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Section of Roman road north west of Badbury Rings

A Scheduled Monument in Shapwick, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8273 / 50°49'38"N

Longitude: -2.0566 / 2°3'23"W

OS Eastings: 396109.485818

OS Northings: 103081.051481

OS Grid: ST961030

Mapcode National: GBR 31B.2VM

Mapcode Global: FRA 66LX.6M1

Entry Name: Section of Roman road NW of Badbury Rings

Scheduled Date:

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003210

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 121

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Shapwick

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Shapwick St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

Part of a Roman road immediately north west of Badbury Rings.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 December 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes part of the Roman road which ran between Dorchester and Old Sarum situated on the rolling uplands of King Down. The road survives as an approximately 870m long stretch with a 14m wide agger of up to 0.4m high defined by two side ditches and is clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in 2007.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Roman roads were artificially made-up routes introduced to Britain by the Roman army from c. AD 43. They facilitated both the conquest of the province and its subsequent administration. Their main purpose was to serve the Cursus Publicus, or Imperial mail service. Express messengers could travel up to 150 miles (241km) per day on the network of Roman roads throughout Britain and Europe, changing horses at wayside `mutationes' (posting stations set every 8 miles (12.87km) on major roads) and stopping overnight at `mansiones' (rest houses located every 20-25 miles (32km-40km). In addition, throughout the Roman period and later, Roman roads acted as commercial routes and became foci for settlement and industry. Mausolea were sometimes built flanking roads during the Roman period while, in the Anglian and medieval periods, Roman roads often served as property boundaries. Although a number of roads fell out of use soon after the withdrawal of Rome from the province in the fifth century AD, many have continued in use down to the present day and are consequently sealed beneath modern roads. On the basis of construction technique, two main types of Roman road are distinguishable. The first has widely spaced boundary ditches and a broad elaborate agger comprising several layers of graded materials. The second usually has drainage ditches and a narrow simple agger of two or three successive layers. In addition to ditches and construction pits flanking the sides of the road, features of Roman roads can include central stone ribs, kerbs and culverts, not all of which will necessarily be contemporary with the original construction of the road. With the exception of the extreme south-west of the country, Roman roads are widely distributed throughout England and extend into Wales and lowland Scotland. They are highly representative of the period of Roman administration and provide important evidence of Roman civil engineering skills as well as the pattern of Roman conquest and settlement. The part of a Roman road immediately north west of Badbury Rings survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, interrelationship with other monument classes and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-958209

Source: Historic England

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