Possible Roman Roads

Some evidence for these roads but probably insufficient as yet to include them in Cumbria's Roman road map.




Lancaster to Ravenglass - across the sands of Morecambe Bay

The south of the County is notably lacking in Roman roads. One candidate frequently suggested is that the Romans used the sands route across Morecambe Bay. So far I have failed to find any Lidar evidence for this road in the Furness peninsular.

To Ferguson (see below) this road was certain.

R.S. Ferguson , CW1 3 1877 (64-94) From strategic and historical reasons we should expect to find another great road through Cumberland, older than, and more or less superseded by those we have just mentioned. Agricola, in A.D. 79, advanced from the Isle of Anglesey into Scotland by the western coast, crossing the estuaries, and, Roman-like, securing his retreat by the formation of a good road, guarded at frequent intervals by fortified posts. During this advance he kept close to the sea, partly we suppose that he might be supported by his fleet, partly to avoid the trackless woods, and wild mountains of the interior. This Roman road starts from Lancaster, crosses the Lancaster branch of the Morecambe estuary to Pigeon Cote Lane, near Wyke in Cartmel; passes, Flookburgh, where part of this Roman road still remains; thence crosses the Ulverston estuary and goes by Mount- barrow and Lindal to Dalton, near to the second of which places its pavement was long ago discovered, (vide Stockdale’s ’Annales Caermoelenses” p. 241; also West’s “Furness” p.8 Hutchinson’s “Cumberland,” Vol. I., p. 533, for the Roman road, leading through Furness to Duddon Sands). Thence the road would cross the Duddon Sands and enter Cumberland somewhere near Millom. From Millom it would run by Bootle and Ravenglass to the great camp at Moresby.

It could be that this was an invasion route as Ferguson suggested but perhaps it did not get converted into a fully built road?



Moresby to Ravenglass - RRX12

Various suugestions for this road in the past and the RRX 12 number denotes the Ordnance Survey took an interest in it too. RRX numbers are used by OS for Roman roads - they don't use Margary numbers.

The existence of this road would explain why the road from Papcastle to Ravenglass doesn't take a short cut to Ravenglass but heads in the direction of Cleator - perhaps it was limking to an already existing road from Moresby? This is perhaps the best supporting evidence that this could actually be a Roman road.



3D-Lidar Image - Moresby Fort

The (possible) road we are looking for is towards the right handside and marked with a "?". Could this be the start of a road towards Egremont? I am not sure.

Apart from this (shred) of evidence I have so far failed to find any more clues.

Click for larger view

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Last update January 2018

© David Ratledge