Started by: brian (838)

What is the evidence that Wigan was once the Roman "Coccium"?

Started: 26th Feb 2013 at 22:52

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

No evidence whatsoever.

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 00:02

Posted by: kathpressey (5344) 

my teacher said it was so it must be true

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 08:46

Posted by: phred (348) 

To anybody that studied spoken latin it should be obvious,....The Wigan dialect says it all!

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 09:20

Posted by: pisolivadi (1812) 


'coccium'' pron 'cotch um'

As in 'See these ap-puhs, cotchum when a clod um at thi''.


''Long balls rained in on Al Habsi all afternoon, but the Omani spilled one after another despite Latics fans urging him to ''cotch um mon, cotch um ya clown''

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 14:55

Posted by: kathpressey (5344) 

i failed latin

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 18:43

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

Brian On the way marauding up the Country, the Wiend was the perfect place for them to settle, with the River Douglas right near.

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 20:30

Posted by: erontquay (inactive)

The field study carried out on a possible secondary Roman Road system in the Chorley area brought up some interesting material. As Wigan had not been proven as being the enigmatic 'COCCIUM' in the 1950's, another town was suggested for this name... this was Blackrod from here

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 21:05
Last edited by erontquay: 27th Feb 2013 at 21:07:38

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

The distances from Manchester and Ribchester are recorded in the antonine itinerary. Wigan is nowhere near the co-ordinates given in the historical Roman records.

So, although there is no evidence to suggest that Wigan is now where Coccium once was, there is first-hand evidence to suggest it wasn't!

Of course, there was Roman occupation where Wigan now is, but the Romans were here for over 400 years, so they would have occupied everywhere else too!

Replied: 27th Feb 2013 at 21:54

Posted by: rio caroni (5077) 

They avoided Sent Ellins

Replied: 28th Mar 2013 at 19:48

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

St.Helens didn't exist before the mid 1800's. They can't 'avoid' a place that isn't there!
That said, when the Romans came over here, Wigan didn't exist either!

Replied: 28th Mar 2013 at 20:12

Posted by: gaffer (6855) 

Replied: 28th Mar 2013 at 20:57

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

"This document lists a road-station named Coccium, 20 miles from Bremetenacum (Ribchester, Lancashire) and 17 miles from Mancunium (Manchester, Greater Manchester). These distances match the location of the Wigan settlement quite well" .....

..... Do they buggery!

Replied: 28th Mar 2013 at 22:34

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Do they buggery!

Are you an expert on that subject tonks

Replied: 29th Mar 2013 at 01:03

Posted by: gaffer (6855) 

Replied: 29th Mar 2013 at 09:02

Posted by: kenee (2103)

St Ellins (sic) existed before the 1800s, Roger Lowe refers to it in his diary 1663.
Granted, not Roman times.

Replied: 29th Mar 2013 at 18:30
Last edited by kenee: 29th Mar 2013 at 18:32:06

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Kennee, before the amalgamation of Windle, Sutton, Parr, and Eccleston, for administrative purposes, St.Helens was the parish area surrounding a church of that name, in Windle.
You are clearly referring to the following passage, which only mentions 'the district' (Windle) as being mentioned in Roger Lowe's diary .....

"The chapel at St. Helens, and the schools there and at Rainford are noticed.
There are also some particulars as to the district in Roger Lowe's diary, published in Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i; e.g. on 15 May, 1664, he and his friends went, 'two and two together,' to Cowley Hill to hear the Nonconformist minister preach".

St.Helens, the district that was created in the mid-1800's, was given the name of the church as mentioned there, and HERE!

Replied: 29th Mar 2013 at 19:11
Last edited by tonker: 29th Mar 2013 at 19:23:42

Posted by: kenee (2103)

I remembered reading about St Ellins I think it's mentioned on a few occasions.
I just found this passage:
I was sent to the funerall of my brothers child cald Raph. I dyd att Tho Gerards house in Windle and was buryd att St Ellin this same day.
Windle, Sutton, Parr and Cowley Hill are mentioned.

Replied: 29th Mar 2013 at 19:34

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

The Wiend. What a perfect place for the Romans. They could see for miles on all sides and the River Douglas at the side before it was re routed. I hope Wigan Council are proud of what they have done in building over the Roman remains of the Hypercaust and all the rest. It is an absolute scandal.

Replied: 1st Apr 2013 at 20:56

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

They couldn't 'see for miles' at all. Wigan is in a hole.

They weren't daft, the Romans. If they felt that they needed to 'keep nicks' on their surroundings they'd have chosen high ground to base themselves on.

Replied: 1st Apr 2013 at 21:46

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Wigan is in a hole, 'cos like most major towns & cities, it's on the banks of a river, for obvious reasons.

No city on Winter hill, is there..

