River Thames | 0 to 9th century AD
Roman Period | 1st – 5th century
During the Roman occupation of Britain, the River Thames, or Tamesis as they called it, was a vital waterway, and it marked the northern boundary of the Roman province of Britannia. The Romans built a series of defensive structures along the Thames, including forts, watchtowers, and walls. These included Durovernum Cantiacorum (Canterbury), and Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester).
Londinium, the predecessor of modern-day London, was founded as a bridgehead and a trading center on the north bank of the Thames by the Romans around 43 AD. The Roman governor Aulus Plautius initially established a fort in the early first century AD. Londinium developed into a major urban center and became an important hub for trade and governance in Roman Britain.
Roman Trade and Prosperity
The Thames was a significant artery for the transportation of goods, connecting these Roman settlements and facilitating trade and communication within the province of Britannia. The river contributed to the economic prosperity of Roman Britain as it allowed for the movement of goods, including grain, metals, pottery, and building materials.
Decline and Withdrawal
With the decline of the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, the Roman presence of Britain waned. The withdrawal of Roman troops and administrators in the early fifth century led to a period of political fragmentation and the decline of organized Roman rule, which led to the rise of regional Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th century AD
In the early medieval period, the river remained an important trade route. During this time, several Viking invasions occured along the Thames, and the river became a key route for Viking ships, leading to conflicts with local rulers and forces. By the ninth century, the Viking presence and incursions in England were substantial, culminating in the establishment of the Danelaw, a region where Danish law and customs prevailed. This included areas along the Thames.
London, which had been relatively abandoned after the Roman period, saw a resurgence in the late ninth century, under King Alfred the Great, who fortified the city to defend against Viking attacks.
Angrs of Windsor | The Legend of King Arthur
Battle of Darenth | The Legend of King Arthur
Bishop of the Thames | The Legend of King Arthur
Cardoilen of London | The Legend of King Arthur
Elaine of Astolat | The Legend of King Arthur
Lambeth | The Legend of King Arthur
London Bridge | The Legend of King Arthur
London Cathedral | The Legend of King Arthur
Middlesex | The Legend of King Arthur
Surrey | The Legend of King Arthur
Tower of London | The Legend of King Arthur
Westminster | The Legend of King Arthur
Windsor | The Legend of King Arthur
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230