- Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a
Roman roadin Englandthat linked Exeter(" Isca Dumnoniorum") in South West Englandto Lincoln (" Lindum Colonia") in the East Midlands, via Ilchester(" Lindinis"), Bath (" Aquae Sulis"), Cirencester("Corinium") and Leicester(" Ratae Corieltauvorum").
The word "Fosse" is derived from the
Latin"fossa", meaning "ditch". For the first few decades after the Roman invasion of Britainin AD 43, the Fosse Way marked the western frontier of Roman rule in Iron Age Britain. It is possible that the road began as a defensive ditch that was later filled in and converted into a road, or possibly a defensive ditch ran alongside the road for at least some of its length.
It is remarkable for its extremely direct route: from Lincoln to Ilchester in
Somerset, a distance of 182 miles, it is never more than six miles from a straight line.
Many sections of the Fosse Way form parts of modern roads and lanes, and
parish, district or countyboundaries.
Several place names on the route have the suffix "-cester" or "-chester", which is from the Latin "
castra" meaning "military camp". Some settlements are named after the road itself, such as "Fosse-", or "-on-Fosse", while others have a more generic form, such as "Street", "Strete", "-le-Street", "Stratton", "Stretton", "Stratford", and "Stretford", from the Latin "strata", meaning "paved road".
Lincoln to Leicester
Between Lincoln and
Leicesterthe A46 follows the route of the Fosse Way. The A46 deviates from Fosse Way at East Goscote, to follow the Leicester Western Bypass. The original alignment is still visible, as an unclassified road called "Fosse Way" passes through Syston, continuing as the minor road "Melton Road" through Thurmaston, before merging with the A607 (the old A46), continuing into the city centre on the old alignment, first as Melton Road then Belgrave Road and Belgrave Gate. The alignment terminates at the Clock Tower, and picks up again at Narborough Road (the A5460), on the other side of the River Soar.
Leicester to Cirencester
Leicester, apart from a short deviation near Narborough where the original course is no longer visible, the B4114 (the A46 until renumbered on the building of the M69) follows the route. A couple of miles north of the A5, the B4114 diverges from the line of the Fosse Way to pass through the village of Sharnford. For two miles the route of the Fosse Way is followed by a minor road which, although single track, runs along a much wider and slightly domed strip of land with deep ditches either side (the " agger"). The modern road ends at a picnic site car park, and a further mile and a half southwards can be explored on foot.
The junction with
Watling Street, now the A5, is at High Cross (Roman name "Venonis"). Watling Streetis the county boundary between Leicestershireand Warwickshire.
The Fosse Way follows the B4455 across
Warwickshire, through Street Ashton, Stretton-under-Fosse, Brinklow, Bretford Stretton-on-DunsmorePrincethorpe, and the site of a Roman town near Chesterton Warwickshire Scheduled Historic Monument [http://timetrail.warwickshire.gov.uk/detail.aspx?monuid=WA798 Chesterton ] ] , until it joins the A429 near the boundary with Gloucestershire. The route then follows the A429 through Stretton-on-Fosse, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Northleachand Fossebridge, to Cirencester, where it crosses Akeman Streetand Ermin Way.
Cirencester to Bath
South of Cirencester the Fosse Way follows a short section of the A433, then goes cross country, following the county boundary between Gloucestershire and
Wiltshire, across the old airfield at RAF Kemble, then follows fragmented sections of country lanes. It passes near the Iron Age hill fortof Bury Camp and another section of the county boundary, before dropping through Batheastonand into Bath back onto the A46.
Bath to Ilchester
Between Bath and
Shepton Malletthe line of the Fosse Way follows parts of the A367, through Radstockand Stratton-on-the-Fosse. It runs across open country and farm tracks parallel to the A37 north of Shepton Mallet, near the Iron Age hill fortof Maesbury. At Beacon Hill south of Oakhill, it crossed the Roman road along the Mendip ridgeway from Old Sarumto the lead and silver mines at Charterhouse. The Fosse Way passes through the eastern suburbs of Shepton Malleton a short stretch of the A361 to Cannard's Grave, where it picks up the A37.
The Fosse Way follows the A37 through Street-on-the-Fosse and
Lydford-on-Fosseon a direct route to Ilchester. The route leaves the A37 at the A303 junction just north of Ilchester, and follows a small track, before picking up the B3151 through the town.
The Roman road from Ilchester to
Dorchester, Dorsetcontinues on the line of A37 through Yeovilto the south east. Other minor Roman roads lead from Ilchester and Lydford-on-Fosse towards Street and the A39 route along the Polden Hills, leading to Roman salt works on the Somerset Levels, and ports at Combwich, Crandon Bridge and Highbridge.
