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Roman Takeover of the Thames Valley
of the Thames Valley

Roman Standard Bearer -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • In AD 43, the Romans invaded Britain. They set up towns and cities all over the country and taught people lots of new ways of doing things. They ruled for nearly 400 years.
  • The Romans turned the Royal village of the local Atrebates tribe into a big town called Calleva Atrebatum. A council was set up there which ruled over the northern part of the tribal region. They collected taxes and upheld Roman laws for the Emperor.
  • Calleva became a big city with lots of important buildings. The Romans built lots of roads to it across the Thames Valley.
  • There were several small Roman towns in the area we now call Berkshire. Abingdon was the biggest. It was a trading town (place where things were bought & sold) on the river. Thatcham and Wickham Bushes (at Easthampstead) were manufacturing towns (places where things were made). Frilford was a religious centre with lots of pagan temples.
  • Other temples were built on their own, often on hilltops at the side of the road. They were visited by lots of pilgrims just like churches in later Christian times. The Uffington White Horse was also important in Roman religion. They held fairs there every year.
  • We only know the name of one Roman place in Berkshire. Speen, near Newbury, was called 'Spinis'. It was the site of an Imperial Posting Station. This was  a stopping point for postmen delivering messages for the Roman government.
  • Most of the Romano-British people lived in simple farms or villages with single-room round houses. The Romans built posh rectangular farmhouses called 'villas', with lots of rooms and expensive Roman luxuries.

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