What have the Romans ever done for us?
Well, apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health…
The area we now call Ogbourne St.George lay on the connecting road.
Local historians and experts at the Association for Roman Archaelogy (ARA) believe that the Og valley contained several Roman buildings. Evidence of this can still be found in old stones walls in the area, where a trained eye can find lumps of Roman concrete.
Our view of the Og valley today is of a relatively dry place, because of the sheer volume of water that is being extracted by bore holes and pumps. This blinds us to what it must have looked like 2000 years ago with much more surface water flowing down the valley, for more of the year. ARA field work suggests that the river was canalised to make it straighter in places, and regularly maintained, so that food and drink could be moved by shallow-draft barges downstream to the Kennet, and from there to Cunetio.
What drink? Excavations at a Roman Temple in the Og valley found a six foot high malting oven, for roasting barley to make beer. Which seems to suggest that toasting the health of their deities, in large quantities, was high on the list of Roman priorities!
The Roman Temple was built on the site of an earlier pagan or Celtic temple, close to the springhead of the River Og.