Roman Sites in Britain

What are the best Roman Sites in Britain?

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There are numerous Roman sites in Britain, from the fascinating Lullingstone Roman Villa to the world famous Hadrian's Wall, Durnovaria and Verulamium. Other popular sites tend to include Cirencester Amphitheatre, Chedworth Roman Villa and North Leigh Roman Villa.

From the moment they invaded in 43AD through to their eventual withdrawal around 410AD, the Romans stamped their authority on Britain through military fortifications, Roman-style cities, civic buildings and great monuments. This archaeological legacy can still be explored across the United Kingdom.

Our guide to the Roman sites of the UK and to the UK's Roman ruins can help you discover all of these places and more. Simply explore the interactive map of Roman Sites in Britain above or take a look at what’s on offer below.

We’ve put together an experts guide to Roman ruins in the UK, with our top ten places to visit as well as a full list of Roman Sites in Britain, which shouldn’t be ignored if you have the time.

1. Portchester Castle

One of the best – if not the best – Roman sites in the UK, Portchester contains the country’s only intact set of Roman walls. Built during the third century AD, Portchester is the country’s only example of a Roman fort whose walls still stand complete up to around six metres. Definitely one not to miss.

Today, Portchester Castle is run by English Heritage who offer audio tours and exhibitions about the site as well as children’s activities.

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2. Hadrian’s Wall

Probably the best-known of the Roman ruins in Britain, Hadrian’s Wall was a vast defensive structure spanning 73 miles and built under the rule of Roman Emperor Hadrian between 122 and 130 AD. Actually made up of a number of sites, Hadrian’s Wall is probably the most famous of the UK’s Roman sites. Today, many areas can be explored, giving an insight into this 73-mile ancient fortification.

Large sections of Hadrian’s Wall remain intact in northern England and these are surrounded by various Roman monuments, forts and other ruins. There are several ways to visit all of these sections and sites, notably as part of the National Trail, which is a signposted walk, by bus, by bicycle and via tour groups. The 15 metre section pictured above is known as Planetrees and is quite central along the trail.

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3. Roman Baths - Bath

One of the most popular of all Roman sites in the United Kingdom, the Roman baths of Bath contain the remains of this ancient bath house as well as other artefacts, finds and displays from the ancient Roman town of Aqua Sulis. 

The Romans Baths were built around 44 AD - vast and lavish, the baths were able to accommodate far more people than just the residents of this town and were intended as a place for people to visit from across the Empire. 

Today, the Roman Baths offer an incredibly comprehensive insight into the lives of the ancient Romans in the town and around Britain. The site looks quite small from the outside, but it is actually vast and a visit can last several hours.

There is also a comprehensive museum dedicated to exploring the lives of the ancient Roman citizens of Bath and an ancient drain used as an overflow system. Around the Great Bath itself, visitors can explore the numerous saunas, swimming pools, heated baths and changing facilities at the site.

Audio tours are included in the ticket price or visitors can join one of the hourly guided tours. The audio tour includes sections by the famous author Bill Bryson, and there are also children’s audio guides.

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4. Fishbourne Roman Palace

Containing the remains of a huge Roman palace complex, Fishbourne is one of the most interesting Roman sites in the UK and contains not only ruins, but interactive displays and reconstructions. Built on the site of a Roman supply compound, Fishbourne was a vast and impressive development which would have been built for the very highest echelons of Romano-British society.

Today, Fishbourne Roman Palace is run by the charity Sussex Past and is open to tourists and educational groups. Visitors can view audio-visual displays, artefacts and reconstructions of the site as well as viewing the remains of the North Wing, which are protected under a covered enclosure.

There are many extremely well-preserved mosaics in Fishbourne Roman Palace, including the famous Dolphin mosaic. The site also contains a reconstructed Roman garden, designed and planted according to archaeological and historical evidence, as well as a museum examining Roman horticultural techniques.

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5. Bignor Roman Villa

One of the most popular Roman remains in Britain, Bignor has some of the most amazing Roman mosaics in the UK as well as practical, hands on activities for kids.

The villa site was developed over two centuries before it was abandoned, probably after the Roman withdrawal from Britain. Re-discovered in the early 19th century, it is now enclosed in Georgian buildings which are themselves worthy of note.

