Occupation of the site of Worcester can be
dated back to Neolithic times, a village surrounded by defensive ramparts
having been founded on the eastern bank of the River Severn in around 400 BC.
The position, which commanded a ford on the river, was used in the 1st century
by the Romans to establish what may at first have been a fort on the military
route from Glevum (Gloucester) to Viroconium (Wroxeter) but which soon
developed – as the frontier of the empire was pushed westwards – into an
industrial town with its own pottery kilns and iron-smelting plants.