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Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A


Roman Oxford

The story is similar the Roman period. There is no large Roman settlement at Oxford. There is evidence of a major pottery industry centred around Oxford from the first century to the late fourth or early fifth century AD. Kilns and other manufacturing sites have particularly been found to the east of the city and stretch from Woodeaton down to Dorchester-on-Thames.

Evidence for Roman settlement has also been found to the north of the city, in the University Parks area. The archaeology indicates a rural settlement, probably a farm.

There were a number of Roman roads running through the city. A major Roman road ran to the east of Oxford connecting the large settlements of Dorchester-on-Thames and Alchester. A further road may have run from north to south, roughly along the line of the current Banbury Road. A third road may have joined the north-south road heading to the east and to the Romano-Celtic temple at Frilford, crossing the River Thames at North Hinksey. Finally a fourth road may have ran from the Icknield Way, connecting with the north-south road to cross the Thames at the present Donnington Bridge and eventually joining the Alchester-Dorchester road.

Thus it was not until the Saxon period that Oxford began to form into the city of today.

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