A 3km length of Stane Street Roman road, running NNE from Mickleham Downs towards Thirty Acres Barn.
Reasons for Designation
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.
Despite reuse and some robbing the 3km length of Stane Street Roman road, running NNE from Mickleham Downs towards Thirty Acres Barn survives well and forms part of the most significant Roman route leading from the south to London. Archaeological information relating to its construction and use is known to survive.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument, which falls into five separate areas, includes a length of Stane Street Roman road leading for approximately 3km from the Mickleham Downs to within close proximity of Thirty Acres Barn. The major south-west north-east aligned Roman road linked the regional capital of Noviomagus Regnensium (Chichester) to Londinium (London). Within the monument the road has a central agger, or raised cambered trackway flanked on each side by a ditch from which material used in its construction was excavated. This has become partly infilled over the years, but is visible in places as a U-shaped depression. The extant remains of the northern section of the road form a terrace cut into the chalk, which ends 280m from Thirty Acres Barn. Partial excavation was carried out along the course of the road at Thirty Acres Barn in 1948, at Pebble Lane in 1977 and near Tyrell Wood golf course in 1981. These showed it to be of simple construction with a 5.6m wide and 0.4m high agger, consisting of a layer of water worn gravel pebbles laid on natural chalk.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, some are scheduled, but others are not currently protected and these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed. Other lengths of the road are the subject of separate schedulings.