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WROXETER ROMAN CITY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  VIROCONIVM CORNOVIRVM, VIROCONIUM CORNOVIRUM, VIROCONIVM CORNOVIORVM, VIROCONIUM CORNOVIORUM
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The Roman city of Viroconium Cornoviorum, Wroxeter, which was originally a Roman military base established in the 1st century AD, grew from the second century to be the fourth largest town in Roman Britain, with a defined area of 78 hectares. It is also one of the few not to have been built over by a later Saxon or medieval town. It developed out of a civil settlement adjacent to a first century legionary fortress between about 90-150 AD to become the tribal capital of the Cornovii. Following the visit of the Emperor Hadrian to Britain in AD122, it was much increased in size and provided with one of the largest and finest civic centres in the country occupying two complete insulae (city blocks). There was a huge forum and also extensive public baths. Excavations have enabled the city's history to be traced back to the fortress, and also forward to the shadowy end of Roman rule. Following periods of growth and relative decline in the second, third and fourth centuries, a remarkable resurgence of activity took place after AD400, at a time when the Roman administration began to withdraw from Britain. This resurgance is very unusual for Roman towns in Britain. The life of the later "Sub-Roman" town may have continued to about 650; with a phase of building in timber after the mid 6th century. It has been conjectured that Wroxeter had become the centre of a British, or possibly Irish, leader. This site is an English Heritage property.

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