The Roman Army arrived in Malton in AD70 which is 1,950 years ago!!
The Romans built a wooden fort on the site near the river that we now call Orchard Field. In this fort, the soldiers lived and trained ready to fight if the local tribe (called the Parisi) attacked them to get them to leave. The Parisi were very peaceful people and so the Romans lived in Malton for nearly 400 years without any trouble.
The Romans settled into normal life here. They built a new larger fort out of stone and established a trading place for farmers to sell their food. Other trades-people sold the goods that might have been needed in the daily life of a soldier. Can you think what things they might need? They might need clothes, shoes, leather belts and pouches, a sword, a dagger, food, a pan to cook it in, a plate to eat if off, a cup to drink out of. All of these things were made by the trades-people, just as they are today and they would buy them from a stall or a shop that was just outside the Fort.
About 200 years after the Romans first came to Malton, a Cavalry Unit of Soldiers arrived to live at the fort. A Cavalry Unit is a group of Soldiers who ride horses into battle. So now more trades are required, causing the market area to grow. Saddle makers, horse feed growers, and other specialist leather workers were all at the Market. So this market was not just for the soldiers, there were trades-people who made things for everybody to use. There were many potteries in Norton that made plates, jugs, bowls and other pots for food which everybody needs in daily life, just like we do now. There were also brick, tile and chimney pot makers; metalworkers making pans, tools and weapons; weavers making cloth for clothing and bedding; and not forgetting jewellery, ornament and toymakers.
Archaeologists have found examples of all these things at the Orchard Fields site and in other places around Malton and Norton, so we know what a vibrant and busy community the area around and within the fort must have been.
Find out more
When Malton Museum is open once again, come along to see some of the things that people have discovered, that are now in our display.