Romans in Galloway – Tourists or Conquerors?

On 23rd November at 7.30pm, a free, online event considers what we know about Roman activity in Southwest Scotland, and why this part of the world was a bit different in terms of Roman activity.

This is the third event in the Galloway Glens Winter Programme and includes presentations that will allow us to better understand whether the arrival and departure of Romans still influences us today!


Right on the Roman Empire’s doorstep, southwest Scotland has a lot to tell us about the Roman movements into northern Britain and how they interacted with the people who lived just to the north of Hadrian’s Wall.


Dr Andrew Tibbs is an archaeologist and historian who specialises in researching Roman activity in Northern England and Scotland. A Teaching Fellow with the University of Edinburgh, and an Honorary Research Fellow in Archaeology at Durham University, he hosts the popular @RomanScotland Twitter account which he uses to promote the Roman archaeology of Northern Britain to a wide audience. His recent book, ‘A Short Guide to Hadrian’s Wall’ was published by Amberley in April.


To book your free online ticket, click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tourists-or-conquerors-the-romans-in-southwest-scotland-tickets-433481553997


Dr Andrew Tibbs, looking ahead at the event, said:

“Scotland may be one of the only areas of the ancient world which was never fully occupied by the Roman army, but they did make their presence felt across southwest Scotland, establishing a chain of fortifications and a road network through Galloway, but did they come to conquer or was their plan to use the region as a launchpad for an invasion of Ireland?”



Dr Tibbs will be joined by Andrew Nicholson, Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Regional Archaeologist, combining to consider the Romans in the region, their activities and lasting influence, and the sites and material culture that they left behind.


The online event forms part of the ‘Can You Dig It’ project, itself part of the broader Galloway Glens Scheme. Claire Williamson from Rathmell Archaeology works on the Can You Dig It project and said:

It is in the frontiers of an empire that we can find their successes and failures, gain insights into their military tactics and more fully understand their impact on the locals. We’re excited to be joined next week by our two experts who will talk us through the Roman presence in southern Scotland, a time when Galloway was faced with the huge force of this global power arriving right on their doorstep.”


Jan Hogarth, Galloway Glens Education & Community Engagement Officer added:

We are very excited to have Dr Andrew Tibbs and our regional archaeologist, Andrew Nicholson, focussing on the Romans in Galloway. We look forward to finding out more about how the romans moved through the area and what type of relationship they had with the place and its people. Were they conquerors or tourists and what does the material archaeological evidence reveal?”


The Galloway Glens is a 5-year suite of projects aimed at connecting people with their heritage, boosting the local economy and supporting sustainable, thriving communities. It is an initiative of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team funded by a range of partners including the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Drax, the owner of the Galloway Hydro Scheme. More info: www.gallowayglens.org.