Roman Britain: 10 Historical Signs of Roman Rule in Britain


The Romans ruled Britain for more than 300 years. In 55 BC the Roman General Julius Caesar led his army across the sea from Gaul to Britain. He wanted to make Britain part of Rome’s empire. The British Celts fought bravely, and Caesar soon went back to Gaul. Next year, in 54 BC the Romans came back and were victorious and formed the Roman Britain Empire.

The much of England enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous existence as one of the provinces of the Roman Empire. The people, particularly in the towns, adopted many of the social and religious practices of their occupiers.

However, the final collapse of the Roman empire in Britain resulted in much from civil strife in Italy as from unrest among the Britons. To highlight the major historical timeline, events, and objects of the ancient Roman rule in Britain – we have identified 10 Historical Signs and presented them here.

10. Bronze Head of Claudius

Claudius was the Emperor of Rome from 41 AD to 54 AD. His bronze head statue was found in the River Alde in Suffolk, Claudius.

He took a close personal interest during his time in the conquest of Britain, which was important for maintaining his own prestige in Roman Italy. During the 16 days, that he spent campaigning in Britain – he led his troops from the Thames and quickly captured Colchester. With this victory, many tribes at that time surrender under his command.

9. Reasons for Roman Invasions

There were two Roman invasions of Britain and both came about for different reasons. The first invasion came from Julius Caesar, who saw the British campaign as a diversion from his main task of subduing Gaul (Roman name to the territories – including present France, Belgium, Luxemburg and parts of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany) and retired after achieving his military aim of defeating the British chief Cassivellanunus.

The second invasion came from Claudius – who hoped to confirm his own dubious power in Rome and at the same time saw the creation of a new colony in Britain as a means to balance the great power of the generals on the east of Rhine, pushing his troops as far as the Weser and Elbe rivers.

8. Boadicea – Warrior Queen of the Iceni

Boadicea as a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61 and died shortly after its failure.

The pictured massive sculpture of Boadicea – Warrior Queen of the Iceni in East Anglia, riding in her war chariot was executed by Thomas Thornycroft in 1902.

This sculpture symbolizes the revolt against Roman oppression and it stands nationalistically at the west end of West minister Bridge, London.

7. Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall was built in 120 AD, after a visit by Emperor Hadrian, to help defend the Empire’s most northerly frontier from invasions by the Picts.

The wall runs for 117.5 Km from Wallsend-on-Tyne on the east coast to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. It was overrun and rebuilt several times before the border was finally abandoned to the Picts in 383 AD.

6. Roman Boat

Roman Boat is one of the finest examples of the craftsmanship executed by the Romans to bring troops and supplies from Gaul (region of Western Europe during the Iron Age that was inhabited by Celtic tribe) and up the main rivers of Southern Britain.

Later on, communication and transportation of goods by roads were also developed as the most efficient means of military control of Roman Britain.

5. Roman Fort

The Romans built many Fort in Britain to strengthen their control over the land and its masses. The typical Roman fort would hold 500 to 1,000 men.

Each fort was further strengthened by a wall with an earth rampart banked again it. From the main gate of the fort, the main street led to the headquarters building. From there other connecting street led to the side gateways.

The fort includes barracks for the troops, their officers; also include workshops, stables, armouries, and the commandant’s house. Forts such as these were built along Hadrian’s Wall at a regular interval in order to repel aggressive barbarian tribesmen.

4. The Map of Roman Britain

The map of Roman Britain during the early decades of conquest and control shows roads, towns, frontiers, for systems and industrial and agricultural regions.

Throughout, their empire, the Romans put the special emphasis on urban rather than on rural life. Colchester – was first of many towns founded in Britain by Romans.

While other small towns were also developed – are mostly used as the military stations. These small towns were permitted to elect a town Senate, which provided magistrates for administrative duties.

3. Roman Fort of Anderida

The Roman fort of Anderida at Pevensey in Sussex was built in c. 280 AD. The purpose of this fort is to defend the south coast against Germanic invaders.

Similar forts were also built from Norfolk to the Isle of Wight to protect important harbours against the incursions of Saxon sea raiders.

In 491 AD the Saxons stormed Anderida and slaughtered everyone in it. Today the fort stands several miles away from the shore because of the silting of the harbours.

2. Colchester – Roman Britain Capital and London

The first capital of the province of Britannia (Roman Britain) was Colchester, but London soon succeeded it as the centre of administration and trade.

The bridge over the Thames was the focal point of the road network and of the sea trade routes. London was burnt during Boadicea’s rebellion.

London was quickly rebuilt after the rebellion and become one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire.

1. Withdrawl of Romans from Britain

In the fourth century, Saxon raiders became a serious threat to the southeast coast while the Picts and Scots increase pressure on the northern frontier, destroying Hadrian’s Wall and overrunning much of the north in 367 AD.

The Romans fought back and the situation was temporarily restored – but eventually, Roman forces began to withdraw, and by the early fifth century had completely abandoned Britain.

In the years to follow, Anglo-Saxons began the process of effacing or transforming many of the great signs built during the Roman occupation.