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Faking it!

What evidence do we have of Romans in Leeds?

Leeds, like much of the rest of Britain, was part of the Roman Empire. Like the British Empire that would follow centuries later, the Roman Empire was about conquest, invasion and exploitation of people and the natural resources of invaded countries.

Compared to some Roman occupation sites there is not much evidence of the Romans in Leeds. Roman York (Eboracum) was a much bigger and more important Roman town.

Watch the video below to gain an insight to the Romans in Leeds:



A few things from Roman times have been discovered around Leeds. There was a Roman Fort near Adel, Dalton Parlours (a Roman Villa) near Collingham and settlements at Wattle Syke and Rothwell Haigh. Roman objects have been found near Lingwell Gate, The Headrow, Headingley, Burmantofts, and Hunslet, which was also the site of a Roman burial. A Roman altar and a stone sarcophagus were dug up in Chapel Allerton during the early 20th Century.


Rothwell Haigh

In 1977 a rescue excavation was carried out at Rothwell Haigh Colliery revealing a Roman period enclosure. The most interesting thing was a well that had been filled in from about CE 270-340, and was then waterlogged. Because it had been waterlogged lots of wooden objects were preserved including a bucket, spade and bowls. Other objects including complete pots and a human skull were also discovered in the well. These may have been placed here as part of a ritual deposition.


The names of towns are also used as evidence of Roman occupation. The Roman town of Cambodunum may have been modern Leeds. The Anglo Saxon author Bede used the name Campodunum for Leeds later in the 8th Century.



Sarcophagus - A stone coffin, commonly used in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome

Excavation - an organised and recorded dig to find out about people who lived in the area in the past.

Ritual - a ceremony, often religious, when certain actions are carried out in a set order.