According to the on-line encyclopaedia, Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.orange. co.uk/wiki/Great_Dover_Road) Watling Street was an ancient trackway that was first used, not by the Romans, but by the Britons mainly between Canterbury and St Albans long before the arrival of the Romans. This is supported by Charles G. Harper in his book The Dover Road (1895). When they arrived here, the Romans would not have found any metalled roads, just a number of dirt trackways which had been used by the Britons for many hundreds of years. The main section of the road is that from Dover to Wroxeter and was known as Wæcelinga Stræt by the Anglo-Saxons, meaning "the paved road of the people of Wæcel", Wæcel possibly being a variation of the Old English word Wealhas for 'foreigners' which was applied to the Celts who inhabited what is now Wales. This place-name element also gave us the name for Wæclingacaester, the early English name for Verulamium, or St Albans, and it seems likely that the road-name was originally applied first to the section between that town and London before being applied to the entire road. Wikipedia suggests the original alignment of Watling Street more or less followed part of the ancient Celtic route and part of the turnpike road to Dover, but although the Roman road initially followed the line of this broad, grassy trackway, improvements were made to it so that it followed a more direct course. The Roman alignment is not easy to identify and much of the original A2 does not exactly follow what is known of the Roman route; the straightness of many long stretches is misleading.