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Roman Manchester

Next tour: Bank Holiday Monday 27 May 2024.
Meet: Deansgate Entrance, Beetham Tower, 2.30pm.
What you need to know: Please bring typical Roman lunch: snails fattened on milk, peacocks’ brains and flamingos’ tongues.
What you need to remember: Sic Transit Omnibus Superbus.
11 obols.
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* Stop Press. We can now access the only remaining piece of authentic Roman ruin! Ed Glinert has been campaigning for this for decades.

They came, they saw, they conquered the Setanti and Brigante tribes and imposed their despotic rule on the local area. They were the Romans and the year was AD79. No one invited them in. They just took over the place. But at least they brought us the clever notion of reading and writing, a new religion (worship of the God Mithras), straight roads and lasagne. They built four forts in what is now Castlefield over the next four hundred years or so, and then just left without so much as an arriverderci.

Two thousand or so years later little of Roman Manchester remains – above ground. There is one lump of stone, which we will do our best to find. There is plenty below ground, as successive excavations over the last few centuries have unearthed, stories which we shall unravel as we visit the archaeological sites around Deansgate and Liverpool Road. And we have them to thank for changing the name of the area from Maenwicken.

Ed Glinert dons his toga in honour of the Ides of July.

The only block of remaining wall in Manchester. Will we find it on our tour?