Roman place names and sites

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023 at 11:32 am

Roman British place namesIt began with a simple notion, to create a list of Roman place names in Britain, with their modern equivalents.  Of course, we do not know what Romans called most of the places they built in Britain, so it then seemed sensible to add random Roman sites to the list.  And the list grew; no doubt it will grow some more, but there are about 180 sites listed below so far and that is quite enough to be going with.


For ease of referral, the list is split into England, Scotland and Wales – although of course none of those places existed until long after Roman rule had ended.  The somewhat terse description ‘town’ covers a multitude of possibilities: large towns, small towns, towns formed from pre-Roman settlements (oppida), or based on tribal territories. Most towns grew from forts and many forts had a civilian settlement, or vicus, outside its walls to provide goods and services to the soldiers stationed there.  The distribution of forts illustrates the predominantly military nature of Roman rule in the north of the island.  Do bear in mind, if you’re organising a tour of Roman places in Britain, that there is often little of the Romans to see at many of them.


Alcester Alauna Warwickshire Town
Aldborough Isurium North Yorkshire Town
Ambleside Galava Cumbria Fort
Baginton Warwickshire Fort
Bainbridge Virosidum North Yorkshire Fort and settlement
Barcombe   East Sussex Settlement
Bath Aquae Sulis Avon Town
Beckhampton Wiltshire Road
Benwell Condercum Tyne & Wear Fort
Bignor West Sussex Villa
Binchester Vinovia Durham Fort
Bingham Margidunum Nottinghamshire Settlement
Birdoswald Camboglanna Cumbria Fort
Bishops Stortford   Hertfordshire Settlement/Town
Bitterne (Southampton) Clausentum Hampshire Fort
Blackgrounds Northamptonshire Settlement
Blackstone Edge West Yorkshire Road (disputed)
Bowes Lavatrae Durham Fort
Bowness-on-Solway Mais Cumbria Fort
Brading Isle of Wight Villa
Bradwell-on-Sea Essex Fort
Bramdean   Hampshire Villa
Brancaster Branodunum Norfolk Fort
Bristol Abonae Bristol Avon Town
Brough Verteris Cumbria Fort
Brough Petuaria? East Riding of Yorkshire Town
Brougham Brocavum Cumbria Fort
Bucknowle Farm Dorset Villa
Burgh-by-Sands Aballava Cumbria Fort
Burgh Castle Gariannorum Norfolk Fort
Burghwallis   South Yorkshire Fort
Burrow in Lonsdale Calacum or Galacum Lancashire Fort
Buxton Aquae Arnemetiae Derbyshire Town
Caistor Venta Icenorum Norfolk Town
Cambridge Duroliponte Cambridgeshire Town
Canterbury Durovernum Cantiacorum Kent Town
Carisbrooke Castle Isle of Wight Fort
Carlisle Luguvalium Cumbria Town
Carrawburgh Brocolitia Northumberland Fort and temple
Castleshaw  Rigodunum? Oldham, Manchester Fort
Castlesteads Cammoglanna Cumbria Fort
Cawthorn North Yorkshire Camps
Cerne Abbas Dorset Temple
Chanctonbury Ring West Sussex Temple
Charterhouse Somerset Mine (lead)
Chedworth Gloucester Villa
Chee Tor Derbyshire Farm (native British)
Chester Deva Cheshire Town
Chester-le-Street Concangis Co Durham Fort
Chesterfield Lvtvdarvm? Derbyshire Fort
Chesterholm Vindolanda Northumberland Fort
Chesters Cilurnum Northumberland Fort
Chichester Noviomagus West Sussex Town
Chysauster Gulval (?) Cornwall Village (native British)
Cirencester Corinium Gloucestershire Town
