Places, people or events associated with the Roman period in Britain,

Segedunum – the end of the Wall

Segedunum, Wallsend, shipbuildiing

What’s at the end of the wall?  The wall’s end?  Walls – solid boundaries designed to keep people in – or out.  There are famous walls, like the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall of China, the fantasy Wall in Game of Thrones or even the one that Shirley Valentine talks to (“Hello, wall.”).  In the …

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Brocolitia Mithraeum

Brocolitia Mithraeum

This is the skeletal remains of the Temple of Mithras, just outside the Roman fort of Brocolitia on Hadrian’s Wall.  The fort, also sometimes called ‘Carrawburgh’ is only visible as lumps in the ground; this is not a place for those cursed with a short attention span.  I visited at dusk on a bleak day …

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Portchester Castle

Portchester's Roman walls

People are walking their dogs around the ancient walls of Portchester Castle.  A cricket match is taking place on the green.  Some scruffy kids run up and down the ditch outside, whooping.  Anglers drape their lines optimistically into Portsmouth Harbour and gaze at passing ships with the old Royal Navy dockyard beyond.  It’s a peaceful …

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London’s forgotten cathedral

Southwark Cathedral - soaring nave arches

Head west out of London Bridge Station.  If you’re very careful, you will discover London’s third Anglican cathedral, Southwark; it’s easily missed.  Hemmed in between the colourful and vibrant Borough Market and the occasionally vulgar Montagu Close, and often hidden by dark Victorian railway arches over which trains ceaselessly rattle and clunk in and out …

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The London Stone

London Stone, Cannon Street

Every now and again, you come across a reference to ‘The London Stone’.  Not ‘a London stone’; The London Stone.  Use of the definite article tells you right away that this is Something Quite Important.  Never heard of it?  Tut-tut.  To be honest, I worked in and around London for years and was completely unaware …

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Christianity and the age of the saints

Christianity, Britain, history

How Britain not only became Christian, but also specifically Roman Catholic Britain, like the rest of Western Europe, has a long Christian heritage.  The Church came to wield enormous political and socio-economic power, and religion is such a part of Britain’s continuing story, so it is important to understand a bit about how Christianity arrived. …

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