According to Scientists, This Is Where Julius Caesar Arrived in Britain

V0048276 Caesars first invasion of Britain: Caesars boat is pulled Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Caesars first invasion of Britain: Caesars boat is pulled to the shore while his soldiers fight the resisting indigenous warriors. Lithograph by W. Linnell after E. Armitage. By: Edward Armitageafter: William LinnellPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
V0048276 Caesar's first invasion of Britain: Caesar's boat is pulled Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Caesar's first invasion of Britain: Caesar's boat is pulled to the shore while his soldiers fight the resisting indigenous warriors. Lithograph by W. Linnell after E. Armitage. By: Edward Armitageafter: William LinnellPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Annie Hopkins

The spot where Julius Caesar and his legion of 20,000 Roman soldiers landed in Britain is believed to have been discovered on the south-east coast of England. Archaeologists at the University of Leicester are believed to have found the site where the famed Roman Emperor and his army arrived, at the beautiful Pegwell Bay at Thanet in Kent.

Pegwell and Sandwich Bay, Kent

Between 58 and 50 BC, Julius Caesar, founder of the Roman Empire, had been gradually conquering land across Europe, sending his troops across France, Belgium and Germany before reaching the Channel. The army’s discovery and invasion of Britain was considered an incredible triumph, as the Empire had now breached the boundaries of the world as the Romans knew it.

Caesar is believed to have invaded Britain on two separate occasions, first in 55 BC and again a year later. It is this second landing which archaeologists now believe took place at Pegwell Bay, a picturesque location in the village of Ebbsfleet on Kent’s Isle of Thanet peninsula. The spot had never previously been considered an option for the Roman’s landing, since Thanet during the Iron Age was an island.

The Isle of Thanet, Kent

The main evidence to suggest Caesar chose Pegwell Bay as his entry point to Britain is the remains of a huge Roman encampment found by archaeologists at Ebbsfleet. Though the site is half a mile inland, it is thought to have been a wide, flat site near the beach during the Iron Age, not dissimilar to the landing site Caesar described in his book The Gallic Wars.

Caesar’s Invasion of Britain

The site is 50 acres in size, and would have had enough space for the 800 ships, 2,000 horses and at least 20,000 soldiers led by Caesar to invade the newly discovered islands of Britain. According to researchers at the University of Leicester, iron weaponry and pottery fragments dating back to the 1st century BC (the same period when Caesar came to Britain) are further proof this was where the Romans first set up camp. A Roman javelin discovered at the site, a defensive ditch resembling the ones Caesar’s army dug in France and bones bearing evidence of wounds sustained in battle lend yet more weight to the theory.

Archaeologists were alerted to the potential interest of the site when work began on the construction of a new road in Thanet. It was during these excavations that the ditch and, later, the bones and weapons began to be discovered. It seems more than likely this was the spot where Romans first touched British soil, though the Empire didn’t officially conquer Britain for another eleven years, when Emperor Claudius began another invasion in 43 AD.

The landing has been described by researchers at the University of Leicester as the beginning of Rome’s 400-year occupation of Britain, where the Empire also conquered parts of Scotland and Wales.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article