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Maiden Way Roman road over Hartleyburn Common and Glendue Fell

A Scheduled Monument in Coanwood, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.904 / 54°54'14"N

Longitude: -2.5156 / 2°30'56"W

OS Eastings: 367034.172626

OS Northings: 556712.375702

OS Grid: NY670567

Mapcode National: GBR BCWQ.5T

Mapcode Global: WH917.BZBW

Entry Name: Maiden Way Roman road over Hartleyburn Common and Glendue Fell

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006439

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 571

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Coanwood

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Alston Moor

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a section of the Roman road known as the Maiden Way, which traverses the eastern side of Hartleyburn Common and Glendue Fell. The section of road stretches for approximately 3.86km from just south of the A689 road, southwards over Hartleyburn Common, across Glendue Burn and over Glendue Fell up to a point about 200m WNW of Side House. Along its course the road is visible partly as a hollow way, as a flat strip and also as a raised agger with side ditches. The agger is approximately 4m wide and up to 0.5m high. At certain points the metalled road surface and some paving stones are visible through the turf covering. In several locations the road curves to accommodate steep slopes and in others it has been terraced into the hillside. The Maiden Way originally stretched from Kirkby Thore, Cumbria to Carvoran Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall.

PastScape Monument No:- 1030940
NMR:- NY65NE57
Northumberland HER:- 5968

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 per day on the network of Roman roads throughout Britain and Europe, changing horses at wayside 'mutationes' (posting stations set every 8 miles on major roads) and stopping overnight at 'mansiones' (rest houses located every 20-25 miles). 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. A high proportion of examples exhibiting good survival are considered to be worthy of protection.
The section of the Maiden Way Roman road over Hartleyburn Common and Glendue Fell is well-preserved and will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use. The road was built to partially traverse the Pennines and was a key component of the military conquest and subsequent occupation of northern England in the area south of Hadrian's Wall.

Source: Historic England

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