Roman Road Winchester to Chichester

Exton towards Old Winchester Hill

The route enters Survey Map 10 below at the NW corner through The Grove in Exton as it left Survey Map 9. The landscaped grounds are not steep enough to require any deviation. The field between the houses and the river is a raised at two levels, which may represent a causeway for the two lanes last seen on Survey Map 9.

As seen in the small-scale map in Ref 4,, from Exton there is one long alignment passing south under Old Winchester Hill to a modern lane on the summit of Teglease Down - a distance of near 3 miles. This shows that this Roman Road follows Roman practice of long straight alignments when the land allows. This alignment, with its two lanes some distance apart, for its southern lane appears to point from this Teglease lane to the lane by the Church at Exton. This alignment was laid out on a 6" : 1 Mile Quarter Sheet. The Northern Roman lane appears to vary in its distance from the Southern. For much of the way light air photo lines can be seen without much or any processing. There are other light lines which will be discussed in subsequent survey reports which are likely to be due to the Old Winchester Hill defences - but a third lane for this Roman Road seen in many of the previous surveys could not be identified.

While some evidence of a causeway across the flood plane can be seen in Exton, nothing could be identified to the east of the river. However the Ref 5 air photo shows straight light and darks lines when viewing at some angles of incidence [Contrast enhanced 70% into desk light, powerful magnifier]. Straight lines are some evidence of Roman activity, and these are plotted on the above Survey Map (in the region marked Aqueduct.) The northern block is wider and is composed of 2 dark lines with a light line between (shown dotted), possibly being the wider northern lane seen in Survey Map 9. The southern block is merely 2 light lines. They end at what is now the A32, where any causeway would be expected to end.

This weak evidence is increased by the air photo evidence by the railway. To the east of the railway are the two lanes leading up to Teglease Down. In the field to the west of the railway there are two weak light lines on a different alignment [View about 45 degrees into light]. The lines on the flood plain meet these lines by the railway near their western ends. Viewed from the railway in binoculars they appear as two swellings across much of the field, the northern swelling being the larger. The northern light line is also the wider - which is a similar arrangement last seen on Survey Map 9. Where these swellings can be seen is shown by the light centred triangles (there is not room for the full symbols for swellings).

On the east of the railway the alignment to Teglease Down starts. From the railway, binocular terraces are clear in vehicle wheel ruts in young crops - which show up as white lines from the chalk. These are shown by the white centred triangles. In the first two fields the air photo lines are weaker - and similar to west of the railway. Thereafter they are clear on the Ref 5 air photo, though the lines can be over 100' wide - this is likely to be scattering by the plough for all these fields are cultivated. The light lines are shown at their minimum width of 40'. Where escarpments can be seen in binoculars they are shown by white centred triangles.

Roman Road Winchester to Chichester Survey 10a

Newly found 40' Lane from Exton

As discussed in Survey 9a (Ref 2) the newly found 40' Roman lane is being added to the Survey maps already published of the two lanes under Old Winchester Hill.

The new route is following Stocks Lane in the middle of the above Survey Map 10. Survey 9a described how the route was found across the flood plain of the r Meon by continuing the lines of the ditches marked on the above map, and the southern edge of the roadway (build-up by the railway), and logging finds related to these lines. These pencil lines are left on the above map. These features visible on the above map are on the western edge below Exton, from the LIDAR (Ref 3). The roadway shows up as light and dark lines on the Black & White LIDAR print, shown in Green above. On the colour LIDAR print only light lines show up, on the above map they are given as fine yellow dots.

Dark Lines

The only constructional evidence available is a substantial build-up by the railway shown as back triangles (see Ref 1). Further constructional evidence will occur on the next map in climbing up to Westend Down. On the Ref 5 air photo it might be thought that Stocks Lane is shown between two hedgerows - but the scale of the photo means that only one line is the lane and its hedgerows. The other lines are dark lines on the photo, shown as DL = Dark Line on the above map, and are likely to be ditches. Some show as ditches in binoculars - these are marked OD = Optical Ditches. These likely ditches are 170' apart, and their position enables one to estimate where the roadway would be. In the alignment either side of the railway the build-up by the railway lines up with the southern hedgerow of Stocks Lane - so the roadway is likely to stretch north beyond the lane if it is symmetrical between the ditches. In the next alignment up to Harvestgate Farm the roadway is likely to be largely south of the lane - the southern dark line here rivals the lane on the air photo.

