Wroxeter ( , "Rock-Sitter")
is a village in the county of Shropshire, England, on the east
bank of the River Severn, at .
located about 5 miles south-east of Shrewsbury and is near to the village of Atcham.
It lies in
the parish of Wroxeter and
The Royal Mail
begins SY4. It is located on the
site of the Roman city of Viroconium
Cornoviorum, known in Old
Welsh as Caer Guricon.
Viroconium was the
fourth largest civitas
capital in Roman Britain
. As Caer Guricon it may have served as the
early Dark Age capital of the kingdom of Powys. Mercian encroachment
forced the Welsh to move to Mathrafal castle sometime before 717.The main section of the
Roman road Watling Street runs from Dover to
Pengwern and Powys were,
perhaps, both divisions of the pre-Roman Cornovii tribal federation whose civitas (capital)
or administrative centre was Viroconium Cornoviorum (now Wroxeter).
The minor Magonsaete
sub-kingdom would also emerge in
the area in the interlude between Powys and Mercian rule. Some
impressive standing ruins from Viroconium are located just outside
the village, where there is also a small museum
. The Roman city was rediscovered in 1859 when
workmen began excavating the baths
At the centre of Wroxeter village is the Anglo-Saxon parish
of St. Andrew, much of which has been built from stone
“robbed” from Viriconium. The oldest visible section of the church
- in the north wall - is built of Roman monumental stone blocks and
the font has been formed from the hollowed out base of a massive
Roman column. Later additions to the church incorporate
remains of an Anglo-Saxon preaching cross and carvings salvaged
from nearby Haughmond
Abbey following the Dissolution.
church is managed by The Churches Conservation
There is a vineyard
in the village which is
one of two commercial vineyards in the county and since 2004 holds
the record for growing the most northerly red wine grapes
in the world.
(and Silchester) are the only large Roman settlements of Roman Britain that did not grow into large
towns or cities.
There is considerable debate about why this
is. One school of thought is that a major event such as a flood
(still a regular occurrence in the area) caused the population to
relocate to what was to become Shrewsbury. This suggestion is,
however, disputed. Another suggestion is that the Roman defences of
the city were too demanding (in manpower and to maintain) for the
inhabitants and so the site of Shrewsbury was chosen as it is more
- English Heritage