The Romans settled; The Pax Romana endured. One Roman built his villa just north of Nunney under the shoulder of a shallow slope. It is tempting to imagine his peaceful rural existence, perhaps married to a British wife, contented in his exile, watching the changing skies of Mendip. Little remains today to mark the site, but excavations in the last century revealed an interesting mosaic pavement or floor, many sections of which were removed by keen amateur archaeologists to decorate their cottage dwellings – fortunately not before a coloured diagram was made.
The site was re-excavated in 1958. The most notable finds on this occasion were the skeleton of a child of about three, and a number of coins, most of them bearing the head of Constantine, the 3rd century emperor who founded Constantinople.
It was almost four hundred years after Vespasian’s advance before the sun of Imperial Rome finally sank. It had been setting for some time, and in 410 A.D. the last of the legions ingloriously withdrew and the land was left, undefended, to fall victim to rapacious invaders from across the North Sea. The fading civilisation quickly declined into the long lawlessness that historians know as the Dark Ages, when man said that Christ slept. In a gesture of futile defiance the descendants of the old Belgae rose against their Germanic invaders, but were defeated at Penselwood by King Cenwalh and his West Saxons, and the region was over-run by barbarians, ‘Having no music, or poetry, Only uncouth tales of old heroes…’
The cries ceased, the smoke of burning dwellings eventually cleared, and out of the terror and despair of that long darkness, light emerged: the Saxons, who had wantonly and brutally destroyed so much that was orderly and good, settled and mellowed in their turn, and now, for the first time, names appear: Truttoc gave his name to Truddoxhill; Wita to his enclosure or ham at Witham; Waendel to Wan’s tree or Wanstrow, and of course, Nunna himself, the old chief, to the local settlement.
Nunna was, no doubt, a man of power and importance, as the survival of his name Indicates. After the defeat of the slopes of Postlebury of the last British uprising, Nunna and his folk settled by the stream, cultivated the land, and no doubt cleared the tracks which led to Whatley and Frome, and which had probably become overgrown since the Roman departure. Their simple huts of wattle and daub would have been conveniently located near the stream, and here in the long dark evenings they would doubtless gather round the fire, and tell stories of ‘battles long ago’ while the wind swirled the smoke and the wolf howled in the neighbouring woods.
Here, too, under the persuasive oratory of St. Adhelm, they were probably converted to Christianity, and settled comfortably to their own confident permanence.

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