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From the Bronze Age till the Romans arrived (4,000 – 2,000 years ago) Cranbrook, like the rest of Britain would have been occupied by British peoples who had originated from Russia/India and migrated to Britain through Europe. Cranbrook became part of a borderland between two of the new British tribes, the Dumnonii based in Exeter and the deep valleys west towards Cornwall (it is thought “Devon” means “deep valley”) and the Durotriges (which probably means “hill top dwellers”) occupying Dorset’s ridge ways and the Blackdown Hills to the east.

 

When the Romans conquered the area in around 46 AD they set up a fort at Exeter and naval port at Topsham which connected the surrounding lands, through the trade routes of the Roman Empire, to places as far away as West Asia and North Africa.

Images: Peoples of Southern Britain according to Ptolemy’s map; Roman galley in mosaic (Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia). 2nd century AD. From wikipedia. Creative Commons license