Section of Roman Road ‘Margary 540’ Located in Stanton Drew Parish

posted in: LIDAR, Roman Roads | 0

An additional section of Stratford Lane Roman Road has been located in Stanton Drew parish using airborne LiDAR imagery. This road is also known as Margary-540 after Ivan Margary who published three editions of Roman Roads in Britain in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The road is known and proven from the Mendip Hills to the Gold’s Cross villa site near New Town but evidence to support the idea that it may continue through Stanton Drew and Pensford/Publow to the River Avon near Keynsham has been lacking until recently. Terra Sulis Research has used Environment Agency LiDAR imagery to identify a candidate for part of this lost section of the road, seventy years after it was first suggested. Coincidentally Historic England also identified parts of the road at about the same time.

Some sections of the road are completely lost although hints remain in field boundaries and names. Other parts of the route are more tangible where is was engineered into the landscape and where by chance agricultural activity over the past two thousand years has been less intensive. The road is a minor road rather than a Roman motorway and would probably have been built early in the Roman occupation to transport lead from the lead mines at Charterhouse on Mendip to a river crossing on the Avon near Keynsham, perhaps at the ‘enigmatic’ Trajectus known from the Antonine Itinerary and likely to be under the old Cadbury factory at Somerdale.

Knowing the location of the road raises further questions about the location of sections not yet identified and other features to be found along its route. Further details and posts to follow.

Preserved terrace on the RR-540, Stratford Lane, in Stanton Drew parish between the Mendips and the ‘enigmatic’ Traiectus river crossing on the Avon.