Cohors Primae Cornoviorum

Cohors Primae Cornoviorum or The First Cohort of Cornovii is the only regiment of native British troops known to have been stationed in Britain itself. The unit was recruited from among the Cornovii tribe who inhabited the Midland counties of Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Hereford & Worcester. Their cantonal capital was named Viroconium Cornoviorum, “the town of Viroco of the Cornovii”, once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain now lying mostly undisturbed beneath farmland to the north of the village of Wroxeter in Shropshire. The Romano-British tribal capital was dominated by a large granite intrusion to the east, upon which was situated the Wrekin hillfort, perhaps the ancient (i.e. pre-Roman) capital of the tribe, which was also named after the former Cornovian Chieftain. The unit is mentioned only in the Notitia Dignitatum and apparently formed the late-fourth century garrison at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the original eastern terminus of Hadrian’s Wall.

Evidence for the presence of Cohors Primae Cornoviorum in Britain

  1. Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Notitia Dignitatum)