Today, Bignor Roman Villa contains some of the best preserved Roman mosaics in Britain, as well as the remains of the villa complex which include several living rooms, a bathhouse and even the underfloor heating systems employed by Roman engineers.

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6. Caerleon Roman Fortress

Home to the notable ruins of a 1st century Roman legionary barracks, Caerleon ranks among the best UK Roman sites. Among other things it contains the remains of a 6,000-seater amphitheatre.

Today, the well-preserved ruins of Caerleon Roman Fortress offer a fascinating insight into life at a Roman fort on the edge of the Empire. Amongst the highlights are its grand bathhouse, 6,000-seater amphitheatre begun in 90AD and the L-shaped barracks themselves. The nearby National Roman Legion Museum contains a number of fascinating exhibits detailing finds and artefacts from the site.

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7. Vindolanda

One of the best known forts along Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda contains an array of interesting Roman ruins as well as an excellent museum. 

The structures at Vindolanda range from a pre-Hadriatic baths complex to post-Roman mausoleum and church, demonstration of the lengthy period for which the site has been occupied. It remains one of the most popular Roman sites in the UK today and is visited by huge numbers of tourists every year. 

Amongst other sites found at Vindolanda are military offices and barracks dating to the Severan period and numerous sites from the third and fourth centuries including houses, workshops, a Praetorium, a temple and more baths.

For those wanting to see what else has been found at the excavations, the Vindolanda museum offers an array of artefacts including one of the country’s biggest ancient leather collections.

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8. Verulamium

Located today in modern St Albans, Verulamium was one of the most important Roman cities in Britain. Formerly the tribal capital of the native Catuvellauni tribe, Verulamium was conquered by the Romans during their invasion of the island in 43 AD. 

Visitors can still see the remains of the Roman walls, as well as the impressive Roman theatre - one of the few Roman theatres in Britain to have survived. As well as the site itself, Verulamium Museum stands on St Michael’s St, with displays of Roman everyday life. There are some impressive murals and mosaics and a variety of interactive displays.

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9. Corbridge Roman Town

Containing the remains of ancient granaries, houses and markets, this Roman archaeological site was once a thriving Roman settlement. Before the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, Corbridge was the site of several forts but once the wall was complete, Corbridge began developing into a town. 

Today, visitors can explore the roads and remains of the town which include some well-preserved granaries, houses, workshops and markets. Corbridge Roman Town is an English Heritage site.

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10. Lullingstone Roman Villa

Built in the 1st century AD, Lullingstone Roman Villa is one of many UK Roman sites which give an insight into the lives of the Romano-British elite. 

Today you can explore its ruins as well as artefacts, videos and interactive displays.

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Full list of Roman Sites in Britain

Beyond the most famous Roman ruins in the UK, there’s many similar places to visit, including Roman Baths - Bath, Welwyn Roman Baths and York Minster to name but a few. We’re constantly expanding this list of Roman Sites in Britain and you can view the current selection below.

Aesica Roman Fort

Aesica was one of several UK Roman Forts build along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. It is thought to have been constructed in the early 2nd century - and today it’s remains sit directly alongside a modern farm complex. The original fort had three main gates with double portals and towers at each corner of the fort. At some point the western gate was completely blocked up. Today the fort remains reasonably well preserved by the standards of the sites along Hadrian’s Wall, which itself is probably the most famous Roman site in Britain. A Roman bathhouse has also been found a short distance to the south of the fort, around 100 yards away.

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Aldborough Roman Site

Aldborough was originally the capital and stronghold of the Brigantes, who controlled vast swathes of Northern England, before becoming Romanised in the first century AD.

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All Hallows by the Tower

One of the oldest churches in London, All Hallows by the Tower contains Roman and Saxon remains as well as other interesting elements.

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Ambleside Roman Fort

A British Roman ruin located in the lake district, Ambleside Roman Fort dates from the 2nd century and are located on the shores of Lake Windermere. It served as a supply base to the larger fortifications at Hadrian’s Wall as well as being used to keep order in the local area. When the Romans first arrived in Britain and conquered the north of England an initial fortification was built here, however it was abandoned soon after. The site was later reoccupied by the Romans and a permanent fort was established early in the 2nd century AD.

