Ancient Monuments

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Section of Roman road, 380m north east of Ashmore Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ashmore, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9572 / 50°57'26"N

Longitude: -2.114 / 2°6'50"W

OS Eastings: 392085.94557

OS Northings: 117540.779782

OS Grid: ST920175

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZJ.SFN

Mapcode Global: FRA 66GL.26Y

Entry Name: Section of Roman road, 380m north east of Ashmore Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 July 1955

Last Amended: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020466

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33563

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Ashmore

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tollard Royal St Peter ad Vincula

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a stretch of about 480m of the Roman road from Badbury
Rings to Bath where it survives as an earthwork in Wiltshire Coppice and
Hookley Copse.
The road has an agger, or raised surface, up to 8.5m wide and about 0.8m high,
with a metalled surface of rolled flints, patches of which remain visible.
This is flanked on each side by a drainage ditch, both visible as surface
depressions, 3m wide and about 0.35m deep. In at least one area the ditch
widens out and has the appearance more of a quarry pit on the north eastern
side of the road. The road crosses a shallow valley where it is not visible as
an earthwork for a short distance, possibly truncated by the track which runs
along the county boundary between Dorset and Wiltshire, but here the ditches
will survive as buried features. Other sections of the Roman road, 300m and
1.4km to the south east are the subject of seperate schedulings.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
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 section of Roman road 380m north east of Ashmore Farm represents one of
the few well-preserved areas of the road from Badbury to Bath, which will
contain archaeological deposits providing information about Roman road
construction and the contemporary environment.

Source: Historic England

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