Look at any picture of the Wroxeter Roman City, and you’ll immediately assume it’s located in Spain, Greece or even Turkey. Unknown to many, this 2000-year-old archaeological site – which was once Britain’s fourth largest city – is situated about five miles southeast of Shrewsbury.
Historically known as Viriconium, Wroxeter usually remains hidden from tourist trails. It really is a shame as the vast archaeological site boasts spectacular ruins of a part of the extended Roman city. Visitors can wander around and marvel at the imposing wall which was once used to divide an exercise hall and municipal baths.
When was the Wroxeter Roman City site discovered?
The site was excavated by Philip Barker from 1966 – 1990. It was at this time that the country was exposed to a more urban form of life practised by the Romans that settled here.
At one time, the Roman city was home to about 5000 inhabitants. The site is home to a reconstructed townhouse which resembles the townhouses of the historic city. Viriconium city was once almost as large as Pompeii, yet today it has reduced to the size of a small village.
Thanks to its remote location, the archaeological site has been extremely well preserved. Whilst a very small part of the city was excavated, archaeologists and researchers were still able to discuss in detail what the place looked like back then.
How much will it cost me?
With an entry fee of £8.10, visitors can explore the vast ruins, listen to an audio tour and visit the roman townhouse which was built using tools and materials that were available to the Romans. Giving you a glimpse into domestic life in the Roman city, the townhouse is a plausible representation of what Roman townhouses looked like historically.
The audio tour is a superb way of having someone accompany you along the way. Delving deeper into the site with excellent commentary, the audio tour provides a context and allows you to better appreciate the ruins. We recommend beginning your audio tour from the viewing platform above the baths.
Main Image Credit: Charles Anderson (Flickr)