"when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago"

The first Roman invasions of Britain were undertaken by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC as an extension of his Gallic Wars.

These two invasions were not conquests: the first managed only to establish a beachhead on the shore of Kent; the second was marginally more successful, installing a Rome-friendly king. But they did bring Britain into Rome's sphere of political influence. Diplomatic and trading links developed further over the next century, paving the way for the eventual Roman conquest of Britain, initiated by Claudius in AD 43.


Julius Caesar's Roman army landing in England
Public DomainJulius Caesar's Roman army landing in England - Credit: Jacob Abbott