What Remains at Wall
At the site there are the remains of a Bath House and Mansio which were part of the Roman Town of Letocetum. It was located on Watling Street A5, the Roman Military road to North Wales, and near its junction with Icknield Street (the route of the A38) Gloucester to York. It was an important military posting station.
Situated a short distance from the remains is a small museum containing artefacts from the site and surrounding area of this important scheduled ancient monument.
The history of the site dates back to shortly after the Roman invasion of Britain (circa 43AD) and the earliest known military occupation of the site was around 50AD.
Other than a 'native type' farm and a few small finds there is little evidence of any significant settlement prior to Roman invasion but the name 'Letocetum' is thought to stem from a Brittonic (Celtic) name meaning grey wooded area. If there was any local settlement the native people may have belonged to the Cornovi or Corieltauvi tribes.
It is not known how any local people reacted to the Roman newcomers to their area but archaeological evidence found at the site indicates that there was at least one period of unrest which resulted in the destruction by fire of the first Mansio.
The first phase of occupation was by the military who built a succession of forts on the high ground above the site where St John's Church now stands.The local ground, although it is thought to have been poor quality arable land, was excellent quality pasture for grazing animals. This would have been significant for the settlement's early use as a military posting station, as well as the site's location for couriers travelling the Roman roads running between London to Chester and Gloucester to York.
The second phase of occupation was by the civilian population who would have been drawn to the area originally by the opportunities that arose under the military presence. This was the beginning of the town called Letocetum.