Roman road at Chapel Common


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015236

Date first listed: 12-Dec-1996


Ordnance survey map of Roman road at Chapel Common
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2018 at 00:23:39.


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

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Milland

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 82127 28898, SU 82355 28756, SU 82497 28666


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 some disturbance by tree roots, the three sections of Roman road at Chapel Common survive well as visible features and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the exact form of the monument and the landscape in which it was originally constructed and used.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes part of a Roman road situated within an area of sandstone heath and woodland just to the south of the West Sussex/Hampshire border. The north west-south east aligned monument, which falls into three areas, forms the best preserved section of a major road which ran northwards from Chichester (Noviomagus) 24km to the south. Along most of its course the monument survives as a cutting up to 16m wide and 0.5m deep, containing traces of the original raised, cambered and ditched road surface. A c.40m long section of the north western part of the monument crosses a shallow valley and the road survives here as a battered (inward sloping) embankment up to 2.5m high. Part of the south eastern course of this part of the road was heavily disturbed by the training activities of Canadian troops during World War II, and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling. A short length of the road between the central and northern sections of the scheduling has been levelled by recent disturbance and is also not included in the scheduling.

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: 29243

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Magary, I, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Recent Discoveries by the Ordnance Survey of Roman Roads in Sussex, , Vol. 91, (1953), 3

End of official listing