Some years ago I discovered what are likely to be the remains of the missing Roman road Watling Street in south London.

If my discovery is correct then the Roman Watling Street, as originally built, continued straight from Greenwich to cross the Thames at Westminster. That was not quite what I had expected, even though it was the logical route for a straight Roman road – and it started me thinking.

Because there has not been any formal confirmation of this discovery, understandably I have continued to look for further clues to try to convice the authorities to take this seriously, and I think it is fair to say that I am now an expert on the ancient roads of south London.

Because of this I made a further discovery so far-reaching that I did not sleep properly for weeks after making it. I realised that the ancient winding roads and lanes that are quite common in the London area were not built in the middle ages as is usually thought but are far more ancient than this – and certainly older than Roman.

I hope to show examples that will prove this.

Once it is appreciated that theses roads are pre-Roman, it becomes clear that many 'medieval' villages and towns must also be pre-Roman. I hope with more examples I can prove this too. If this is the case then these pre-Roman British people were far more sophisticated than I had been led to believe. I also imagined, like many people, that little or no history had survived from this period.

In fact, there is a huge amount of this history still surviving but modern historians totally dismiss it simply because it was not written down at the time. I think it is absolutly wrong to exclude all of this history on this basis; a percentage of it is likely to be correct and even if it is only a small percentage we ought to be able to read it and make up our own minds.

John Chaple 2012

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Introduction