Roman St Albans - A Very 'British' Roman Town

The Roman Theatre at Verulamium is the only example of its kind in Britain, being a theatre with a stage rather than an Amphitheatre - photo courtesy of Carole Raddato
The Roman Theatre at Verulamium is the only example of its kind in Britain, being a theatre with a stage rather than an Amphitheatre - photo courtesy of Carole Raddato
  • St Albans - one of the best-preserved Roman towns in Britain
  • Specially-arranged access to artefacts and documents in the Mortimer Wheeler archive, not usually on display to the public
  • Guided tour of the Verulamium Museum galleries and the archaeology park

 

The ancient city of Verulamium grew from an Iron Age settlement, or oppidum, to become a prosperous Roman provincial town. After the Claudian invasion of Britain in AD43, it has been theorized that Verulamium achieved the status of ‘municipium’ - a semi-independent city state, though there is no evidence to confirm this. Destroyed by Boudica in the 1st Century AD, the town recovered to become a significant Roman town, complete with theatre, forum and basilica.

Parts of the city walls still stand and a hypocaust hints at the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Romano-British citizens.

As well as touring the Roman city with an expert guide, we have the chance to go ‘behind the scenes’ at Verulamium Museum. David Thurold, one of the Curators at the Museum, will introduce artefacts and documents from the Sir Mortimer Wheeler excavation archive, hidden away from the eyes of the public in the Museum stores. The whole story of a Roman town, from grand monuments to poignant everyday artefacts.

Themes

  • Romans

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

Meeting time / place
10:15 at Verulamium Museum, St Albans

End time / place
16:45 at St Alban’s Abbey

 

Morning
After an introductory lecture at the Verulamium Museum, there will be a guided tour of the Museum galleries. We have also arranged for David Thurold, a Curator at the Museum, to take us down to the stores to see artefacts from the Mortimer Wheeler excavations in the 1930s.

Lunch
Pub lunch nearby.

Afternoon
We visit the Verulamium Roman theatre - the best preserved in Britain! A walk through the archaeology park to see the Roman Town House, with famous hypocaust and associated mosaic, unearthed by Wheeler in the 1930s. We’ll also take in the late Roman walls, before heading to the Abbey to learn about St Alban and the early Christian period in St Alban’s history.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Lunch - Pub lunch nearby
  3. Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue

Reviews

Nov 16

Well organised with appropriate time devoted to the museum, theatre and other Roman relics in the park. As always Andy Fear was an excellent GL. He is articulate, highly knowledegable and amusing. His introductory lecture provided the perfect context for the day.


Guest, 2016
Nov 16

Dr Fear's talk was very well structured, very well presented with the visuals and the words and tailored for the enthusiastic amateur. Engaging manner. The tour of the archives by the curator was excellent and the tour of the museum also good. I was particularly taken with the mosaics there and in the bathhouse. The pub food was very good. Thank you Debbie for looking after me. It was especially nice to be able to eat outside.


Guest, 2016
Nov 16

The lecture was very enjoyable. Dr Fear was both informative and entertaining and worked very hard all day. He was able to engage his audience through good visuals, questioning, explaining and anecdotes. The hands-on session with the archaeologist was also very memorable. In general the museum session was very interesting. The planning and pace of the whole day was very successful.


Guest, 2016
Nov 1

A very comprehensive look at Roman St Albans. Firstly, the presentation on the Roman town development, before occupation, through the Roman years and the aftermath when the Romans left . Secondly, a look at and handling of some of the artefacts excavated on show in the museum and those not on show. Thirdly, field walking identifying the layout of the town and excavated buildings, etc.


Guest, 2015
Nov 1

A lot of things in a small area; Whole story of Verulamium alongside its material remains. Very well organised and helpfully displayed museum and informative visit to the store. Very nice and generous pub meal.


Guest, 2015

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Andante Study Days offer rare, often unique, insights into the world of working archaeology. All are led by expert guides, and are designed to give guests access to some of the best of British Archaeology... 

What to expect 

  • An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
  • A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
  • Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
  • Small Groups 12-25 guests
  • The company of like-minded people!

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2017 Study Day Details

Fri 14th July

Available

£115

without flights

XVE17A

Led By: John Shepherd

Managed By: Debbie Paton

Fri 15th September

Available

£115

without flights

XVE17B

Led By: John Shepherd

Managed By: Debbie Paton

Guide Lecturer

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