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Chapter
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Roman Roads in Britain

by Thomas Codrington

published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
London, 1903

Text and maps are in the public domain.


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p84 Chapter III: Watling Street — continued.

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(11) Watling Street to Chester       (12) Chester to Carnarvon       (13) Chester to Wilderspool       (14) Chester to Manchester
(15) Manchester to Oldham and the north-east       (16) Manchester to Wigan       (17) Manchester to Ilkley and Aldborough
(18) Manchester to Ribchester       (19) Ribchester to Ilkley       (20) Ribchester to Fulwood and to Lancaster
(21) Ribchester to Lancaster       (22) Ribchester to Lowborough and Kirkby Thore       (23) Iter X of Antonine

p84 (11) Watling Street to Chester

Higden, the Monk of Chester, though he describes the course of Watling Street with considerable fulness, does not say that it led to Chester. Horsley1 had been informed that Watling Street, or a branch of it, went by Newport and Whitchurch from Wall to Chester, and that it appeared in several places. It would seem, however, that the road struck northward from Watling Street at the boundary between the counties of Stafford and Shropshire, close to where Uxacona must have been. At one mile west of Eston-under‑Lizard the Newport road is followed by a parish boundary for three-quarters of a mile from Watling Street, which is here a parish and county boundary, and three and a quarter miles further on the road bears the name of Pave Lane, and is marked on the new Ordnance map as a Roman road, leading through Chetwynd Aston to Newport, three miles north of which the modern road, pointing straight to Newport, is followed for a mile by parish boundaries. At Standford Bridge, over the river Meese, a road called the Long Ford is entered upon, which continues for eight miles by Hinstock to Bletchley, parish boundaries following it for most of the way. p86Beyond Bletchley the course is lost, but it seems to have gone through Whitchurch to Malpas, whence the modern road, followed for two miles by parish boundaries, runs on straight to Tilston. A mile further on is Stretton, where Horsley placed Bovium, and then there is no trace for five miles. The line is picked up at Aldford, where a paved causeway is said to be visible at the river Dee at low water.2 Between the Dee and Chester, Stukeley observed the remains of the Roman road. It runs straight for four miles to Chester through Eaton Park, where it is still to be traced, and along the Eccleston Road, where the pavement was broken through in 1884 for a considerable distance. The road appears to have crossed the Dee between Dee Bridge and Chester Castle, in the direction of Bridge Street.

The south wall of the Roman Deva is supposed to have extended westward from Newgate, from which northwards the present city wall follows the line of the Roman wall. If Bridge Street is on the course of the middle road dividing the camp into two equal halves, the breadth of the early station was about 400 yards, compared with 450 yards at Caerleon and Caerwent; and with 435 yards at the similar station at Gloucester. Following the proportion of those stations, the length of Deva would be about 470 yards, which would bring the north wall to near the Deanery, and the principal cross street, represented by the East gate and West gate, would be in p87the same relative position as in the above-named stations. There is no doubt that the city was enlarged in Roman times, and how far the present walls of Chester are on the lines of the Roman walls has been a subject of controversy.

There are some traces on the maps of a road due north of Wroxeter. A highway runs straight for one mile to Uckington Heath, which is continued by a footpath on to the river Tern. A parish boundary continues in the same line for one and a half miles, and then highways lie in the same general direction for a mile and a half, and the same line is taken up a mile and a half further on from Poynton Grange to Shawbury on the river Roden, and on to Morton Corbet. A Roman road in this direction perhaps went on by Stanton and Bury Walls to join the road from Uxacona to Deva.

(12) Chester to Carnarvon

From Deva Iter XI of Antonine goes by Varae and Conovium to Segontium. The road appears to have branches from the road leading to Chester from the south after it had crossed the river Dee near Aldford, thus avoiding the Saltney Marshes on the south and west of Chester. The course according to Mr. Shrubsole3 is along the present road by Poulton Hall, Pulford, and Dodleston to Hawarden, where a road branched to Bala. The pavement has been found in a few places, and at Hawarden the course can be traced for several hundred yards, passing near the castle, by the church, and through the p88vicarage grounds. Mr. Shrubsole continues it by Kesterton to Greenfield and Flint, and thence to Caerwys, where he places Varae, 32 M.P. from Deva, and 29½ miles from Chester by the course followed. Camden, probably led by sound, placed Varae at Bodfari, where there are no traces of Roman occupation; and Gale altered the Itinerary distance to 22 M.P. to suit a direct course from Chester. Conovium is placed at Caerhun on the river Conway, where the site of a Roman camp could formerly be traced, and from which in 18464 a raised turf road was traced, by Bwlch-y‑Ddwyfarn, and along the hillside above Llydiart-y‑Mynydd towards Aber. This road is shown on the Ordnance map for four miles to Maes-y‑gaer near Aber, a large camp apparently not Roman. Traces of the road are lost on reaching the enclosed ground, and the name Henffordd (old road) near Aber seems to be the only indication of the course to Segontium, near the mouth of the river Seiont at Carnarvon, where the Roman station is plainly traceable.

Sarn Helen

From Conovium a Roman road known as Sarn Helen ran due south. The course is described in 18645 to be along the foot of the cliffs on the west side of the vale of Llanrwst as far as Trefriew, where, however, it was then obliterated, and over the moor behind Gwydir, crossing the valley of the Llugwy between Bettws-y‑coed and Swallow Falls, and then over the moors, where p89there are remains of the paving, to the village of Dolwyddelan. The railway to Festiniog seems to have effaced it for a mile and a half beyond, and then Sarn Helen is plainly traceable over the moors, passing on the east of Manod Mawr, and by Bwlch-y‑fran (or Bwlch-carrig‑y‑fran) to Rhyd-yos‑balen, leaving Festiniog about a mile to the west. Camden6 mentions this part as being paved with stones, and Pennant7 noticed it near Festiniog "quite bare, exhibiting the rude stones of which it was made." In his time it appears to have been visible on to Tommen-y‑mûr, a Roman camp measuring about 300 yards by 200 yards, from which Sarn Helen is traceable south to Trawsfynydd, and by Rhiewgoch to Dolmelynllen, and on to Dolgelly. It is supposed to have passed the mountains to the east of Cader Iddris, and to have gone on south to join the other Sarn Helen, which, after an interval of 30 miles, can be followed through Llanio to Carmarthen, and towards Llandovery.

(13) Chester to Wilderspool

A Roman road is supposed8 to have left Chester by the north gate, now represented by "The Street" or "Back Street" from Hoole, in the direction of Helsby Hill; and to be traceable towards the ford at Bridge Trafford. It is continued on by Denham, Frodsham, and Preston-on‑the‑Hill, beyond which the present road carries on the line for three miles towards Wilderspool. p90It would there have crossed the Mersey with Kind Street to Wigan and the north.

