Site Index

Home Page | Site map | Pre-Celts | The Celts | Romans | Saxons and Vikings | Normans | Medieval | Articles | Search | RSS

Site News

New: Article on the Medieval minsters of Beverley, Rippon and York, submitted by Stuart Sharp.

We now have an RSS feed so you can stay up to date with the latest news here.

We've added lots more images. Check out the new photos on our Roman history site, such as Hadrian's Wall. Great new photos of Stonehenge and Avebury are on megalithic sites


Our castles pictures and notes have been updated with Farleigh Hungerford Castle. A full list of the historical galleries we have on line is also available now.

How new technologies shaped the layout of ancient Roman and medieval cities

These pages will look at the impact of technological innovation on the spatial layouts of Roman and medieval (European & Arabic) cities, in terms of some general themes - military technology, building materials, transport, building techniques.

Typical city plans

Chesters Roman Fort - Structured LayoutThe stereotypical Roman city was spacious, although enclosed by walls, with a partially planned layout reflecting a grid system. Main streets and roads were well paved and wide. The most distinctive features of the cities were monumental public areas or edifices (for water supply, entertainment, commerce, government.) The less wealthy lived in more chaotically laid out areas characterised by relatively high-rise apartment buildings (insulae).

Toledo - Medieval Arabic CityIn contrast, the European or Arabic medieval city was typically a "densely congested network of narrow winding streets, lined with high house fronts, a pattern relieved only occasionally by open squares and marketplaces." (Friedrichs, in Chant, p147) It was enclosed by a heavily fortified wall, with guarded gates and defended towers. Dominant non-military public buildings were usually religious. In the Arabic medieval cities, the layout was distinctively labyrinthine.



Etrusia is in the process of compiling a list of national events. If you are organising, supporting, publicising or simply know of an event related to any part of the UK history then let us know and we will add it to our list.

XHTML 1.1 CSS 2.0