Roman TowcesterThe British Museum uses a Roman female head found in Towcester to introduce the Roman section (Google "British Museum stone female head"). This head was given to the British Museum by Sir T. Fermor-Hesketh Bt.
There is a short article on the Roman History of Towcester (called Lactodurum) plus link to a page with comparative maps. The same site also has the shapes of the Town walls of the largest Romano-British walled towns, including Towcester.Towcester is on the maps of the Antonine Itineries Itinery II and Itinery VI.
There is an academic list of references to Roman Pottery finds, including those in Towcester by the Study Group for Roman Pottery (SGRP) in the SGRP Homepage Journal of Roman Pottery Studies Volume 1, 1986 Edited by Rob Perrin and "Roman Pottery Bibliography" Edited by R. P. Symonds
There is a book "Marketing of Roman Pottery in Second-Century Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area" by Karen E. Griffiths (pages 66 to 76). The Atlas of Roman Pottery, mentions a big concentration of "soft pink grog-tempered wares" in the Towcester/Milton Keynes area. Roman yellow-green conical glass jugs have been found in Park Street in Towcester.
Towcester HistoriesThe definitive history of Towcester is in our book "Towcester - The Story of an English country town" edited by John Sunderland and Margaret Webb. There are chapters on Towcester in pre-historic times, the Roman period, the Dark Ages, Anglo Saxon, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Modern Towcester.
John Sunderland's short history of Towcester is not only on this web site but also on bbc.co.uk and in the "Official Guide to Towcester" published on behalf of Towcester Town Council and in the online version of the same. The bbc.co.uk website also contains more information on Towcester.
Phil Lord, an American who traced his ancestors to Towcester, has written about the town [more]. He has also written a set of pages relating to his ancestors who left Towcester for the New World in 1635. They trace, in as much detail as possible, and with as much living history as possible grafted onto the bare facts, the lives of this Towcester family as it existed from 1590 to 1690. The web pages take it from the fragile roots we have to its origins in Leckhamstead, Bucks, in the 1580s, then Richard and Joan in Towcester up to 1611, then Thomas and Dorothy in Towcester from 1611 to 1635, then in Cambridge,Massachusetts in 1635-36, then to Hartford, Connecticut after 1636, and finally the end-of-life stories of each of the 10 family members as they played out in the New World, ending before the close of the 17th century [more].
A more ancient historical reference to Towcester is in Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of England". Book 4 of Tunna, who was a priest and abbot of a monastery in the city which is still called Tunnacaestir after him. (Towcester) [here].
This website includes a paragraph on all the Roman towns on Watling Street, including Towcester.
History of Towcester Organisations and BuildingsA description of the arrival in March 1876 of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Austria at Towcester Railway Station to hunt with the Grafton Hunt can be found [here] . It includes newspaper reports of how the town accommodated her large retinue.
There is a web site about the Stratford Upon Avon and Midland Junction Railway which covers Towcester's Railway History and its station. There is also a book with a long article with many photographs about Towcester Railway Station in the late 1930s.
Caswell Farm, two miles north of Towcester, was used as a Research Laboratory by The Plessey Co Ltd. They moved there during the Second World War in 1940 to avoid the bombing in London. The Laboratory was at the forefront of Silicon Microchip research from the 1950s to the 1970s and many of the "high tech" businesses in Towcester are derived from Caswell. [more].
The Catholic Church of St. Thomas More in Meeting Lane, Towcester was originally (1847) an Independent Chapel [more]
The Parish Church of St Lawrence, Towcester, has a large peal of bells, bought from St. Mary's Church, Todmorden.
The History of the Towcester Workhouse, which has now been converted into flats (apartments) is [here]
Brian Giggins provides illustrated snippets of information on Towcester history, buildings, archaeology and planning on Flickr and Facebook.
Guided WalksA leaflet is available with a self guided walk of the historic points of interest in Towcester. For those with a GPS (Ground Positioning System) receiver there is a Towcester "geocache" which is a mixture of a self guided walk, a heritage quiz and a treasure hunt using your hand held GPS receiver to find your latitude and longitude.
History Related OrganisationsThe Towcester and District Local History Society is a member of the Northamptonshire Association for Local History [NALH]; the British Association for Local History [BALH]; the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages [ASHTAV]; the Milton Keynes Heritage Association [MKHA]; the Community Landscape and Archaeology Survey Project [CLASP] and the Council for British Archaeology [CBA]South Midlands Group.
Members of the Towcester and District Local History Society support Towcester Museum in researching the history of Towcester; the museum education programme and volunteering.
Local academic projects include the excavations of Roman Remains at the Whitehall Farm and Roman Villa Project near Nether Heyford, and the Whittlewood Project (Leicester University) which covers the area bounded by Towcester, Brackley, Buckingham and Stony Stratford from about 400 A.D. to the early middle ages.