Replied: 2nd Apr 2013 at 01:17

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

Tonker You think you are so clever. Well go to the top of the Wiend and you will see that before all the buildings were there, they would have been able to see all round and with the River Douglas nearbye, it was the perfect place which when they dug up the Roman remains proves they were there.

Replied: 2nd Apr 2013 at 22:36

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Marie. I AM clever!
Well, now we've got that sorted out, let me explain.

YOU said, "The Wiend. What a perfect place for the Romans. They could see for miles on all sides ..."

Wrong. They couldn't see for miles on all sides.

Next, you said, "I hope Wigan Council are proud of what they have done in building over the Roman remains .."

Wrong. They didn't build over the remains.

And where have I said that there were NO Romans in the area where Wigan now stands?

Here's the facts .....

The Romans occupied Britain for over 400 years and they went everywhere.
There was Roman activity in the area where Wigan now stands, although there is NO evidence proving the name of that Roman activity being Coccium ....... however ...... there IS evidence to prove that it wasn't!

Replied: 3rd Apr 2013 at 00:49
Last edited by tonker: 3rd Apr 2013 at 01:05:58

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Tonks should know. He was there...Herding goats at the time:

Replied: 3rd Apr 2013 at 01:06

Posted by: gaffer (6855) 


Is that the Roman Methuselah?

Replied: 3rd Apr 2013 at 15:43

Posted by: Mac (inactive)

It's his dad, honky Tonkles.

Replied: 3rd Apr 2013 at 18:27

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

Tonker, although I hate replying to your posts, I forgot to say they found a Hypocaust at the top of the Wiend which was proof that they were well settled at the Wiend. If you come into Wigan at anytime, go to the top of the Wiend and imagine there are no buildings and you will see they could see all around, You're just jealous because you don't have any Roman remains in St Helens.

Replied: 4th Apr 2013 at 18:28

Posted by: dustaf (inactive)


Replied: 4th Apr 2013 at 18:42

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

As I've said previously, there was Roman presence in the area. That's well known and I don't dispute that. Why should I?
But when you say silly things, it prompts me to point out some truths.
From the top of Billinge Hill, the Romans would have been able to see for miles.
From the top of the Wiend, the Romans would have been able to see for about 800 yards. And that's if they cut the trees down first!

Anyway, there is evidence to prove that Coccium wasn't where Wigan is now, but there's nothing to say it was other than speculation.

And, don't forget, the Romans came from the south, heading north. That means they came through St,Helens BEFORE they got to Wigan! (for all it matters to me)

Replied: 4th Apr 2013 at 20:02

Posted by: Mac (inactive)

The Council cut the trees down, they said it was because they were diseased. In reality they were scared of people making claims for slipping on leaves.

Replied: 4th Apr 2013 at 21:18

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Coming from the south ?

The M6 doesn't touch Stellins..

Replied: 5th Apr 2013 at 01:09

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Artichoke said, "The M6 doesn't touch Stellins."

But it certainly does, it passes straight through a couple of bits of it! Although, I was originally referring to the A49!

Replied: 5th Apr 2013 at 13:30

Posted by: ©art© (6154)

Which bits Gavin?.....Not the smelly bits surely..

Replied: 6th Apr 2013 at 01:15

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

The M6 passes through Newton le Willows and Haydock, Art, both places are in St.Helens but the motorway isn't!

Replied: 6th Apr 2013 at 16:48

Posted by: gaffer (6855) 

Replied: 6th Apr 2013 at 20:30

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

gaffer Very interesting.

Replied: 7th Apr 2013 at 22:13

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

As 'interesting' as it may be, although it doesn't give anything that we don't know already, I don't seem to be able to see the name 'Coccium' mentioned anywhere?

Replied: 7th Apr 2013 at 23:34

Posted by: jackdog (580)

There are history experts today who are "almost certain" that Coccium was Wigan. There is a recent book on the subject.

Replied: 8th Apr 2013 at 10:45

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

The Romans weren't known for getting things wrong and Roman 'experts' have given the location as NOT corresponding to where Wigan now is. Of course there is remains of Roman occupation found underneath Wigan, no-one doubts that, but it's the name, 'Coccium' which has NO evidence to prove that Wigan is where it once was.
However, there IS evidence to prove that it wasn't!

Replied: 8th Apr 2013 at 15:49

Posted by: jackdog (580)

Well, I am no expert...
But them as is, and plenty of um, sez as Coccium is Wigan.
They have evidence. Maybe their evidence is bigger than other people's evidence. That's why they say "almost certain." Guess they probably know about the conflicting evidence, and have come out with a conclusion. Experts do that sort of thing.
It's a new book, with new stuff in it. Available in the History Shop, or 'Museum of Coccium Life'.

