There’s a really pretty part of Manchester alongside the canal underneath the railway bridge. Knowing very little about Manchester’s history, I was (embarrassingly) excited when I saw a sign pointing towards a Roman fort just a few metres away from where I was. Right away, I turned the corner and found a replica built on the ancient remains of the Roman fort at Castlefield.
Founded in A.D 79, Manchester, then known as Mamucium, was established as a garrison which guarded the road between the major towns Chester and York. A small community mostly made up of the soldiers’ eventually flourished, encouraging craftsmen and traders to settle in the area. These civilians benefited from the safety of the military presence, and in return supplied materials, food supplies, and entertainment.
The Romans continued to rule Britain, up to roughly what is now considered to be the Scottish border, for another 320 (give or take a few) years, until around A.D 400. It is interesting to think about how this country would appear today had Emperor Claudius not invaded, integrating Roman culture with that of the mostly tribal communities which existed before this in Britain.