How the Romans conquered Britain

Around 2,000 years ago, Britain was ruled by tribes of people called the Celts. But this was about to change. For around a century, the Roman army had been building an Empire across Europe. Now it was coming for Britain!

In AD43, the full might of the Roman army landed on the beaches in Kent. Over the next year it battled inland, storming through hillforts and chopping down anyone who stood in their way.

The Romans wanted Britain's precious metals. They called the land ‘Britannia’, which meant 'land of tin'. However, they weren't just a destructive force - they built new forts, new settlements and roads. They spread their culture, language and laws.

Watch the video below to find out how Britain became part of the Roman Empire.

Click on each image to discover which Roman emperors invaded Britain.

How did the Celts fight back?

When the Romans invaded, the Celtic tribes had to decide whether or not to fight back. If they made peace, they agreed to obey Roman laws and pay taxes. In return, they could keep their kingdoms. However, some Celtic leaders chose to fight.

After years of heavy taxes and the Romans taking their land, some Celtic tribes were desperate for revenge. In AD60, one leader who chose to fight was Queen Boudica of the Iceni tribe. She raised a huge army and went on a rampage, burning the Roman towns of Colchester and London, before heading north to St Albans.

When the Roman army heard about this, they turned back from their campaign in Wales to face Boudica. Even though the Romans were outnumbered by Boudica's 200,000 warriors, they were better trained and had better armour. Both sides clashed in a fierce battle, but the Romans won.

Find out why Queen Boudicca led a rebellion against the Romans

Watch the video below to find out what happened when Queen Boudica faced the Roman army.

Roman mother and child visiting a British hill fort