Alchester Roman fortress Eberhard Sauer How rapid was the Roman Conquest of Britain? At Alchester, in north Oxfordshire, evidence has been revealed that the fortress was founded in the autumn of AD44, only a year after the original landing. Excavations have revealed the base of the timbers for the fortress gateway, and tree ring dating has shown that these timbers were felled in the autumn of AD44 or the spring ofAD45./t would appear that within a year of the original landing, major Roman bases were already being constructed in the heartland of Britain.
Excavating the defences near the north-west corner of the fortress (trench 24), with the inner fortress ditch in the foreground and the middle and outer ditches beyond.
Below. Reconstruction drawing of the Roman fortress by Deborah MilesWilliams. The base of the central timbers still survived giving a tree ring date of AD44. Note the waterlogged ditches which were full of duck weed according to Mark Robinson.