Colchester Camulodunum Essex Town
Corbridge Corstopitum Northumberland Fort
Crofton Bromley Villa
Doncaster Danum South Yorkshire Fort
Dorchester Durnovaria Dorset Town
Dover Dubris Kent Port
Drumburgh Coggabata Cumbria Fort
Ebchester Vindomora Durham Fort
Exeter Isca Dumnoniorum Devon Town
Fishbourne West Sussex Palace
Gargrave North Yorkshire Fort and villa
Gatcombe Avon Villa
Gloucester Nervia Glevensium Gloucestershire Town
Goldsborough North Yorkshire Signal station
Great Chesters Aesica Northumberland Fort
Great Witcombe Gloucestershire Villa
Greenhead, Carvoran Magna Northumberland Fort
Hadrian’s Wall Vallum Aelii? Cumbria/Northumberland Defensive barrier
Hardknott Mediobogdum Cumbria Fort
Heronbridge Cheshire Settlement
High Rochester Bremenium Northumberland Fort
Housesteads Vercovicium Northumberland Fort
Ilchester Lindinis Somerset Town
Isle of Wight Vectisins Isle of Wight Geographical feature
Jordan Hill, Weymouth Dorset Temple
Kenchester Magnis Herefordshire Town
King’s Weston Avon Villa
Kingscote (The Chessells) Gloucestershire Town
Kirby Thore Bravoniacum Cumbria Camp
Knap Hill Wiltshire Camp/Farm
Lancaster Lancashire Fort
Lanchester Longovicium Durham Fort
Leicester Ratae Coritanorum Leicestershire Town
Lincoln Lindum Lincolnshire Town
Little Chester, Derby Derventio Coritanorum Derbyshire Town
Littlecote Wiltshire Villa
London Londinium London Town
Low Borrow Bridge (Castlehows, Tebay) Cumbria Fort
Lullingstone Kent Villa
Lunt Warwickshire Fort
Lydney Gloucestershire Temple
Metchley   Birmingham Fort
Malton Derventio North Yorkshire Fort
Manduessedum Warwickshire Fort
Manchester Mamucium Manchester Fort
Maryport Alavna Cumbria Fort
Maumbury Rings Dorset Amphitheatre
Melandra, Glossop Ardotalia Derbyshire Fort
Navio, Brough Derbyshire Fort
Newcastle upon Tyne Pons Aelius Tyne & Wear Fort
North Leigh Oxfordshire Villa
Papcastle (Cockermouth) Derventio Cumbria Fort
Pevensey Anderida East Sussex Fort
Piercebridge Magis? Durham Bridge & Fort
Portchester Portus Adurni? Hampshire Fort
Rainster Rocks Lutodarum? Derbyshire Settlement/Mine (lead)
Ravenglass Glannaventa or Itunocelum Cumbria Fort/bathhouse
Reculver Regulbium Kent Fort
Rey Cross Durham Camp
Ribchester Bremetennacum Lancashire Fort
Richborough Rutupiae Kent Port/Fort
Rochester Durobrivae Cantiacorum Kent Town
Rockbourne Hampshire Villa
Rossington   South Yorkshire Fort
Silchester Calleva Atrebatum Hampshire Town
Slack Cambodunum? West Yorkshire Fort
Somerdale, Keynsham Traiectus? Avon Town/Villa
South Shields Arbeia Tyne & Wear Fort
Southwell   Nottinghamshire Villa
Springhead, Southfleet
Vagniacis Kent Temple complex/Town
Stanwix, Carlisle Uxelodunum Cumbria Fort
St Albans Verulamium Hertfordshire Town/Theatre
Templeborough, Rotherham
South Yorkshire Fort
Thorpe by Newark Ad Pontem Nottinghamshire Fort
Towcester Lactodurum Northamptonshire Town
Waddon Hill Dorset Fort
Wall Letocetum Staffordshire Town
Wallsend Segedunum Tyne & Wear Fort
Watercrook (Kendal) Alavana Cumbria Fort
Water Newton (Peterborough) Durobrivae Cambridgeshire Town
Welwyn Hertfordshire Bathhouse
Whitley Castle Northumberland Fort
Winchester Venta Belgarum Hampshire Town
Winscombe   Somerset Roadside settlement
Worcester Vertis? Worcestershire Town
Wroxeter Viroconium Shropshire Town
York Eboracum North Yorkshire Town


