The Roman Portway



Ivan D Margary ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ published in 1955.

Maps of Portway

Roman Roads in Britain by Thomas Codrington

Are Portway locations on the OS maps correct?

Reading University at Silchester

Alex Flahive 

The Old Road




The Portway  is a 58 km road between Roman Silchester (Caleva Atribatium) and old Sarum. [1]  The road  passes through Pamber Forest. It does not follow the line of any major path in the forest and therefore is not easily located – it crosses the long north-south path through the middle of the forest and the A340 road just north of Honey Mill Bridge(636 623) follows the current road to Skates farm, passing to the south of St Peter’s Church. It then   passes through[2]   Tadley Place  and the two detached villages of Tadley, before continuing on the cross the A34 at Lichfield [3] subsequently passing on to  Hannington on its way to Old  Sarum.

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Ivan D Margary ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ published in 1955.

Page 89

4b. PORTWAY, SILCHESTER-OLD SARUM  (36 1/4  miles)!


At the West gate of Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum), the western route forked, north-westward to Speen and Gloucester (41) with a branch to Bath (53), and south-westward to Old Sarum and the west. At first, this route is obscured by the large excavation of the Flex Ditch, and then it traverses Pamber Forest where little can seen though at the western exit from this wood, at Tadley, a piece of the agger can be traced just south of the present track and inside the wood. After crossing the main road at Tadley it is, however, plainly visible as a large agger running from the stream at Honey Mill Bridge up to Skate’s Farm, whose buildings stand across the line. It is said that the line can be seen in the crops west of the farm parallel with the hedgerow a few yards south of it. Some faint traces mark the line north of Stony Heath, but little can be seen till the high downs near Fremantle Park Farm are reached. This point, 7) miles from Silchester, was evidently a main sighting mark, for the alignment changes very slightly more to the west near here. A really magnificent vista of the route now opens up to the south-west past Walkeridge Farm, first along a lane which is generally on or slightly north of the agger and then by a line of hedgerows for 43 miles to Clap Gate, where the Newbury Winchester railway is crossed. In Bradley Wood, just beyond, the agger is very well preserved, some 27 feet wide.  More...


Two miles farther on the road passes through St Mary Bourne, and remains of the agger are visible as it ascends the western side of the valley. In 1879 the old road was removed here, and was found to be 24 feet wide, the metalling being 4-8 inches below the surface. Near the crest the modern road comes on to the line and follows it very closely for 2 miles past Finkley, whose farmhouse stands right upon the agger. Near East Anton the road leaves it again and a hedgerow marks the line to the point it miles north-east of Andover where the Winchester Cirencester road (43) crosses it at right angles. The same alignment, slightly modified at the awkwardly-placed crossing of the river Anton, continued past Andover, but there is now no trace of it, save perhaps a slight swelling and stoniness in the field between the huge electricity switch-station (just north of its line) and Old Mill Farm, until at the Weyhill Road the modern road to Monxton resumes the line. Between the railway bridge and Monxton it is, however, a few yards north of the old road whose flattened agger is just visible in the fields. Through Amport Park the ridge is again visible beside the road where this bends slightly, but near Quarley and Grateley it seems probable that the distinct ridge along the south side of the wide green lane marks it rather than the Ordnance Survey’s idealized straight line in the fields where there is no sign of it. The road passes | mile to the south of Quarley Hill Camp, a prominent landmark, and a slight turn to the south-west was made there, pointing direct to Old Sarum  9½  miles on. The agger is mostly well preserved or used as a trackway. West of  the Amesbury branch railway it is very clear, 27 feet wide and raised feet. Near Boscombe it has been ploughed out and at Idmiston buildings have obscured it, but after crossing the river at Winterbourne Gunner the modern road follows it for 2¼   miles until close to Old Sarum (Sorbiodunum), upon whose entrance it was aligned.


