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When the Roman Prefects in Britain, during the middle of the first century of the Christian Era could safely turn their attention for a while from the well established and prosperous imperial colonies in the southern parts of the island to penetrate with their conquering legions into the unexplored interior, certain well made British tracks or roads along which they advanced through the dense forest then covering the central districts led them to a sunny opening in the valley of a winding river.
Here upon a cleared and level space, and enclosed for defence by stout embankments of earth with outside trenches, was clustered a native Celtic settlement of straw-roofed huts, whose half savage inhabitants, with their blue-stained bodies and rude garments of skins had no choice but to succumb, after a brief but fierce struggle, to the trained and irresistible foe who was sweeping all before him.
Above the river, at a little distance on the north-east side, rose a gentle slope which to the practised eye of the Roman General suggested a good vantage point for occupation by his forces, where the latent enemy could be overlooked, and any subsequent attempt at a rising among them, or in other native settlements in the neighbourhood, might he promptly checked.
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