“A thousand roads lead men forever to Rome”; Alain de Lille, 1175

All content © Roman Roads Research Association 2016, all rights reserved; unless otherwise stated.

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Welcome to our Projects, Fieldwork & Activities Pages!

This section covers the activities of the Association and its membership. Please feel free to browse through these pages, which will develop gradually over the coming years. We have kept as many pages as possible open to the public so that everyone can see the benefits of membership, however you will find that most downloads are restricted to members only with a login required.


The Ordnance Survey’s Roman Road Files

Thanks to a substantial bequest, in 2018 RRRA was able to purchase a five probe Sensys gradiometer array, equipped with GPS, at a cost of approximately £50,000. Our aim is to train teams of volunteers drawn from our membership to conduct a series of surveys to try to fill in some of the many gaps in our understanding of the Roman road network, not simply looking at the roads themselves, but the sites that they connect. Under the tuition of James Lyall of geophiz.biz , in the winter of 2018/19 we began a pilot project in southern Yorkshire with the ultimate aim of reproducing it at key locations across the country.

The RRRA Geophysics Project

In 2018, RRRA commissioned a four month project to digitise the OS files on England’s Roman roads now held in the Historic England Archive in Swindon. Until it’s closure in 1984, the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division maintained detailed files on all the known and suspected Roman roads in Britain. The files were then passed on to the  respective Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of England, Wales and Scotland.  Even 35 years after most of the files were last updated, these files remain one of the main sources of baseline data for Britain’s Roman roads, but have been very difficult to access by researchers scattered across the country. We can now make those files, in pdf format, available to RRRA members for research purposes.

In 2016, to celebrate the work and legacy of Ivan Donald Margary, the 20th century’s most influential Roman roads researcher & historian, we held the Ivan D Margary Memorial Conferences in Portsmouth and York, the first time conferences devoted solely to the study of Roman roads had been held in Britain.

Both conferences were a huge success and clearly established need to bring people with common interests together. We are looking to establish  a regular annual Roman Roads Conference, held at a different venue every year, details to be announced shortly .

Conferences

This page will keep you up to date with any forthcoming RRRA excavations, along with excavations run by other organisations which are open to volunteers from outside the supervising organisation.

Excavation  Opportunities

The Roads of Roman Britain Project

The Roads of Roman Britain is an ambitious project to create a website which will be the definitive source of information about Britain’s Roman roads, the core of which is a gazetteer with a detailed entry for each road. This will be the first gazetteer since Ivan Margary’s magnum Opus, Roman Roads in Britain, published in 1973. The project began in 2016 is targeted to be completed in 2026, the fiftieth year since Margary’s death.

Work commenced in Yorkshire and is gradually spreading across the country. Each region will be released as soon as it it is completed.  The illustration to the right shows the base maps for just three counties, giving an indication of the volume of work involved.