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Section of Roman Road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4143 / 51°24'51"N

Longitude: -1.8897 / 1°53'23"W

OS Eastings: 407763.65152

OS Northings: 168366.254842

OS Grid: SU077683

Mapcode National: GBR 3VQ.91K

Mapcode Global: VHB44.6QB6

Entry Name: Section of Roman Road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 18 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014556

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28108

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Details

The monument includes a 317m long section of the Roman road from Spleen to
Bath, situated 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings on West Down. It is
aligned roughly east-west.
The road has a cambered carriageway, known as an agger, which survives as a
visible linear earthwork 9.3m wide and up to 1m high along its centre. Either
side of the agger are flanking ditches which provided material for the road's
construction, allowed for drainage of surface water away from the road, and
added a degree of defensive protection to those using the road. These ditches
have become infilled due to cultivation and are no longer visible at ground
level although they survive as buried features c.3.5m wide.

MAP EXTRACT
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 section of Roman road 560m north east of Beckhampton Buildings survives
well. Only a few other sections of the road are still visible above ground.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SU06NE 312, C.A.O., Roman Road from Spleen to Bath, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1982
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
SU 06 NE

Source: Historic England

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