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HER Number:MDV118468
Name:Roman Road from Axminster to Honiton

Summary

The first and last sections of the course of the Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter, from Dorchester to Eggardon Hill, and Honiton to Exeter, have been known since the 18th century but the course of the 38km section in the middle was unclear. More recent archaeological work in Axminster coupled with evidence from LiDAR and satellite imagery has now provided new evidence for a length of the road between Eggardon Hill in Dorset and Axminster and also confirmed that the traditional course of the road, largely followed by the route of the 1758 turnpike, between Axminster and Honiton is largely correct.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 250 985
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
Civil ParishDalwood
Civil ParishKilmington
Civil ParishLands common to the Parishes of Axminster and Kilmington
Civil ParishOffwell
Civil ParishShute
Civil ParishWidworthy
DistrictEast Devon
DistrictWest Dorset
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER
Ecclesiastical ParishKILMINGTON
Ecclesiastical ParishOFFWELL
Ecclesiastical ParishSHUTE
Ecclesiastical ParishSTOCKLAND
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDWORTHY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Full description

de-Villiers, S., 01/2016, Land at Woodbury Cottage, Woodbury Lane, Axminster, (Report - Watching Brief). SDV359401.

Randall, Clare, 03/11/2015, Land North of Woddbury Lane, Axminster (Report - Evaluation). SDV359392.

Davies, R., 08/2015, Land North of Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV359278.

Margary, I. D., 1967, Roman Roads in Britain, 115 (Monograph). SDV24025.

The A373, the main road through Wilmington to Honiton follows the course of the Roman road from Charmouth to Honiton (runs from SY220-999- to SY20500000 to ST200000020)

Dean, R., 20/05/2010, Land at Kilmington, Devon. Results of an Archaeological Earth Resistance Survey (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV349890.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, No. 755, 2929 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Tabor, R., 2012, Axe Valley Cyclepath/Walkway: Axminster to Kilmington Archaeological Monitoring and Recording (Report - Watching Brief). SDV352351.

Pears, B. + Hughes, S., 2013, Land North of Woodlands, Kilmington, Devon: Results of an Archaeological Trench Evaluation (Report - Evaluation). SDV355706.

Toller, H., 2014, The Roman Road from Dorchester to Exeter (Article in Serial). SDV358042.

The first and last sections of the course of the Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter, from Dorchester to Eggardon Hill, and Honiton to Exeter, have been known since the 18th century but the course of the 38km section in the middle was unclear, although the general concensus was that it was that followed by the modern A35. More recent archaeological work in Axminster coupled with evidence from LiDAR and satellite imagery has now provided new evidence for a length of the road between Eggardon Hill in Dorset and Axminster and also confirmed that the traditional course of the road between Axminster and Honiton is largely correct.
The road enters Devon at Monkton Wyle Cross (SY329970) and descends as Cook's Lane and Woodbury Lane to Axminster. Westwards from Woodbury the road continued in a direct line across the valley of the Axe and Yarty towards Shute Hill; a 240 metre length of road was excavated in 1990 across the flood plain of the Yarty. The road at this point was found to be up to 20.25 metres wide and probably originally stood up to 0.6 metres above the surrounding ground.
West of the Axe there is no certain evidence for the road towards Honiton but antiquarian observations suggest that the road followed the line taken by the 1758 turnpike road from Shute Hill through to Taunton Cross, Burrow Corner and then to Moorcox Cross. Beyond Moorcox the course of the road is probably overlain by the modern A35 on the course of the earlier turnpike to Honiton.
See article for full details.

Historic England, 2015-2016, NRHE to HER prototype (Website). SDV359652.

Steinmetzer, MFR. and Salvatore, J., 2016, Archaeological evaluation on land behind the Old Inn, Kilmington, Devon (Report - Evaluation). SDV359614.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Map object partly based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24025Monograph: Margary, I. D.. 1967. Roman Roads in Britain. Roman Roads in Britain. Hardback Volume. 115.
SDV349890Report - Geophysical Survey: Dean, R.. 20/05/2010. Land at Kilmington, Devon. Results of an Archaeological Earth Resistance Survey. Southwest Archaeology Report. 100512. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. No. 755, 2929.
SDV352351Report - Watching Brief: Tabor, R.. 2012. Axe Valley Cyclepath/Walkway: Axminster to Kilmington Archaeological Monitoring and Recording. Context One Archaeological Services Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV355706Report - Evaluation: Pears, B. + Hughes, S.. 2013. Land North of Woodlands, Kilmington, Devon: Results of an Archaeological Trench Evaluation. AC Archaeology Report. ACD822/2/0. Digital + A4.
SDV358042Article in Serial: Toller, H.. 2014. The Roman Road from Dorchester to Exeter. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 72. Paperback Volume.
SDV359278Report - Geophysical Survey: Davies, R.. 08/2015. Land North of Woodbury Lane, Axminster. Stratascan. J8756. Digital.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359392Report - Evaluation: Randall, Clare. 03/11/2015. Land North of Woddbury Lane, Axminster. Context One Archaeological Services. C1/EVA/15/WAD. Digital.
SDV359401Report - Watching Brief: de-Villiers, S.. 01/2016. Land at Woodbury Cottage, Woodbury Lane, Axminster,. AC Archaeology. ACD1162/2/0. Digital.
SDV359614Report - Evaluation: Steinmetzer, MFR. and Salvatore, J.. 2016. Archaeological evaluation on land behind the Old Inn, Kilmington, Devon. Oakford Archaeology. OA1326. Digital.
SDV359652Website: Historic England. 2015-2016. NRHE to HER prototype. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/home. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV14190Parent of: Roman Road at Burrow Corner, Dalwood (Monument)
MDV128270Parent of: Roman road at Symonds Down, Axminster (Monument)
MDV44899Parent of: Roman Road at Wilmington Bridge, Widworthy (Monument)
MDV42204Parent of: Roman Road at Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Monument)
MDV14186Parent of: Roman Road in Kilmington Parish (Monument)
MDV18559Parent of: Roman Road north of Moorcox, Dalwood (Monument)
MDV14187Parent of: Roman Road on Shute Hill (Monument)
MDV118446Related to: Possible Roman Fortlet south of Burrow Corner, Shute (Monument)
MDV115994Related to: Possible Roman Road north-east of White Cross, Offwell parish (Monument)
MDV16014Related to: Roman road from Charmouth to Axminster (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5145 - Evaluation at the Junction of Gammons Hill and George Lane, Kilmington
  • EDV5946 - Land at Kilmington, Devon. Results of and Archaeological Earth Resistance Survey (Ref: 100512)
  • EDV6259 - Archaeological Monitoring and Recording of the Axe Valley Cyclepath/Walkway (Ref: COAS/WBF/11/AVC)
  • EDV6359 - Archaeological Trench Evaluation on Land North of Woodlands, Kilmington (Ref: ACD822)
  • EDV6866 - Geophysical Survey, Land North of Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Ref: J8756)
  • EDV6912 - Evaluation, Land North of Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Ref: C1/EVA/15/WAD)
  • EDV6918 - Watching Brief, Land at Woodbury Cottage, Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Ref: ACD1162/2/0)
  • EDV6972 - Archaeological evaluation on land behind the Old Inn, Kilmington, Devon. (Ref: OA1326)

Date Last Edited:May 27 2020 9:40AM