The Romans In LondonLondon Grid for Learning

Ships arrived in London from elsewhere in the empire, loaded with all the sorts of goods that Romans moving to a new province would have wanted. The Romans cleverly made use of the rivers so that they could bring goods from the Mediterranean along the rivers of Europe and then sail across the English Channel. This was better than a long sea route around Spain which was dangerous during the winter months when the weather was bad.

The Roman waterfront (along today's Thames Street in the City of London) must have been very busy. Goods, such as pottery, glass or foodstuffs, were then taken further inland by smaller boats or wagons pulled by oxen. They were also carried on pack animals like donkeys. Horses were more expensive and mainly ridden by the wealthy.

Although vast quantities of mass-produced pottery came from abroad, local industries, especially in the Stanmore and Highgate areas, were established to produce vessels for the major towns of south-east Britain. Glass, collected together from broken vessels, was recycled by local glass workers to produce new vessels. As the province grew and became more organised, foreign-made objects and skills became less important as there were now local producers and craftsmen who could make the goods needed.