  1. Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Ancient Wilts, Roman Æra, 46 
  2. Dr. J. Stevens, J. Brit. Arch. Ass., 35 (1879), 92 
  3. Willis, Archaeologia, 8, 100

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Map of Portway

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Roman Roads in Britain by Thomas Codrington
published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge London, 1903

Silchester to Old Sarum[4]

This road, called the Portway, was supposed by Sir R. Colt Hoare to branch off from the Winchester road outside the south gate of Silchester, in the wood below the wall, where he says it was visible. A comparison of his map with that of Maclauchlan (1850) shows that the Roman roads of the former are ancient intrenchments in the latter. The new Ordnance map, on what authority does not appear, shows the road by a dotted line from the West Gate, through Pamber Forest, and by Tadley Place Farm to Foscot. Sir R. Colt Hoare failed to trace it, and Maclauchlan, in 185112 found not the least vestige of the road eastward of Foscot. There the tertiary beds are quitted, and on the chalk escarpment, six miles from Silchester, the ridge of the road is shown on the old Ordnance map for one and a half miles pointing towards the south side of Silchester, and in the opposite direction to high ground (700′) at Freemantle Park Farm, but it is now hardly traceable. At Freemantle Park Farm (700′) there is a very slight change in direction, and the road appears to have been directed to the high ground (450′) on the south side of Quarley Hill, nearly 19 miles off. The ridge was formerly traceable by Walkridge Farm and over Ridge Heath for four and a half miles, but it has  p301 been effaced by planting a belt of trees along it. The line is fortunately preserved by parish boundaries for three and a half miles to Bradley Wood, beyond which traces of the road are lost for two miles and a half. About half-a‑mile on the west of St. Mary Bourne, the paving of the road was removed in 1879 for a length of a quarter of a mile on account of its interference with farming operations. It was found at from four to eight inches below the surface, and was about eight yards wide.13 The outline of the road is traceable in the wood to the eastward, and the course of the Portway onwards is taken up by the present road to Andover by Finkley. At Finkley, eighteen miles from Calleva, Sir R. Colt Hoare placed Vindomis, a station named in Iter XV, but the distances from Calleva and from Venta Belgarum would place the station to the east of St. Mary Bourne.[4]



The Roman road from Winchester to Cunetio and Cirencester crosses the Portway about one mile to the west of Finkley, but there are few traces of the latter for two and a half miles across arable land until the Andover and Weyhill road is reached. There, in a straight line with the course of the Portway, which can be seen by Finkley and towards St. Mary Bourne, is a road to the south-west followed by a parish boundary, and the same line is continued by the road onwards through Monkston and Amport to the south side of Quarley Hill, from which, looking eastward, the  p302 course of the road can be traced in a straight line to Freemantle Park, more than 18 miles distant. There is then a turn, and the line of the road lies straight between the south side of Quarley Hill and the south side of the central mound of Old Sarum, ten miles off. From the top of Quarley Hill Old Sarum is visible, as it would doubtless be from the line of the Roman road on the south slope of it if a plantation of trees did not intervene. The present road occupies the course for about half-a‑mile, and then there is a track over the downs, generally a slightly raised grass-covered ridge, but in places worn down to the flint surface of the old road. In about a mile the railway approaches it on the south and runs close alongside it for three and a half miles to near Idmiston. On down land the appearance continues the same, but where the land has been ploughed up the road is no longer traceable. On the down on the east of Idmiston the ridge of the road remained inside the railway fence until the railway was lately widened. At the descent into the Idmiston valley the track of the Roman road leaves the railway and diverges somewhat from the straight course in crossing the valley. It is shown on the old Ordnance map resuming the same straight line and passing round a barrow, but all traces of road and barrow are now effaced by ploughing. Through Porton and Gumbleton the course of the road is uncertain, but on the other side of the Bourne valley it is shown by a line of highways and tracks pointing  p303 straight to the south side of the central mound of Old Sarum, and continuing to within half-a‑mile of it.[4]

