Roman Road Research & Excavations

A direct Roman Road from Winchester to Chichester has been located. In filling the gaps in our published map by air photography it became clear it was a two or three lane highway. These have been located on the ground in many places, and shows that it is a huge road, with one lane forming terraces 40' wide, and two lanes around 25' wide. The route is being surveyed at 6": 1 mile. We are now surveying to the east of Old Winchester Hill, to the east of Exton in Hampshire (A32).

The Roman Road from Winchester to London has been surveyed as far as the Hogs Back near Farnham. Far more field boundaries parallel and right angle to this road than chance indicate the remains of a Roman field system. In Italy, southern France, and north Africa if the estates were large a grid of estate roads were provided. Such a grid has been found from Four Marks to near Winchester. Three of these estate roads have been surveyed, and excavations occurring on them, see map of these. A GPS survey is planned to determine how accurately two parallel surveyed roads were laid out.

Roman Road Excavations 2020
We are taking bookings for our August dig

Bank Holidays from Easter - August will be on the Chichester Roman Road.

Easter 2020

At Exton the Grid of a potential Roman site has been found. Three Roman Road lanes go into the Grid, two go through it and on under Old Winchester Hill. The fourth 40' lane takes a different route - but connects with the N - S Grid of the settlement. From LIDAR this northern lane crosses the above Grid by the flood plain of the river Meon. We excavated both the Roman Lane and Grid (probably a street) here. The Grid was rammed chalk with Roman finds built up 50cm above the natural, its width agreed with the LIDAR 8m. Both Grid and Roman lane were buried deep under later Roman stone work, interpreted as an Edge or Quay to a water feature on the flood plain of r Meon. This was created by a large Causeway carrying the Principal E - W Grid and two minor Grid Lines across the Flood Pain (see above Report).

Over Easter 2020 a machine trench over 2 Grid Lines and 2 Roman Road Lanes will be excavated, and it is hoped to establish the state of Roman development over this Grid. The soils will be taken off to near the archaeology, and is an opportunity to experience archaeology as often occurs on professional digs.

May and August digs

The August Bank Holiday 2019 dig was on this Causeway, and found Principal E - W Grid Line. Its northern end was not reached and this will be continued in May 2020. What the Causeway was constructed of will be determined - to help determine how it was built.

May and August Bank Holiday 2020 digs will examine other Grid and Roman Lanes crossing the Quay to the water feature.

We are taking Bookings for our August Bank Holiday dig, payment will not be required until we can confirm it can go ahead (by 10 days before the dig).

Link to Dig site page.

A training course of five modules is available. They cover: Site Layout and Recording, Excavation, Surveying, Finds Processing, Geophysics and new Roman Road methods. They consist of instruction and exercises. You need to book for at least 5 days to complete the course - but you can carry it over to next year. The training course is optional. A recent survey has slammed professional and university run field schools. Less than 20% of students get to draw a Section, less get to do other common tasks. Yet all people coming on our dig will help to draw a section and do other tasks. We have written an article showing how we do it, and why professionally run field schools fail to provide these experiences.

Excursions can be arranged in the evenings to sites on the Roman Roads or other features with pub suppers after.

Reports and publications are available - see the booking form.

Experienced and novice excavators welcome. Further details contact Dr Richard Whaley, Field Works & School Director, 2 Rotherwick Court, Alexandra Road, Farnborough GU14 6DD (SEA appreciated), 01252 548115, 07599 875708 or visit the dig online Information and Booking Form


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