How the Romans changed culture is recorded in Royal Mail collection

Leaving their stamp on the UK: How the Romans impacted British culture is recorded in latest Royal Mail collection

  • A series of stamps celebrating Romans in Britain were launched by Royal Mail 
  • The collection of eight stamp designs show Roman artefacts and architecture
  • Dover Lighthouse, Bignor mosaic and Hadrian’s Wall are among locations used 

Royal Mail has launched a collection of eight new picture stamps to celebrate the Romans in Britain, including famous landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall and Dover Lighthouse.

Eight stamp designs showing Roman artefacts and architecture across the country will be available on general sale from next Thursday.

The stamps also show Bignor mosaic, Caerleon Amphitheatre, Ribchester helmet, Bridgeness distance slab, a Warrior god in Cambridgeshire and Gorgon’s head in Bath.

Royal Mail released eight new stamps celebrating Roman legacy in Britain with Hadrian’s Wall

Caerleon Amphitheatre is also among the famous locations chosen for the celebration

Royal Mail worked with the British Museum to design the stamps, and the full set of eight can be purchased for £10.35.

For almost 400 years, from 43 to 410 AD, much of mainland Britain was a province of the Roman empire.

This period helped mould British laws, language, art, architecture, culture and beliefs, and the Roman army established early road networks which facilitated the first public post system. 

Bridgeness distance slab, a key piece of history, is also among the new collection of stamps

The new series hopes to illustrate the lasting impact the Romans had on life in Britain

 

Royal Mail spokesperson Philip Parker said: ‘What did the Romans do for us?

‘They gave us important new towns, a network of roads to link them, vast building works in stone, a new language and our calendar – they even named the country, ‘Britain’.

‘These new stamps feature some of the most complete and striking Roman sites and objects which show their character and sophistication.’

Dover Lighthouse remains to this day the UK’s tallest standing Roman building

 The Royal Mail’s stamp programme commemorates parts of the UK’s history and culture

The Weston Curator of Roman Britain and the British Museum Richard Hobbs said he hopes the eight sites and objects will ‘give a taste of life in Roman Britain’ and encourage people to explore the period.

Mr Hobbs said: ‘The Ribchester helmet is not only one of the British Museum’s iconic items, but also one of our earliest acquisitions – it’s been in the national collection since 1796, when a hoard of Roman military equipment was discovered in Ribchester, Lancashire.

‘The helmet, decorated with a scene of a battle between infantry and cavalry, was the most spectacular piece.’

There are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gift givers in the UK

Another ancient artefact, Gorgon’s head in Bath, is sited at the spring sacred to Sulis Minerva

For more than 50 years, Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated anniversaries and celebrated events relevant to UK heritage and life.

Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gift givers in the UK and millions worldwide.

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