Ancient Monuments

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Two sections of Roman road in Bramshill Forest between Roman Star Post and Rapley Lake

A Scheduled Monument in Winkfield, Bracknell Forest

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Latitude: 51.3741 / 51°22'26"N

Longitude: -0.7176 / 0°43'3"W

OS Eastings: 489357.8815

OS Northings: 164673.4965

OS Grid: SU893646

Mapcode National: GBR D88.Z93

Mapcode Global: VHDXB.JQ0H

Entry Name: Two sections of Roman road in Bramshill Forest between Roman Star Post and Rapley Lake

Scheduled Date: 13 August 1976

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016332

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28179

County: Bracknell Forest

Civil Parish: Winkfield

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Bracknell

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes two sections of the Roman road from London to
Silchester, known locally as the Devil's Highway which runs roughly east-west
through Bramshill Forest, across what was formerly Easthamstead Plain.
These two sections of road are the best surviving visible sections between
Staines and Silchester and include an agger (carriageway) approximately 17m
wide and cambered up to a central height of 0.75m above the surrounding
ground level.
Either side of this carriageway is a ditch about 2m wide and originally
0.75m deep. These ditches provided drainage from the surface of the road,
delineated the edge of the highway and would have helped prevent animals from
straying onto the road.
Limited archaeological excavation has shown that the road is similar in
construction to other excavated sections at Staines and at Silchester.

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.

These two sections of Roman road in Bramshill Forest are the best surviving
between Staines and Silchester. Part excavation has demonstrated the survival
of archaeological evidence relating to the construction of the road and the
nature of the landscape in which it was built, while leaving the majority of
deposits intact.

Source: Historic England


PRN 01074.16.000, SMRO, SAM 151 Stretch of Road, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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