Watling Street wŏt´lĭng [key], important ancient road in England, built by the Romans in the course of their military occupation. It ran from London generally north to the intersection with the Fosse Way, c.13 mi (21 km) SW of Leicester, and thence in a westerly direction to Wroxeter in Salop, SE of Shrewsbury, a distance of more than 100 mi (161 km). The principal town through which it passed was Saint Albans (ancient Verulamium). Its later importance arose from its use as a thoroughfare throughout the Middle Ages and into modern times. In places the ancient Roman road is still in daily use, and in others it has been used as a base for modern thoroughfares. Some other Roman roads in England are also called Watling Street, notably the extension which led from London to Dover.
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