Nunney - An Outline History
by Richard Lewis

In the beginning...

The old tracks are almost forgotten
Where the wind whines in the grasses
And the hawk hangs over the heather…

The primitive tribesmen who padded along the Ridgeway 2,000 years ago travelled a lonely and narrow track through a district thickly covered in oak forests. The valleys were swampy and uninviting, and the wild boar, the bear, the wolf and other beasts roamed through a region where dwellings were few and roads non-existent.
A handful of tribes thinly scattered over the land spent their time hunting and fishing, herding and weaving creating metal tools and weapons and, above all, fighting to defend their hill settlements against the incursion of jealous and ambitious neighbours.
Here dwelt the Belgae, a fair-haired people who had their main settlement locally on Postlebury Hill, a commanding eminence which gave them a good view of the surrounding countryside.
Nunney had, as yet, no existence as a village: the Ridgeway was the main thoroughfare carrying the traffic that passed, mainly on foot, from one settlement to another, bearing goods for trade and barter, primitive medicines, perhaps news and rumours of local and general interest. Along this route members of the tribe doubt- less gathered for the great religious festivals which would bring them together in communal worship and feasting from time to time. Travellers on that ancient track would have little reason to turn aside to explore the uninviting depths of remote and hidden valleys.
Along this path must have arrived the first news of the Roman invasion, and the account of the inexorable advance of the legions would be conveyed with increasing anxiety from settlement to settlement. Suddenly from the south the hardy veterans of the mighty 2nd Augusta Legion would have appeared, led by their determined commander Vespasian, destined to become Emperor in 71 AD. Recently stationed in permanent quarters on the Rhine, and probably resentful at being transferred to so remote and inhospitable a district, they would have made their way irresistibly forward, moving watchfully in skirmishing order, the track unlikely yet to be wide enough to take a legion in formation of march. Their advance would eventually carry them past the lead mines of the Mendips, already long-established, and on to Caerleon or Isca Silurum, where the legion finally established its permanent base on solid, well-constructed barracks, the foundations of which are visible to this day, as is the site of the amphitheatre.

In the Beginning Page1 Page2
The Last Invasion Page3 Page4 Page5 Page6 Page7 Page8 Page9