Romans in East Lothian (AD 43–410)

Remains of Roman ramparts, adjacent to Inveresk fortThe Roman period in Scotland can be roughly divided into three main periods of occupation:

  1. The Flavian period – a seven-year occupation during which General Agricola destroyed the Caledonians at the battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84
  2. The Antonine period – c. AD 138–163,  with the establishment of more permanent occupation
  3. The final Severan advance (AD 208–211), which was a brief attempt to complete the conquest of Scotland

It was during the Antonine period that the fort at Inveresk was established, with its Civitas settlement next to the fort and the harbour at Fisherrow.  It is clear from the recent discovery of a Roman cavalryman’s tomb, that the Governor of Britannia spent time here on the edge of the Empire.

The local tribe of the Lothians, the Votadini, seemed to have traded with the Romans, but not adopted many of the benefits of Roman occupation, like new farming methods, aqueducts and bath houses, planned towns, or villas.

It was during the Antonine period that the fort at Inveresk was established, with its Civitas settlement next to the fort and the harbour at Fisherrow.  It is clear from the recent discovery of a Roman cavalryman’s tomb, that the Governor of Britannia spent time here on the edge of the Empire.

The local tribe of the Lothians, the Votadini, seemed to have traded with the Romans, but not adopted many of the benefits of Roman occupation, like new farming methods, aqueducts and bath houses, planned towns, or villas.

The following websites can provide further information:

The Hunterian Museum

National Museums of Scotland




One thought on “Romans in East Lothian (AD 43–410)”

  1. GILLIAN LENDRUM says:

    Do you know of any Roman renactors that would be suitable for primary school visits?

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