Roman Roads in Lancashire - Homepage

Lancs Roman Roads



3D Lidar videos now available for several sections of "new" roads.

Garstang to Lancaster road located - complete with a "new" milestone. See our new Page 1 for all the details.

New road discovered - Ribchester to Catterall (for Lancaster)

After only 45 years of searching, I have at long last found the Roman Road from Ribchester to Lancaster!

New Road So now we know - the Romans went from Ribchester to Lancaster via Garstang.

The road takes a very logical and economical route to join the main north-south road at Catterall and hence on to Lancaster. Years of looking for a road via Priest Hill, White Chapel, Beacon Fell, Oakenclough and Street proved to be time spent in the wrong place! The road is remarkably clear in several sections - one stretch of prominent agger is even visible in Google Streetview. How nobody - me included - spotted it is a mystery. The distance to Lancaster from Ribchester by this "new" road is around 23 miles.

Details of this road have now been completed and because of the volume of new material it has its own dedicated webpage and includes a 3D Lidar Video.

Other LIDAR discoveries:

  • Lancaster to Burrow - direct route to Caton found and most of the route to Burrow. Includes a 3D Lidar Video
  • Burrow Fort - link road to main north-south road discovered.
  • North-South Inland Road - Manchester to Ribchester - route found north of Edgworth
  • North-South Inland Road - Hindburn Valley to River Greta - 3.5 miles of new route found, OS route incorrect. Includes a 3D Lidar Video
  • North-South Coastal Road - Wigan to Walton-le-Dale - route via Leyland largely confirmed.
  • North-South Coastal Road - Walton-le-Dale to Lancaster - this long lost route now determined in its entirety. Includes 3D Lidar Videos (3)
  • Ribchester to Elslack - River Ribble crossing further downstream than previously thought. River Calder crossing found. Includes a 3D Lidar Video
  • Ribchester to Kirkham - indications of the first mile to Hothersall probably and OS route confirmed Lund to Kirkham.
  • West of Kirkham, The Danes Pad - no evidence found for this road - strongly suggesting this road does not exist.
  • Manchester to Wigan - route across Broadoak Park Worsley & Mosley Common revealed.
  • Possible watch tower for Burrow fort spotted.

 It's been a busy few years!


Lancashire has some of the Country's most spectacular Roman Roads and in tracing them we will travel through some of Lancashire's finest countryside seeing many stunning views. There are very few sites in England where the Roman Road surface has been exposed and put on display. Lancashire has one of them and you can literally walk in the footsteps of the Legions!

The following began as an article written by the former Deputy County Surveyor of Lancashire, J M Whiteley, over 30 years ago but has been considerably revised and expanded by David Ratledge, reflecting our increasing knowledge of the events that shaped our county nearly 2000 years ago. It was possibly the first review to have used GIS (Geographic Information System) technology to combine old and modern maps, contour maps, aerial photographs and now Lidar imagery. The Lidar data used here is courtesy and copyright the Environment Agency.

Thanks are due to Lancashire County Council's former Archaeology Unit for writing a Historical Background. This includes the latest thinking on Iter X of the Antonine Itinerary, which is the route through the county. Also on this web page are notes on the construction of Roman Roads. See our separate web page.

An earlier version of these web pages was available for many years on Lancashire County Council's website. However, these pages were removed by LCC in December 2014 along with considerable other valuable historical information regarding Lancashire's highway heritage. The opportunity was therefore taken to thoroughly update everything and re-host them on the RRRA site. Thanks are due to Mike Haken for providing a new home. Thanks are also due to Mike Aerts for the use of his "MAGIC" software.

For all the known routes in detail choose the appropriate page:-

> Page 1 - the "Coastal" North-South Road via Wigan, Walton-le-Dale & Lancaster. Route Discovered

> Page 2 - the "Inland" North-South Road via Ribchester

> Page 3 - the other known roads including around Ribchester and Lancaster

> Page 3a - the "new" road from Ribchester to Catterall, NEW

> Page 4 - possible roads, Greater Manchester area, conclusion, references and contacts

> Return to RRRA Gazetteer


Contact David Ratledge regarding the Lancashire web pages:






Last update: July 2017

© David Ratledge