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Roman Britain

    Almost a century passed until in 43 A.D., Emperor Claudius dispatched an army large enough to thoroughly conquer Britain. The Roman legions landed at the southeastern corner of the island and subdued the lowland plain within five years. Once this administrative and supply base was established, they began laying down the great military roads which radiated from London. They permitted the legions to fan out over the rest of the country. The greatest of these roads stretched from Londonium north-west across the island to Chester, just a few miles from Broughall.

The Great Roman Road ran from  London to Chester. It passed within 
a few miles of Broughall.

 The Celts continually fought Roman conquest, but were no match for the power of its legions. Eventually many withdrew into northern and western mountains. The rough terrain precluded the use of chariots and the narrow defiles prevented the Romans from forming their legions into a powerful phalanx. Marching a legion single file through the passes invited ambush and disaster. Conquest of these two areas was either thought impossible, or not worth the cost, because Agricola, Governor of Britain from 78 to 84, established a policy of simply barricading the Celts into the mountains where they could do no harm. The Celtic region to the west later emerged as Wales, the one to the north as Scotland.
     Roman Britain was defended by three legions, each containing 30,000 to 40,000 men. One was held in reserve at York; a second was stationed in the northern part of the realm at Carlisle, where it built Hadrian's Wall, to confine the Celts in Scot-land; and the third was stationed at Chester on the Welch border. Its soldiers built many fortifications, which may have included what later came to be called Broughall. In fact, present day maps of England show the remains of three distinctly different Roman roads converging on Broughall.  For many years historians maintained that the lowlands were almost completely cleared of Celts, but present theory is that many of the Celts remained, but in a subservient position.
     In the fifth century, as the empire at home was crumbling, Rome withdrew its legions. The ancient Celts moved out of the mountains and once again settled in the plains of Briton. Some of those confined to Wales undoubtedly settled around Chester, near the site of Broughall. But the Celts of post Roman Britain lacked the organization, leadership and war-like traditions of their ancestors. They were not the fierce warriors encountered by Caesar.

Hadrians'  Wall as it may have looked when
recently completed. It ran all the way across
 England and isolated the fierce Celts in Scotland.