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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Steve Kaye wrote:

"Broaden the search a little." Good idea; the following might help with that…..

After Steve’s hard work on getting us all access to his Google Earth locations I felt that it would be churlish not at least to try and expand the sites away from the ones that seem to be the favourites: Church Stowe, Dorking, Dunstable, Ogbourne St George and Tring (Chivery Top) and Tring Newground.

I also have a concern about short “open valleys” where the roman army could be attacked from the rear by the local population if there was more than one group, (for example from the Icknield Way as well as Bulbourne Valley for Tring and Dunstable from the Icknield Way and Verulamium but  this also applies to Ogbourne St George from the Ridgeway and the road from Speen to Warnborough or from Cunetio to Wanborough; it could also apply to Church Stowe).

Others obviously have concerns about closed valleys where SP could be trapped such as Tring (Chivery Top) but apart from this site and Dorking there is no real depth or steepness to the valley that could be used as a rampart to shelter along this includes Paulbury and Arbury Banks.

Dorking has a river running through it but possible there are other nearby sites (many of the sites have limited water but I expect that the armies were used to finding water in a well known environment) As far as Steve is concerned it is too close to London as is Dunstable and Tring and others would say that Ogbourne St George is a step too far for the Brythons to follow as it would leave their homelands exposed.

So I looked at the possibility of other roman roads that might have a bearing on the site location.

Firstly there is a road that has been difficult to ascertain between Verulamium and Silchester called the Camlet Way and verified by ID Margary as far as Hedsor Wharf crossing the Thames  (near Cookham) which obviously gives an alternate route for SP and Boudica.

It is supposed that there is a link road between Brockley Hill (Watling Street) and Bourne End (Akeman  Street) which is unproven but if there, this again could affect timings of the pursuing host from London.

Have we considered all the roman road in the area. Perhaps not….

If SP went past the sites at Tring it is assumed that he would naturally head for Alchester but did he have any alternatives? There is a roman road from Fleet Marston on Akeman Street which connects with Dorchester on Thames and this is another route that could have been taken where SP could have crossed the Thames and gone down via the roman road to Streatley, through the Goring Gap to Silchester.

Although Dorchester is assumed to be a small settlement whilst looking at Google Earth for where the Thames crossing is, I found a layout of a town in “parch marks” near Warborough and Shilingford (worth checking out) and on looking it up found that it is a well known unexcavated site, so again this may have an influence.

Obviously there is the Upper and Lower Icknield Way as well and the Lower Icknield Way is now thought to have been roman, whereas the Upper Icknield Way is the older trackway. The Lower Icknield Way is between Dunstable, past Tring going through the roman site at Aston Clinton and along the plain, parallel to the hills about a mile distant from them to Pyrton where it is thought to link to Dorchester on onwards North to Alchester or South to Streatley then Silchester.

So does this bring an other sites into play that fit the description?

There is a gap near Princes Risborough off the Lower Icknield Way at Saunderton where the Upper Icknield Way also traverses the valley; this 14 mile gap links the Icknield way with the River Thames and would appear to be an ancient trade route. 

Now this is a through valley where the river Wye rises in the Chilterns near West Wycombe and flows southwards into the Thames at Hedsor Wharf, passing High Wycombe. This spring could have been held by the roman troops denying Brythons access to water but having an abundance for themselves and their guests and their horses etc., with the river Wye flowing away from the Brythons.


.pdf   Bourne End to Princes Risborough.pdf (Size: 416.73 KB / Downloads: 9)

So why would SP take his forces down here?

One option is that his scouts had found that there were rebellious forces to the north of Tring and that he decided to go west towards Silchester. By taking the roman Lower Icknield Way through Aston Clinton and then taking the route down the gap that also links to the Camlet Way and on to Silchester he would have avoided confrontation.

It would appear that as far as the South of Britain was concerned it was deemed to be “roman friendly” and perhaps SP felt this was a safer route or it may be that this offered a great battle site to even up the numbers odds and also allows for a protected camp site.

This gap is unusual as it has a number of steep sided valleys caused by a hill with an iron age hill fort near West Wycombe in the middle of the main gap which would force the advancing Brythons into smaller groups which may have been the intention of SP.

The site seems to fit the Tacitus description but also allows for Dio’s as well. There is the defile, there is the plain and the Upper Icknield Way lies behind the battle site stopping fleeing Brythons from leaving through the gaps.


.docx   West Wycombe.docx (Size: 388.83 KB / Downloads: 13)

[img=602x296]file:///C:/Users/deryk/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]
As a matter of interest there was supposed to be a roman road down the gap at some time, a roman temple on the hill (now lost) and a number of roman villas and artefacts along the gap.  

Any way I would be interested in your views…….
Deryk
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Messages In This Thread
Re: Calling all armchair generals! - by Ensifer - 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-08-2014, 01:50 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-18-2014, 07:54 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-20-2014, 02:37 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-25-2014, 08:29 AM
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Theoderic - 02-15-2018, 12:10 AM

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