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23 July 2017

Roman Roads of Britain

If you think this would make a cool poster, you can get a high-res, print-worthy PDF for $9!   

Click to enlarge.[/caption]

Here it is, by popular request. This was far more complicated than I had initially anticipated. Not only were there way more Roman Roads in Britain than I initially thought, but also their exact locations and extents are not very clear. In a few places I had to get rather creative with the historical evidence.

Once again the Pelagios digital map was massively helpful to me. Equally as helpful was the site Roman-Britain.co.uk – an absolute treasure trove of information on all things Romano-British.

Like the full Roman map, I had to do some simplifying and make some tough choices on which cities to include. Again I tried to include larger settlements or forts that were mentioned in more than one primary source. Unlike the original Roman Roads map, I was more faithful to the actual geographical location of cities. Cluttered areas around Hampshire and the Midlands did have to be shifted around somewhat.

Apologies for the dry write-up as usual, I don’t have enough time to write a compelling story right now.

FAQ

Why are the names of roads in English?

It’s true, “Watling Street” and “Ermin Way” are not exactly Latin-sounding. Unfortunately the historical Latin names have been completely lost to history. Roman Britain was not as well documented as Italy or Spain, so there is a huge lack of written sources. That’s why the names that we do have are actually Anglo-Saxon, and originated a few centuries after the Romans had left. You can read more about this on Wikipedia.

Why do some stations have English names?

Same reason as above – we’ve found Roman archeological remains there, but we don’t know what the Latin name was.

What are the modern names of the cities?

Here’s a version of the map with modern city names, or the closest towns to where the ruins are.

(I will add to the FAQ as more questions come up)

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117 Comments on "Roman Roads of Britain"

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Karen Williams
Guest

OK, where can I get a T-shirt with this on it?

Pauline Brocklehurst
Guest

There is a Roman road going alongside the Tebay to Lambrigg stretch of the M6 motorway and the River Lune – we have always called this “The Golden Mile” but I’m not sure where the name came from….

Fiona
Guest

Thank you! I love this and always wondered where they all were.

Janet Day
Guest

Hi Sasha, I’ve ordered both: roman city names and modern city names BUT i forgot the note/reference on the one with the roman names. Sorry to give you extra work but one of each please

Pete from Verulamium
Guest

From Wikipedia:
Camlet Way was a Roman road in England which ran roughly east-west between Colchester (Camalodunum) in Essex and Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) in Hampshire via St Albans (Verulamium).[1] Camlet Way crossed the River Thames by bridge at Hedsor Wharf to Sashes Island near Cookham in Berkshire.[2]

Ed89
Guest

I hate to be picky, as the new commer, but was Camulodunum not the Roman Capital of Britain, and should really be larger than Londinium, or are you going with the last century of Roman Britain on your map, when Londinium may well have become the Capital?

Gail
Guest

I would love a copy of this for my husband please

Owen Dawson
Guest

Hi, absolutely love your work! Such a great idea. I sent you your few bucks as requested earlier today, but forgot to specify that it is this Roman Britain map I would like please. Many thanks.

Mike
Guest

Hi, just sent you some bucks but Paypal didn’t show a reference box for me to type in Roman Roads… the email address was grumpygrapefruit. Thanks!

Andrew Matheson
Guest

Sasha you deserve a Roman medal – brilliant work.

David Harper
Guest

This is a brilliant idea, cleverly executed. You should consider turning it into a board game along the lines of The London Game, which is based on the actual Tube map.

Scott Perry
Guest

The idea of using a London-Tube style road routing layout was absolutely brilliant! It seems to me that this analogy also fits the historical aspect well…. When we travel back through history in our mind’s eye, to an earlier reality, is it not kind of like going underground in some odd sense?

Fabrizio Sebastiani
Guest
Hi, very nice and cool initiative! I’m from Rome: very close to my home (south-est periphery, still countryside) we have the old track of the “Via Latina”: I’m sorry you didnt put it. In reality it is not an original “roman” track: romans have paved the road, but the original track come from Etruscan in the VIII-VI sec. a.C. and went to Venafro (Napolis direction for about 200 Km from the Rome city). However some archaeological find show that at least some part of its track was existing even in prehistoric age. Very close to my home we have another… Read more »
Jemima Pett
Guest
I love your map! I had trouble trying to do a map of the routes I’d used in my own books, so I have an inkling on how difficult it must have been to do this. The route Braintree-Holme seems to coincide with Peddars Way, which has a dubious ancestry – some say its part of the Icknield Way, some that it was Roman built over earlier byways. I was also interested in the Abona-Aquae Sulis route crossing the Fosse Way, partly because I lived for a while on ‘Fosseway’ but I suspect the Roman Road over the wall was… Read more »
Jacki
Guest

Very cool! Have just sent you $9 for the PDF

Len
Guest

Segedunum (Wallsend) is not on the coast. The Wall did not reach the coast on the east. I used to live there.

There’s a road in Craven Arms, Shropshire, called Watling Street.

Great map. Thank you.

Len

Darran
Guest

Love the map, but being from the Isle of Wight where all sorts of companies use the Roman name of the island, “Vectis”, it’s a shame it’s not included (how would I get here?). It’s also a very useful landmark to work out where the Hampshire area falls on the map.

Gabby
Guest

Hi,

I sent a payment for this map via paypal last week. Not sure if you have received it yet?

Thanks

Gabby

Rachel Christie
Guest

Hi Sasha,

I sent you a payment earlier today for a copy of the map – came across it when looking for a gift for a friend who loves the Underground map design.

Thanks!

Claire Lawrence
Guest

I just sent you payment – might be Claire Lawrence or John Lawrence – look forward to receiving pdf!

Peter McVeigh
Guest

Hi Sasha

What a beautiful project! Have just sent you $9, looking forward to pdf. Will explore your website further – hope I can get a copy of the major Roman empire routes too. Best wishes.

Peter Lancaster
Guest

Hi Sasha, I’m a bit late to the party here but I am really impressed by your work! A question – is the map on display on the website still an early version or is it the most up to date offering? Assuming you have modified the map,based on people’s input. Perhaps you haven’t! Happy to pay for a copy!

Andrew J
Guest

Sasha,

Love the print! Sent the paypal payment yesterday. Great work!

Eunice de Vere Thorne
Guest
Eunice de Vere Thorne

Why is one road called The Devil’s Highway?

My land boarders this route.

Mike Rogers
Guest

Puzzled by Vindodadia for the town by Badbury Rings on V, The Portway. Vindogladia, Bindogladia, Vindocladia… but the d looks like a misread cl. Sorbiodoni also seems a bit eclectic as a choice for more normal Sorviodunum [I live near it, so have a proprietorial interest, and have also walked part of the southern end.]