(14) Chester to Manchester

The Roman road from Chester to Northwich and Manchester, called Watling Street, was on the line of the present road for four miles to Stamford Bridge, and then along a highway with a parish boundary for another mile, pointing straight to Edisbury Hill (460′‑550′) in Delamere Forest. After an interval of a mile, a road with a parish boundary along it for three-quarters of a mile east of Salter's Brook takes up the line. Mr. Robson traced the road through Delamere Forest before it was effaced by deforesting operations.9 At the west of the forest he describes the ridge as being more or less distinctly marked for half-a‑mile, nine or ten yards across, with a well-marked crown, and shallow ditches and traces of mounds beyond them on each side. There was a thickness of 18 inches of solid gravel. Traces appeared after a mile and a half in the same course. At Edisbury Hill there is a slight turn, and the line is taken by a lane, and where that joins the road to Delamere railway-station the Roman road was cut through two feet beneath the surface in laying the Vyrnwy water-main.10 It is visible on the east of the road, and in about a mile and a half the Northwich road rejoins it for a short distance, and the ridge is traceable onwards on the north of the road to Sandiway, from which onwards the present road seems to follow very nearly p91the course of the Roman road on to Northwich, where remains have been found in several places.

Mr. W. T. Watkin11 supposes that a road branched at Nettlefold to Kinderton, near Middlewich. The supposed junction consists of two sunk roads, not ridges and the evidences of a Roman road to Middlewich appear to be but slight. He also gives the course of a Roman road from Chester, by Waverton and Beeston Castle to Wardle and Nantwich, and on to Chesterton. The line of the road was plainly to be distinguished in 1810 for two and a half miles on the west of Beeston Castle,12 on the north of which there were lately some remains of a paved road, but the evidence of a Roman road in this direction is inconclusive.

The connexion of the Roman roads of Cheshire and Lancashire with the south is not very plain. It would seem to have been by the road leading to Chester by Hinstock and Whitchurch, which has already been mentioned, but there is no trace of any connexion between this road and Nantwich, nine miles distant. Between Nantwich and Middlewich there are evident traces of a Roman road. About a mile north-north‑east of Worleston station, p92near Red Hall, the road was found in laying a water-main a few years since two feet below the surface, consisting of a hard concrete two feet thick, and it was cut through at another place near Minshull Vernon, 18 inches thick of gravel almost as hard as concrete, and 15 feet wide. There was no sign of either road on the surface. The course is indicated by roads and lanes with parish boundaries along them by Park Hall — near which the ridge was quite plain in 1810 — by Occleston Green, and Sutton, and on to Middlewich, where it seems to have joined another Roman road from the south. There are some remains of the ridge of the latter on the south of Middlewich, and a quarter of a mile of it is shown in the same line on the new Ordnance map near the railway junction at Sandbach. It may have continued on by a road which was thought by Ormerod to have gone to Chesterton, and on perhaps by Meir and Rocester to Derby, but there are no evidences of it remaining, except perhaps parish boundaries here and there, and a Windy Arbour near Red Street.

At Kinderton, half-a‑mile north of Middlewich, on the south bank of the river Dane, Whitaker13 and others place Condate of the Itinerary. That there was a station there is shown by the remains of a Roman camp, and the meeting of at least three Roman roads, but that it was Condate is unlikely; the distance from Manchester would be, going by Kind Street, 23 miles, instead of 18 M.P., as both Iter II and Iter X give it. p93

Kind Street

From the river Dane north of Middlewich, Kind Street, or King Street, runs straight for four miles to Broken Cross near Northwich, parish boundaries following it for two and a half miles. It is 20 yards between the fences where not encroached upon, and towards Kinderton it is raised above the adjoining land. Camden says14 that the road between Middlewich and Northwich was raised with gravel to such a height as easily to be known for a Roman work, and gravel being very scarce all over those parts it was being carried away from the road. That process appears to have been continued, and there is now little of the ridge remaining. It is visible in the fields to the north of Broken Cross, and a parish boundary follows the line for a quarter of a mile on from Wade Brook to Over Street, on the road from Chester to Manchester, one and a quarter miles east of Northwich.

Kind Street continued on to Wilderspool on the south of the Mersey opposite Warrington. On the north of the Chester and Manchester road it has been traced near Wincham brook, and a footway follows the line, and near Great Budworth falls into the road to Stretton. The Roman road was cut through in widening the highway on the south of Lower Stretton, and in Stretton, and farther on it was laid bare between the road and Appleton Hall. It was of gravel, and 18 to 20 feet wide.15 Parish boundaries run along the present road for three-eighths of a mile and three-quarters of a mile.

p94 There are remains of a Roman camp at Wilderspool, measuring 141 yards by 140 yards, and a causeway leads to the ford across the Mersey at Latchford to Warrington.

On the east of Northwich the present Altrincham road bears the name of Watling Street, but there is reason to think that the Roman road followed a line of highways straight on from Northwich to near the south-east of Pickmere, where it was laid bare in draining at about two feet below the surface, composed of gravel paved with boulders. Beyond, the present road is partly upon it for several miles, and it seems to have fallen into the Altrincham road near Over Tabley.

Where Kind Street crosses Watling Street on the east of Northwich, Horsley with reason places Condate. According to Iter II it is 20 M.P. from Deva and 18 M.P. from Mamucium, which are doubtless Chester and Manchester, 36 miles apart, compared with 38 M.P. The intersection of Kind Street is exactly midway, and if Condate were to the west of that the distances would agree fairly well.

From Over Tabley the Roman road from Northwich to Manchester seems to have followed the course of the present road to Bucklow Hill, where a parish boundary begins to follow the road. At three-eighths of a mile further on there is a slight turn, and the general course of the Roman road is straight to near Old Trafford. It may have been directed towards some point (1300′ to 1500′) on the moor to the south-east of Todmorden, some 27 miles p95distant. Parish boundaries follow the present road, which is straight except where the river Bollin is crossed. Where the present road turns towards the east to Altrincham, the Roman road continues straight on up Bowden Hill into Dunham Park, where there seems to be a very slight change in direction, and from which the road can be seen for some miles in both directions. In 1751 the road was very plain in Dunham Park and to the west of it.16 From the railway on the north of Dunham Park to the Mersey at Crossford the present road is straight in the same direction for three miles, with a parish boundary along it, and the same line is taken up for a mile by the road through Stretford. Between the Mersey and Stretford remains of the road were visible in the meadows about the middle of the eighteenth century.17

From Stretford to Manchester, and on as far as Ancoats Lane, an interval of three and a half miles, there were no traces of the road in Whitaker's day. In 1885 a section of the Roman road was exposed for three-quarters of a mile in the Chester Road, which showed that after passing through Stretford it turned to the north-east, and subsequent discoveries of the road in Manchester prove that the course of it was in the same straight line as Chester Road, and the known course from Ancoats Lane to Oldham. The road was laid out from the turn at Stretford towards high ground (1000′) on Austerlands, more than 12 p96miles distant, and it probably marks the Roman advance from the west against the Brigantes inhabiting the highlands of the middle of England. The section in the Chester Road showed a foundation consisting of a thick bed of gorse, ling, and brushwood, upon which was a layer of boulders, of a total thickness of three to four feet.18 A section seen to the south of the Central railway-station in the same line consisted of three inches of stiff clay on the pre-Roman surface, covered by five inches of burnt brick, small stones, charcoal, fragments of pottery and nails, on which boulders 8" × 6" × 4" were bedded, about eight inches in thickness, and then eight inches of gravel with two inches of rubble stone and clay over it, making a total thickness of 26 inches. The road passed about 100 yards south of the walled castrum near the confluence of the Medlock and the Irwell, the Mamucium or Mancunium of the Itinerary. It was a rectangle with rounded corners, 175 yards by 240 yards, the walls of which were still to be seen in Whitaker's time. The last remains were removed about 50 years ago, but the course of them can now be traced. A short branch road on the north of the Medlock led to the east gate. Whitaker tells us19 that it was cut down to the base in 1765, and was found to be 14 yards wide, and one and a half yards deep of strong gravel mingled with boulders. p97