Replied: 10th Apr 2013 at 11:14

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Jackdog, the Roman experts accept that the evidence available proves, without a doubt, that Coccium was not where Wigan now is. They say that the Romans were never far out with their maps. They were quite clever.

The only way to put Coccium where Wigan now is, would be to either alter the information recorded in the Antonine Itinerary by the Romans, or to declare the Romans as not being very accurate with their plans and calculations, which was not the case.

According to the Antonine Itinerary, Coccium was a fort / lookout / station. The evidence gathered shows that Wigan now sits on what was a Roman 'settlement'.

The distances recorded for Coccium in the Antonine Itinerary show Coccium to have been somewhere around the Blackrod area.
That makes more sense because, from Blackrod, the Roman lookouts really could see for miles around!

Of course, the 'Wigan Experts' know best!

Replied: 10th Apr 2013 at 18:40
Last edited by tonker: 10th Apr 2013 at 18:41:50

Posted by: jackdog (580)

Claiming the Romans were always right and that the Antonine itinerary proves anything is a very rare example of the often-misused term 'begging the question'.

But, my experts are bigger than your experts.
And they're not Wigan experts, they're Oxford experts. Read the book with an open mind...

...Oh, hang on...

Replied: 11th Apr 2013 at 09:03

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

If you don't believe what's recorded in the Antonine Itinerary (and other scriptures from the past), you'd may as well disregard the name 'Coccium'.
Did it exist? Who's to know?

Common sense must rule over excited speculation!

Replied: 11th Apr 2013 at 13:09

Posted by: jackdog (580)

It's no use stonewalling.
Antonine walling even.

New expert opinions ought to be at least considered by those who are not themselves experts. Wouldn't you say?

Replied: 12th Apr 2013 at 12:12

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Indeed. And 'experts' have charted the measurements given in the Antonine Itinerary (recorded by the Romans during their stay here and being the ONLY form of records from that time) and have noted that the location is NOT where Wigan now is.

It's like saying Jesus wasn't crucified, he was run over by a chariot.

The records are there. Are you saying they're wrong?

Replied: 12th Apr 2013 at 12:56

Posted by: jackdog (580)

Needle stuck?
Read the flipping book. You don't even have to buy it. Just stand there and pretend you're browsing.
Anyone with an open mind might learn something...

So, no chance then.

Replied: 15th Apr 2013 at 08:38

Posted by: vera howarth (2584) 

Whilst I agree thst there is no absolute evidence that Wigan is Coccium the perceived knowledge is highly likely that it is.The geography of the town lends itself to being of some strategic value.As for no evidence of there being military presence in the town, I clearly remember roman military finds , from the town ,being on display in Haigh Hall.Where these have now disappeared to , goodness knows.Perhaps they are keeping the other lost doldier company -the Boer war soldier.

Replied: 10th May 2013 at 09:42

Posted by: MarieM (5563)

Vera There are some Roman remains that they dug up at the back of the Grand Arcade in Millgate.

Replied: 10th May 2013 at 20:49

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

May I draw your attentions to the original question asked by Brian on the opening of this thread?

"What is the evidence that Wigan was once the Roman "Coccium"?

We all know that there was Roman occupation in Britain for over 400 years, and that the Romans built many roads and settlements, and that Wigan nowadays stands on one of the many sites where there once was Roman occupation.

But, WHERE is the evidence that it was called Coccium?

Replied: 10th May 2013 at 21:27

Posted by: tuddy (1161)

Miss Duffy at Saint Pat's told us that Wigan was called Coccium, and nobody argued with Miss Duffy!

Replied: 11th May 2013 at 23:39

Posted by: dustaf (inactive)

Replied: 12th May 2013 at 14:13

Posted by: ayrefield (4465)

Coccium or scarlet colour or cloth, it could well have been where a notable brothel was situated, or even a cookhouse.

From Here

Replied: 1st Jun 2013 at 16:10

Posted by: dickypoos (28)

if the Romans weren't known for getting things wrong, as quoted by the orical , 20 miles from Ribchester and 17 miles from Manchester , was the site of Coccium .I think that it is more than 37 miles from Ribchester to Manchester so that reference does not stand close inspection does it?

Replied: 18th Feb 2014 at 19:36

Posted by: dickypoos (28)

As for evidence that Wigan is Coccium, may I refer you to "Carry on Cleo" , which I saw in the Ritz cinema, WIGAN , were they refered to Coccium , now that is more than a co-incident , isn't it .

Replied: 18th Feb 2014 at 19:43

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

the romans quickly realised that wigan/coccium was the best place by far in the region & its inhabitants were superior to the yokels in adjacent places

Replied: 20th Feb 2014 at 01:58

Posted by: tuddy (1161)

The Romans probably wouldn't have been able to understand the way natives spoke in St Helens and Leigh. It's a well known fact that the English language is based on ancient Cockonium.

