THE ROMAN fort of Olicana will be the subject of a talk in a virtual coffee morning staged by Ilkley Manor House this month.

John Cockshott, chairman of Friends of the Manor House and local historian will talk about the history of the Roman fort site of Olicana and about life for the people who lived in and around the fort.

The event will take place at 10.30am on Friday, April 30. To register visit the Ilkley Manor House website. Links will be sent to the Zoom meeting along with the password prior to the talk. Attendees are being asked to log on in good time to ensure they don’t miss the start of the talk. The waiting room will open approximately 30 minutes before the talk starts.

In information for a walk around the Olicana fort Ilkley Manor House Trust said: "AD 79 is regarded as the year the Romans came to Ilkley. At that time Gnaeus Julius Agricola was governor of Britain. Vespasian was emperor and it was one of his strategic aims to extend Roman control over northern Britain. Accordingly Agricola had orders to deal with the Brigantes whose land included present day Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

It added: "Ilkley was a good place for a fort. The site commanded one of the fords for crossing the River Wharfe. It may have been an existing settlement and was certainly close to the cup and ring stone sites on Ilkley Moor which probably needed watching. It was also within striking distance of the important lead mines in Nidderdale which might need protection from Brigante interference."