Watling Road (City of London) 54BC-410 Romans


Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was later paved by the Romans from London to Dover. A section of Watling Street still exists in the City of London. Modern chroniclers have attributed the origins of London to the Romans. Julius Caesar had passed through during his invasion of 54 BC, but it was the invasion of AD 43 that signaled the arrival of the Romans as a permanency. London was either occupied or founded by Aulus Plautius, the first governor of Britain. 


In 60/1 AD the so-called Battle of Watling Street took place between an alliance of indigenous Brythonic tribes and the Romans. Though severely outnumbered, the Romans held their ground and gained victory which secured Roman rule in Britain, a period that lasted until 410. The precise location of the battle is not known, but most historians place it on the Roman Road, now known as Watling Street, between London and Wroxeter in Shropshire. There remain abundant traces of Roman London, an era in which Britain was an integral part of Europe. In its glory days, Roman London may have numbered some 25,000 inhabitants. With the departure of the Romans, London’s civilisation crumbled quickly. It was not until the arrival of a new wave of immigrants after the Norman Conquest that London resumed and recovered its early development.

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