There is some evidence of an Iron Age hill fort on the same site as the later Trowbridge castle, where the Shires Shopping Centre is currently located. Iron had been brought into the area by the Celts, as they defended the area against the invading Romans, who wanted the important lead and silver mines in Salisbury. The Romans had to take 20 hill forts to get to the mines, and Battlesbury Camp, near Warminster has a Roman Cemetery at its North West entrance which suggests that it was one such fort, and Bratton Camp near Westbury is thought to have been another.
The Trowbridge area would have come under Roman control within the first few years of the invasion. Although shards of pottery have been found in Trowbridge, no evidence of settlements have been found. Some historians think that Trowbridge was used as an imperial estate for hunting and pasture rather than a residential area, and this is supported by the recent discovery of a villa in Bradford-on-Avon. More information on the excavation of the villa can be found on the Bradford-on-Avon Museum website.
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