In AD43 the Romans invaded Britain and quickly imposed control over the native Celtic population. The Romans built a road from London to Colchester which crosses the borough as the present Chadwell Heath High Road.
Roman finds in Barking include pottery, a coin of the Emperor Magnentius, and a tombstone in memory of a man named Doccae which had been re-used in a 7th century building. Doccae is the first named inhabitant of the borough.
In 1932 a stone coffin and fragments of Roman pottery were excavated in Ripple Road, Barking, and 4 years later Roman pottery and a brooch were discovered during house building work in Westrow Drive. A cemetery with a stone coffin and many Roman pots was uncovered at Marks Gate in 1936, and Roman vessels were also discovered during the building of the Becontree Estate in the 1920s and 1930s.
The construction of the former Goresbrook Leisure Centre in 1995 revealed the remains of a Roman rectangular ditched enclosure, possibly a military fort, with 4 cremation burials within its boundary.
Excavations of 2005 and 2006 at the Beam Washlands site in Dagenham, carried out as part of works to strengthen flood defences, produced Neolithic and Iron Age material, plus evidence of continuous settlement for 300 years during the Roman period.
Particularly exciting was the discovery of kilns used to fire pottery vessels, including jars and dishes, with nearby post holes possibly marking pottery workshops and drying structures.
A Roman cemetery containing around 20 cremation burials was also discovered on the highest ground of the site.