Bronze Age and Iron Age


Early people settled by the River Stour, in the place we now call Canterbury. They learnt to work metals into tools and weapons – first bronze, then iron.

The Iron Age tribe, the Belgae, ruled the area from the hill fort at Bigbury outside Canterbury. In 55 BC the Roman emperor Julius Caesar invaded Kent and defeated them in battle. Artefacts from the time of the Belgae include a chariot linchpin, which secured the wheel of the type of vehicle possibly used to take warriors to battle against Julius Caesar.

A hundred years later in AD 43 the Romans invaded again. The Iron Age tribe living here then was the Cantiaci and their settlement was called Durovernon. The Romans defeated local tribes and transformed the settlement into Durovernum Cantiacorum, a major provincial town. The story of this town is told at Canterbury Roman Museum, built round the remains of a Roman town house deep below the streets of modern Canterbury.


Iron Age chariot linchpin, on display at Canterbury Heritage Museum

Iron Age chariot linchpin. © Canterbury Museums and Galleries collection.

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