Ancient Monuments

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Penybont Common Roman road and early turnpike road

A Scheduled Monument in Penybont (Pen-y-bont), Powys

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Latitude: 52.276 / 52°16'33"N

Longitude: -3.2809 / 3°16'51"W

OS Eastings: 312705

OS Northings: 264975

OS Grid: SO127649

Mapcode National: GBR 9T.YQXB

Mapcode Global: VH69H.22W2

Entry Name: Penybont Common Roman road and early turnpike road

Scheduled Date: 30 December 2005

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4229

Cadw Legacy ID: RD258

Schedule Class: Transport

Category: Road

Period: Roman

County: Powys

Community: Penybont (Pen-y-bont)

Traditional County: Radnorshire


The monument comprises the route and surviving earthworks of the Roman road between Castell Collen and Leintwardine as it crosses Penybont Common. Later turnpike roads and finally the modern A488 have overlain the route of the Roman road, which is now only visible on the Common as a stretch between SO 1217 6448 in the SW and SO 1317 6545 in the NE. Later routes deviate to follow the higher ground around the Common on the SE. The earthwork is visible as both a terrace (when climbing or traversing slopes and knolls) and an agger, or raised embankment (when crossing level terrain). Two separate stretches of agger are visible running parallel to each other as the route crosses the central section, both of which have associated flanking drainage ditches. Where visible as an earthwork, the road measures c.5.5m in width and up to 0.2m in height. Where visible as a terrace, the road measures c.7m in width. However, the dimensions and the techniques employed in the construction of a Roman road are not necessarily uniform throughout its length. Construction appears to have been determined largely by local topography and available materials.

The primary Roman road network was designed and constructed by the Roman army for the purpose of military conquest and rule. Roads were built and used throughout Roman Britain from the mid 1st century AD onwards. In Wales, the majority of the Roman road network dates from the Flavian-Trajanic conquest and garrison (between AD 74 and AD 117). The routes of many roads have remained in use - and documentary evidence points to the use of the route of the Roman road over Penybont Common by an early turnpike road, built between 1767 and 1817. This early turnpike had been replaced by a later turnpike road by 1833 (depicted upon the OS first edition of the one-inch map), which appears to have followed the higher ground around the Common on the SE.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Roman military organisation. The monument forms an important element within the wider context of the Roman occupation of Wales and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to chronology and building techniques. The later association of the route of the Roman road with an early turnpike road further enhances the importance of the monument, for the early turnpike road is an important construction in its own right. Indeed, surviving structural evidence from the early turnpike era is rare.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is linear and measures1.4km from NE to SW by 30m transversely (broadening to up to 50m in width along the central section).

Source: Cadw

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