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The Romans

Roman Wimbledon AD 50-450+

The Roman conquest of Britain began in AD 43, but changes in life style, especially in the countryside away from towns, would have been gradual. Pottery and coin evidence shows that the nearby Roman riverside settlement in Putney continued into the late 4th and early 5th centuries at least.  

Early discoveries

Perhaps the earliest record of a local Roman find is a pottery beaker found in 1786 in one of the 23 barrows beside the Kingston Road near Tibbet’s Corner.
 
There are two certain local Roman coin hoards, one dating to the 2nd century found with some pots in the grounds of Oaklands House in Wimbledon Park and eight bronze coins in a pot from near ‘Caesar’s Camp’. A third coin hoard is said to have been unearthed near Queensmere. On display in the Museum is a single coin of Faustina, minted AD 131-141, from Graham Road in south Wimbledon. 

Roman roads 

The major Roman London-Chichester road, known from medieval times as Stane Street, passes to the south of Wimbledon, crossing the Wandle near Merton Priory. It was constructed around AD 50 and refurbished in the 2nd century, but by the end of the Roman period had become a track. There may have been a Roman posting station here. 
 
A north-south road though the Putney Roman settlement was probably part of a Roman road system to Kingston or Wimbledon, or both. Parkside may follow the line of a Roman road as it passes close to a site with evidence for a substantial Roman building. 

A Villa?

A small archaeological watching brief in 2010 on the hillside above the Tennis Championship grounds uncovered a pit containing Roman pottery, building material and a quern (a simple hand mill usually for flour), large quantities of Roman brick and tile, and what has been interpreted as the foundation trench for a substantial building.