Gallia Road, N5



Place name

Laid out in 1890 it was named after Gaul a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age occupied by present-day France, Belgium and other neighbouring countries, which like Calabria and Liberia were Roman provinces. It is one of a number of streets in the area named with a Roman connection to mark the discovery of a “Roman fort” to the west of Barnsbury Square. All later research revealed it to be the moated site was a Medieval property. The London Remembers website investigated why a plaque had been put up in Hungerford Road claiming to be the location of a Roman Fort, at the Islington Local History Centre in December 2011. They were told: “An 1805 Dent map suggests remains of a roman camp around what was to become the Hungerford Road area. Most historical texts suggest there were fortifications in Highbury, Battle Bridge (King’s Cross) and Barnsbury. Highbury Hill might have been a summer camp, as its elevation might have proved useful. However, that said, although the plaque is a genuine council plaque it seems that the information used to justify it was a little questionable. Mary Cosh, for instance, explains that the local ‘roman remains’ have been identified as medieval and many of the theories of roman fortifications are from texts from the eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Of the modern literature which does suggest roman activity in Islington I have not found mention of it happening where Hungerford Road now stands.”

 

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