Ilchester to Exeter
The alignment leaves major roads after Petherton Bridge over the
River Parrett, and follows country lanes to Over Stratton and Dinnington, where members of the Channel 4television programme Time Teamrecently uncovered a mosaicnext to the road.
The route crosses a stream called Stretford Water, climbs the ridge, and follows a short section of the A30 at Windwhistle Hill. Then it turns on to the B3167 through the hamlets of Street and Perry Street, joins the A358, crosses the River Axe at what used to be called Stratford (now called Weycroft), and on to
Now we come to the difficult question of where the Fosse Way ends. There are further alignments on the A358 at Ball's Farm and
Musburysouth of Axminster, which imply a Roman road did continue along the River Axe toward Axmouthand Seaton. These sections are labelled "Fosse Way" on Ordnance Surveymaps.
However, the main route for
Exeterwould have followed the Dorchester road west from Axminster to Honiton.The crossroads in Axminster was controlled by a Roman fort at Woodbury Farm, now on the southern edge of the town. The route to the west crosses the Rivers Axe and Yarty to Kilmington, continuing on segments of the A35 and minor local lanes to Honiton.
From Honiton the route leads south-west along the old A30, to Strete Ralegh, where there is a short break, then a clear alignment along a minor road towards Exeter.
It is also likely that one or more side roads split from the Fosse Way at Lopen Head or Dinnington, passing around
Ilminster, then following the line of the current A303/A30 from Horton to Honiton. For example, there are villages called Crock Street and Street Ash on or near these routes. So in the later years of Roman occupation, there would probably have been a choice of routes from Ilchester to Honiton.
* Aston, M. and Burrow, I. (Eds) (1982) " The Archaeology of Somerset : a review to 1500 AD", Taunton : Somerset County Council, ISBN 0-86183-028-8
* Margary, I.D. (1955) "Roman roads in Britain: Vol.1, South of the Foss Way-Bristol Channel", 1st Ed., London : Phoenix House, 255 p.
Roman roads in Britain
* [http://www.romans-in-britain.org.uk/map_romans_roads_in_britain.htm Map of Roman roads in Britain] - Very large map; opens in separate window.
* "Roman Roads of Britain": Chapter 7: [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Periods/Roman/Topics/Engineering/roads/Britain/_Texts/CODROM/7*.html The Foss Way ] , Thomas Codrington (1903)
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A25829102 'The Fosse Way - A Journey through Roman Britain'] web page by the
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Fosse Way — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Calzadas romanas de Britania. En verde oscuro, la Fosse Way. Fosse Way fue una calzada romana de Inglaterra, que unía la actual Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum), en el suroeste de la isla, con Lincoln … Wikipedia Español
Fosse Way — the Fosse Way a road between Lincoln in eastern England and Exeter in southwest England, built in ancient times by the Romans … Dictionary of contemporary English
Fosse Way — Carte des voies romaines en Bretagne romaine Foss … Wikipédia en Français
Fosse Way — Großbritannien in römischer Zeit, mit dem Fosse Way in rot Fosse Way ist der Name einer Römerstraße in England, die ehemals Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter) mit Lindum (Lincoln) verband. Dabei kreuzte sie eine Reihe anderer römischer Straßen, wie die… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Fosse Way — [the Foss] A road built by the Romans, running from south west England to Ilchester, then Bath, Cirencester and Leicester, reaching *Ermine Street near Lincoln. It was known originally as the Fosse because there was a (defensive) ditch on both… … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases
Fosse Way — Foss Way or Fosse Way noun 1. The Roman road that runs between Exeter and Lincoln 2. (without cap) any of the British Roman roads having a fosse on either side • • • Main Entry: ↑foss … Useful english dictionary
Fosse Way — (also the Fosse Way) a Roman road which crossed southern England from Lincoln in the east to Exeter in the south west. * * * ▪ Roman road, England, United Kingdom major Roman road that traversed Britain from southwest to northeast. It ran… … Universalium
Fosse Way — /fɒs ˈweɪ/ (say fos way) noun a Roman road in Britain between Exeter and Lincoln, with a fosse on each side … Australian English dictionary
Fosse Way — The Roman road between Lincoln and Exeter via Bath, built with a fosse on each side … Medieval glossary
fosse-way — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized F Etymology: so called from the ditch along each side : any of the principal Roman roads in Britain … Useful english dictionary