Speed dating in peterborough
It was from the fortress at Longthorpe that the legendary Legio IX Hispana (Ninth Legion of Spaniards) set out to battle Queen Boudica when her Iceni tribe rose in revolt against the Romans in 61.And it was back to Longthorpe that the legion fled after being ambushed by Boudica, with 80 per cent of its soldiers dead.For Medeshamstede was what Peterborough used to be known as.It changed around the time of the Norman Conquest to become Burgh, or Burgh St Peter which then evolved into Peterborough by the end of the Middle Ages.While scarce traces of it can be found at ground level now, the internet has granted all of us a precious opportunity to be amateur archaeologists.Look on Google Earth and just to the west of Water Newton, beside the A1, you can make out the remains of Durobrivae and its network of streets within the old wall outline, punctuated by Ermine Street running through the centre and off to the north west towards Lincoln.
The first person to chronicle the history of Peterborough, the Benedictine monk Hugh Candidus, wrote during the 12th century that it was “built in a fair spot, and a goodly, because on the one side it is rich in fenland, and in goodly waters, and on the other it has the abundance of ploughlands and woodlands with many fertile meads and pastures”.
By the time of the Roman invasion, it’s believed that quite a major Iron Age settlement was occupying the future Peterborough.
The Romans landed in 43, by 47 they had taken over control of the area, with the building of a large fort at what is now Thorpe Wood Golf Course.
Ferry Meadows also shows traces of Roman habitation, still visible today – at first, purely military, with the construction of two small camps and defensive ditches.
But, once the troops departed, the spot became a farm instead, complete with its own temple.