History of the parish

Wall Roman Site

The community of Wall goes back to about 50 AD when the Roman army set up a staging post on Watling Street – the major Roman road running from London to north Wales.  This then developed into a more significant presence in the area with a small town known as ‘Letocetum’, including baths and mansio.  By the 2nd century AD this covered approximately 30 acres (12 ha) west of what is now Wall Lane.   In the late 3rd or early 4th century the eastern part of the settlement developed further, covering about 6 acres (2.4 ha) between the present Wall Lane and Green Lane.   This straddled Watling Street and was enclosed with a stone wall surrounded by an earth rampart and ditches.  The settlement declined rapidly once the Romans left Britain in AD 410.   

Panorama of Wall Roman Remains

Part of the Roman site is still visible today and is open to view free of charge every day (except Christmas day) from dawn to dusk.  The site is owned by the National Trust and is a Scheduled Monument under the care of English Heritage.

There is also a small site museum, staffed by National Trust volunteers, which contains artefacts from the area. The Museum is open between 11:00am and 4:00pm on the last weekend of each month and on certain bank holidays from March to October.

Later development

Wall has developed very slowly since the Romans left and it remains a very small village.  Wall House on Green Lane dates from the 18th century but is probably on the site of the medieval manor house.  By the late 18th century several dwellings were built on Watling Street west of Manor Farm and formed the lower part of the village.  In 1837 the church was built, which in 1843 was consecrated as the Parish Church of St John.  The architects were George Gilbert Scott and William Moffatt.  

St John’s Church, Wall

 

The village pub, the Trooper Inn, existed by 1851.   In the 1950’s ten council houses were built on a road called The Butts, but there has been very little new development since.

The Trooper Inn, Watling Street, Wall

 

Although the village itself developed little, the former Roman road of Watling Street became a very busy trunk road (the A5) on the route from London to Holyhead (and onwards to Ireland).  It is hard to imagine now the huge amount of traffic that thundered through Wall’s narrow main street, until a bypass was built in 1965.   More recently the M6 toll (opened in 2003) also passes through the parish.

 

Watling Street by Wall Village Hall

 

M6 Toll through Wall parish

 

Wall Village is the main settlement, but the parish contains rich agricultural land with several farms and includes the very small settlements at Chesterfield, Hilton, Muckley Corner, Aldershaw and Pipe Hill.

View of Lichfield from Aldershawe
View of Lichfield from Aldershawe