“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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Whitton Edge, nr Jedburgh © Dick Warren 2014
Stones that Bridged the Tees © Dick Warren 2014
Legs Cross, Bolam, Co. Durham © Robbie 2014 2014
Dere Street, Binchester © John Thompson 2014 2014
The early medieval name for the Roman road leading to the kingdom of “Deira” from the north. Deira later became the southern half of the kingdom of Northumbria, and eventually much of the county of Yorkshire. These days, the name is often used to describe the whole 179 miles from the Legionary Fortress at York to the Roman fort at Cramond (near Edinburgh).
The Roman road from Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) to Lincoln (Lindum) running just to the east of the rivers Severn and Trent. Contrary to many modern accounts, it was never a true frontier, however the Severn-
High Cross Monument © Duncan Ellson 2012
Brokenborough Ford ©Mike Johnson 2010
Fosse Way near Ladyswood © John Berry2014
Stane Street (meaning stone road) is a medieval name given to several Roman roads, most notably the road from London to Chichester (Noviomagus Reginorum). It is famed for having apparently been originally planned along a single straight alignment between London Bridge and the East gate of the Roman town of Chichester, over 50 miles apart. Curiously though, it is the only known example in Britain of such an apparent superhuman feat of Roman surveying. In reality therefore, it is much more likely that the Romans projected a line in the general direction of the late Iron Age oppidum thought to have been in the vicinity (still a considerable achievement), then some time later built the town upon the line.
Map of the planning and course of Stane Street
Stane Street Agger © Paul Dykes 2014
Stane Street, Slindon nr. Bignor Hill © 2014
Modern Users of Stane Street! © Paul Dykes 2014
Watling Street is usually thought of as the Roman road from Richborough in Kent, through London and St. Albans to Wroxeter in Shropshire, followed today by long lengths of the A5. The usual explanation of its modern name is that it derives from the Anglo-
St. Paul’s from Watling Street © Heidi Blanton 2009
Ruins of Viroconium Cornoviorum © Etrusia UK 2008
Watling Street near Kilsby © David Reid
Watling Street, Towcester (Lactodurum)
Most of us know a few things about Roman roads, usually a few “facts” we were taught at school.
How did you do? The methods the Romans really used to build their roads will be explained in our forthcoming Roman Roads pages. n the mean time however, we are proud to host the Lancashire Roads pages compiled by David Ratledge, which is kept regularly updated with new research, and an interactive map of Roman roads in Britain is now very close to being trialled. This will work in tandem with a gazetteer, the Yorkshire Gazetteer is also well under way. All work is being done by our members and volunteers, so please bear with us while we get this website fully up and running, or better still, join us! Even if you don’t get actively involved, your subscription helps to support our work. You can find out more about RRRA here.
Here are a few photos of four of the best known Roman roads in Britain, as they look today. Use the arrow buttons to move the panel, and click the images to enlarge.
During 2017 and 2018, this section of our website will see some major changes, with the gradual introduction of three new items.
An Introduction to Roman Roads in Britain. This first will be a general overview of Roman roads in Britain, including their function, planning and construction. It will be up to date, and will counter all the nonsense that is still out their online.
The RRRA Online Database. We haven’t come up with a nice neat name for it yet, but simply put, we have constructed a database which you will be able to access through an interactive map, giving you up to date information about every Roman road in Britain. The prototype is already up and running, so all we have to do now is fill it with data: the first stage of this, giving an overview but withourt some of the finer detail such as details of excavations etc., should be complete by the end of 2017. The whole task willl take up to ten years.
The RRRA Gazetteer. We are also in the process of building a gazetteer of Roman Roads in Britain, which is designed to operate alongside the database mapping. This will go live in stages, starting with Lancashire and Yorkshire, to be shortly followed by the rest of Northern England.
By David Ratledge
In the meantime, we remain proud to host David Ratledge’s famous Lancashire pages, whilst their content is transferred to the new format