The recent and rapid expansion of Bicester has been accompanied by a very large amount of development-led archaeological work, in an area which has not previously been very thoroughly explored. There have been important excavations in the historic centre of Bicester, and large-scale investigations on new housing and infrastructure developments around the town. There has been much work in the surroundings of the Roman walled ‘small town’ of Alchester, which is only about 2.5 kilometres from the historic centre of Bicester.
This event reviews some of the most important results from all this work. We will focus on three topics in particular:
- The Late Iron Age landscape in which Alchester was built, originally as a Roman legionary fortress soon after the invasion of 43 AD.
- What was happening to the surroundings of the Roman small town, which was defended with walls in the 3rd century AD.
- The relationship between Alchester, which seems to have been abandoned at the end of the Roman period (remaining as a greenfield site to this day) and Anglo-Saxon Bicester, with its possible minster founded in the 7th century AD.
The day will start with an overview of development-led archaeology at Bicester and of the prehistoric background. This will be followed by a mixture of talks on specific recent excavations, given by people who have been directly involved in the work, and talks which synthesise and discuss the overall evidence for Roman Alchester and Anglo-Saxon Bicester.
Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 15 May 2024.