(15) Manchester to Oldham and the north-east

Beyond Ancoats Lane the ridge was 16 to 17 yards wide, and three-quarters of a yard high in gravel, with a quarter of a yard of marl laid upon it, and it was visible to Butler's Lane, where the width was five or six yards.20 Ridgeway Street now marks the course for half-a‑mile onward, and it continued by what was formerly called Roman Road to Newton Heath Church, which stands on the site of the old road. Beyond, the construction of the canal has destroyed all traces of the road, but near Failsworth it appears with houses on one side, and is called Roman Road, and Street Lane, and is still to be seen as a lane across grass fields, the ridge remaining 10 yards wide and three or four feet high. Further on, across swampy ground, the ridge is narrower and higher for several hundred yards, and here Whitaker tells us21 that he found that the moss had been trenched on each side of the road, and that the larger and more solid plates of turf had been laid on the original surface over a base 12 or 14 yards wide, from which the road was carried up to a crest three or four yards wide finished by about a yard of gravel. The ridge beyond has disappeared, and further on the lane is below the surface, but near the Hollinwood Cemetery the ridge is very evident, seven yards wide and two to four feet high. All trace of the road is then lost, after being plainly visible for a mile. The same line is taken up a p98mile further on, near Alexandra Park, Oldham, by a street called Honeywell Lane on the old Ordnance map, and then Oldham intervenes.

In Whitaker's time it was visible on to Glodwick to the south of Oldham, and also at Wellihole a mile further on.

After an interval of two miles the road is again to be seen in the same straight line on High Moor Austerlands (1000′) for half-a‑mile. From this spot the view to Manchester is unimpeded except by smoke, but in the opposite direction there is no prospect, and the road no longer keeps a straight course. It curves round by Doctor Head to Delph, and on to Castleshaw, where there are remains of a Roman camp. According to Percival22 it proceeded direct to Clowes Moor, where it can still be traced over Stanedge tunnel (1300′), and then turning to the north-east, it passed to the north of Marsden to Slack, where numerous Roman remains have been found. About three miles beyond Marsden a parish boundary follows bits of an old road along the north of the present road to Brighouse for a mile and a half, past Slack to Outlane. The present road continues on in the same line, followed for a mile by the parish boundary, and here, on Lindley Moor,23 the ridge was formerly visible for a mile, raised considerably above the adjoining ground, and about 12 yards wide. It has been supposed that a Roman road went onwards through Rastrick, Brighouse, and Cleckheaton p99in the direction of Leeds and York. There seems to be little or no evidence of a road in that direction, and it may have gone to Woodlesford as Warburton shows it on his map.

At Rastrick a Roman road joins which branches from the road from Manchester over Blackstone Edge near Ripponden. From Rastrick westward the course is followed by the present road by Elland Lower Edge, through Elland to Greetland, and Greetland Wall Nook to Ripponden Bank. The old road descends by a direct course to Ripponden, and continues on by Old Lane to the Manchester and Ilkley road at Westgate Head. Traces of the paving are to be seen in various parts, and it was taken up in Old Lane about the middle of the last century.24

From Slack a Roman road has been traced due north25 by Sowood Green and Stainland, over Greetland Moor from near Turbury, across the river Calder at Sterne Mill, over Skircoat Moor, passing on the west of Halifax to Illingworth, and by St. John's to Causeway Foot and Causeway Top. At the last named place the straight line of road from Illingworth northward to beyond Denholm is joined at an angle of about 45° by the road from Manchester by Blackstone Edge. At Hill Top near St. John's a portion of the road Roman way a quarter of a mile long remained in situ not many years ago, paved with boulders, 20 feet wide, and with ditches at the sides. By p100some the road from Blackstone Edge has been supposed to follow the straight line northward from Illingworth, instead of the course which will presently be described.

Slack has been supposed to be the site of Cambodunum in Iter II of Antonine, 18 M.P. from Mancunium. It is more than 20 miles from Manchester, and as the Itinerary distance from Calcaria to Mancunium is 10 miles less than the actual distance in a direct line, the intermediate station could not be fixed by measuring from either place, if we knew which road Iter II follows. It may be by Slack, or by Elland, or by Adel and Sowerby.

Warburton's map of Yorkshire, made from actual survey in 172026 bears the following note where this p101road enters Yorkshire near Oldham: — "This Roman way goes from York to Manchester, but disappears in places," and it is shown by a broken line, as not being visible, by Almondbury and on by Thornhill and Ossett to Woodlesford, where Riknild Street crosses the river Aire. There is no further evidence of a road in that direction. Castle Hill, Almondbury, has no claim to be a Roman station, as it was supposed by Camden to be.

Doctor Gate

At Doctor Lane Head, on the east of Austerlands, a Roman road from the south joins this road, coming from Melandra Castle, a walled Roman camp 122 yards by 112 yards, seven and a half miles distant, on the south side of the river Etherow, about three-quarters of a mile west of Dinting railway-station. The road is shown in places on the Ordnance map, passing through Mossley. It continued from Melandra on by Glossop, and joined the Roman road from Buxton to Sheffield (Batham Gate) near Brough. In 1722 the track of it for a good part of the way was still used, set with large stones, and with drains on each side where it passed over mossy ground.27 The present road from Glossop to Sheffield has superseded it, but parts remain, known by the name of Doctor Gate.

Manchester to Buxton

The Roman road from Manchester through Stockport is said to have crossed p102the river Medlock at Old Ford, and to have fallen into the present Stockport road at Longsight. The road through Levenshulme to Stockport has long been called High Street, and beyond, the present road is followed by a parish boundary from Stockport Great Moor to Hazelgrove, beyond which the course is uncertain. The road on to Buxton probably went by High Lane, and up the valley of the Goyt, where a parish boundary follows the road. Beyond Wyten Lache a lane with a parish boundary along it is succeeded in the same line by the main road to Buxton. Whitaker and others seem to refer to a road by Adlington, but there appears to be no evidence of it.

Whitaker28 says that a road appears to have branched off from the road from Manchester to the north-east near Ancoats Lane, by Streetfold near Harpurhey, and Street Bridge, and Street Gate, near Royton, in the direction of Littleborough, but nothing now seems to be known of this road.

