The port at Meols

small rusted metal arc with a hoop halfway along inside the curve

Copper alloy cosmetic pestle with suspension loop - one of the Roman finds discovered at Meols.

In the 19th century thousands of ancient objects were found on the shore at Meols as the Wirral coastline eroded. These show that Meols was an important port from as early as 500 BC. Traders came from as far away as Gaul and the Mediterranean in search of minerals from North Wales and Cheshire.

Roman soldiers used Meols as a harbour to attack the druids in North Wales and to control the northern tribes, well before the fortress was built at Chester. Throughout the Roman period traders on the dangerous west coast route used the port as a safe haven. Large numbers of coins, brooches and other objects show that Meols was also an important local market place.

By the end of the Roman period pirates were a menace in the Irish Sea. Soldiers may have been garrisoned at Meols to combat this threat.

See the Field Archaeology unit's web pages for further information about their excavations at Meols.