the margin between Kingsweston Hill and the wetlands of the North Avon levels which may have formed part of the villa estate. The Brislington villa also had mosaic floors and a hypocaust.

There was a large village at Inns Court in south Bristol between the First and Fourth centuries as well as other, smaller sites elsewhere in the city, notably at Upper Maudlin Street in the city centre and a recently-discovered site in Bedminster. There is, however, much still to learn about Bristol in the Roman period.

You may be interested in these other archaeology related pages.

 
 

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