A straight line from Silchester to Old Sarum passes a mile to the south of the Roman road at Quarley Hill, where the road lies farthest away from a straight line in the 36 miles between those places.[4] It is to be noticed that this road, the Roman road from Winchester, and that on to the west, all three point to the inner of the two immense concentric ramparts of Old Sarum. The outer ring, which is supposed to have been strengthened by Alfred, has a mean diameter of about 520 yards.[4]

Silchester to Winchester[4]

This road left Calleva by the south gate, and its course is marked by the road by Three Ashes and Hall-in‑the‑Hole to Latchmere Green. Sir R. Colt Hoare says7 that the ridge was “seen very fine” behind a barn on the side of the road from Three Ashes to Scotchman’s Green, but he appears to refer to an earthwork a quarter of a mile  p294 away from the line of the Roman road, and the pitching of the latter has since been opened on Latchmere Green.8 For three miles from Latchmere Green the course is obscure, but on mounting the chalk at Sherbourne St. John the line is taken up by the present road, and by a track over Rook’s Down, on the highest point of which (440′) a short bit of the ridge remains supporting two fir-trees. From this point Silchester is visible, and a lane, followed by a parish boundary, continues the line for a mile and a half to Worting Cross. The parish boundary continues on in the same straight line for four miles from Rook’s Down, and no doubt marks the course of the Roman road, of which there is now no trace on the ground. Near Southwood Farm the parish boundary bends, and is soon joined by the Basingstoke and Winchester road, along which it runs to the Wheatsheaf Inn. It would seem that the Roman road was laid out in a straight line between Rook’s Down (440′) and high ground (552′) between Southwood Farm and Kempshott House, and that the high ground was avoided on approaching it by the turn near Southwood Farm. The course of the Roman road appears to continue on in the same straight line from the Wheatsheaf to about a mile south of Popham, the present road lying a little to the west of it; there is then a slight turn, and the modern road, followed by a parish boundary for three miles, occupies the line of the old road along the west side of Stratton Park, and on in a straight line to King’s Worthy. The road then turned away from the  p295 river and passed through Headbourne Worthy in a course not very plain, and then followed the line of the present road in a straight line as far as Abbot’s Barton, through the grounds of which the same straight line is continued, and where some remains of the ridge can still be traced. The course onwards to the site of the north gate of Venta Belgarum (Winchester) is now covered with buildings.

The Roman city, on the west of the river Itchen, was a rectangle with rounded corners, measuring about 860 yards from the east gate near the river-bank to the west gate at the other end of High Street, and about 780 yards from the north gate to the south gate; the principal cross street of the Roman city being marked by Southgate Street and Jewry Street at right angles with High Street.

A Roman road left the south gate of the city, the course of which the present road follows through St. Cross to Compton between the latter place and Otterbourne the old Ordnance map shows the ridge of the road for half-a‑mile close alongside the present road on the east of it. It can be traced in Otterbourne Hill Wood, but not beyond, unless Stoneham Street indicates the line. It led to the Roman station on the east bank of the Itchen at Bitterne, where near the east end of Northam Bridge a vallum 460 yards long cuts off a promontory, generally supposed to be Clausentum.

Iter VII of Antonine from Regnum to Londinium passes by ClausentumVenta BelgarumCalleva, and Pontes. Between London and Clausentum the  p296 Itinerary distances agree fairly well with measurements on the map, bringing Pontes a mile or more to the west of Staines, a more likely situation than on the low ground by the Thames, but between Clausentum at Bitterne, and Regnum (Chichester), the distance is 28 miles, compared with 20 M.P. in the Itinerary. There appears to be now no trace of a Roman road from Bitterne in the direction of Chichester.

