The antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

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The antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

October 29 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Reliquae Isurianae: the antiquarian and contemporary exploration of Roman Aldborough

by Prof Martin Millett FSA & Dr Rose Ferraby

This lecture will focus on the recently published monograph Isurium Brigantum: An Archaeological Survey of Roman Aldborough

It will pay particular attention to the analysis and re-interpretation of the antiquarian work on the site, showing how this can provide key insights when combined with selective re-excavation and survey.

The volume presents the results of an extensive geophysical survey of the site together with a review of the results of antiquarian work (from the late 17th century) as well as excavations in the 20th century. The site is of especial significance for antiquarian research in the period down to 1852 when Henry Ecroyd-Smith published his Reliquae Isurianae. Our work has made a significant contribution in re-interpreting the results of this early work in the context of our geophysical survey and selective re-excavation of old trenches. Further interest in the 19th century exploration of the site is provided by the ways in which these were integrated into an antiquarian garden part of which is preserved in the present English Heritage site. Included in this garden were inscriptions, architectural fragments and excavated buildings as well as a major quarry. Our work makes new sense of these and provides insights into the development of archaeology in the first half of the nineteenth century. Finally, our interpretation of the high resolution geophysical survey alongside the old excavation material enables us to present a new historical synthesis of the Roman town which has considerable implications for broader understanding of the Roman North. These include suggesting a different model for understanding Roman annexation of the region, and new insights into its late Roman and sub-Roman history.

Please note that due to COVID 19 restrictions we are unsure if this event will be held at Burlington House or just live streamed. Moving forward all our lectures will be live streamed so booking is recommended to recieve the live stream link. If attendance at Burlington House is feasible it will be limited and allocated through the booking link below. 

Attendance by Live Stream:

  • Registration is essential.
  • Open to anyone to join, Fellows and Non-Fellows.
  • Once you have registered we will be in touch regarding how you can join via Zoom video-calling.
  • The event will also be live-streamed to YouTube here, so you can watch along if you prefer
  • Places through zoom will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The event will begin at 17.00, GMT.
  • You will recieve an email with the link to join the day before the lecture.
  • Attendees’ cameras and microphones will be off throughout.

Attending Burlington House:

  • Registration is essential.
  • Those attending in person will be subject to temperature checks and will have to wear masks in the Meeting Room.
  • There will be no refreshments.
  • There will be no access to the Library or Fellows Room.
  • Admittance to the event is only 20minutes prior.
  • Fellows can not bring guests.

If you have any questions please contact our Communications Manager on [email protected]

Get tickets online


October 29
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Categories:


Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BE United Kingdom
020 7479 7080


Society of Antiquaries of London
020 7479 7080