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HALF TERM - Magna’s Slime Masterclasses FREE with admission to Magna Science Adventure Centre. See What's On for more details and opening times.

Next: The Reresby Family

On the face of it there was little to recommend Templeborough to the Romans in 54AD. The ground was marshy and liable to flooding, but the legions knew what they were doing. The River Don provided a natural defensive line and they could quickly march to a number of important river crossings in the area. In conjunction with a strip of forts (the Roman Rig) across northern England the Romans could keep a wary eye on the Brigantes, whose nearest outpost was the old iron age fort at Wincobank (visible to the East from Magna’s front entrance). The Templeborough fort had a small ironworks outside the main wall, adjacent to the road for easy transport, and a bath house next to the river.

Queen Cartimandua, the leader of the Brigantes, had struck an uneasy alliance with the Roman invaders, but this was disrupted when she handed King Caratacus over to the Romans. Caratacus had been king of the Catuvellauni tribe ruling in the south east of Britain and had been defeated by the Romans after their arrival. Now tribeless he had gone on the run, heading west and north into Wales and then eventually into territory controlled by the Brigantes. His delivery into Roman hands was seen as a betrayal by many in the tribe.

Though popular with the Romans, Cartimandua subsequently fell out with her husband Venutius after falling in love with one of his servants Vellocatus. Divorcing Venutius and swapping in Vellocatus to be her king, triggered a civil war amongst the tribe and later a rebellion by Venutius against Roman rule. Throughout this period Rome supported Queen Cartimandua. Roman campaigns fighting the rebellious Brigantes seem to have lasted into the first century AD, before Pax Romana prevailed in the north.

Next: The Reresby Family

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