A Roman road, said to have come from Bitterne, but more probably from the Winchester road on the west of the river Itchen, has been described as passing along Burgess Street and the north of Southampton Common, where the road is a parish boundary for a mile, over Shirley Heath to Nursling, where it crossed the river Test at a ford near the mill, and on to Tachbury Mount, near which a fragment remained in 1834. The Roman road, of which traces remain on Beaulieu Heath, presumably branched from this road to Lepe, whence it is supposed the Solent was crossed to the Isle of Wight. Rew Street, running southward from Gurnard Bay, has been thought to show the point of landing in the island, but there is no evidence for that or any other Roman road in the Isle of Wight.

London to Silchester[4]

The course of the road from Roman London towards Silchester has been noticed as far as the original Watling Street at the south end of Edgware Road (p65). From the Edgware Road the course continues on to Notting Hill along the line of the Bayswater Road, which  p288 a parish boundary follows nearly all the way to the Westbourne stream. There is then a slight change of direction, and thence to Staines, 14½ miles, the course of the road is so direct that it is nowhere more than a quarter of a mile out of a straight line. It would seem that from Notting Hill, on the edge of a terrace 95 feet above the sea and overlooking the Thames valley, some landmark or beacon, on ground (175′) near Upper Bakeham to the south-west of Egham, was the point to which the course of the road was directed. From Upper Bakeham the towers of South Kensington and Westminster can be plainly seen, and the high ground at Upper Bakeham must have been equally visible from Notting Hill before houses obscured the outlook. From Notting Hill the Roman road followed this line, which is the general course of the present high road until the latter turns southwards towards Chiswick. Stukeley rode on by a narrow straight way to Turnham Green, where to a discerning eye the trace of the road was manifest.1 Parish boundaries, which have followed the present road all along, continue straight on in the same line by Stamford Brook Road to Stamford Brook, through Bedford Park, across Acton (Turnham) Green, and south of Acton Green railway-station, to near Gunnersbury station, and then along the high road again; and indicate the course of the Roman road to near Kew Bridge railway-station. The straight line appears to have been departed from to keep clear of the Thames, and through Brentford, and on nearly to  p289 Hounslow, the course of the road is uncertain. It is probably followed by the present road, curving northwards near Spring Grove to avoid a stream. From the east end of Hounslow lengths of straight road, almost in the same line, followed almost continuously by parish boundaries, indicate that the present road follows the course of the Roman road to Baber’s Bridge. The Roman road itself was uncovered by General Roy at the end of the eighteenth century on Hounslow Heath, at the side of the modern road. For two miles on to East Bedfont a parish boundary runs straight a little on the south of the modern high-road, and then the latter, with a slight turn, goes straight to Staines with parish boundaries along it for the last mile and a quarter. The straight line crosses the Thames to Hythe a little to the south of the present bridge, and near the site of the old bridge, to the west of which Stukeley2 saw the old road very evidently go through the fields, the ridge being then visible; but no sign of it now appears. He traced it along a lane and a footpath towards Thorpe Lea.

In 1835 the officers studying at Sandhurst made a survey of the Roman road onwards to Silchester, and a memoir was furnished to the United Service Journal.3 At Bakeham House, now called Upper Bakeham House, the substratum of the road, and also the foundations of a building, and other Roman remains, had then lately been discovered, proving apparently that the  p290 straight course of the road had continued from Notting Hill to that point. In the valley, nearly half-a‑mile to the south of this line, a stone pillar erected near Great Fosters in 1850 records that it marks the site of a Roman road to Silchester, a portion of which remains in the adjoining meadow. If so the road did not continue straight on, but bent to the south after crossing the Thames; the pillar may however mark the site of a branch road. Beyond Bakeham the memoir referred to states that the direction was through the yard of the inn at Virginia Water, where according to tradition of foundation of gravel, supposed to be the Roman road, had formerly been discovered, and also that the line cuts Virginia Water, and that the ridge could be distinguished for 300 yards, where one of the drives in Windsor Forest ran along it. The yard of the inn seems to be out of a line across any part of Virginia Water, and no trace of the ridge is now distinguishable on to Belvedere, and the course of the road is uncertain.

