An ancient presence in our land
It was the ‘60s a new decade. Two men had left their weary horses grazing nearby while they sat warming themselves in the glow of firelight, the dampness had permeated into their bones and they were anticipating the heartening meal while they sipped their wine. In their makeshift overnight camp on the slopes of a hill covered with golden gorse they glimpsed the sun disappearing over the sea as it dipped dramatically behind the great rocky headland. Their work here was done for the day and now a tantalising aroma drifted towards them while their British slave, Quintus (as they had named him,) busied himself serving them with roasted rabbit, honeyed and basted with herbs.
He had prepared and roasted the creatures over the campfire. Already he had decanted their wine brought from Italy in an amphora into terracotta goblets. Although the vineyards had been cultivated here in the south of Britain the wine was not as good, not with this unforgiving climate, no sunshine, harsh winters, dampness. These soldiers, Marcus and Lucius had brought Quintus their slave from his homelands in the south, and given him his Roman name. Their conversation turned to their journey from Deva, at least a two day march, and their arrival in this area where they had been investigating. They discussed the copper mines which they knew lay under the Orme, excavations riddled into a complex warren, where men women and children had already worked for thousands of years, and which had been known to supply metal to all of the continent for ornament and armament. The Great Orme mines would be of primary importance in the founding of the Caerhun Roman auxiliary fort, used during the building of Kanovium.