(16) Manchester to Wigan

According to Whitaker, a road to Blackrod branched from the road from Northwich, crossing the Irwell near Old Trafford, beyond which he admits that the road was wholly invisible as far as Hope Hall.29 His account of this road has been questioned. Sibson30 makes the road, of which the ridge was still to be traced for nearly a mile between Hope Hall and Chorlton Fold, leave Mancunium by the west gate, and cross the Irwell in p103the line of Regent Street, Salford, at Wodensford, described in an old writing as a paved causeway. It cannot now be traced for the two and three-quarters miles to Hope Hall, nor to beyond Chorlton Fold, but it was found in constructing the railway from Eccles to Wigan near Worsley at about a foot below the surface, about seven yards wide.31 A small piece, said to have been very perfect, near Brick House on Mawdesley (? Mosley) Common is not now traceable. Further on it was found near Cleworth Hall, half-a‑mile east of Tyldesley, and in the lane between Chowbent and Hindley, and on the south side of Hindley Vicarage, where it was two feet below the surface, formed of stone and gravel. The course is crossed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway on Amber Common, two miles from Wigan, where Sibson describes it as being 14 yards broad and one yard thick of earth and gravel. Wigan agrees with the Itinerary distance of Coccium from Mancunium, 17 M.P.

Wigan to Warrington

From Wigan Sibson traced a Roman road south to Warrington, and north to Walton-le‑Dale on the south of the Ribble near Preston. The former road is described as crossing the river Douglas at Haddon Bridge and going nearly straight to Nearer Nagwood, and then, with a turn to the east, straight to the top of Whitehill (242′), where there is a change of direction to Old Heywood. The ridge is described as being very perfect in several places; it was discovered in Ashton-in‑Makerfield, p104and it is still visible in Nagwood and in the plantation on the east side of the road at Haydock Lodge, where Sibson saw a complete line of road for 200 yards, of earth covered with a layer of red freestone with a coat of gravel over. The road was traceable on to Warrington, crossing the Orford Brook at Longford Bridge. It probably crossed the Mersey at Latchford, a ford which was in use until Warrington Bridge was built, to Wilderspool and Kind Street.

Wigan to Walton

The road from Wigan to the north, according to the same authority, was found one and a half miles from Wigan, and was traced back towards the town. Standish Wood Lane seems to occupy the course of it, which was easily traced up the hill to Standish, beyond which it continued through Welsh Whithill, Euxton Burgh, Rose Whithill, and Bamber Green, to Walton, probably the site of a camp at the passage of the Ribble.

(17) Manchester to Ilkley and Aldborough

From the north gate of Mancunium a road communicated with Hunts Bank, now occupied by the Cathedral and Chetham College. In Whitaker's time the ridge was visible, five yards wide, bordered with large stones. It followed the course of Byrom Street as far as Quay Street, and then turned in the direction of the Cathedral; traces were found in Wood Street, and it was discovered in 1898 beneath the foundations of the old deanery in Dean's Gate, where it consisted of a layer of sandstone flags on five inches of clay and rubble, overlying six inches of gravel, below which p105were four inches of blackish soil, bricks, charcoal, and scoria resting on the original soil.32 The road continued in the same line to the east side of Victoria Station, and then, with a slight turn, crossed the river Irk at Scotland Bridge. Stukeley33 found that the Roman road went across the churchyard to Scotland Bridge, and then ascended the hill and proceeded with its original direction, north-east, to Rochdale. According to a MS. of the Rev. J. Watson,34 it went through Blackley (beyond which the present straight road probably occupies the course for one and a half miles) to the east of Alkrington Hall, and by Middleton Hall and Trub Smithy to the east of Rochdale, where Whitaker tells us a Roman road had lately (1771) been dug up, and to the south of Littleborough. The Roman road appears to have passed by Lydgate, about a mile east of Littleborough, and on to the remarkable paved causeway over Blackstone Edge, about two miles east-north‑east of Littleborough. The track now appears a little to the south of the Halifax road near the fourth milestone from Rochdale, and the paving of the causeway soon becomes plain, ascending in a straight line for more than half-a‑mile to the top of Blackstone Edge. The paving is in regular courses ac the road, and seems to be bedded on rubble upon the rock; it is now several feet below the level of the p106surface of the moor, the peat which covered it having apparently been removed. It is about 18 feet wide, and is bordered with stones set on edge, and in the middle there is a line of large blocks hollowed out so as to form a longitudinal trough 14 inches wide and eight or nine inches deep, the bottom of which is rather higher in the middle than at the sides. Higher up the hill the trough ceases, and a paved causeway twelve feet wide branches off on the north, at an angle of 20°, and continues for a short distance in a westerly direction at a flatter gradient. The trough stones reappear above the branch, and a rut in the paving two feet four inches from the centre of the trough is soon very plain on the north side, in places three or four inches deep. Higher up a rut appears on the south side, well marked, with traces of the rut on the north side, both at the same distance (two feet four inches) from the middle of the trough. Appearances suggest two wheel-tracks of about two feet gauge, with one wheel in the trough, rather than one track of four feet six inches gauge as has been suggested. Above the catchwater drain which crosses the causeway, the latter is as high or higher than the surface of the moor, and there are traces of side trenches, but higher up the pavement is again several feet lower than the surface. Towards the summit the pavement is a good deal broken up, and the bare rock appears. There is no middle trough, but the large flat stones forming the pavement are slightly grooved by wear in the line of it. The causeway bends towards the north at the summit (1300′), where p107the pavement is partly covered by peat. On the descent on the Yorkshire side the trough stones again appear, and the causeway runs in a straight line for half-a‑mile, and then winds down Blackcastle Clough. Towards the Halifax road the paving has been removed, but the course of the road can be easily followed. On the Yorkshire side it is known as the Devil's Pavement.35

The road is plainly traceable for two miles; it ascends from the west with an average gradient of one in seven, and at one part is as steep as one in five. The trough in the middle has given occasion for much speculation, and for doubts whether the causeway is Roman.36 Of its Roman origin there can not be much doubt, but it has probably been altered to serve as an incline for bringing stone down from a large quarry at the top. The quarry remains; the growth of peat in the bottom and over the sides testifying to its antiquity, and there is no record of its having been worked.

Warburton's map bears the note at the Yorkshire boundary — "This Roman way extends from Manchester in Lancashire unto Aldborough near Borrow bridge, is all paved with stone and near eight yards wide." His notes in the Lansdowne MSS. describe p108the course from Ilkley southwards, and both map and description prove to be fairly accurate. The course of the road through Yorkshire was investigated by Mr. Leyland in 1864,37 and the information collected by him and others has lately been summarized by Mr. Norton Dickon.38

