Previous page: Llyn Din, Londondium

The revolt or rising of the Iceni spearheaded by the British queen Boudica lead to the defeat of the Romans and the sack and burning of London, and for the first time the river in its rolling tide reflected the fiery glow of a burning city.

But not for long did the city remain in ashes. Suetonius, the Roman General, retalliated and defeated the Queen, slaughtering up to 80,000 Britons the same year at King's Cross (or else near by at Battle Bridge). Queen Boudica is said to have taken her life with poison.

From that time, A.D. 61, Colonia Augusta, as Tacitus calls it, had peace and prosperity for nearly four centuries, and during that period the Romans considerably improved the navigation of the river.

Dykes were built to protect the low-lying grounds, causeways were carried across them, and it was then that London saw its first bridge, which was of timber.

The walls were extended and heightened and protected by semi-circular bastions at regular intervals, and these walls were continued along the riverside out of reach of the usual tides, the present Thames Street marking the site.

Portions of this wall have been uncovered from time to time on the north side of the street. London must have contained some fine public buildings : the richness of the tessellated pavements and frequent discoveries of hypocausts show that for a provincial city it was not much behind Imperial Rome itself.

What a busy scene there must have been along the shore: ships at anchor or beached beneath its walls, while slaves and sailors from all parts toiled at the unlading or lading of them.

Next page: Roman building