Piercebridge Roman Bridge


Piercebridge Roman Bridge © David Gill

The Roman road, Dere Street, from York (Eboracum) to Corbridge crossed the river Tees at Piercebridge. Remains of the Roman bridge are in the care of English Heritage (full details here including plan and bibliography). This bridge appears to date to the early 3rd century AD.

A short entry on on the bridge (with reconstruction) appears in the English Heritage guidebook to Aldborough Roman Town. 

Cultural heritage in Greece during the present economic crisis


The Stadion at Olympia © David Gill

Suffolk Business School Research Seminar

Professor David Gill

Date: 9 December 2015, 4.00-5.30 pm


Greece has faced serious economic and social challenges during the present economic crisis. Heritage sites are seen as a major asset in the tourism strategy for Greece to generate income from outside the country. There are 15 World Heritage sites in Attica (the Athenian Akropolis), central Greece (Delphi), the Peloponnese (Bassae, Epidauros, Mycenae and Tiryns, Mystras, Olympia), Macedonia (Vergina, Thessalonika), and the islands (Delos, Rhodes, Chios, Corfu, Samos, Patmos). The paper will analyse data from the Hellenic Statistical Service.

In 2014 more than 14 million visits were made to heritage sites and museums in Greece. Back in 2008 the same figures showed that only 8 million visits were made. There are clearly heritage ‘hot-spots’ with Athens, Knossos, Rhodes and Olympia leading the way. The figures suggest that visitors tend to enjoy visiting sites rather than museums, though at Delphi nearly two-thirds of visitors also make their way to the museum to see the finds from the excavations. In 2014 heritage sites and museums generated more than 54 million Euros in ticket sales alone.

However there are some sites and museums, especially on more remote islands or in the mountains of the Peloponnese, where visitor numbers are extremely low. There are suggestions from northern European and North American arts commentators that Greece should realise its assets by selling ‘duplicate’ objects from its extensive holdings.

Further details


Temple of Zeus at Olympia © David Gill

Wroxeter Roman City


Wroxeter Roman Baths © David Gill

The remains of the Roman city of Viroconium can be found at Wroxeter in Shropshire. It contains one of the largest Roman architectural fragments in Britain, part of the urban baths. The site was excavated by J.P. Bushe-Fox 1912-14, then in 1936 and 1937 by Kathleen Kenyon, and from 1955 by teams from Birmingham University under Graham Webster, and from 1966 Philip Barker. The remains of the bath-house came under state guardianship in 1948, and more of the city in 1972 (through purchase).


1965 (4th impression 1970)

The first guidebook for the site (The Baths at Wroxeter Roman City) was published in 1965 by Graham Webster, with a section on the site museum by G.C. Dunning. There are two foldout plans: one of the baths complex, and the other of the city.


1978 (3rd edition)

A second edition of the guidebook appeared in 1973, and a third edition in 1978. The third edition was by the two recent excavators Graham Webster and Philip Barker. On the title page it is given as Viroconium, Wroxeter Roman City. Inside the cover is an updated plan of the baths, and another of the city. The guide includes a reconstruction by Alan Sorrell. The specific section on the museum was dropped.


1991 (repr. 1993)

English Heritage produced a fully illustrated guidebook with numerous reconstructions in 1991. The authors were again Webster and Baker. It includes detailed aerial photographs and a more substantial plan of the entire city.


1999 (repr. 2007)

A new colour guidebook by Roger White appeared in 1999. This includes a section on the church of St Andrew and the medieval village, and a brief mention of the site museum. There is also a quotation from Wilfred Owen’s 1913 poem ‘Uriconium’. There are several reconstructions, and a geophysical plan of the city is included.


Dunchraigaig Cairn

Dunchraigaig Cairn

Dunchraigaig Cairn © David Gill

Dunchraigaig Cairn lies within the prehistoric landscape of Kilmartin. It is situated on what appears to be a raised beach overlooking the main part of the glen. It contained at least three burial locations.

The cairn is now under the guardianship of Historic Scotland.


Dunchraigaig Car Park © David Gill

Greek Pottery at Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory, Yorkshire © David Gill

My paper on the Attic black-glossed bolsal now in the Great North Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne but once in the collection at Nostell Priory in Yorkshire is now available. The house is now owned by the National Trust.

Gill, D. W. J. 2015. “The Nostell Priory bolsal.” In On the fascination of objects: Greek and Etruscan art in the Shefton Collection, edited by J. Boardman, A. Parkin, and S. Waite: 95-106. Oxford: Oxbow.

Edited volume


Developments at Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo

View of burial mounds at Sutton Hoo from temporary viewing tower (2015) © David Gill

The HLF has announced that it will be funding a major new development at the Anglo-Saxon burial site at Sutton Hoo, ‘Releasing the Sutton Hoo Story’ [NT Press Release; BBC News]. The first part of the grant will help to develop the visitor experience:

Plans include building a raised platform to provide views over the entire burial ground and to the River Deben beyond, which itself played such a significant part in the Sutton Hoo story. It was from the river that the Anglo-Saxon ship was hauled up the valley before it was used in the burial chamber found in Mound One, where the famous treasure was discovered, and it is hoped that visitors will also follow in the footsteps of the final stages of this dramatic journey. New innovative interpretation will help bring both the landscape and the museum to life.

Sutton Hoo attracted over 100,000 visitors in 2014 and this grant news is a very welcome development.

We would like to offer our congratulations to the National Trust and the team at Sutton Hoo.

The ship burials at Sutton Hoo remain one of the most important archaeological discoveries to be made in Britain. Thanks to this new grant, visitors to the site will be able to understand the significance of the location. Sutton Hoo will become a hub for visitors to Suffolk to explore what was known in the Late Roman period as the ‘Saxon Shore’.

The major finds from Sutton Hoo are displayed in the British Museum.

Sutton Hoo

The mounds at Sutton Hoo © David Gill



The Royal Cemetery at Vergina © David Gill

The World Heritage site of Vergina in Macedonia, Greece contains the Macedonian royal palace as well as the royal cemetery. Tomb II has been reconstructed to make a display for the objects found in the cemetery. It was thought that Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, was buried in the tomb but the inscribed silver plate appears to be later. Other tombs dating to the fourth century BC have been found in the vicinity.


4th century BC tomb at Vergina © David Gill

The Macedonian palace overlooks the plain and cemetery. It contained a series of dining rooms as part of the complex.


The Royal Palace at Vergina © David Gill

Immediately below it was the theatre where Philip II was assassinated.


The theatre at Vergina © David Gill