Watling Street

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Watling Street

Watling Street is the name of an ancient route in England. It was first used by the Ancient Britons between Canterbury and St Albans.

Later the Romans made it one of the main Roman roads in Britain. The Romans paved the route from London to the port of Dover, and from London to St Albans. 'Street' comes from the old word for paving. Eventually, the road stretched to Caerwent in Wales on the Severn estuary, just west of Chepstow.

Its route is now covered by the A2 road from Dover to London, and the A5 road from London to Wroxeter (Roman Viriconium, in modern Shropshire). These are major roads in England, which still exist alongside the modern motorways.

Mancetter on Watling Street is thought to be the site of Boudica's defeat by the Romans. Later, the A5 was part of the southwestern border of the Danelaw. In the early 19th century, the course between London and the Channel was paved and became known as the Great Dover Road. At various points along the historic route, the name Watling Street is still used.