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Roanoke was an English colony established on Roanoke Island in 1587 by Walter Raleigh. That year, the Greld attacked the colony, implanting mind-control devices and components of a meta-cobalt bomb in the colonists. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)

In 1590, the Sixth Doctor, Henry Gordon Jago‎, and George Litefoot‎ visited Roanoke. Raleigh discovered the TARDIS while they were visiting nearby Croatoan, but the Doctor prevented him from travelling in the ship. (AUDIO: Voyage to the New World)

In an alternative timeline, Raleigh did travel in the TARDIS, travelling back four hundred years, where he encountered the Semestran Interlude. He taught them how to live and hunt and, in return, they extended his life. Over the centuries, the aliens terrorised and kidnapped people, including the Roanoke colonists, holding them prisoner on Croatoan. This timeline was negated by the Doctor. (AUDIO: Voyage to the New World)