It is likely that the hill on which the Belvedere Tower stands (260′) was the point made for from Bakeham Hill, though it was perhaps avoided by the road. Beyond, the course of the road lies in a straight line between it and Duke’s Hill, Bagshot (300′), the direction changing slightly, but the road from Notting Hill to Duke’s Hill is so nearly straight for 23½ miles that no part is as much as three-quarters of a mile away from a straight line between those places. At Sunningdale the road is found in digging in the allotments near the church, and it was until lately visible  p291 on by King’s Beeches, and by Chater’s Pond, and to the back of Windlesham Hall, where the county boundary marks the line of it for a mile and a half. Enclosing, planting, and laying out the grounds of new houses have now however almost effaced all trace of it. About a mile from Duke’s Hill it is described in 1835 as being raised to a considerable height where it crossed a marsh.

At Duke’s Hill (300′) there is a change of 27° in direction, and the road goes nearly due west for 16 miles to Silchester. Under the local name of the Devil’s Highway, it passes over Easthampstead Plain in a straight line to a point (311′) called Crowthorne on the old Ordnance map, and then in nearly the same line to Ridge Farm, Finchampstead (331′), and with a slight turn southwards on by St. James’ and West Court. On Easthampstead Plain it passes a mile south of a large intrenchment called Caesar’s Camp, between which and the road, at Wickham Bushes, Roman coins and pottery are found. The Devil’s Highway is said by Bishop Bennet4 to have been raised with a trench on each side, and to have been 90 feet wide, which probably included the trenches. It was levelled at the beginning of the last century when the ridings were cut. In 1835 portions were still existing to the north of Finchampstead Church. It crossed the Blackwater at Thatcher’s Ford, and the river Loddon at Stanford, near the north of Stratfieldsaye Park, and beyond that, Park Lane, also called the Devil’s Highway, with the county boundary along it for two miles, runs in a straight line to the east gate of Silchester (Calleva).

From Duke’s Hill, Bagshot, to Silchester, 16 miles, no part of the road is a quarter of a mile out of a straight line joining those places.

From near Duke’s Hill a Roman road has been supposed to have gone southward to Frimley, Farnborough and Farnham, and the change in the direction of the Silchester road has been thought to confirm the supposition, but without much reason. Stukeley tells us5 that he traced a Roman road from Winchester to Farnham and Farnborough, and which he supposed went on to Staines. He says that between Farnham and Alton the bank was visible, and in several places between Alton and Alresford. There appears to be no evidence of this road.

Silchester, on ground 300 to 320 above the sea, is in shape an irregular polygon 820 yards from the east to the west gates, and 803 yards from the north to the south gates. Outside the town walls are earthworks of uncertain age. Five Roman roads converge to Calleva, approaching it in different directions, and it cannot be doubted that it owed much of its importance to its being the place where the road from London branched in many directions.

The excavations carried on in recent years show that the street in continuation of the road from  p293 Staines runs straight from the east gate to the Forum, and a parallel street about 93 yards to the north of it leads to the west gate. A street at right angles to these led from the north to the south gate. The east and west gates consisted of two covered passages, 13 feet wide, separated by a middle pier, while the north and south gates had only one passage of 13 feet.

There was no doubt a road from Calleva northwards, but there is nothing to show its course with any certainty, nor could Bishop Bennet trace it in the beginning of the last century. Faint traces appear to have been observed in 1837 in a line between the north gate of Silchester and Ufton Church, and 25 or 30 years before that the road is said to have been traced by excavations in that line for 800 yards.6 The modern road by Englefield to the ancient ford across the Thames between Pangbourne and Whitchurch is a continuation of the same line. The indications of a Roman road in this direction on the west of the Thames through Streatley to Dorchester have already been noticed (p244).