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Arbeia Roman Fort

Built around 160AD, Arbeia was a supply base and garrison which guarded the entrance to the river Tyne. Today, Arbeia has been partially reconstructed, allowing visitors to experience how this once-mighty fortification would have looked in its prime. It is one of many Roman ruins in Britain that gives an insight into Roman military fortifications.

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Ardoch Roman Fort

Ardoch Roman Fort contains the well preserved earthworks of a Roman fort in Scotland, with ditches up to six foot high.

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Bar Hill Fort

Once forming part of the Antonine Wall, this ancient military outpost was one of the most important defensive points along the wall. Today, visitors can still discern parts of the fort, including its bath complex. Among the less well-known UK Roman ruins, it is still worth a look.

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Bearsden Bath House

Built in the 2nd century as part of one of the Antonine Wall forts, Bearsden can now be found among modern houses and is one of the more tucked-away of the places on our Roman Sites UK list. Today, the remains represent some of the best preserved of this Roman military structure.

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Binchester Roman Fort

Binchester Roman Fort contains the remains of one of the largest Roman fortifications in Britain. Founded around 80 AD, the fort could play host to a considerable military force and was an important staging post for the Roman military in the region. Binchester Roman Fort remained in use throughout the Roman period and a large civilian settlement grew up around it. Today the Binchester site is open to visitors, who can explore its remains along with those of a Roman bath house within the complex.

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Birdoswald Roman Fort

Situated alongside one of the best-preserved stretches of Hadrian’s Wall, Birdoswald was once home to over 1,000 soldiers. Even after the Romans left Britain, Birdoswald Roman Fort remained inhabited up to the fifth century AD. Today, the ruins include walls, gateways and workshops. One of many forts on our map of Roman Sites in the UK.

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Brading Roman Villa

Housed in a purpose built structure, Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight was a 1st century Roman house and is an interesting example of Britain’s roman sites. Thought to have first been constructed in the mid-first century, it is believed that the villa was developed into a stone structure by the middle of the second century.

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Branodunum Fort

Branodunum Fort is a 3rd century Roman fort located on the Norfolk coast.

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Bremenium Roman Fort

Bremenium Roman Fort was an important Roman outpost which was located beyond Hadrian’s Wall. This heavily fortified garrison stood for more than 200 years as the most northerly base in the entire Roman Empire. Unlike many forts of its type, Bremenium had thicker walls and included significant artillery emplacements - highlighting the fact this fort existed at the very fringes of Empire, essentially in enemy territory. Consequently, no civilian settlements grew up outside the walls and there seems to have been little or nothing of this nature at Bremenium. Though much of the original stonework has been plundered over the years, the remains of the Roman fort of Bremenium can still be seen.

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Burgh Castle Roman Fort

The Roman Fort at Burgh Castle is one of the best preserved Roman sites in Britain. Built between 260 AD and 280 AD, the walls of this impressive fortification remain in remarkably good condition - they survive on three sides and stretch as high as four metres. Known as Gariannonum, Burgh Castle Roman Fort was originally built as part of the Saxon Shore defences, which were designed to act as a defensive system protecting against seaborne raiders from Denmark and Germany. Today the remains of Burgh Castle Roman Fort are truly impressive; both for their state of preservation and for the located, situated as it is on a low cliff above the Waveney estuary.

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Caer Gybi

Hidden next to a medieval church in Holyhead, Anglesey, this small Roman fortlet is one of the most obscure Roman sites in the United Kingdom. It is thought that Caer Gybi was constructed to defend against pirates who were operating in the area and this smaller fortlet was probably an outpost of the larger Roman fort at Segontium.

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Caerwent Roman Town

Caerwent contains the fascinating remains of the Roman settlement of Venta Silurum. Particularly impressive are the ruins of the defensive wall, which rank among the best of their type of any UK Roman ruins.

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Cardiff Castle

A Norman castle built over the site of a Roman fort, Cardiff Castle contains the reconstructed remains of the original Roman defensive wall. With its good access to the sea, the site of Cardiff Castle was first home to a succession of British Roman forts, initially built in the mid first century AD.