The Lane bears to the south on leaving the above map to the east. On the next map there will be a question if the Road goes through a hollow, or keeps to high ground and goes round it. The direction of the Dark Line suggest it goes round the hollow.

Roman Villa at Exton

This direct Roman route Winchester - Chichester was proposed because of the Antonine Itinerary VII (Ref 4). If a place called Clausentum was on this Roman Road and cited near Exton the Iter VII mileages would be correct.

Beside the OS Grid Marker on the above map, X marks an excavated Roman House, denoting approximately the area uncovered. Generally known as the Meonstoke or Corhampton Villa, it was first found in the 1930s when the A32 was constructed, largely by widening the road on the above 1908 map. Mosaics were uncovered. In the 1980s it was excavated (Ref 6). Another local group is planning excavations on the site to the west of the A32, so we looked at the materials we have already obtained - Refs 3 & 5 - to see what they show. The above map shows the results.

The following colour scheme is used: for the LIDAR colour print, features are in Yellow; for the black & white LIDAR print features are in Green. For our Roman lanes from the White Way, which cross the site, black & white LIDAR print features are in Red. Air photo features are in Black - where they occur on air photo and LIDAR they are shown in Black. Sometimes features occur on both LIDAR prints - the colour denotes the most prominent.

First of all, more information is obtained on our Roman lanes from the White Way on the LIDAR black and white print. In the original version of the above map three light lines are shown in the region of the map marked Aqueduct. The two southern light lines are continued (in red) - the most southern seems to come to an end - the other connects with the southern Roman lane under Old Winchester Hill. The LIDAR shows the most southern is the southern lane splitting off from the White Way - Ref 2 is showing there are 3 lanes in this region - matching the 3 lanes in the Aqueduct. The northern of these 3 lanes was not found on the LIDAR - but it is only for 1 OS Grid Square - and this northern lane is mainly outside it.

Grid System

LIDAR indicates a Grid System, with principal N - S, and E - W components. The N - S connects our new 40' Roman lane with the excavated building. Note however that the Ref 3 LIDAR only covers the Grid Square SU61 20 and ends with the Yellow colouring - we do not know how much further north the Grid System extends. The E - W component starts a little east of the N - S component and links with Beacon Hill Lane by the river (the Lane is deeply sunken and we have wondered if it was a Roman route). There are three further smaller E - W features within the LIDAR coverage.

There are severe problems. Lines which are parallel with the edges of such prints may merely be artefacts of the image production and not real (such as scratches on the film of an air photo picture, or lines on film or printing paper from their manufacture). There are plenty of such lines on the LIDAR prints. It seems these Grid lines measure 1 degree west of OS Grid North - what the Romans might have deduced as true north from their sun dial method. These grid lines have definite starting points - whereas artefacts tend to go across the whole print. For this reason we seek to see which of these Grid System lines can be found on the Ref 5 air photo. Of course air photo lines so near north or west are also suspect - but such artefacts are unlikely to occur in the same places on entirely different media. The principal N - S component is followed by a bright light line on Bing (which goes to the excavated building). For the E - W component a Bing light line follows it to the A32. The Table below gives the occurrences by media for all the features. There is sufficient confirmation on the different media to make this Grid System public - though further confirmation from other media is probably desirable.

