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Wall Roman Ruins

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published August 9th 2015
Find out what the Romans did for you
Take a step back in history to the days of Ancient Rome with a visit to this archaeological gem.

Wall, near Lichfield, houses the valuable and immensely fascinating Ancient Roman site featuring the ruins of a traditional bath house and staging inn.

Wall Roman Site, Ancient Rome, Letocetum, English Heritage
An illustration of the Ancient Roman town at Wall

Wall, or Letocetum to give it its Ancient Roman name, was an important staging post on Watling Street, the Roman military road towards Shrewsbury and North Wales.

In fact, the road has maintained its importance today having gone on to become the present-day A5.

Wall Roman Site, Letocetum, Ancient Roman
The ruins of the bath house and inn with the later church beyond

The original site would have covered between 20 and 30 acres, but only the stone foundations of the inn, or Mansio, and the bath house have survived.

The Mansio, which is believed to have been a two-storey building with a central courtyard, would have provided overnight accommodation and possibly fresh horses for travelling Roman officials, imperial messengers and important other visitors.

Wall Roman Site, Ancient Roman, Letocetum
The stone foundations of the mansio, or staging inn

It is believed the first Romans settled in Wall around 50AD when a small fortress was established on the hill just beyond the site of the present ruins.

Over time, the small town of Letocetum would have developed along the length of Watling Street, below the fort, possibly for up to a mile in length to take advantage of the passing trade.

Wall Roman Site, Ancient Roman, Letocetum
How the street between the mansio and bath house may have looked

Drawings of how the town might have looked around the end of the 2nd century AD can be seen on the site, as well as similar impressions of the bath house and inn, which is said to have burnt down around this time.

Unfortunately, nothing else of Letocetum has been found in the surrounding area, although it is thought that stables and possibly kitchens may have existed in the field neighbouring the ruins.

Wall Roman Site, Ancient Roman, Letocetum
The possible ruins of the bath house changing area

Although the site is owned by the National Trust, it is managed and maintained by English Heritage.

Further information, such as opening times, can be found by visiting

Visitors may also wish to plan their visit around then opening times of an on-site museum which holds a number of finds from the Roman site.

Wall Roman Site, Ancient Roman, Letocetum
Some of the artefacts found on the site

These range from large grinding stones and examples of glassware to wall mosaics.

The museum will continue to be open on August 16, 23, 29-31, September 26-27, and October 24-25, from 11am-4pm each day.
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Why? A fascinating glimpse into life in Ancient Roman times
When: Discover the ruins of an Ancient Roman town on your doorstep in the Midlands
Phone: 0370 333 1181
Where: Watling Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 0AW
Cost: Free
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