NOTE: For other posts in this series, click HISTORY OF BRITAIN on posts/pages (right)
Little is known in terms of history about early Britain. Archaeological remains suggest a vibrant agricultural society from the 2nd millennium BC onwards, the enigmatic standing stones such as Stonehenge testifying to their building skills and religious life.
The first suggested invasion of Britain is also lost to history, but is known to have consisted of the Celts. The Celts were ferocious warriors who devised a pagan society led spiritually by the Druids.
With the rise of Rome, two punitive Roman invasions had been unsuccessful in subjugating the country. Invasion finally came in 43AD with forces under Claudius. Lowland Britain took four years to occupy, and eventually they occupied York in the north of England.
Agricola subjugated Wales, but the Romans failed totally to do the same with Scotland, finally erecting Hadrian’s Wall between the Tyne and Solway and the Antonine Wall further north.
Even in England there were regular revolts, the most famous being that of the Iceni of East Anglia. Led by Boudicca, they sacked Colchester, London and St Albans before being beaten at an unknown location in the Midlands.
In 407AD the Romans withdrew their garrison from Britain. It was a time of barbarian incursions throughout the Empire. And as we will see in the next post, a whole new migration was to hit Britain.
© Anthony North, March 2008