In 1954, a local historian, RM Butler, described Nottinghamshire as an ‘archaeological blackspot’. In this book, Mark Patterson proves him wrong by pulling together all that is known about the county during the centuries of Roman occupation.
- There were Roman towns near East Bridgford (Margidunum), Willoughby-on-the-Wolds (Vernemetum), Thorpe (Ad Pontem), Brough (Crococolana), Littleborough (Segelocum) and Newark.
- There were Roman villas at Barton-in-Fabis, Southwell, Mansfield Woodhouse, Oldcotes, Flawford, Car Colston, Cromwell, Thurgarton and Epperstone.
- The Romans built forts at Broxtowe, Osmanthorpe and Scaftworth, and temporary camps at Calverton, Farnsfield, Gleadthorpe and Holme.
- Somewhere along the River Trent east of Nottingham there was a Roman bridge, but its precise location remains a mystery.
- There was probably a temple to the Roman gods at Redhill, where a lead ‘curse tablet’ was discovered entreating Jupiter to torment a thief until he repaid the money he had stolen.
Roman Nottinghamshire is an authoritative yet accessible examination of the evidence of Roman civilisation in the county, and a fascinating narrative of how this evidence came to light and has been (mis)interpreted over the years, sometimes leading to controversy. Patterson is driven by a sense of wonder at the influence that the ghosts of ancient Romans continue to exert on the Nottinghamshire landscape:
“If you drive along the A46 Fosse Way, or follow the road from Littleborough to Bawtry, or the road from Derby to Long Eaton, you are following routes laid out by Roman army road surveyors.”
His book is the result of a year’s investigation and research. It takes the reader back to a time before Nottinghamshire existed, vividly describing Roman ways of life, and brings us back to the present, showing how we can see the marks of Roman occupation all around us.
About Mark Patterson
Mark Patterson was born and brought up in County Durham, and began working as a professional newspaper journalist in 1991. In 2004 he became freelance, in which guise he has written for various newspapers and magazines while also acting as media/PR consultant and writer for business organisations in the science and environmental/green economy sectors. He is particularly interested in environmental issues, and has a fascination with the Fosse Way. He has a BA from Manchester University and a BSc from Nottingham Trent University. He lives in Nottingham and has a six-year-old son.