At Bailings, about three-quarters of a mile to the east of Blackcastle Clough, the course of the Roman road leaves the present Halifax road and follows a lane on the north of it for two and a half miles by West Gate Head, where a road already described branched to Rastrick, and thence to Lane Head and Fosson Lane, where some remains of the paving lately existed. It then turns northwards, by Mill Bank and through Sowerby, and on to the river Calder by Finkle Street, where some of the pavement not long ago remained. The ford across the Calder was still paved with large blocks of stone, to the width of about 20 feet, within the memory of men living in 1834, and the road ascended in a north-easterly direction by Hollin Hall, where part of the causeway was visible not long before, to Newland, where the road turned to the north, and the course is along the high ground by Clough Head, Sentry Edge, Balklam Edge, and Hamilton Hill to Hunters' Hill (1300′). From this point traces of the road are marked on the Ordnance map in a north-easterly direction for two miles to the road from Illingsworth at Causeway Top. The pavement was entire at the junction of the p109Ogden and Skirden brook until it was removed about 50 years ago to make fences, and more of the road was destroyed when the Ogden reservoir was made. Northward from Causeway Top the present road is followed by a parish boundary, and continues straight on for half-a‑mile, and then turns off, but traces of the ridge are marked on the Ordnance map straight onwards for three-quarters of a mile as far as Denholme Church. It was faintly discernible near Cold Spring House, one and three-quarters miles further north, in 1885,39 and the course on appears to be, as described by Warburton, by Ellercarr to Harden Moor, where it was described in 1745 as a paved way about 12 feet broad, neatly set of such stone as the place afforded, which could be traced where the ground was pretty hard, a ridge appearing higher than the surface of the earth, in some places being only covered with grass, though sometimes the causeway was met with several feet below the surface in digging peat.40 It could then be seen in several places on the moor pointing to the Moor House above Morton, on the north of the river Aire. Whitaker gives much the same account in 1771.41 The so‑called Fairfax's Intrenchments on the Ordnance map may represent the Roman ridge on Harden Moor, but nothing is now to be seen there, nor onwards across the valley of the Aire. Whitaker was informed that a raised paved road, overgrown with turf, appeared on p110Rumbles Moor, and it is stated42 that a paved road was destroyed about fifty years ago near Upwood, a mile to the north of the Aire. No traces are now known on Rumbles Moor or on Ilkley Moor.

The result of Mr. Leyland's inquiries was to show that up to the middle of the eighteenth century the road was fairly passable for foot-passengers along the whole distance from Littleborough to Ilkley, but was then in many places in a ruinous condition, in some places enclosed, in some places incorporated with the highway, and in others the paving had been taken up and used for building. In 1864 the road within the parish of Halifax (about ten miles) had ceased to exist as a highway, though it was traceable, by the help of information from old inhabitants, very much on the line along which Warburton marks it as visible on his map of 1720.

From about five miles to the west of this road, on the north of the Calder valley, an ancient road know as The Long Causeway can be followed for more than six miles in the direction of Burnley. There does not seem to be any evidence that it is a Roman road.

A Roman road is marked by broken lines, as not being visible, on Warburton's map, leaving this road at right angles on Ilkley Moor — probably the "ancient road" marked on the Ordnance map. It seems to cross by Menston to the Chevin, and to join York Gate, a Roman road which can still be traced in the direction of York.

The road from Manchester must have descended to p111Ilkley by much the same course as the present road. The Roman station, supposed to be Olicana of Ptolemy,a was on a steep brow overlooking the river Wharfe, between two tributary brooks. Whitaker describes it as an area about 160 yards by 100 yards round the church, the enclosing walls being traceable all round.43 The site, viewed from the riverside, is still well defined, although the rivulet on the west side has been filled in.

The Roman road is supposed to have crossed the Wharfe on the east of Ilkley Bridge. The paved way is to be found under the sod from near Middleton Hall, and it can be traced along the course marked on the old Ordnance map on the east of Ing Gill to Raw Shaw, where a Roman road is shown branching in the direction of Addingham. About a mile further on it turns towards the east on the south of Round Hill (1341′) in a straight line over Blubberhouses Moor, where it bears the name of Watling Street, and is still faintly traceable. In the middle of the eighteenth century it is described44 as being paved with stones uncommonly large, and edged with stones still larger. The road can be traced in the same straight line across the Washburne valley to near Crag Hall, where the line is taken up by a road, also called Watling Street, for two miles, and then by a footway on a ridge in the fields. The paving of the road, of native boulders, was here taken up about 1848. At Whitehall Nook (600′), where seven miles of straight p112road ends, a small portion of the road nine feet wide, fenced on both sides, remained in 1882.45 The course of the road, bending more towards the north, crosses the river Nidd near Hampsthwaite Church, and a little further on, in Holly Bank Wood, there were remains of the pavement in 1894.46

Warburton's map shows the road as visible as far as the river Nidd, and continues it by broken lines, as not being visible, on by the south of Ripley to Aldborough.

(18) Manchester to Ribchester

The Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester branched off from the last road near where the Cathedral now stands, at an angle of 65°. It crossed the river Irk at its confluence with the Irwell, and passed through Strangeways very much on the line of the Bury road. At Broughton a fragment was visible in 1851. The course appears to have been straight from Hunts Bank to Bowstock Hill (890′), ten miles distant, the road over which has for centuries borne the name of Watling Street. A description of the road by Mr. Just in 1839 and 184247 notices slight traces at the corner of Kersall Moor, and one mile south of Prestwich the Bury road joins the line and follows it through Prestwich. A mile further on Higher Lane, on the Ordnance map, is on the line of the old road, but building seems to have altered this, and p113destroyed other traces existing 50 years ago. North of Radcliffe the line is preserved by a parish boundary for seven-eighths of a mile from Spenmoor to Blackburn Street. There are traces beyond, and then the line is taken up by Watling Street over Bowstock Hill, with a parish boundary along it for one and a half miles. From the highest point (890′) the course of the road is seen through Radcliffe, five miles to the south, and to the high ground beyond, and looking northward the road is seen five miles off mounting Rushton Height (1062′), to which, with a very slight turn, the course is now directed. There were lately remains of the ridge of the Roman road between the Bolton road and the Wanves Reservoir, which is on the line of the road, and there are traces here and there by Edgeworth and on to Pike House; the same straight line is then taken up by the present road, on the west of which, just beyond, a trace of the ridge is to be seen. From Grimehills Moor, over Rushton Height, and through Blacksnape, the present road follows the course of the Roman road, which seems to have been once wide between the enclosing fences, and to have been encroached upon by houses and enclosures, so that, seen in detail, the straightness is somewhat lost. Before enclosures at the beginning of the nineteenth century the ridge was everywhere conspicuous.48 On Rushton Height, from which the whole length of Longridge Fell, 12¾ miles off, is plainly visible to the north, there is a very slight p114turn, and the general course of the road lies in a straight line to Jeffrey Hill (900′) on the east end of Longridge Fell, three miles north of Ribchester. Beyond Blacksnape a parish boundary follows the present road for a quarter of a mile, and then the present road turns off to the west to join the line again in rather more than a mile. Mr. Just there noticed a stony line across the fields, marking the course of the old road. From Ranter's Row to the outskirts of Blackburn the present road follows the course of the Roman road, which was opened in 1890 at Lower Darwen. It was traced on further by Mr. Just over ground now covered with building. On the north of Blackburn, in 1839, there was a bold ridge on approaching Revidge, and it was visible beyond Revidge Lane. A footway appears to indicate the line towards Higher Waves, where remains lately existed. The line is taken up by a lane on Top-of‑Ramsgrave (730′), from which Rushton Height to the south, and Longridge Fell to the north, beyond the vale of the Ribble, are plainly visible. Traces of the ridge remain near Midge Hole Farm, and a lane to Stubby Head, and another lane, and a line of hedges, seem to mark the course to the river Ribble about a quarter of a mile to the east of Ribchester.