Antonine Wall Firth of Clyde to Firth of Forth Defensive barrier
Ardoch Tayside Fort
Bar Hill, Twechar Dunbartonshire Fort
Battledykes, Oathlaw Angus Camp
Bearsden Glasgow Fort/bathhouse
Bertha Perth And Kinross Fort
Birrens Blatobulgium Dumfries & Galloway Fort
Bothwellhaugh North Lanarkshire Fort
Burnswark Dumfries & Galloway Camps (and pre-Roman hill fort)
Cadder East Dunbartonshire Fort
Camelon Falkirk Fort
Carpow Perth And Kinross Fort
Castle Greg West Lothian Fort
Castlecary Falkirk Fort
Castlehill East Dunbartonshire Fort
Croy Hill North Lanarkshire Fort
Deers Den Aberdeenshire Camp?
Elginhaugh Midlothian Fort
Inchtuthill Perth And Kinross Fort
Inverquharity Angus Fort
Kinneil Falkirk Fort
Newstead Trimontium Borders Fort
Pennymuir Borders Camp
Peterculter, Normandykes Aberdeenshire Camp
Raedykes, Garrison Hill Aberdeenshire Camp
Rough Castle Falkirk Fort
Seabegs Wood Falkirk Fort
Strageath Perth And Kinross Fort
Westerwood North Lanarkshire Fort
Ythan Wells, Glenmailen Aberdeenshire Camp


Anglesey Mona Anglesey Geographical feature
Brecon Gaer Powys Fort
Caer Gai Gwynedd Fort
Caer Gybi Anglesey Fort
Caerleon Isca Silurum Newport Fort
Caernarfon Segontium Gwynedd Fort
Caerwent Venta Silurum Monmouthshire Town
Cardiff South Glamorgan Fort
Carmarthenshire Moridunum Carmarthenshire Town
Castell Collen Powys Fort
Din Lligwy Anglesey Farm (native British)
Dolaucothi Carmarthenshire Mine (gold)
Forden Gaer Levobrinta Powys Fort
Gelligaer Caerphilly Fort
Neath Nidum Port Talbot Fort
Trecastle Powys Camp

The initial source for the above list was Keith Branigan’s ‘Roman Britain’, which although a little outdated, is pitched at about the right level for me and can probably still be found in decent second-hand bookshop as well as on Amazon.  The Ordnance Survey’s fascinating map of Roman Britain must be the comprehensive source for Roman sites and is available from good bookshops, OS and Amazon.

60 thoughts on “Roman place names and sites”

  1. Fantastic list.
    If I may add to it Segedunum, Wallsend at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall.
    The remains of the fort and several reconstructions are on view.

      1. Thank you for the reply. Have just read the article. Also the article regarding Wroxeter, very informative.

        Living in ‘Wall Country’ may I suggest the following to add to your list:

        Chester-le-Street (Concangis) fort.
        Very little remains of the fort. A church, with some Roman inscription stones/ alters, built over the principia headquarters building. Some foundations available.

        Hexham, not a Roman site, but stones from The Wall and other sites reused in crypt of Hexham Abbey. Good to see how readily available dressed stone was reused and a great place to visit!

          1. No, I’ve not managed to visit any Roman sites on the west coast.
            So many places, so little time!
            Have you tried The Great North Museum@Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne?
            Full length model of the wall plus lots of altars, statues, armour and all things Roman. Full floor of exhibits. Also exhibits from Bronze Age British north of the wall. Well worth a days visit.
            For a list of Northern Roman sites try Collingwood Bruce’s Handbook to The Roman Wall. It’s the definitive guide to the wall by the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle upon Tyne.

  2. Hi Mike – I think this a brilliant addition to your site – and I love the derivations of names … and have often thought about and intended to write some up … perhaps one day … but lots of alternatives here … well done – great idea. Take care – Hilary

  3. I did some random research on Hadrian’s wall and ended up on British Museum’s site: The llam pan mentions a few forts that I do not recall seeing in your list? (sorry, I am using mobile app so harder to read and search stuff properly) The site also lists bibliographic references that you can potentially use for further research. If I am ever bored and end up finding stuff that you are missing, I will send it your way for you to verify. Always good to be two in research to double check everything. (I did a degree in Classics if that explains my interest in the field..)

    1. Hi Phoebe. Thanks for that – I’ve added those in, plus a few more for good measure. It wasn’t the intention to list every Roman site in Britain, though I can see it ending up that way! Of course, there will be individual sites within towns – I have simply listed the towns. There are articles about several Roman sites on the website, if you’re interested.

