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Lancashire’s Roman past is less well known than it should be.  I suppose it’s mainly due to the fact that there are no large historic ruins in the area on a par with Hadrian’s Wall or some of the better known Roman Villa sites in the south of the country.  However, there’s a large band of amateur (and a smaller one of professional) historians and archaeologists who are well aware of Lancashire’s Roman past and this website has been created with the aim of widening the audience of this knowledge. The site is also a means of recording new finds as well as providing a place to publish new material. There isn’t one central point where amateur and professional or archaeologist and historian can come together to record and discuss all aspects of Roman Lancashire; this site will attempt to remedy that.

In 2008, David Shotter wrote, after I had enquired about a suitable (Roman Lancashire related) project for my Advanced Local History Diploma dissertation, that “the main problem for Roman Lancashire is the lack of a good County Journal to keep up with things”.  Well, owing to the remit of that diploma’s requirements a County Journal was not possible as my final dissertation, but I was able to write a piece on Roman finds in West Lancashire which took in older known finds as well as newer ones recorded in the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.

Much of that final dissertation will be used as starting points in this website as well as other associated ones (those concentrating on the Fylde Coast/River Wyre districts). But, given this age of cyberspace and information technology it seems fitting (and obvious) to try and establish a County Journal in the form of a website. Such a Journal would be accessible to all to view and relatively easy for those wishing to contribute; so I am proposing this website should be that Journal.

Editing will be light and modest because we expect contributors to know their subjects and we will try to accommodate all opinions and subject matter, no matter how obscure it may seem; the key point of relevance being it should pertain to Roman Lancashire in some way.

It’s frustrating not having any extensive Roman ruins in the county, although to some degree Ribchester does provide some large scale physical evidence as does  Chester, which, although not in our county, provides firm evidence of the legionary fortress that was literally on our doorstep.  Most evidence and finds are small scale, but together provide us with the patterns we need to draw inferences about our Roman past. But, apart from the physical artefacts that must be the mainstay of any interpretation, without the knowledge, research and explanations of people like Watkin, David Shotter and Ben Edwards the artefacts would be just mere interesting antiquaria. So, this Roman Lancashire site will depend on the explanations of our County experts to enlighten us as to what it all means. Having said that the site is open to all to contribute, all who have something meaningful to say on the Roman past of the area.

As self-appointed editor I will set the ball rolling with an introduction to the Romans in Lancashire.

Terentius