For the whole distance from Manchester to the Ribble, 25 miles, no part of the road is three-quarters of a mile out of a perfectly straight line, the greatest deviation being at the top of Rushton Height (1062′), and on the top of Bowstock Hill (890′), where slight changes of direction occur.

p115 After crossing the Ribble, the road from the south probably joined the road from the east, and the two crossed the Boyce Brook and entered Ribchester together. The site of the Roman station is on the west side of Boyce Brook, which flowed round the east and north side of it. It appears to have extended from the churchyard to the Ribble, and to have been a walled rectangle about 200 yards by 143 yards.

(19) Ribchester to Ilkley

The Roman road from Ribchester eastward crossed the Ribble at the ford at Little Town. There is a piece of the ridge south of Salusbury Hall, and three-quarters of a mile to the east of it another piece, which bends to the north-east and points towards Hacking Hall (200′). The ridge appears again at Dole Farm, and then Kenyon Lane takes up the line. East of Dinckley Brook the ridge is again visible, and there are traces of it to the south of Hacking Hall. It then turns due north-east in a line straight towards high ground (410′) a quarter of a mile north of Worston on the east of the river Ribble, and where the railway crosses it the ridge is visible, and for more than half-a‑mile on to Standen Hey, where a road takes up the line. In old deeds the road hereabouts is called Brede Street.49 A bit of the ridge remains on the west of the Clitheroe Road at the cross-roads, and half-a‑mile further on it is very plain on both sides of the Pendleton Brook. In 1850 Mr. Just saw a section there, 21 feet wide, of flags on gravel, the flags not of any definite p116shape or size, but nicely fitted.50 A plantation of trees now covers it. The ridge, with a fence and lane along it, is followed by the municipal boundary of Clitheroe for two miles to the east of Chatburn, with a very slight change of direction after Worston has been passed. Then there is a turn through 45° to the east, and the ridge is visible on the south of the road to Downham, and with a slight S curve it keeps on the crest of the hill to Hey House; from which the ridge follows a straight line across Smithies Brook and continues, in about the same line, to Howgill. A lane then takes up the line, and at Brogden the ridge again appears. Brogden Lane and The Old Lane carry on the line to the canal at Greenber, and traces of the ridge are shown on the Ordnance map on the east of the canal and further on; and the road appears to run straight on to the high point at Thornton Rectory. To the east of Thornton, beyond some rubbish-tips, the Roman road can be traced up a hill, along the top of which the paving can be seen beneath the turf. At about three-quarters of a mile east of Thornton railway-station the railway cuts into the old road and occupies its course for a quarter of a mile. It then appears on the south of the railway, which cuts through a rectangular camp (176 yards by 116 yards), called Burwen Castle, situated on the west side of a stream a quarter of a mile west of Elslack station. The road can be traced on the south side of the railway further on for more than a mile, and the pavement was found there in some draining operations in the spring of 1899.

p117 It seems to have followed much the same course as the railway now does to Skipton station, and from about three-quarters of a mile east of Skipton a track on the slope of Skipton Moor seems to mark the course from Shale plantation, along the south of Howgill and Edge plantations. Then, bending southward, the ridge can be seen over Addingham Moor to a highway called "The Street", about half-a‑mile south of Addingham, along which traces are visible in several places. About a mile further on remains of the road were exposed close to the north side of the railway. Whitaker51 described the road in 1771 as being traceable for three miles to the west of Ilkley, and very conspicuous on the moor in Old Addingham township for a mile. There is now no trace through Ilkley, where, according to Whitaker, the present main road is on the line. Traces of the Roman road are shown on the Ordnance map just to the west of Ben Rhydding, and onwards by The Mount towards Scalebor Park. It appears to have crossed the lower ground near Burley Junction, and to have ascended by Chevin End, but no traces are visible. The old Ordnance map marks the Roman road on Guiseley Moor, which is now enclosed, and the traces have disappeared. Further on, the road can be seen on Carlton Moor, and it can be followed on by Green Gates to the Roman camp (about 110 yards by 88 yards), half-a‑mile north of Adel, and onwards to Bramham, Tadcaster, and York.

Warburton's map of 1720 bears the note where this p118road enters Yorkshire from the west — "This Roman Way goes to York, and for the most part is visible, being paved with stone throughout."

(20) Ribchester to Fulwood and to Lancaster

A road went westward from Ribchester along the north of the river Ribble. A raised agger was noticed by Just52 near the parsonage, where it is still visible, but nothing beyond for two miles, and it is possible that this road turned off from the road to Lancaster. At Stubbins Nook the road is visible, and a lane is in the line, and there are traces east of Marsh House, and between Tun Hook and the Clitheroe road, all in one straight line. There is then a change of direction, and on the west of the railway the road bearing the name of Watling Street runs to Fulwood Barracks and on to Withy Tree and the North-Western Railway, beyond which there are traces of a road called Dane's Pad to Kirkham.

On the north of Fulwood Barracks, Niggery Lane, marked "ancient causeway" on the Ordnance map, runs north-west; it would join the road west from Ribchester about three-quarters of a mile east of Fulwood Barracks. A parish boundary in continuation runs due north for half-a‑mile, and then joins a road and follows it for one and a quarter miles to a bridge over Westfield Brook. The course can be traced on over Sparling Brook, and it perhaps joined the Roman road from near Preston to Lancaster, which is described by Sibson as going by Cadley Causeway, through Broughton, Barton, and Bilsborough, p119and along Fleet Street in Claughton, and through Burrow. From a quarter of a mile north of Barton a Broughton railway-station a parish boundary follows the present road for three miles. The only other sign of a Roman road appears to be "Windy Arbour", near Forton, four miles north of Garstang.

(21) Ribchester to Lancaster

A Roman road left Ribchester in the direction of Lancaster by Dale Hey to the cross-roads, two miles from Ribchester. About three-quarters of a mile further on the course of an ancient causeway is shown on the Ordnance map, running across country for a mile and a half to Derby Arms, and then following a highway to the south of the river Loud. The course in uncertain onwards, but passing Windy Arbour it seems to have crossed the river Brock to Snape Rake Lane, where a paved road was well preserved in 1897.53

About a mile further on a parish boundary joins the road at Stanegate, and follows it for one and a half miles across the river Calder at Oaken Clough, and on to Grizedale Brook, to the south of which there are remains of the Roman road. From Grizedale Brook the road was traced on by Mr. Jackson past Gregory's Barn and Fell End Farm to Burns Farm, and from that to Street he found it in good preservation for a considerable distance. At Street there are remains of a bridge over the river Wyre, about 80 yards below the present Street Bridge, which, if not Roman, appears to mark where the Roman road crossed. An "ancient causeway" is marked on the p120Ordnance map along the road beyond, which leads to Methurst, about half-a‑mile east of the railway at a mile south of Galgate station, not far from which it probably fell into the road from the direction of Preston to Lancaster.

