Prestatyn Roman Settlement

Minor Settlement

Prestatyn lies five miles north of the main east-west highway from the legionary fortress at Deva (Chester) into North Wales.

Excavations in 1934-7 and from 1981 revealed elements of a first to second century Roman settlement that possibly extending into the 3rd century. The most prominent feature is a bathhouse of about 11.7m by 4.5m, but evidence of bronze working was also recovered. Prior occupation of the site was represented by traces of a roundhouse and other circular structures, together with an infant burial, dated to about 30 BC (AW 25 (1985) 29).

The bath-house was built in two stages, the initial one by Legio XX c. AD 120, with the later addition of a cold room and plunge bath, fed by a timber aqueduct. Bronze- and iron-smithing, and enamelling was conducted in adjacent, timber-built workshops, operating from c. AD 90/100 to c. AD 160. The other buildings found in the 1930s unquestionably form part of the same complex, now under a housing estate to the west of the bath-house. The current view is that these may signal a vicus-like settlement associated with a harbour installation designed for the shipment of lead and silver from nearby the mines, though its precise nature is unclear.

It is very likely that a Roman branch-road linked Prestatyn with the main highway near St Asaph, and continued south through the territories of the Deceangi along the valley of the River Clwyd, to the fort at Ruthin and the Berwyn Mountains, the realm of the Ordovices. There is some evidence that another road followed the coast south-east to Deva via the silver/lead mines at Pentre, though this route may have been supplied by sea.

RIB 444 - Inscription

131 paces (or feet).


This appears to be a distance-slab for insertion in an earthwork; cf. RIB 406 (Pumsaint [Dolaucothi]).

References for Prestatyn

The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).

Roman Roads near Prestatyn

Possible road: SE (15) to Pentre (Clwyd) SSW (6) to St Asaph

Sites near Prestatyn Roman Settlement