I have just come across an interesting article about the Romans in London (UK):

Roman eagle found by archaeologists in City of London

a Picture from the above article (just to have an idea):

enter image description here

My question is related to these Roman legions present in London. Basically where can I find more about them?

Somethings I would like to know: what were the names of these legions, symbols, and where were them originally from?

I have heard of (not sure about the veracity of the comment), that some of the legions in Britannia were originally from Spain. Could this be true?

This answer brings some knowledge but it is not so specific to London.

  • 4
    do you want London specifically or the UK? If the latter, this may be of some help (no idea of completeness) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_legions_in_Britain
    – user31561
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 12:40
  • 5
    “In what is now the UK,” perhaps? As currently written there’s an anachronistic frisson that makes me want to suggest that there were no legions in London in 1707. Or at least to imagine there having been. Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 14:04
  • 2
    The eagle in question is carved out of Cotswold limestone instead of metal, and is far larger than legionary eagles are supposed to have been. So it was definitely not a legionary eagle. Furthermore, it was described in the article as a decoration of an aristocratic tomb in London, the biggest city in Roman London but on where no legions were ever stationed. So there never was any reason to connect it will any Roman legion.
    – MAGolding
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 17:13
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_(Roman) google.com/…
    – MAGolding
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


The Roman conquest of Britain was undertaken in 43 CE by four legions:

These same legions still comprised the garrison a dozen years later during the uprising by Boudicea

Legio II Augusta remains in Britain until at least the 3rd century.

Legio IX Hispana is sent to Germania sometime between 108 and 130 AD.

Legio XIV Gemina is sent to the Balkans in AD 67.

Legio XX Valeria Victrix campaigned in Gaul briefly in AD 196 under Decimus Clodius Albinus before returning to Britain. It is believed to have then remained there until AD 407 until recalled by the usurper Constantine III.

Legio VI Victrix was assigned to northern Britain in AD 119 by Hadrian, and performed much of the construction of both Hadrian's Wall and the subsequent Antonine Wall.

This map of the Roman Empire in AD 125, with the location of all then extant legions, shows the Britain garrison at that time as comprising the legions:

  • II Augusta
  • VI Victrix
  • XX Valeria Victrix

Actually, no Roman legions appear to have been based in London.

There was a fort in the north-west of the Roman city, built early in the second century, which could have held a garrison of about 1000 soldiers. However, this was the guard available to the governor of the province, rather than any particular legion.

In fact, five legions are known to have served in Britain:

  • Legio II Augusta - Based at at Glevum (modern Gloucester), and later at Isca Augusta (modern Caerleon)
  • Legio VI Victrix - Based in the north of the province, and eventually stationed at Eboracum (modern York)
  • Legio IX Hispana - Based at the fort of Lindum Colonia (at Lincoln), and later at Eboracum (modern York)
  • Legio XIV Gemina - Based at the legionary fortress at Mancetter on Watling Street. Moved to the Balkans in 67 AD
  • Legio XX Valeria Victrix - Based at Camulodunum, Usk, and Viroconium (Wroxeter), before moving to Deva Victrix in the City of Chester.

Of the legions known to have served in Britain, Legio II Augusta, Legio IX Hispana, Legio XIV Gemina, and Legio XX Valeria Victrix were involved in the Claudian conquest of the province, while Legio VI Victrix was relocated to Britannia by the Emperor Hadrian in 119 AD.

None of these legions are known to have been based in Londinium at any time.

As a point of interest, the best-surviving part of Londinium's Roman Fort is its western gateway, which is preserved within a car-park under London Wall (the road):

Londinium fort - western gate

Visit's are arranged by the Museum of London (usually with free entry on Open House London weekends).

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