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Wroxeter ( , "Rock-Sitter") is a village in the county of Shropshiremarker, Englandmarker, on the east bank of the River Severn, at . It is located about 5 miles south-east of Shrewsburymarker and is near to the village of Atchammarker. It lies in the parish of Wroxeter and Uppingtonmarker. The Royal Mail postcode begins SY4. It is located on the site of the Roman city of Viroconium Cornoviorummarker, 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 Powysmarker. Mercianmarker encroachment forced the Welsh to move to Mathrafalmarker castle sometime before 717.The main section of the Roman road Watling Streetmarker runs from Dovermarker to Wroxeter.

Pengwern and Powysmarker were, perhaps, both divisions of the pre-Roman Cornovii tribal federation whose civitas (capital) or administrative centre was Viroconium Cornoviorummarker (now Wroxeter). The minor Magonsaete/Magonsæte 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 complex.

At the centre of Wroxeter village is the Anglo-Saxon parish church 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 Abbeymarker following the Dissolution. The church is managed by The Churches Conservation Trust.

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.

Wroxeter (and Silchestermarker) 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 post-Roman era inhabitants and so the site of Shrewsbury was chosen as it is more easily defended.


  1. English Heritage

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