Lancs Roman Roads


In addition to the roads described here there must inevitably have been more. For example David Shotter has recorded many coins finds in the East Lancashire area around Accrington but no roads are (yet) known here. In West Lancashire, Higham has postulated that Liverpool-Ormskirk-Hutton (A59) could be based on a Roman route from Chester. Many secondary roads must also have existed bringing produce, whether from farms, industrial sites and mines, to the major centres.

There are many instances of Street names away from known roads - are any of these pointers to lost roads? However, the "Ancient Road" shown on some OS maps over Read/Padiham Heights, is probably not a road at all. Thanks to John Dixon and Brian Jeffery for drawing our attention to the geological map which shows it as old coal workings.

Are there more milestones out there waiting to be discovered? However, it is not known if they were placed every mile although on the Stanegate, near Vindolanda, there are 4 successive milestones. Although we have made great progress in filling in the Lancashire Roman road map there are still several puzzles and trying to solve them is probably the greatest attraction of Lancashire's Roman Roads.

Selected References

A History of Communication In Lancashire, J M Whiteley BSc(Eng), C.Eng, MICE, FIHT former Deputy County Surveyor, Published 1984 in departmental magazine (Diversion).

Ordnance Survey Map of Roman Britain - not up-to-date, has several omissions and errors but provides an overall picture.

Ordnance Sheets of various scales and dates - extracts here are generally from the 6-inch First Edition of c.1845 available in Mario

Roman Lancashire, W.T.Watkin 1883 (reprinted 1969)

Roman Roads in Britain, Codrington, 1903/1918. (Bill Thayer's excellent online version - Chapter III covers Lancashire)

A Roman Road North-West from Overborough, Villy in CWAAS, 1937 - Note Overborough = Burrow.

Roman Roads in Britain, I.D. Margary, 1957. Still the best source but really needs updating. The "Margary" road numbers are from this book.

A Lancashire Lion, J.L. Maxim, 1965 The Blackstone Edge “Roman” road thoroughly researched by a local historian.

Romans in Lancashire, D.C.A.Shotter, Dalesman Paperback 1973.

Roman Manchester, G.D.B.Jones/S.Grealey, Manchester Excavation Committee, 1973.

Saddleworth 712, D. Haigh, Paperback 1982. Worth downloading and keeping!

The Surviving Past, John Hallam (road excavation at Red Scar)

Roman Fort and Town of Lancaster, Shotter and White, 1990, CNWRS

Walking Roman Roads in Bowland, Philip Graystone, 1992, CNWRS

Tameside before 1066, Michael Nevell, 1992, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

The Dane's Pad (A Roman Road to Nowhere?), Ted Lightbown, 1996, The Blackpool & Fylde Historical Society.

The Romans in Lunesdale, Shotter and White, 1995, CNWRS

Walking Roman Roads in the Fylde and Ribble Valley, Philip Graystone, 1996, CNWRS

Over-Wyre Historical Journal VII, Thompson (N), Lawrenson, Salisbury, Parkinson, Thompson (D), 1997

Romans and Britons in North-West England, David Shotter, 1993, 1997 and 2004, CNWRS. Now in its 3rd Edition and probably the best starter book.

Edwards and Higham in "Leading the Way" - Ed. Alan Crosby, County Books, 1998. Ben Edwards on Roman Roads but don't miss Mary Higham's chapter which includes much Roman material too.

Roman Forts on the Fylde, Howard-Davis and Buxton, 2000, CNWRS

The Romans at Ribchester, Ben Edwards, 2000, CNWRS

Walking Roman Roads in Lonsdale and the Eden Valley, Philip Graystone, 2002, CNWRS

Journeys through Brigantia Volumes 2 and 11 , John and Phillip Dixon, Aussteiger

The Roman Fort at Burrow in Lonsdale, Tony Burnett, Antonine Publications

The Roman A65, Tony Burnett, Antonine Publications

The Ancient History of Wyre, Harris and Hughes, 2006.

Towards Watercrook: Indications of a Roman Road from Lancaster, Robert Entwistle, Contrebis VOL XXXII 2008-2009

Lancaster's Roman Cemeteries, Ed. Peter Iles & David Shotter, 2009.

Roman Roads & Walls in Northern Britain, John Poulter, Amberley 2010.

Discovering Coccium - the Archaeology of Roman Wigan, Ian Miller & Bill Aldridge, 2011, Oxford Archaeology (but ignore the Roman Road map of Lancashire!)

Sites Explored, Lancashire, David Ratledge, Britannia 2015, 2016 & 2017

Lancashire's Roman Roads, A Lidar Reassessment, David Ratledge, Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society Transactions Volume 110, 2017


CNWRS = formerly Centre for North-West Regional Studies. Now Regional Heritage Centre.


Useful Links

Lancashire Old Maps This site amazingly escaped the LCC cull of historical web pages. Must be too popular!

Mario The original and still the best source of Lancashire mapping and aerial photography both old and new. Huge amount of data.


Local Societies active in Roman Road research

Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society.

Ribchester Local History Society

Wigan Archaeological Society.

Wyre Archaeology


Copyright, Developments and Contacts



All images and text here are copyright. However, copyright is highly complex! For example, raw Lidar images are copyright the Environment Agency but the processing is copyright David Ratledge. Images are copyright David Ratledge unless stated otherwise but can be used for non-commercial purposes providing recognition is given.

Developments affecting Roman Roads

For queries on developments that might affect Roman Roads please contact the relevant county HER custodian. These are listed for each road.

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If I (David Ratledge) have missed anything, got it wrong or if you have any suggestions for improving these pages, please email


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Last update: April 2018

© David Ratledge