Principal N - S Component LIDAR Colour: Light Line 30' wide bounded by Dark Lines 7' wide. May be more complex such as 2 lanes. LIDAR B&W: Weak. Bing: Bright light line c 30' wide to excavated building.
Principal E - W Component LIDAR Colour: Weak. LIDAR B&W: 2 Dark Lines 20' apart, 7' wide to A32, intermittent to river. Bing Contrast enhanced: Light Line to A32.
E - W light line 54' north of Principal E - W. LIDAR B&W: light line 20' wide to A32.
E - W light line 140' north of Principal E - W. LIDAR Colour: Weak. LIDAR B&W: Light line 20' wide to near river. Bing contrast enhanced: Light line to Principal N - S.
E - W light line 345' (3 Actus) north of Principal E - W. LIDAR Colour: Weak. LIDAR B&W: Light line 20' wide to near river. Bing contrast enhanced: Light line to A32.

There is a further light line near the northern edge of the LIDAR B & W print, which is not distinct enough to measure - but may be 4 Actus from the Principal E - W Component. There is a prominent light line on Bing which may mate with it - this continues over the flood plain to near the river. The existence of Roman Actus land measurement is significant (Ref 7).

There are more E - W line on Bing in the field to the north which may co-incide with LIDAR lines if more coverage is obtained. We are not able to interpret what the LIDAR means, but the light air photo lines are likely to be stonework of roads or streets. The lines going onto the flood plain do not mean any settlement extended there - they could provide access to the water meadows, possibly raised up. It is noticed that the Frocholders Lands at the bottom of the above map have boundaries at right angles to our two Roman lanes going off under Old Winchester Hill. This indicates that they were the spine for Centuriation or laying out of a Roman estate which were picked up by the later Saxon settlers. It probably means the two Roman lanes are the older - for we might expect the more important 40' Roman lane to act as any spine (Ref 8).

Ground evidence

Finally if ground evidence can be found for these grid features it dispels the artefact issue. It is available for the Principal Components of the grid. Viewed from the A32 in binoculars the Principal E - W Component shows as a huge swelling or Agger Terrace as indicated by white centred triangles on the above map. Its width is c 50' - likely due to scattering by the plough. When it reaches the A32 a house has been built of the line, and the LIDAR suggests it is on a Snout of a washed away causeway (Ref 9). A swelling on the line across the flood plain can be seen in binoculars from the lanes into Exton as shown by the white centred triangles. No ground evidence was found for the three or four smaller E - W grid lines.

The Principal N - S component shows a binocular terrace as it joins the new 40' lane, shown by white centred triangles. This indicates that the Roman Road was above Stocks Lane, which is partly in a hollow way - with an escarpment to its north. This may be the remains of a causeway to carry the Road over the wet ground where the railway ran. No further evidence can be seen from the railway embankment - the land is mainly flat from Sharvards Lane to the Roman grid, which eventually goes out of sight over the brow of the hill. From the A32 it appears that it may be following the hill top which has been flattened.

There is good evidence that this is the site of Roman Clausentum, where two of our Roman lanes pass through its grid, and its principal N - S component links with our third lane.

Principal Surveyors

Philip Rowbotham. Richard Whaley

Map Caption Survey Map 10, OS Hants Sheet 59 NE, 6" : 1 mile 3rd edition revised 1908. For meaning of symbols see Ref 1. Colours for Roman Villa Grid: LIDAR Colour: Yellow, LIDAR B & W: Green, for the 3 Chichester lanes in Red. Air Photo lines: in Black


1. Survey 1 & map symbols, NEHHAS FAB e News 6 Winter 2013,
2. Survey 9a, FAB e News 14 & NEHHAS Jn 8 No 9 forthcoming,
3. LIDAR, Environment Agency, SU 61 20, colour print (usual), black and white
4. Introduction to the Chichester Roman Road, NEHHAS Jn 8 2013
5. Gettamapping 2011, Old Winchester Hill - White Way, ordinary & contrast enhanced
6. Britannia 18 1987 p347, 21 1990, p355.
7. I Margary, Roman Roads in Britain, John Barker London 1955 - 73, see entry for Ripe.
8. Centuriation & Roman Field Systems, NEHHAS Jn 3 Nos.9, 10a, 10b, 2015
9. Causeways in Holt Pound, NEHHAS Jn 3, No. 6b, 2014