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Cawthorn Roman Camps

The Cawthorn Roman Camps are the remains of a late 1st / early 2nd century AD Roman military enclosure situated in the south of the North York Moors.

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Chedworth Roman Villa

A second century AD luxurious Roman Villa, the ruins of Chedworth today give just a hint of its former glory. One of several lavish Roman villas to have been excavated among the Roman ruins of Britain.

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Chester Roman Amphitheatre

amphitheatre. For those seeking Roman sites in the UK, this is one of the better known. However, the fact that little remains of this amphitheatre can mean it can be a bit of a let-down.

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Chester Roman Gardens

Perhaps in contrast to the above, this pretty reconstructed Roman site is made up of a number of Roman finds and artefacts gathered from various sites in Roman Chester. One of the most tranquil places on our list of Roman Sites in the UK.​​

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Chesters Roman Fort

One of the most interesting Roman sites in Britain, Chesters Roman Fort contains the extensive and well-preserved remains of this Roman legionary outpost which made up part of the defences of Hadrian’s Wall.

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Chysauster Village

Chysauster Ancient Village contains the ruins of an Iron Age settlement in Cornwall, which is operated by English Heritage.

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Cirencester Amphitheatre

Little remains of this 2nd century amphitheatre which once held up to 8,000 people. However, it’s still worth a stroll by for those seeking Roman sites in the area. Among just a handful of amphitheatres on our map of Roman ruins in Britain.

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Colchester Castle

Once the capital of Roman Britain, Colchester Castle is built on the remains of the famous Roman Temple of Claudius. One of the most hidden Roman sites in Britain, the remains of this temple can only be viewed on special tours of the castle.

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Crofton Roman Villa

Crofton Roman Villa in Orpington, London, contains the remains of an ancient house and farm complex originally built in the second century AD and occupied until around 400AD.

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Croy Hill

Little remains of this site, which was once part of the Antonine Wall, a vast second century defensive barrier in Scotland which ran from West Kilpatrick to Carriden. It is one of a number of Britain’s Roman sites which made up part of this famous defensive structure. Visitors to the site can make out two beacon platforms and a defensive ditch which would have formed part of the original fortifications.

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Dewa Roman Experience

Situated on the site of a Roman fort in the historic city of Chester, Dewa Roman Experience allows visitors a hands-on exploration of a Roman legionary base.

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Dover Roman Fort

The remains of the Dover Roman Fort represent all that is left of the ancient Roman fleet base which served the large Roman naval detachment which defended British waters.

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Durnovaria

Durnovaria is the original Roman name for what is now the English town of Dorchester.

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Greenhead Roman Army Museum

Containing artefacts and replicas of Roman military equipment such as weapons, armour and chariots, this is an interesting place to visit for those seeking Roman sites in Britain. The museum is located next to one of the oldest Roman forts in the area, as Magna under the Romans and as Carvoran in the post-Roman era, though very little is known about this fort.

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Hod Hill

Hod Hill is one of the largest Iron Age hillforts in Dorset.

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Kinneil House and Museum

Kinneil Estate is a fantastic historic site, centred around the 15th century Kinneil House. Also at the site are a Roman fortlet, the ruins of a medieval church, a museum and the cottage of inventor James Watt.

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London Mithraeum

Perhaps London’s most famous 20th century Roman discovery, the Temple of Mithras is a Roman mithraeum – a temple built by worshippers of the mysterious cult-like god Mithras – built in the late second century and discovered in 1954 during building work in Walbrook, a street in the City of London.

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London Roman Amphitheatre

The London Roman Amphitheatre was built in the first century AD and is the only one of its kind in the city.

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London Roman Fort

Like many Roman sites in Britain, this ancient fort has been mostly lost to the ages. However, certain sections can still be seen and the Museum of London also offers limited tours of what remains.

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London Roman Wall

Built between around 190 and 220 AD, this defensive wall protected Roman London. A number of remains can still be found today, but like many UK Roman Sites, a little imagination is needed to picture its ancient grandeur.

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Multangular Tower

The Multangular Tower is a third century AD ten-sided stone tower originally forming part of York’s Roman legionary fortress and now located in the gardens of the York Museum.

