Archive for the ‘Roman History’ Category

Romulus and Remus with the wolf (Sienna, Italy). Photo by Eric Parker (

21st April is celebrated in Rome as the city’s founding day. According to legend, this was the day in 753BCE when the abandoned twins, Romulus and Remus, who had been brought up by a wolf, returned to the banks of the Tiber to found a city. Romulus chose what would become known as the Palatine Hill and dug a ditch around it as the foundations for his wall. Remus, mocking his brother, jumped over the ditch. We can imagine that he said something along the lines ‘ so much for your wall!’ Romulus was so angered that he struck his brother down with the reply ‘ So perish anyone who leaps over my walls!’. He went on to build his city and become its first King.

Hadrian’s Wall

Posted: February 21, 2018 in History, Roman History
Tags: ,

The Romans in Britain

Posted: February 8, 2018 in History, Roman History, UK


Neville Place is a large house in the middle of Peterborough not far from the Cathedral. The original Tudor House was built in 1536 on this site by Humphrey Orme, a courtier of Henry VIII. In 1816 the Orme family sold it to Thomas Coke, a merchant, and in 1856 it became the home of Peterborough Infirmary, being enlarged in 1897 and again in 1902. In 1928 the infirmary moved away and it became a Museum.

It is still a museum today and has displays on various aspects of local history.

The house and it’s different uses

The history of Peterborough

A wonderful collection of craft items made by internees at Norman Cross Camp. The prisoners made these from wood and animal bone and sold them to the locals to make money to spend in the prison stores.

Norman Cross was a prisoner of war camp during the Napoleonic war. Prior to its construction prisoners had been held on old ships (Prison Hulks) and conditions were not good. So the government set out to improve things by building prisoner camps on land. Initially, the plan worked well and the conditions were far better than on a hulk. However, as the war drew on and the number of prisoners increased the conditions got worse and over a thousand prisoners were killed by an outbreak of Typhus in 1800. It is recorded that in the years of its operation (1796-1816) 1770 prisoners died, although some argue that many deaths were not recorded. It was demolished in 1816 and only the governers House remains standing.

Reconstructions of Peterborough houses through the ages

The short course I did through Southampton University is still available through FutureLearn


or at:

Visualising Portus

Posted: September 5, 2017 in History, Roman History
Tags: ,

Here are a couple of videos on the visualisation project


A couple of years back I had the opportunity to do a short course run by the University of Southampton on the Roman Port at Portus. Since then a number of CGI impressions of the port have been produced giving us the opportunity to see what it would have looked like. This is an introductory video about the site with Professor Keay, who was the tutor on the course.


My previous blogs on Portus can be found at:

Her is another digital reconstruction showing how Hadrian’s villa would have looked

Video by Matthew Brennan and made available through Youtube.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to a tour through a virtual reconstruction of Rome of 320AD. Here is another video which looks at the remains of the Forum as they are today and what they were like when they were built.

Video by Jane Eyre and made available through You-tube