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2019 Conference - Your Roman Past

Conference Fully Booked

No tickets available on the day

The Nene Valley Archaeological Trust invites you to join us for our 2019 Conference which will take place at Castor, near Peterborough, on Saturday 30th March.

The conference provides a unique opportunity to showcase the wealth of Roman archaeology in the Nene Valley. Six eminent speakers will address the topic of "Your Roman Past".

normangate field geophysical survey 2018

Why Attend?

Why Attend

The Conference is aimed at both those who live in the local area - and anyone with an interest in how 400 years of Roman occupation changed Peterborough’s landscape.


The conference is taking place on the site of one of the largest Roman buildings in Britain - the so called Castor Praetorium. Castor is just a mile from the Roman town of Durobrivae alongside the Ermine Street bridge over the Nene. We will be close to Normangate Field which was an industrial suburb central to the Roman Nene valley pottery and iron industry.

Our speakers have played a direct role in discovering and interpreting the Roman history of the Nene Valley - both as hands on archaeologists and as respected academics.


The conference comes at a fascinating time when extensive geophysical surveys are revealing new discoveries about our Roman past - and as plans are being developed for a major new programme of investigations in and around the Roman town of Durobrivae (near Water Newton).


  1. Boots on the Ground
    The Romans meet the natives. The invasion of Britain and how the IXth Legion came to Longthorpe.
    Speaker - Geoffrey Dannell

  2. Hadrian's Vision?
    Stonea and the development of the Fen. The story of the Roman intent to organise the production of the Central Fenlands.
    Speaker - Ralph Jackson

  3. Traversing Roman Hinterlands and Wetlands
    Fieldwork at North West Cambridge,  Colne Fen & Earith. New evidence for Roman development of the area around Cambridge
    Speaker - Chris Evans

  4. Durobrivae   - The rise of the town and its development
    Latest news. After a long period of academic  neglect, Durobrivae is being reassessed.
    Speaker - Stephen Upex

  5. An Industrial Powerhouse?
    Industry around Durobrivae. New and exciting evidence for the size and complexity of the industrial suburbs.
    Speaker -  John Peter Wild

  6. Christianity-Survival and Revival
    Transition from Roman to Saxon. The significance of Christianity in the life of this area and its legacy.
    Speaker - William Burke

The Conference will begin at 9am and close at 5pm.


The talks will typically last for 35-40 minutes to allow plenty of time for questions and discussion.

A buffet lunch will be provided.



Castor CE Primary School
Stocks Hill




Castor is close to the A47, 5 miles west of Peterborough.

Nearest railway station - Peterborough.



You need to book and pay for your ticket online at Eventbrite. Click on one of these links:

Tickets need to be booked in advance via Eventbrite:


Conference Fee: £25

Students: £20

These prices include lunch

Speaker Profiles

Speaker Profiles

Geoffrey Dannell F.S.A

Began archaeology in 1955 excavating at St Albans, and acted as a supervisor there and later at Catterick.  Became interested in Roman pottery and Terra Sigillata (samian ware) in particular and has written many specialist reports, and articles on the samian industry. This led to numerous excavations in the lower Nene Valley involving pottery kilns together with Brian Hartley and John Peter Wild, including Stanground Park Farm, and the Longthorpe fortress’ military kiln-site. Currently Chairman of the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust.

Ralph Jackson FSA

Recently retired from his post as a curator in the Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British Antiquities at the BritishMuseum, Ralph has had a distinguished career leading the study of health in the Roman period. He has published numerous articles and specialist reports on Roman medical instruments and the culture within which they were used.  He has also engaged in the archaeology of the Fenland and with the late Tim Potter, co-authored the definitive account of the multi-period site at Stonea.

Chris Evans FSA

Director of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit which he co-founded 1990. He has worked in British Archaeology at a senior level for more than twenty-five years. Chris has published widely, including the Haddenham Project volumes (with Ian Hodder) and Power and Island Communities: Excavations at the Wardy Hill Ringwork, Coveney, Ely, as well as work at Earith. He has, in addition, directed a number of overseas fieldwork projects (Nepal, China & Cape Verde), and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists. He has recently been elected as Fellow to the prestigious British Academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Stephen Upex FSA

Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Brunei  from 1996- 2008 and now Tutor at Maddingley Hall, Cambridge, Stephen has a long career in the landscape and  archaeology of the Lower Nene Valley. He has carried out a number of excavations including the Roman site of Ashton (with John Hadman), the Saxon site of Polebrook and the Roman fort at Water Newton. His publications include the Roman palatial complex at Castor. He remains deeply interested in landscape archaeology of all periods. A member of the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust’s Research Committee, Stephen is developing the framework for the next phase of investigation of the local Roman town of Durobrivae.

John Peter Wild FSA

John Peter, an Honorary Vice-president of the Roman Society and Honorary Research Fellow in Archaeology at Manchester University, has just retired as Chairman of the Nene Valley Archaeological Trust. He has excavated and published (with Geoffrey Dannell) Longthorpe II (1984). He worked on the AI road development in 1958 and has excavated other Roman sites in the Peterborough area, including Stanground Park Farm, Stibbington and Normangate Field, Castor. His specialist interest remains archaeological textiles and is reflected in his publication of Textile Manufacture in the Northern Roman Provinces (1970). He is former editor of the journal Britanniaand its monograph series.

William Burke

Formerly rector of Castor, William Burke has been interested in archaeology from an early age. He met one of the best-known British archaeologists of the twentieth century, Sir Mortimer Wheeler at the Roman site of Verulamium when he was ten. As a teenager he visited and assisted on excavations.  He managed to maintain his interest during his time in the army visiting sites in Cyprus and Libya. He is particularly interested in Romano-British archaeology and early Christianity, the archaeology of the early Gaelic Kingdom of Dalriada in Northern  Ireland and Scotland, ecclesiastical architecture and the Roman and Byzantine architecture of the Levant.

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