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Museum of London

The Museum of London explores the history of the UK’s capital city.

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National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum Cardiff has a diverse collection ranging from art to natural history and archaeology.

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North Leigh Roman Villa

North Leigh Roman Villa was a first century villa, the remains of which can be seen in Oxfordshire.

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Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle is a picturesque ruin of a medieval castle built in the place where William the Conqueror landed in 1066.

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Richborough Roman Fort

Richborough Roman Fort in Kent marks the site where the Romans successfully invaded Britain in 43 AD.

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Roman Bath House Museum

In 1930 in the basement of the Mail Coach Inn in St. Sampson’s Square in York, renovators stumbled across the 1,900 year old remains of a Roman ‘caldarium’, or steam bath.

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Roman Ribchester

The modern day village of Ribchester is situated on the site of what was once a large Roman fort known as Bremetennacum Veteranorum. It is believed a first incarnation of Ribchester Roman Fort was built in 72AD as a timber fortification. This Roman fort would have housed a military garrison and would have been used to secure the local area. The fort was later rebuilt in stone, probably in the mid-to-late second century AD. Today, the remains of Ribchester Roman Fort and the Ribchester Roman Bathhouse can be seen alongside the Ribchester Roman Museum, which showcases the best of the history of the site.

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Segedunum Roman Fort

One of the forts making up Hadrian’s Wall, Segedunum is a great place to view the remains of the wall as it includes a 35m high viewing tower. There were several wall forts along the 73-mile stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, each garrisoned by Roman soldiers. From around 122 AD, Segedunum held 600 soldiers and was one of the eastern forts along the wall. One of the most interesting Roman sites in Britain.

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Silchester Roman Town

Silchester Roman Town flourished from the mid-first century AD and was eventually abandoned.

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St Bride’s Church

Located in London’s journalistic heartland of Fleet Street, St Bride’s is a restored 17th century church, steeped in history and originally designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

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The Antonine Wall

The Antonine Wall was a Roman defensive wall, the remains of which can now be seen in Scotland.

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The Roman Lighthouse

The Roman Lighthouse in Dover is a ruined first century AD Roman tower which is one of the best-preserved of its kind anywhere in the world.

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Trimontium Museum

The Roman fort of Trimontium no longer stands, but the nearby museum uses artefacts and replicas to tell a story of a military power and the struggles that took place on the border with Scotland.

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Tullie House Museum

Opened in 1893, Tullie House Museum in Carlisle is a converted Jacobean mansion housing the greatest collection of Roman artefacts in the north-east.

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Venta Icenorum

Translated as ‘town of the Iceni’, Venta Icenorum sits in the valley of the River Tas on the outskirts of Caistor St Edmund and was the civitas, or capital city of the Iceni tribe.

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Wales National Roman Legion Museum

The Wales National Roman Legion Museum explores the history and legacy of the Roman Empire’s furthest outpost.

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Wall Roman site

The Wall Roman site in Staffordshire houses the ruins of an Ancient Roman inn.

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Welwyn Roman Baths

One of the more hidden places on our map of Roman sites in Britain, Welwyn Roman Baths can be found in a specially built vault under the A1 motorway. Excavations took place before the motorway was constructed and efforts to preserve the baths resulted in the construction of the chamber and an access tunnel. Visitors can view the remains of the small bath complex, information on the Roman approach to bathing and on the lives of those who lived in Roman Britain.

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Whitley Castle

This little-known, remote Roman fort in the North Pennines bordering Cumbria and Northumberland is not only the highest stone-built Roman fort in Britain, it has the most complex defensive earthworks of any known fort in the entire Roman Empire.

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Wroxeter Roman City

Wroxeter Roman City houses the remains of what was once Roman Britain’s fourth largest city.

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York City Walls

The York City Walls are England’s most intact set of city walls and one of the city’s most popular attractions.

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York Minster

York Minster is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in northern Europe, built by the Normans and expanded over the centuries.

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Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum is a true celebration of two thousand years of history of one of the UK’s most beautiful, traditional and influential cities.

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Our database of Roman Sites in Britain is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. So, if you know of other Roman ruins in the UK, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by contacting us today.