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The Battle of Watling Street


Details of the battlefield on Pastscape

This is a possible site of the battle in which Boudicca was defeated by the Roman army. The battle was fought in 61 AD and was brought about due to Queen Boudicca’s unrest following the Roman invasion of Britain. The Romans had ordered her Norfolk based kingdom (under the Iceni) to be absorbed into the Roman province of Britannia after her husband Prasutagas died. The Iceni resisted this takeover and Boudicca and her two daughters were beaten and raped in retaliation. The Iceni revolted and, along with the Trinovantes tribe in the south, attacked East Anglia and burnt the capital of the province, Colchester.
The Roman army were mostly positioned on the shores of the Menai Straits during Boudicca’s attack. After hearing of the destruction Suetonius Paullinus, the Governor of the Roman army, ordered the legion to intercept Boudicca whilst another legion was ordered up from Exeter. Suetonius reached London before Boudicca however he realised that stopping her would not have been possible. The army retreated up Watling Street leaving London and Verulamium (St Albans) to be destroyed by Boudicca.
Suetonius’s forces numbered about 10,000 and the Roman opposition is estimated to have been about several times bigger than this. Some estimates have even given around 80,000 British casualties.
The exact location of the battlefield is unknown; another location that has been suggested is near Towcester.
The outcome of the battle saw the Britons suffering an overwhelming and bloody defeat. Boudicca killed herself in the midst of the defeat and Suetonius was able to restore the province to order.
Chance Posted by Chance
29th July 2014ce

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