Silchester to Speen[4]

A road from Silchester to Speen (Spinae) appears in Iter XIII and in Iter XIV of Antonine. It issued from the west gate, and its course is indicated by a highway with a parish and county boundary for three and a half miles, beyond which there is little or not trace to Speen, where the roads branched. Beyond Speen, following Iter XIV in the reverse direction, there is little or no trace of the road as far as Cunetio. It probably followed the line of the Bath road from Newbury towards Hungerford, and continued on by Rudge1 to the north of Hill Barn, on the south side of the Kennet valley, about three-quarters of a mile to the east of Mildenhall, where the ridge remains on the down. Sir R. Colt Hoare, in his map of Cunetio, shows the Roman road onwards to the lane at Cockatrip Cottage, along the south of a field in which many coins and fragments of pottery, etc. have been found. He also shows “an earthwork  p330 of a square form by which the parish church was surrounded,”2 which he supposed to be a Roman camp, and called Lower Cunetio. Traces are visible, but there is good reason to think that they are not Roman. There are undoubted evidences of a Roman settlement in the more sheltered valley, but the camp on the high ground at Folly Farm must mark the Roman station Cunetio.

There are no indications of the Roman road onwards through Marlborough. Stukeley supposed that there were remains of a camp near the river in what is now the garden of the Master of the College, but R. Gale found that he was mistaken. The first trace of the road is three miles further on, near West Overton, where a short length of the ridge is shown on the old Ordnance map on the north side of the Bath road, and it is still traceable. A little further on near East Kennet Sir R. Colt Hoare observed the causeway five feet high and 18 or 20 feet wide, and the ditches were distinct in 1884. The road passed round Silbury Hill on the south side, and although it has been ploughed up it is now sometimes traceable by the eye. In 1867, to test Mr. James Fergusson’s contention that Silbury was upon the Roman road,a some sections were cut across the road, and the trenches on each side of the road were found at a distance of 18 feet apart, and were traced round the hill to the straight portion of the road on the west of it. The road there ranges with the south side of the mound, and it can be traced in  p332 dry summers. From Silbury the course is straight for two miles and a half to a point (665′) on a spur of Calston Hill. A slight curve brings the road in a mile and a half to the 700 feet contour line on the north side of Morgan’s Hill, along which it is carried on a terrace about five yards wide, cut into, and embanked upon, the slope of the hill. Where it passes round the head of a coombe at Horse Coombe Bottom Wood, the banking up is considerable. On the west of Morgan’s Hill the Roman road is joined by Wansdyke, an intrenchment which crosses the Wiltshire Downs for many miles, and is plainly traceable from the borders of Hampshire to this point.b It follows a devious course, and varies a good deal in size; over Morgan’s Hill it is unusually crooked, and consists there of a ditch with a rampart on the south side, and a slight counterscarp on the north. The crest of the rampart is nine or ten feet above the down, and 18 to 20 feet above the bottom of the ditch as they now exist, and rampart and ditch together measure eighty to ninety feet across. Coming over the hills it joins the Roman road at an acute angle, and Stukeley thought that there was “incontestable proof that it was in being before Roman times,” and that the Roman road followed the course of Wansdyke.3 Local antiquaries have generally insisted on the pre-historic, or at least pre-Roman age of the great intrenchment, and that the Roman road took the line  p333 of it. If so, as Sir R. Colt Hoare pointed out,4 we must suppose that Wansdyke, which winds about through all the rest of its course, takes an absolutely straight line for three miles to Wans, and then again for 10 miles on to Ashley Wood, making together 13 miles of straight course along which a Roman road follows it. The excavations made by General Pitt Rivers in Wansdyke close by prove from coins that the work is Roman or post-Roman in date, and the earthworks themselves show the manner in which the pre-existing Roman road was made use of by the makers of Wansdyke. The road, which is on a terrace five or six yards wide along the steep north slope of the down, is joined on the south by Wansdyke, here a deep ditch with a high rampart on the south of it, together some 27 or 30 yards wide, at the head of a coombe about a quarter of a mile east of the Calne road; and there the whole character of the intrenchment changes. There is no longer a rampart on the south of the ditch, but the edge of the embanked terrace has been raised by material excavated from a ditch along the road, and thrown up as a counterscarp some four feet high on the north of the ditch, the steep slope of the down rendering any other defence unnecessary, and the whole is not more than 17 yards wide. It is probable that the rampart crossed the road and joined the counterscarp, but that is now obliterated by a cart-track. As  p334 the slope of the hill-side gets less steep going westward, a rampart appears on the south side and increases in height, and near Smallgrain plantation, to the east of the Calne and Devizes road, there is a considerable bank on either side of a hollow way.