Little is known of Roman roads to the north of Lancaster. A paving of cobbles, grouted w lime, four to four and a half yards wide, was dug up in 1882 for a length of 130 to 140 yards, which pointed to Scaleford, on the river Lune, and on the north of the river a supposed Roman road was uncovered in 1892 on the road from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale, at about four and a half miles from Lancaster54 A little further on a parish boundary follows the road for a mile, but there is no further trace beyond. There appears to be no indication of a Roman road in the direction of Kendal, a mile south of which, near Natland, there are remains of a Roman camp, measuring about 176 yards by 132 yards.

According to Rauthmell and R. S. Ferguson,55 a Roman road from Lancaster crossed the sands of Morecambe Bay for about seven miles to Wyke, in Cartmel, and across Cartmel Sands (three miles) and Duddon Sands (two miles) to the west coast of Cumberland. A Roman road is said to be visible in Cartmel, and in Furness between Conishead and Duddon Sands, but the crossing of the wide, treacherous sands by a road appears to be inconceivable.

Thayer's Note: For more recent information, with photos and maps, on Roman roads in Lancashire, see the Lancaster County Council site.

p121 (22) Ribchester to Lowborough and Kirkby Thore

The course of the Roman road from Ribchester to the north is a little east of north for half-a‑mile; it then turns north-north‑west for three-eighths of a mile to avoid the ravine of the Stidd Brook. There are traces of the ridge alongside the present road, which is called Stony Gate Lane. At Cock House the road turns to the north-west and back again with a sharp angle to the same line, which is that of the road on the south of the Ribble between Rushton Height and Jeffrey Hill. The ridge at once appears, and the road, with traces of the ridge, continues on to Jeffrey Hill (900′), at the west end of the Longridge Fell. There is there a turn of nearly 60°line to the north-east, and the course is in a line with a point (825′) on the west flank of Marl Hill in Bowland Forest, and also, as Mr. Just remarked, with the top of Penyghent (2273′), 25 miles distant. There are traces of the ridge in this line as far as the river Hodder, which is crossed a quarter of a mile east of Doeford Bridge. Gough says56 that over Longridge Fell the Roman road, appearing green when the fell on both sides is heathy or morassy, was called Green Lane. North of the river Hodder the line of the old road is taken up by a lane for two miles from Doeburn, with pieces of the ridge remaining. The lane then turns off, but the ridge is marked on the Ordnance map (1847) as continuing on in the same line for a quarter of a mile. After entering Bowland Forest there is no trace for three miles, and then at Gamble Hole the ridge p122appears in a new direction, pointing southward to Brownsholme Heights (950′), a little to the east of the last trace of the ridge, and northwards to the top of Croasdale Fell (1433′). The ridge is visible in this line on to Low Fell, to the east of which it passes, and then turns to the north-west up Croasdale. A road without traces of a ridge continues on over Whitendale Fell and round Bottonhead Fell (1784′), where the ridge was formerly conspicuous.57 Further on, a quarter of a mile of ridge is shown on the Ordnance map pointing a little west of north, and there is another bit in the same line near the source of Hindburn Beck. In 1824 the ridge was visible seven yards wide on to Ivah, where the present road appears to take up the line; the original pavement was laid bare at Low Gill, half-a‑mile further on, early in the century,58 and remains were visible to the west of Tatham Church. The present road appears to be on the line for half-a‑mile beyond Tatham Church, and there are several traces of the ridge beyond in the direction of Old Wennington, and between that and the river Greta, the line passing about a mile west of Lower Bentham. On the north of the river Wenning, Rauthmell59 in 1746 saw the causeway plowed up. It was a deep bed of large pebbly gravel seven yards wide, and was paved with large, broad, flat stones. The Greta was crossed by a bridge, the abutments of which are said still to remain.60

p123 North of the Greta the course is straight between a hill (250′) one and a quarter miles east of Greta Bridge on the north of Cantsfield Beck, and high ground (412′) at Gate House, four miles to the north, which is plainly visible from the hill near Cantsfield. A piece of ridge several feet high remains, and a lane with a parish boundary along it for three-quarters of a mile is in the line to Overtown, on the west of which, at Overborough, the station Bremetonacae has been placed by Camden and others.

Warburton's map of Yorkshire shows a Roman road branching near Overborough, which he calls "The Devils' Causeway," crossing the moors to Askrigg. It now bears the names of Cam High Road and Priest Bank, and can be followed from Gayle Beck, near Ribble Head, over Cam Pastures (1900′) and Wether Fell, where parish boundaries follow it for two miles and a half, and thence in a straight line for three miles to the Roman fort at Brough, on the south of the river Ure, near Askrigg. Warburton continues it on by broken lines from Askrigg to Feetham, and thence by hard lines over Hope Moor, and to the Roman road to Carlisle, beyond which it is shown to Barnard Castle, where it falls into the straight road from Bowes to Streatlam Castle, which points in the direction of Bishop Auckland. According to Warburton, a Roman road was visible in his time from Barnard Castle to Streatlam, which is as far as he follows it, but it seems to have gone on and joined the Northumberland Watling Street on the south of the river Gaunlees.

p124 From Overborough a road is supposed to have run through Kirkby Lonsdale to the Roman camp at Natland, a mile and a quarter south of Kendal, and thence on to Windermere, but there are no evidences of it from parish boundaries, nor are any traces of it known.

North of the Leck Beck a road called High Gate takes up the line of the road northwards to the county boundary at Windleburn, and then Wandles Lane continues it by Kirkby Lonsdale railway-station to Gate House (412′), looking south from which the course of the road from Botton Head Fell is in sight.

Beyond Casterton the course of the Roman road is perhaps along the lane between the railway and the modern road, through Borrowens and Applegarth, rejoining the latter road near Middleton Hall. In a mile the modern road crosses under the railway, and a lane continues straight on for one and a quarter miles to Fordholme on the river Rawthey, and the same line is taken up by a track on the high ground on the east side of the Lune valley, passing Howgill, Low- and High-Carlingill. The Roman road seems to have crossed the river Lune at Salterwath, a quarter of a mile from which, on the south of the Borrow Beck, at its confluence with the river Lune at Lowborough, is the Roman camp, a rectangle (160 by 100 yards) close to the railway and between it and the Lune, which, it has been suggested, is the station Alona. It is said that in 1853 there were the remains of walls, and of the abutment of a Roman bridge across the Borrow.61

p125 The present road seems to follow the course of the old road for a mile north of the camp, and it could be traced in the Tebay gorge and in Crosby Ravensworth parish62 A parish boundary for one and a quarter miles is continued by a track in a straight line for two miles over Crosby Ravensworth Fell, and by a road through Crosby Ravensworth to King's Meaburn, but beyond that there is no trace; the road probably went on to the camp at Crackenthorp, or to Kirkby Thore, joining the Roman road from Catterick to Carlisle, and continuing northwards by the Maiden Way.

There seems to be no trace of a road on from Lowborough in the direction of Kendal.

