Beyond Roman Sandy

The development of The hinterland settlement at Sandy to service the needs of the Roman mansio would undoubtedly have brought about changes to the way of life in settlements outside the town - the area around Sandy was densely populated during this period.

The main change would have been in agriculture with the establishment of villa estates and model estate villages such as the one at Kempston. In addition there is evidence of the development of a local pottery industry with kilns found at Warren Villas quarry which probably supplied periodic markets in the town.

Further Reading
Shotter D, 1998 Roman Britain Routledge
Millett M, 1992 The Romanization of Britain Cambridge University Press
Salway P, 1981 Roman Britain Oxford

The Impact of the Roman Conquest on Sandy

The Roman conquest of Britain saw many changes forced upon the native population - taxation, the army and the census introduced them to a wide range of different cultural traditions - in building, dress, food and religion. It is not clear how far the "romanisation" of Sandy went - although many Roman artifacts were found and by the third century Roman coinage is common, it is unlikely that a "Roman" way of life was adopted by many other than the rich and aristocratic members of the local population who adopted Roman fashions to improve their own standards with the Romans and within their own communities.

Further Reading
Webster G, 1980 The Roman Invasion of Britain, London
‘Talkin’ Roman’ English Heritage Video (25mins)

The end of Roman Sandy

The collapse of the Roman empire and the withdrawal of the Roman army from Britain by 410 AD may have a significant effect on a settlement like Sandy which was dependent on traffic and the imperial post system. It is unclear however when or if occupation of Sandy ceased - Roman objects may have continued in use for some time but by the end of the 5th century there had been a definite shift in the settlement area with the area of the cemetery and mansio to the south being abandoned and returning to the farmland it remained until the 20th century.

The 5th century saw a new wave of immigrants and settlers to Britain and Sandy - the Angles, Saxons and Jutes and we have evidence too of the arrival of these Germanic peoples - cremations with distinctively shaped and decorated pots have been found in the area close to the present railway station. Whilst the settlement at Sandy would have returned to its life as an agricultural settlement as it was before the arrival of the Romans - the memory of the Roman town remained - stories of Sandy's Roman past became part of local legend, including that of the Golden Gates, were reflected in local place names such as Chesterfield and Caesars' Camp.

Further Reading
Casey P J, 1979 The End of Roman Britain, BAR, Oxford
Snyder C A, 1997 An Age of Tyrants: Britain and the Britons AD 400-600 Sutton