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Is the Portway location on OS maps correct?

We have identified the Portway location as a critical issue for the lost village project. For some time there have been concerns that the OS plotted route of the Portway  may be wrong. Several references question the location of the Portway and there seemed to be some uncertainty about exactly where the Portway entered Calleva Attrebatum. A Roman road also on OS maps that passes through Pamber Heath has added confusion in the past.

The Saxon History website that shows the biggest discrepancy with OS maps seems to be wrong,  given that it quotes Ivan D Margary ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ (see above) as its source. This reference does not appear to support the plotted Saxon History website route of the Portway and actually provides evidence that the OS position is broadly correct.

It should be noted that our current view is that; some LIDAR evidence may suggest  the possibility that Portway  location may deviate from the route suggested by the OS map, but only at the scale a few tens of metres in the region surrounding St Peter’s church Tadley. 

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( Warning… website shows the Portway significantly north of its position on OS maps).

Quote from

This website  shows the Portway.   It says that the map shows Roman roads shown in black derived from Ivan D Margary ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ published in 1955. (see above)  These maps are plotted as accurately as is possible from the books. There are problems with mapping 50 years later as there have been significant road and town changes which have hidden some of the original places mentioned in the texts. The red roads are derived from Ivan D Margary ‘Roman ways in the Weald’ published in 1948.Major Roman locations are shown as icons, please click the icon for the modern location and its Roman name“.

Portway location?
Portway location? 


This map shows the Roman Road course described by Ivan D Margary as 4b which goes from Silchester – Old Sarum(Port Way, Silchester – Old Sarum) commonly known as ‘Port Way’

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Reading University at Silchester

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Alex Flahive 

I don’t think there is any doubt the road is as marked on modern maps. I find the medieval path at the end of Skates Lane (and which I think continues into Pamber Forest past the thatched cottage) of interest. This is a modern map with photo locations on,  last updated in 2014.

Only a month or so ago I worked out how to stitch this today, which might be of general interest.

Here is the Government’s LIDAR 1m composite data. Useful as they update it as they update the data, but I produced my own version. You will need to search to find the right area.

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LIDAR from Alex Flahive

Here is my version, originally online but now online alive offline. It shows LIDAR imagery of the area, with the sun positioned at different angles. The link below contains 4 images which weigh in at 700MB.–7L-Ce/view?usp=sharing

Unzipped download links:

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The Project Gutenberg E-Book of The Old Road, by Hilaire Belloc

This book provides an argument that major highways  are constrained by rivers and critically determined by a set of hills.

Title: The Old Road Author: Hilaire Belloc Illustrator: William Hyde Release Date: September 14, 2012 [EBook #40759] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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  1.  Around Tadley Fact and Fable ISBN 10: 0953704300 /ISBN 13: 9780953704309 Published by Tadley & District History Society, Tadley, Hampshire, United Kingdom, 1999
  2. OS Map Edition of 1913
  3. Walking the roman road at Lichfield
  4. Roman Roads in Britain by Thomas Codrington published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge London, 1903. Text and maps are in the public domain
  5. Ivan D Margary ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ published in 1955.

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