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Section of Roman road 760m south west of Lower Barn Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Horningsham, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1592 / 51°9'33"N

Longitude: -2.2478 / 2°14'52"W

OS Eastings: 382768.127174

OS Northings: 140024.520125

OS Grid: ST827400

Mapcode National: GBR 1VP.8JS

Mapcode Global: VH97V.0415

Entry Name: Section of Roman road 760m south west of Lower Barn Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016906

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31672

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Horningsham

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a section of Roman road situated 760m south west of
Lower Barn Farm, on the north facing slope of Brimsdown Hill, the western end
of a ridge of chalk to the north of the Wylye Valley.
The road runs north-south for a length of approximately 350m, curving slightly
as it rises to cross Brimsdown Hill. The road is represented by a cambered
surface located upon an agger or bank 14m wide by 1.5m high.
To the north the road is cut by a post-medieval quarry while to the south at
the top of the slope a later cart track has deepened the road into a hollow
way disturbing the earlier Roman remains. These sections to the north and
south are not included in the scheduling.
Abutting the road to the east is a post-medieval dewpond, 1.5m deep with
banked edges 0.4m high. It is almost square measuring 34m from east to west
and 30m from north to south. This is not included in the scheduling.
The Roman road is likely to represent a section of the route from Bath to
Poole. It forms the boundary of the parishes of Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield
and Longbridge Deverill.
All fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them 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.

The trackway to the south west of Lower Barn Farm is a well preserved
section of Roman road which provides an important insight into the
communications network in this area during the Roman period. It will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the Roman
occupation and the landscape of the area during this period. The use of this
section of the road as a parish boundary shows that it was still a significant
route some centuries after it was built.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Margery, I D, Roman Roads in Britain, (1957), 107

Source: Historic England

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