Roman road along the south side of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Roman road along the south side of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2019 at 10:49:28.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Broad Chalke
New Forest (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 03890 20628

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.

The part of the Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) to Vindocladia (Badbury) Roman road between Bokerley Junction and the Broad Chalke to Martin road represents a well-preserved section of an important routeway, much of the remainder of which has been levelled over the years. Despite minor plough damage and quarrying, the road is a good and visual example of its class and contains archaeological information relating to its construction, contemporary and subsequent use.


The monument includes a c.2km stretch of the Roman road from Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) to Vindocladia (Badbury), running south eastwards from south of the Broad Chalke to Martin road, along the southern edge of Vernditch Chase to Bokerley Junction, just north of the A354 road. The course of the Roman road is clearly marked for most of its length by a raised agger, although some areas, such as that north east of Bokerley Junction, have been disturbed, in this case by ploughing. Here the road is discernible in a dry valley only by slight variation in the grass cover. Where visible, the maximum width of the agger is 11m, although in some places it narrows to c.5m; it rises between 0.6m and 2m above the surrounding ground level. Fine gravel metalling has been brought to the surface in mole- hills and is also visible under trees where undergrowth is sparse. The side ditches are largely infilled and seldom visible at both sides of the road together. The broadest section of the ditch, south of the road near the western end, is up to 8m wide and 1m deep, although more usually neither ditch is wider than 2m to 3m. Some of the stone making up the western end of the road, near Bokerley Junction, has been dug away for reuse elsewhere and the road survives as upstanding ridges at the sides of an irregular central trough. Almost 100m of the road has been destroyed by more extensive stone-robbing and possibly by ploughing at the north eastern end, near the Broad Chalke to Martin road. This section is not included in the scheduling. Occasional small quarry holes have been dug elsewhere. The road is crossed in several places by unmetalled forestry and farm tracks which have cut into the agger, exposing the larger flint nodules making up the base of the road. There are no known records of archaeological excavation of the road. Excluded from the scheduling are all gates, barriers, fencing and associated posts, but the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Ordnance Survey, SU 02SW 35, (1975)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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