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Roman road along the south side of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)

A Scheduled Monument in Martin, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.985 / 50°59'5"N

Longitude: -1.946 / 1°56'45"W

OS Eastings: 403882.509008

OS Northings: 120619.746526

OS Grid: SU038206

Mapcode National: GBR 40W.0V6

Mapcode Global: FRA 66TH.TZ9

Entry Name: Roman road along the south side of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1924

Last Amended: 22 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008707

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24328

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Martin

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Martin All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a c.2km stretch of the Roman road from Sorviodunum (Old
Sarum) to Vindocladia (Badbury), running south eastwards from south of the
Broad Chalke to Martin road, along the southern edge of Vernditch Chase to
Bokerley Junction, just north of the A354 road.
The course of the Roman road is clearly marked for most of its length by a
raised agger, although some areas, such as that north east of Bokerley
Junction, have been disturbed, in this case by ploughing. Here the
road is discernible in a dry valley only by slight variation in the grass
cover. Where visible, the maximum width of the agger is 11m, although in some
places it narrows to c.5m; it rises between 0.6m and 2m above the surrounding
ground level. Fine gravel metalling has been brought to the surface in mole-
hills and is also visible under trees where undergrowth is sparse. The side
ditches are largely infilled and seldom visible at both sides of the road
together. The broadest section of the ditch, south of the road near the
western end, is up to 8m wide and 1m deep, although more usually neither ditch
is wider than 2m to 3m.
Some of the stone making up the western end of the road, near Bokerley
Junction, has been dug away for reuse elsewhere and the road survives as
upstanding ridges at the sides of an irregular central trough. Almost 100m of
the road has been destroyed by more extensive stone-robbing and possibly by
ploughing at the north eastern end, near the Broad Chalke to Martin road. This
section is not included in the scheduling. Occasional small quarry holes
have been dug elsewhere. The road is crossed in several places by unmetalled
forestry and farm tracks which have cut into the agger, exposing the larger
flint nodules making up the base of the road.
There are no known records of archaeological excavation of the road.
Excluded from the scheduling are all gates, barriers, fencing and associated
posts, but the ground beneath all these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 part of the Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) to Vindocladia (Badbury) Roman road
between Bokerley Junction and the Broad Chalke to Martin road represents a
well-preserved section of an important routeway, much of the remainder of
which has been levelled over the years. Despite minor plough damage and
quarrying, the road is a good and visual example of its class and contains
archaeological information relating to its construction, contemporary and
subsequent use.

Source: Historic England


Ordnance Survey, SU 02SW 35, (1975)

Source: Historic England

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