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Postscript

Attacks on Roman provinces at the beginning of the third century led to withdrawal of troops from Britannia and the same levels of trade and spending could not be maintained. Gradually, continental products that had been imported were replaced with British products: beer replaced wine, lard and butter replaced olive oil. By 300 AD buildings were once more being built and decorated and farmers adapted to fill the gap. However, a series of small disasters, each compounding the effects of the last, fractured the peace and drained resources; towns, commerce and the rural economy were undermined. Ridgehanger probably fell into disuse early in the fourth century when the Roman army departed to the Continent. By the beginning of the fifth century rural Britain lost everything that made it Roman: villas fell into disuse, communities became more scattered and farming became a subsistence activity. Stroud Villa, Peak Farm and Old Park Farm fell into disuse.