(23) Iter X of Antonine

It has been supposed that Iter X of Antonine passed over the road that has now been followed. It is not known where either Clanoventa, where it begins, or Mediolanum, where it ends, are, nor is there certainty as to the position of any other stations except Mancunium and Condate. Camden suggested that Coccium was at Ribchester, and supposed Overborough to be Bremetonacae, from its distance from Ribchester, and Horsley and others followed him. Horsley, who had first placed Clanoventa at South Shields, afterwards fixed it at Lancaster, and the way in which he dealt with the Itinerary distances is remarkable.

In Gale's copy, in Wesseling's edition, and in that of Parthey and Pinder, there are only two differences, p126each of one M.P., in the distances between stations in Iter X; but Horsley, to suit his localities for the stations, alters five Roman numerals out of the eight in the Iter. The Itinerary distance of Coccium, 17 M.P. from Manchester, which agrees with the distance either to Blackrod or to Wigan, he makes 27 M.P. to suit Ribchester; he alters the distance between Coccium and Bremetonacae from 20 to 25 M.P., and the distance between Bremetonacae and Calacum from 27 to 32 M.P., and in two other places changes the distance from 18 to 28 M.P. to suit his positions of the stations. He thus increases the length of the Iter from 150 M.P., which is the length stated in the heading, and is the sum of the intermediate distances, to 189 M.P. Taking the Itinerary distances as we find them, and putting Coccium at Wigan, it will be found that, following the road from Wigan to Walton-le‑Dale, and thence to Ribchester, it is 23 miles compared with 20 M.P. to Bremetonacae, a considerable difference; but from Ribchester to Overborough on the river Leck it is 29 miles compared with 27 M.P. from Bremetonacae to Calacum; and from Overborough to Lowborough at the confluence of Borrow Beck with the river Lune, 17 miles compared with 19 M.P. from Calacum to Alona, the river names and the names of the stations in both cases bearing some affinity. This arrangement of the stations was suggested by Mr. W. T. Watkin in 1883.


The Author's Notes:

1 Britannia Romana, p117.

2 Ormerod's Hist. of Cheshire, p584.

3 Archaeol. Cambrensis, 5th Series, vol. IX p257.

4 Archaeol. Cambrensis, vol. I p72.

5 ibid., 3rd Series, vol. XI p215.

6 Britannia, III.169.

7 Tour in Wales (edited by Prof. Rhys), vol. II p286.

8 Watkin, Roman Cheshire, p55.

9 Trans. Hist. Soc. Lanc. and Chesh., 1851, p71.

10 Watkin, p38.

11 Roman Cheshire, p32.

12 Bishop Bennet in Lysons, vol. II.432. Bennet, Bishop of Cloyne, is said to have walked over most of the Roman roads of England at the beginning of the last century, when many traces remained which have now disappeared. Unfortunately nearly all that is known of his observations is contained in Lysons' Magna Britannia, which includes only nine English counties.

13 Hist. of Manchester, vol. I p145.

14 Britannia, III.43.

15 Watkin's Roman Cheshire, pp. 66, 67.

16 Percival, Phil. Trans., XLVII p216.

17 ibid., loc. cit.

18 C. Roeder, Lanc. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. Proc., 1899, p119.

19 History of Manchester, by J. Whitaker, 1771, Pt. I p120. It may here be said that in referring to him it is necessary to distinguish between his statements of fact, and what he so often says must have been.

20 Whitaker, loc. cit., p120.

21 Manchester, vol. I p125.

22 Phil. Trans., vol. XLVII p216.

23 Watson, Hist. of Halifax, 1775, p39.

24 Leyland, Jour. Brit. Archaeol. Ass., vol. XX (1864) p208.

25 F. A. Leyland in Watson's Hist. of Halifax, 2nd edition, 1854, p141.

26 The map of Yorkshire, by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, F.R.S., F.S.A., was made to a scale of two and a half miles to an inch from a survey by compass bearings and measured distances, the field books of which remain among the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum. Several volumes (Lansdowne MSS. 909‑914) of Warburton's notes and memoranda contain references to Roman roads, and show that his map was produced after observation in all parts of the country. He had previously surveyed the Roman wall, and had published a map of Northumberland from actual survey, upon which Roman roads are laid down. The map of Yorkshire was published by subscription in 1720. A note on it says that "The Roman military ways are shown by two unequal black lines, and when discontinued or broken off are not visible." The map shows that the meaning is that a pair of lines, a thick and a thin line, indicate a Roman road visible, and where the lines are broken, the road is not visible. Warburton's map is now very scarce, but there are copies in the Bodleian Library, and in the Bradford Free Library. A map of Yorkshire by Overton and Bowles, 1728, and other maps of the Ridings published about 1750 by E. Bowen, are evidently copied from it, the curiously expressed notes relating to Roman roads being repeated verbatim, except that a reference by Warburton in one of them to his map of Northumberland is omitted.

27 Archaeologia, vol. III p237.

28 Hist. of Manchester, vol. I p191.

29 ibid., p154.

30 Baine's Hist. of Lancashire, 1836, vol. III p573.

31 Gent.'s Mag. 1862, part I. p419.

32 C. Roeder, Proc. Lanc. and Ches. Antiq. Soc., 1899, p119.

33 Iter Boreale, p29, 1776.

34 Quoted by Mr. Earwaker in Manchester Guardian, Dec. 5, 1883.

35 The various opinions about the trough, and the Roman or other origin of the causeway, are summarized by Dr. H. C. Marsh in the Journal of the Archaeological Association, vol. I, N.S., p259.

36 It is remarkable that Horsley, who passed over Blackstone Edge, only mentions the causeway to express his surprise to find how much it was below the surface. Brit. Rom., p291.

37 Jour. Brit. Archaeol. Ass., vol. XX p208.

38 Bradford Antiquary, vol. III p239.

39 Collyer and Turner, Ilkley, Ancient and Modern, p135.

40 Richardson, in Hearn's Leland's Itinerary, vol. I p143.

41 Hist. of Manchester, vol. I p138.

42 Norton Dickon, p220.

43 Whitaker, Hist. of Manchester, vol. I p195.

44 ibid., p193.

45 Grainge, Hist. of Harrogate, p33.

46 Speight's Nidderdale, p380.

47 Trans. Lit. and Phil. Soc. Lanc. and Cheshire, vols. VI and VII.

48 Dr. T. D. Whitaker, History of Whalley, vol. I p28.

49 Dr. Whitaker's History of Hallamshire, vol. II p100.

50 Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Cheshire, vol. III p7.

51 Manchester, vol. I p193.

52 Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Cheshire, vol. III p3.

53 S. Jackson, Lanc. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. Trans., 1897, p221.

54 Lanc. and Ches. Antiq. Soc., vol. XI, p184.

55 Archaeological Survey of Lancashire, and Trans. Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiq. Soc., vol. III p64.

56 Camden, III.393.

57 Just, loc. cit., vol. I p80.

58 ibid.

59 Antiquitates Bremetonances,º 1824 ed., p211.

60 W. T. Watkin's Roman Lancashire, p81.

61 Just, Brit. Archaeological Journal, vol. VIII p35.

62 R. S. Ferguson, Trans. Cumb. and West. Antiq. and Arch Soc., III.64.


Thayer's Note:

a Ptolemy places Olicana among the towns of the Brigantes, at 57°30N and 19°00 E of the Blessed Isles. 
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