Section of Roman road, 380m north east of Ashmore Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020466

Date first listed: 15-Jul-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Section of Roman road, 380m north east of Ashmore Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Tollard Royal

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Ashmore

National Grid Reference: ST 92084 17548


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.

The section of Roman road 380m north east of Ashmore Farm represents one of the few well-preserved areas of the road from Badbury to Bath, which will contain archaeological deposits providing information about Roman road construction and the contemporary environment.


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


The monument includes a stretch of about 480m of the Roman road from Badbury Rings to Bath where it survives as an earthwork in Wiltshire Coppice and Hookley Copse. The road has an agger, or raised surface, up to 8.5m wide and about 0.8m high, with a metalled surface of rolled flints, patches of which remain visible. This is flanked on each side by a drainage ditch, both visible as surface depressions, 3m wide and about 0.35m deep. In at least one area the ditch widens out and has the appearance more of a quarry pit on the north eastern side of the road. The road crosses a shallow valley where it is not visible as an earthwork for a short distance, possibly truncated by the track which runs along the county boundary between Dorset and Wiltshire, but here the ditches will survive as buried features. Other sections of the Roman road, 300m and 1.4km to the south east are the subject of seperate schedulings. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 33563

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing