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She was the Roman Empire’s worst nightmare. Yet we don’t really know much about Boudicca. Was Boudicca, ‘Bringer of Victory’, her name or a title? Was she even a queen? Certainly, according to Roman historian Tacitus, she was a merciless Celtic warrior – badass is an understatement! When her husband, Prasutagus died, Boudicca became ruler of the East Anglian Iceni people. But the Romans seized the Iceni’s land and property, publicly flogging Boudicca and raping her daughters.

Out for vengeance, her warriors, boiling with resentment at Roman rule, crushed the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed Colchester (Camulodunum), capital of Roman Britain. She burned London (Londinium) and St Albans (Verulamium) massacring tens of thousands of Romans and Britons. Finally, in around AD60, on the verge of defeat by a Roman army led by Paulinus, it’s thought Boudicca poisoned herself. The site of the battle is a mystery, although ‘Boudicca Tomb’, unknown in real life, is familiar to gamers playing ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’.

So, where can you walk in Boudicca’s footsteps? She’d have had her vengeful eye on the Roman forts at Caistor St Edmund and Burgh Castle and the Iron Age earthworks at Warham, Tasburgh and Thetford are strong in Iceni history. It’s likely Boudicca would have visited the sacred Bronze Age site at Gallows Hill, Thetford. A listed monument, it now neighbours an industrial estate. But hey! King Richard III was found under a Leicester car park, so when it comes to unearthing Norfolk’s ancient past, never rule anything out!


Thetford IP24 1HT, UK


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