Arguably one of the most surprising of all of our Secret London articles, the remains of London?s Roman Fort are actually situated in an underground car park!
The history of this fort dates back to around AD110, not very long after the Roman invasion of Britain. By this time London had become the most important city in Roman Britain, and the newly rebuilt fort could house up to 1,000 soldiers over a space of 5 hectares.
It was built at around the same time as the forts around Hadrian?s Wall, and therefore shares a similar design with these northern counterparts. The stone walls of the fort in London rose to a height of over five metres, and were reinforced by an urban bank at the rear. At the front of the wall was a ditch (again, a common feature of the time) and there was a myriad of stone towers placed at even intervals along the walls.
Although the Roman fort in London was around three times the size of its Hadrian Wall counterparts, it never in fact housed a permanent regiment. Instead, it was the home of the ceremonial guard that served the governor of Britain, a role which saw a regular rotation of soldiers in almost a ?secondment? type function.
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