The Info List - Glevum

--- Advertisement ---

Coordinates: 51°52′01″N 2°14′56″W / 51.867°N 2.249°W / 51.867; -2.249

Modern statue of Emperor Nerva
in Gloucester. Nerva
made Glevum
a colonia.

(or, more formally, Colonia Nervia Glevensium, or occasionally Glouvia) was a Roman fort
Roman fort
in Roman Britain
Roman Britain
that became a "colonia" of retired legionaries in AD 97. Today, it is known as Gloucester, located in the English county of Gloucestershire. The name Glevum
is taken by many present day businesses in the area and also by the 26-mile Glevum
Way,[1] a long-distance footpath or recreational walk encircling modern Gloucester. [1]


1 Fortress 2 Colonia 3 Decline 4 Remains 5 References 6 External links

Fortress[edit] Glevum
was established around AD 48 at an important crossing of the River Severn
River Severn
and near to the Fosse Way, the early front line after the Roman invasion of Britain and which became one of the most important Roman roads in Britain. Initially, a Roman fort
Roman fort
was established at Kingsholm. Twenty years later, a larger replacement fortress was built on slightly higher ground nearby, centred on Gloucester
Cross, and a civilian settlement grew around it. The Roman Legion
Roman Legion
based here was the Legio II Augusta
Legio II Augusta
as they prepared to invade Roman Wales between 66 and 74 AD, later being based at Burrium (Usk) and then Isca Augusta (Caerleon) in South Wales. Colonia[edit] In AD 97, the whole area was designated a colonia by the Emperor Nerva. A colonia was the residence of retired legionaries and enjoyed the highest status in the Empire. The legionaries were given farmland in the surrounding district and could be called upon as a Roman auxiliary armed force. A large and impressive administrative basilica and forum market-place was built in the town and there were many fine homes with mosaic floors.

Roman Britain
Roman Britain
was divided into four provinces in the early 4th century. It is most likely that Glevum, as a colony, became the provincial capital of Britannia Secunda, in the same way that colonies at York
and Lincoln became capitals of their respective provinces. There is some evidence that at this time Glevum
possessed a mint.[2]

At its height, Glevum
may have had a population of as many as 10,000 people. All the area around Glevum
was intensely romanised in the second and third centuries, with a higher than normal distribution of villas, as a result of its suitability for the traditional intensive Roman farming methods. Indeed, some of the best Roman villas
Roman villas
in Britain, like Chedworth villa and Woodchester villa (both famous for their Roman mosaics), are in the proximity of Glevum. Decline[edit] Excavations at the New Market Hall showed that Romano-British occupation of the town may have continued in some form into the sub-Roman period, even if the town's population was greatly reduced. A new portal in the wall was made at the beginning of the sixth century, showing a modest growth of the town after the Battle of Mons Badonicus in 497. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
records a King Coinmail (according to the original A-text), who may have come from Gloucester, taking part in the Battle of Dyrham
Battle of Dyrham
in 577, when the city was conquered by the Anglo-Saxons. Remains[edit]

Detail of one of the mosaics from the Chedworth Roman villa near Glevum

Many archaeological artefacts and some in situ walls from Roman Glevum may be seen in the Gloucester
City Museum & Art Gallery The remains of the Roman and medieval East Gate are on display in the East Gate Chamber on Eastgate Street. There is a small display in the Royal Bank of Scotland on Roman finds from the site Northgate, Southgate, Eastgate and Westgate Streets all follow the line of their original Roman counterparts, although Westgate Street has moved slightly north and Southgate Street now extends through the site of the Roman basilica. An equestrian statue of the Emperor Nerva
was erected at the entrance to Southgate Street in 2002. It was created by Anthony Stone and paid for by public subscription, following a campaign that started in 1997, the 1900th anniversary of the colonia's foundation.[3]


^ Glevum
Way Summary - the Long Distance Walkers Association ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2013-06-09.  The colonia of Glevum ^ "The Nerva
Statue". gloucester.gov.uk. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

City Council Museum & Art Gallery homepage Gloucester
City Council The Romans AD43-577[permanent dead link] Daily Telegraph 30/04/08 Mass Roman grave found in Gloucester


v t e

Major towns of Roman Britain

Placenames in brackets are either present-day names or counties where the towns formerly existed.


Britannia Superior


Britannia Inferior




Caesaromagus (Chelmsford) Corinium Dobunnorum
Corinium Dobunnorum
(Cirencester) Deva Victrix
Deva Victrix
(Chester) Durnovaria
(Dorchester) Durovernum Cantiacorum
Durovernum Cantiacorum
(Canterbury) Glevum
(Gloucester) Isca Augusta
Isca Augusta
(Caerleon) Isca Dumnoniorum
Isca Dumnoniorum
(Exeter) Isurium Brigantum
Isurium Brigantum
(Aldborough) Lactodurum
(Towcester) Lindum Colonia
Lindum Colonia
(Lincoln) Luguvalium
(Carlisle) Moridunum (Carmarthen) Noviomagus Reginorum
Noviomagus Reginorum
(Chichester) Petuaria (Brough) Ratae Corieltauvorum
Ratae Corieltauvorum
(Leicester) Venta Belgarum
Venta Belgarum
(Winchester) Venta Silurum
Venta Silurum
(Caerwent) Verulamium
(St Albans) Viroconium Cornoviorum
Viroconium Cornoviorum


Alchester (Wendlebury) Bannaventa
(Northamptonshire) Calleva Atrebatum
Calleva Atrebatum
(Hampshire) Cunetio
(Wiltshire) Venta Icenorum
Venta Icenorum

List of Roman plac