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Topic wk beg 27th April

Roman York

Hi guys,


We hope you are all managing to get on at home OK. This week, we have another Roman project for you – what was life like in Roman York? You are going to find out about where Romans lived and what there was to do in their towns. There are also some key questions for you to answer as you go and some tasks for you to do too. Use paper or write them in your books.


The Romans tried to invade Britain three times. In 43AD, they were successful and eventually made it up to York.


Key Question: When did the Romans settle York?


Like most Roman towns, York started as a military fort where soldiers lived and worked. Think a little like a castle but made of wood and with lots of separate buildings. The Romans were incredibly organised and laid all their forts out in the same way. Follow this link for a game to learn about Roman forts.

Task: Draw and label your own Roman fort. You need to place all of these buildings:

  • Walls -Roman forts were a square or rectangle shape and protected with wooden or stone walls.
  • Gates – Forts had four gates – one at each of the compass points (North, East, South and West).
  • Roads – the main road (via principalis) ran from the East to West gates and was totally clear. Another road (via praetorian) ran from North to South but was interrupted by the Principia.
  • Principia – this was the Headquarters, where the soldiers were told what to do. It was a building in the middle of the fort with a courtyard outside it.
  • Praetorium – the leader of the fort had their own house.
  • Barracks – the soldiers slept in barracks in groups of 10.
  • Granary – this building was to store food and was built high to keep the food dry.
  • Lavatorium – the Roman toilets were built right at the edge of the fort as they could get rather unpleasant!
  • Valetudinarium – the infirmary, or hospital, where wounded soldiers were cared for.
  • Fabrica – workshops where soldiers made things. They had to make anything that they needed from materials available near the fort.

The start of your fort plan may look something like this:

Extra task: Build a paper or cardboard Roman fort. You could print the files below to help or just use the picture for ideas if you are unable to print at home. Please email photos to if you do this – it looks very cool!

Task: Have a look at the file below and see if you can find the modern names for the Roman towns. There is a task about Roman roads too.

Key Question: What was the Roman name for York?

Most Roman towns looked similar and had similar buildings. Like the forts, they were often laid out in the same way. Use these two files to learn about the different buildings that a Roman town had:

Task: Can you find any similarities and differences between life for people in Roman York and life for us now? Make a list of things that are similar and things that are different. For example:

Similarity – Roman towns had clean drinking water.

Difference – Romans didn’t use taps – they got their water from huge bridges called aqueducts.

Cool Roman links: