“It has been,” says Cade “a large Roman city, but by what name distinguished has never been ascertained. The vestiges still remaining very plainly indicate its great antiquity”. – He then adds,“Aldburgh may date its decline from the new military way or road, being directed ad Tisam vinovium, and the vallum; on which account we hear of no altars, inscriptions, or other memorials of any kind found there, to assist us in our inquiries.” -Archaeol.
This passage was thought to refer to Aldbrough near Weatherby, but scholars – including Cade – have known that Roman name ISURIUM BRIGANTUM for centuries, and Isurium Brigantum is littered with artefacts as opposed to Cade’s account that we hear of none. This is not the same Aldbrough.
By the strangest coincidence,like the other Aldbrough in North Yorkshire, we too, are at the threshold of a Brigantian encampment. Only half a mile from Aldbrough is Stanwick – home of the Brigantian queen Cartimandua. It has long been my belief that here in our Aldbrough, was a Roman presence. Stanwick was in turmoil. The Romans subued the Brigantes and kept the peace. We know that from contemporary writings. No-one has yet convinced me that during the attacks on Stanwick and later peace-keeping, the Romans simply packed up their kit at tea-time and went home to Cataractonium [Catterick] to return the next day to continue their siege.
So what’s in a name? To the Vikings, Aldbrough means “Old Burh” or an old fortified stronghold. We have found the original burh site within the village, and believe we have identified the original fortification within the oval burh site. Later, I present the case for “Aldbrough Castle” – the name is used loosely – from early writings and from new evidence.
In the mid 1500s, John Leland acting on a warrant from Henry Tudor, visited Aldbrough [Albruch]. We know this was our village as he described its proximity to Piercebridge [Pers Bridg] on the river Tees [Tese]. He wrote in his diaries:
“There appere great ruines of a howse or litle castel at Albruch village, and thereby rennith a bekke. It standith a 2 mile south from Perse Bridg on Tese” – John Leland C 1540
SO…..In 1540, the “litle castle” was already a great ruine! As buildings were at a premium and occupied for centuries, how old was our castle when Leland saw it?
Oh yes – Aldbrough DID have a “castle”. For further information, read the article on “Aldbrough Castle”.