Roman Roads

  • 9 Oct 2011
  • Old Roads
  • Back
Of the four greatest roads built by the Romans in Britain, only one, the Foss Way, touched the area of modern Worcestershire, and that at the two outlying 'island' parts, which have now been lost to us by the re-drawing of the county borders. The two most important crossings of the Severn took place south of the County at Glevum, the headquarters of the 20th Legionary fortress near Shrewsbury, where Watling Street crosses the Severn.

Of the lesser roads, the Ickneild Street appears to have been the most important, and this again touched only the eastern fringe of the County. Both the Foss Way and Ickneild Strret have the important feature that they do not run towards London.

After the invasion period, the military roads behind the secured borders became limes or cleared ways, and Roman organisation began to construct roads for irregular military use and for civilian traffic. Roman interest in this area apart from the passage of troops along the Severn Valley, lay especially in the salt springs at Droitwich (Salinae), and in the very extensive ironworks which were in operation at Worcester.