Replied: 20th Feb 2014 at 22:31

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

never understood why we took leigh over

Replied: 24th Feb 2014 at 06:12

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

"never understood why we took leigh over"

Who's 'we'?

Replied: 24th Feb 2014 at 20:25

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

the premier town in the north west

Replied: 25th Feb 2014 at 05:55

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

just been reading a book about the roman empire ,all the captured enemies of rome that were too stupid to be slaves were apparently all sent to a settlement in england that was later named St Helens , now that answers a few questions

Replied: 26th Feb 2014 at 08:59

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

was that a Janet and John book colin or a crayon book ?

Replied: 26th Feb 2014 at 13:29

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

now joe i was top of the class at the rose bridge academy for young gentlemen

Replied: 27th Feb 2014 at 05:43

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

and well done colin ,my school was that good it was approved

Replied: 27th Feb 2014 at 06:56

Posted by: Handsomeminer (1752)

Bet you had your own slate

Replied: 27th Feb 2014 at 08:59

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

of course spoilt rotten we were.

Replied: 27th Feb 2014 at 10:06

Posted by: Campfire (585) 

Gentlemen. may I try and correct a few facts. When in the Pits,I have had the pleasure of working with comrades from sunny St Helens, Inner and the dark side of Wigan and the shady areas of Leigh, or as they call it Leith !!!! and experienced various levels of conversations, some very basic mostly about the game with the funny shaped oval ball with the pie eaters. The conversations with the lads who represented Leith !!!! again were somewhat taxing, as every discussion moved onto the question of which part of Leigh was really Leigh, East Leigh or West Leigh, to a point were you just left them arguing about it. However, the gentlemen from St Helens in particular Parr but diffidently not Haydock provided on a regular basis the opportunity of settling down to a good, grown up and intellectual discussion often resulting in a extend snap time. Really missed these since moving up to Ashton in 1972.

Replied: 5th Mar 2014 at 20:55

Posted by: tonker (24048) 

Facts cannot be corrected. They are correct already, hence the name, 'fact'!

Here's some .....

1) No 'part' of Leigh is the 'real' Leigh. ALL of it is.

2) It's Leyth, not Leith.

3) ' diffidently ' is not the correct word to use in that sentence!

Replied: 5th Mar 2014 at 23:37

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

and so ends another lesson from the master,well done tonker.

Replied: 6th Mar 2014 at 06:50

Posted by: Campfire (585) 

Hi Tonker - I do stand corrected on the miss pronunication and using "diffidently" instead of definitely but in Gods Country (St Helens) this is how they pronounce it... However, I am still trying to understand the logic behind "Leythers" using Leyth instead of Leith, when its got Leith on the direction signs on the East Lancs !!!! Not to bother, whether its Leyth, Leith and/or Leith it not a bad place and I worked with some cracking lads from both East & West Leyth.....

Replied: 6th Mar 2014 at 12:44

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

well said Ste ,do you remembers the agecroft lads at bold ?

Replied: 6th Mar 2014 at 13:19

Posted by: Campfire (585) 

I do Joe, cant remember there names but do recall them being part of the salvage teams that were set up. Also remember Billy Cunningham from Bryn joining them on their haulage because he would get PLA instead of the haulage rate. Billy worked on the haulage down the South Dip, mostly at J60 and can still see him now getting hot under the collar because Johnny Burke had ripped into him, I still see him in Ashton from time to time and he's not changed one bit. Can you remember what PLA stands for ????

Replied: 7th Mar 2014 at 07:34

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

Power loading Agreement,made a big difference to your basic wage.the agecroft lads were nicknamed bleeders not with any maiiciousness their chargehand was a lad called Wally,two of their electricians worked at parsonage with the ATC Brian Baxter and Derek Levay(Shiny Face),

Replied: 7th Mar 2014 at 11:54

Posted by: Campfire (585) 

Well done Joe - I thought I would have got loads back with that question. Anyway, I Dont recall Derek but do remember Brian.. Wally rings a bell but cant pout a face to it though.

Replied: 7th Mar 2014 at 12:28

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

good memories ste cant take that away if you dont get back to me have a great weekend .

Replied: 7th Mar 2014 at 16:40

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

another name Jimmy Phillips one more a lad called Mo .

Replied: 8th Mar 2014 at 07:25

Posted by: Campfire (585) 

Was Mo the tall thin lad from Ethiopia? If it is he was a cracking lad and a gentleman. Remember when it was Ramadan, he wouldn't eat anything in the day light hours!!! When we were on the day turn, we would take the mickey and tell him to think we were on nights and offer him a butty.

Replied: 8th Mar 2014 at 17:34

Posted by: graneyjoseph (4618) 

thats the same lad lots of laughs .

Replied: 8th Mar 2014 at 19:51


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