Shortly after the second Roman invasion of Britain, Verulamium was established around the Iron Age settlement of Verlamion. The destruction of the settlement by Boudicca afforded the opportunity to implement Roman town planning principles, and Verulamium became one of the largest Roman cities in Britain (at least by area). Unlike many other Roman towns and cities, Verulamium's sub-surface remains were largely undisturbed until the 19th century, allowing modern archaeologists to map the layout more comprehensively than elsewhere. But much remains to be done, and work continues.
David Thorold , Curator of Collections (Pre Historic to Medieval), discusses how Verulamium developed from the base of an Iron Age chieftain to become an extensive Roman city, before fading away and being eclipsed by St Albans, following the Roman withdrawal.
In scene 10 of ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’, the rebels list what the Romans have done for us; roads are third on the list. Roads are one of the aspects of the Roman world that everyone knows about, or do we?
Find out more about the origins and early development of Verulamium.
Rosalind Niblett's well known map of Verulamium, with thanks to her and St Albans Museums.
Excavations in the Walbrook area of London found over 400 remains of Roman writing tablets, many of which could be deciphered. They shed surprising light on the recovery of Verulamium after it was destroyed by Boudicca.
Isobel Thompson reviews the conference on late Roman Verulamium held at the end of June 2019, co-organised by the Society with Welwyn Archaeological Society and St Albans Museums.
Just six months after the Society was formed in 1845, Richard Lowe was nominated to be a member. Little more than a year later, he made a seminal find while carrying out archaeological excavations on the Gorhambury estate.
Our Society worked closely with leading archaeologists Dr Mortimer Wheeler and Mrs Tessa Wheeler on the excavation of Verulamium in the 1930s. Both became Honorary Members of the Society.
The purchase of the current Verulamium Park in 1929, the subsequent excavations, and a new museum to show the finds transformed the public's understanding of the former Roman city.
In August 1929, St Albans City Council acquired the land used to create Verulam Park, which the site of about half the Roman city of Verulamium. Shortly afterwards, an Excavation Committee was formed, including members of the Society. A series of excavations ensued.