The borough arms of the town bear the motto Ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini, meaning “Where now are the bones of wise Merlin.”
There is a legend associated with the town of Marlborough, which suggests that the legendary figure Merlin, also known as Myrddin in Welsh folklore, was buried under a mound or hill in the vicinity. This legend is often referred to as Merlin’s Mound or Merlin’s Barrow.
Marlborough | 0 to 800 AD
Pre-Roman and Roman Era | Before 43 AD – 5th century AD
Prior to the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 AD, the area that includes Marlborough was inhabited by Celtic tribes. The Romans established roads and settlements in the region, and it was part of the province of Britannia. The Romans maintained control over Britain for several centuries, and this period left traces of thir presence in the form of roads and archeological remains. However, the specific history of Marlborough during this time is not well-documented.
Sub-Roman and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 8th centuries AD
Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century, the region went through a period of significant change and upheaval. During the sub-Roman and early medieval era, various indigenous British and Anglo-Saxon tribes and kingdoms vied for control of the land. The Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people, gradually established settlements in different parts of England, including what is now Wiltshire.
The establishment of Anglo-Saxon settlements and kingdoms marked the early phase of English history. While specific details about Marlborough’s history during this time are scarce, it was likely part of the Kingdom of Wessex, one of the prominent Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Crhistianization | 6th – 7th centuries AD
The conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity began in the sixth and seventh centuries, with missionaries like St. Augustine of Canterbury and St. Aldhelm playing important roles. Churches and monastic communities were established in various parts of England during this period, but the specifics of early Christianization in Marlborough are not well-documented.
Viking Invasions | 8th – 9th centuries AD
Towards the end of the eighth century and into the ninth century, Viking invasions and raids became a significant part of English history. These raids affected various regions, including parts of Wessex.