Session 05 - Hamilton Trust

LKS2 Topic Title: The Romans in Britain Block I: Roman Legacy
Session 5 Roads and towns
Geography: To name and locate cities of the UK; To describe and understand key aspects of human
geography including types of settlement and land use.
To name and locate Roman towns and cities in the UK and to consider why they were chosen as settlement
History: Ask historically valid questions and construct responses based on relevant historical information.
To consider why the Romans chose certain locations for their towns and cities.
Map of UK with Roman cities and roads marked;
Map of UK, including major cities; Task sheet; List of
Roman names for some European cities; Historical
and current Western Europe maps.
Whole class: You need: a large road map of the UK
Do chn know if there is any local evidence that the Romans were here in our area? Talk about what evidence we might find all
over the empire – ruins of walls, forts, villas, amphitheatres, aqueducts, bridges, roads, etc. If chn have seen any, discuss these.
Show chn a large road map of the UK. Identify the location of your school and the capital cities of each country, London, Cardiff,
Edinburgh, Belfast. Then look for Roman cities and identify these on the map: Lincoln, Colchester, Bath, York, Chester,
Cirencester, Exeter, Dover, and Winchester – in fact all the places with ‘chester’ in their name and many others. Many of our
cities were Roman cities. In all these places, there are Roman remains, walls, bridges, buildings, etc. Have any of you been to any
of these places? Look at some of the roads (not motorways – they are new). Some of the old roads were built over old Roman
roads, e.g. A2 London-Dover, A5 London-Holyhead. If you look at a map of your area it may be the case that many of the
straight parts of roads were built on old Roman roads. The chn will make old Roman maps today. Why do you think the Romans
chose these locations to build towns and cities? (Access to sea/ rivers/ resources, ability to defend the surrounding areas.) The
Romans wanted to make communications easy between different places in the country, and they knew that the only way for
people to communicate was by travelling between places. There were no phones, no trains, no telegraphs, and no electrical or
virtual communications. If someone in Colchester wanted to communicate with someone in Bristol, they either had to travel to
see them or they had to send a messenger who had to travel. This was why it was very important to the Romans that the roads
were straight (they went the most direct way) and also that they were well made and quick to travel on. This meant that, if
necessary, an army could march from one city to another to defend it.
Activity for all children
Chn look at a map of the UK with Roman roads and cities marked on it (session resources). They choose one to research and
use the internet or books to find out all about their chosen road or city. They record their results in a table (session resources).
Look at a map of western Europe in Roman times and compare it with a map of western Europe today. Identify
all the countries that were in the Roman Empire. Look at some of the city names; some of these were also
famous Roman cities, though they may have had different names. Compare the Roman and current names for
some major cities (session resources). The Romans built roads and cities all over their empire (Europe and
beyond). Choose one city and discuss as a class why you think they chose to build a city there.
Children will
 Identify capital cities and school location on map of UK
 Identify towns and cities in Britain that were old Roman cities
 Discuss why some sites might have been chosen as a place to settle
 Understand why the Romans built good straight roads
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