      1. You are welcome! I do think it is important to list every Roman site in Britain, especially major cities that you already have and ones mentioned in artefacts or other written records by ancient writers. At least we have concrete proof they existed and studied by contemporary researchers. For sure. I will take a look at your Roman site articles when Bun is not hoarding all my time.

  4. Stephen Gunter

    Why have you got the Neath camp at Port Talbot? The Neath camp was where Dwr y Felin Comp is now and that is Neath and not Port Talbot.

    1. Hi Stephen, thanks for your comment. Neath fort (Nidum) is of course in Neath, partly under the school as you say. The ‘where’ column obviously just provides a general guide – the county or local authority – and I understand that Neath’s local unitary authority is Port Talbot. Here is the Coflein listing for you. The whole exercise is simply intended to provide an interesting list, not any great detail; maybe I’ll get round to that one day! All the best.

  5. More great stuff Mike, but keep up! There hasn’t been a Dyfed since 1996!
    David in Pembrokeshire!

  6. I remember a junior school visit to St. Albans and how the remains of the walls impressed me. That started an interest in Roman Britain encouraged by my father who gave me the Ordnance Survey map.
    If people are visiting Hadrian’s Wall then can i suggest they stay at Four Wynds who have a couple of luxurious ‘pods’….Catherine Jarvis there has an unrivalled store of knowledge about the wall.

  7. It is interesting how many of the places were used as forts.

    On a somewhat unrelated note (it has to do with the list above not including Northern Ireland), and perhaps you have written about this before. What is your take on the differences between the U.K. and Great Britain, and when and why did such differences arise?

    1. Thanks, Jim. Well, of course forts were the default construction initially. Northern Ireland hasn’t been included because the Romans never conquered Ireland (Hibernia) and it isn’t part of Britain, though of course NI is part of the UK. This article – What does ‘Britain’ mean? – will answer some of your questions. When and why are quite big questions. But I can recommend an excellent book about British History 🙂 – and there are timelines and articles on the website too. If that doesn’t help, please get back to me – drop me an email, if that’s easier.

  8. Alli Templeton

    This is fantastic, Mike! Something to get my teeth into, and a really useful gathering of Roman. Once more, we’d been looking forward to going back to Vindolanda in Northumberland his year, but that’s going to have to wait until next year now. Great stuff, though, and more than enough to keep my busy in the meantime! 🙂

      1. Alli Templeton

        Oh it’s fascinating, Mike. There’s the Roman museum and the site itself. They do live archaeological digs there every summer (not this one, though, of course) and it’s amazing the stuff they find. It’s all superbly done and well worth a visit. 🙂

  9. To those of us non-Latin speakers, it would be illuminating to have a column of translations of the Roman names to help us understand whether those meanings might be recognizable today. Also, I’m curious as to the survival of Norse names in Britain since they were such an influence at one point in time.

    1. Place names – thanks, Mark – a wonderful topic and a huge one! But you can be pretty sure that anything with ‘chester’, or ‘caster’ in it was probably a Roman fort at one time. Norse and Danish names are common in the North and East of England – I want to write an article touching on this; watch this space! As you say, hugely influential.

  10. Odd to think of Silchester in Hampshire as it is so near Reading in Berkshire. Well worth the visit though. Need to visit North Leigh as well

  11. Who would have known – It turns out I live in Nuovum Eboracum
    Actually not true, I work there and live outside. Well I used to work there until COVID hit. Now I am working remotely from somewhere not a thousand leagues from Nuovum Eboracum.
    I guess that would be not a thousand leagues as the centurian marches.
    Felix Dies!

  12. artandarchitecturemainly

    Verulamium must have been an important city in Roman Britain. St Albans still used that name (in different contexts) when I lived there.

  13. I had to research some Roman names for my historical novel set in Roman Britain. Thank goodness my characters didn’t travel too far!

  14. Lovely to see Great Witcombe on the list. I was there on Monday and it was my first long distance outing in three months.

    Here’s another one for you to add. Southampton was Clausentum … sort of. The Saxons, and everyone else until quite recently, preferred the other side of the River Itchen.

    1. I’ve had another look and see that Clausentum does feature and it probably was where Bitterne is today. Bitterne, though, is an area of Southampton and the latter is probably more widely known.

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