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Silchester to St Albans

Although a road connecting these two important Roman towns has always been suspected, actual evidence remains scanty. It is unthinkable that the very thorough Romans left out a direct route from Calleva Atrebates to Verulamium. Margary concurs with us on this. It is a route that a new explorer could make a name for themselves by providing proof. As yet, the full route is a mystery.

At each end there are clear traces – and it is probably a good place to start, and review the situation as it exists today (2018).

At the Silchester end, one would have taken the ‘east’ gate, taking the main route to London, almost due east. This road has since become known as the Devil’s Highway, and its route is now established. At Fair Oak, one would then turn north-north-east along a route that starts as a lane, then very quickly becomes a track, but a track which remains as a straight byway going up and down hill regardless, in the true Roman fashion. This route then starts to get difficult to define as we approach Shinfield.

It is here where we start to play with Roman survey lines… [to be continued soon]!

The Quest Begins

How did the Romans move around the Hampshire countryside? There are few roads. Roman sites abound, but to me it’s unclear how they moved around with so few roads being recorded. The following sites are all miles from the nearest Roman road:

  • Lodge Farm near North Warnborough – site of a modest Roman villa. How did they transport the produce from the farm? (Or, if they had a farm shop, how did everyone travel to it?)
  • Alice Holt Potteries – on the eastern edge of Hampshire in the neighbourhood of Farnham. Alice Holt ware is found at many Roman sites, both in Hampshire, and further afield. It was a very successful pottery in later Roman times: how did they transport their pottery safely?
  • Bramdean Roman villa. Roman villas all over Britain were economically very important for the Romans. But for their full economic worth to be realised, good communications were essential. How did the surplus grain from Bramdean get to its market?

These, and many other Roman sites, are all ‘stranded’ in the middle of lovely Hampshire countryside, and no currently recognised road. I suspect that the roads are there, and we should start to look for them.

Comments switched off due to massive amounts of spam…

Comments are now turned off due to the hundreds of daily spam comments submitted for mediation. Once again the fascists of the global internet (aggressive spammers, ‘marketing departments’, hackers, drug peddlars) have conspired to force the closure of a potentially useful resource. The internet was once considered a great opportunity for international global discourse. WordPress is great, but it falls prey too easily to spamming attacks from the world over.

How the spam breaks down

About 30% foreign – Russian / Chinese (about I know not what)
About 10% web companies that try and sell SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consultancy. No thanks, not here.
About 20% big business marketing departments who unofficially pay kids to send out wordpress spam in order to market their stuff: trainers, shoes, athletic gear, online casinos, performance enhancing drugs etc
About 40% ‘online pharmacies’ – that is, those with chemicals to sell who lack the legality to sell on the high street.
I have had a handful of authentic comments. In future if you have a comment, send it to my email address (which can be subject to much more effective filtering). Send it to tyrone at