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Section of Roman road north of Bagwood Coppice

A Scheduled Monument in Winterborne Kingston, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7737 / 50°46'25"N

Longitude: -2.2109 / 2°12'39"W

OS Eastings: 385226.535969

OS Northings: 97146.728313

OS Grid: SY852971

Mapcode National: GBR 20C.KTB

Mapcode Global: FRA 6781.DHS

Entry Name: Section of Roman road north of Bagwood Coppice

Scheduled Date: 15 January 1970

Last Amended: 5 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015351

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28387

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winterborne Kingston

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bere Regis St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes an upstanding section of Roman road situated on an east-
facing slope, north of Bagwood Coppice, forming part of the original Roman
road which ran between Dorchester (Durnovaria) and Old Sarum (Sorviodunum) via
Badbury Rings.
The road is visible as a convex earthwork with dimensions of 158m in length,
15m in width and c.0.5m in height. Part excavation of the road was conducted
by the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments in 1949, at a point c.700m to
the west of the upstanding section. This investigation revealed that the road
included an agger (or metalled surface) 6m wide, consisting of a layer of
flints and small stones set within a bed of clay over chalk bedrock. The
agger was found to be associated with side ditches c.10m in width, and 18m
apart.
Part excavations have also been conducted immediately to the west of this
section of Roman road revealing traces of a contemporary settlement.
Excavations by William Shipp in 1860 identified a chalk-cut well 2.4m in
diameter and at least 18m in depth. The upper walls of the well were lined
with chalk-cut and Greensand blocks for a depth of c.10m. The well contained
an ashy material associated with Romano-British pottery, nails and blocks of
Kimmeridge shale. Traces of an occupation floor associated with fragments of
building materials such as clay roof tiles, sandstone, daub and mortar, as
well as a gravelled area associated with Roman artefacts dating to the 3rd or
4th centuries AD, have also been found in the vicinity. Neither the well nor
the occupation terraces are included in the scheduling. Excluded from the
scheduling are the wooden fence posts relating to the field boudary to the
east, although the underlying ground is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Despite some ploughing, the section of road north of Bagwood Coppice is among
the best preserved of the Roman road between Dorchester and Badbury Rings.
It represents one of only three sections of this road to survive as an
upstanding earthwork and, therefore, to contain traces of the road surface.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 594
RCHME, , 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Bere Down: Badbury - Dorchester Roman Road, , Vol. Vol 71, (1949), 60
RCHME, , 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Bere Down: Badbury - Dorchester Roman Road, , Vol. Vol 71, (1949), 60
RCHME, , 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Bere Down: Badbury - Dorchester Roman Road, , Vol. Vol 71, (1949), 60

Source: Historic England

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