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Oldest town in Britain

From Academic Kids

There are various towns which lay rival claims to be the oldest town in Britain:

Contents

Basis of claims

Abingdon

Colchester

Colchester claims to be Britain's oldest recorded town, on the basis that it is mentioned in passing by Pliny the Elder, the Roman writer, in his Natural History (Historia Naturalis) in 77AD. Pliny was describing Anglesey, and wrote that it was "about 200 miles from Camulodunum, a town in Britain", Camulodunum being the pre-Roman name for Colchester. It is claimed that this is the first known reference to any named settlement in Britain.

However, Camulodunum clearly existed for a substantial period before 77AD. From around 10AD, Cunobelinus (the Cymbeline of Shakespeare's play), ruled much of south-east Britain from Camulodunum (the "fortress of the war god, Camulos") until his death in 40AD. Following the invasion by Claudius in 43AD, Camulodunum became the capital of the new Roman province of Britannia. In 50AD, Britain's first city, Colonia Claudia Victricensis, was founded there, but the city was razed and its citizens massacred in Boudicca's rebellion in 60AD, and the Roman capital subsequently moved to London where it has remained ever since.

Marazion

Template:Uk-geo-stub (See talk.)

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