Background

Ribchester, Lancashire was made famous by the discovery of the Ribchester Helmet, and associated hoard, in the 18th century. One of only three helmets of this type found in Britain, today these objects can be seen in the British Museum. The fort, built in approximately AD 72-3 by members of the twentieth legion, was located on the main western road. The garrison at the fort would have overseen the foot and river traffic and maintained control of the surrounding area. It is often assumed that Roman forts were organized in a similar way, but Ribchester has an unusually large Vicus (the town just outside) and importantly was also a Veteranorum for retired solders (known as Bremetenacum Veteranorum).

IMG_3875Ribchester has been subjected to many archaeological excavations over the centuries. Major excavations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries identified aspects of the stone fort, some of which can still be seen today. Major excavations took place in the Vicus, in 1989, but the majority of the archaeological investigations have been small.

DSCN0012Ribchester Revisited aims to explore the evolving use of the interior of the fort and its changing relationship with the Vicus. This will be through synthesis and reexamination of previous archives, and new substantial excavations in the northern part of the fort which started in 2015.