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HER Number:MDV64458
Name:Roman Road at Woodbury Farm, Axminster

Summary

Evidence of a Roman road was found during the excavation of the footings of an agricultural building at Woodbury Farm. It is probably part of the Roman road between Exeter and Dorchester, which lies to the south of Woodbury Lane on a similar alignment.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 298 974
Map Sheet:SY29NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29NE/33/4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J. + Simpson, S. J., 1993, Excavation of the Exeter-Dorchester Roman Road at the River Yarty and the Roman Fort Ditch and Settlement Site at Woodbury, Near Axminster., 80-81 (Article in Serial). SDV99887.

The Roman road from Exeter to Dorchester runs westwards from Woodbury Farm, following a course just south of the existing lane, inside Woodbury Great Close. Beyond this, across Wyke Lane, its course was formerly followed by another road called Fairy Lane, which has since disappeared. East of the fort at Woodbury the course of the road is not so direct, taking the form of a series of short straight alignments determined by local topography. Other details: Figures 19-20, 23-24, 28-29.


Cole, M. A. + Linford, N. T., 1993, The Geophysical Survey at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Article in Serial). SDV124242.

The results of detailed geophysical survey at Woodbury Farm, Axminster, indicate the presence of buried foundations of buildings and walls within the Roman fort, as well as evidence of an associated settlement. This information, allied to that from pervious excavation and aerial photographs, permits a fuller interpretation of the archaeological significance of this Roman site.

Any interpretation of this linear anomaly (r3) as a Roman road is based largely upon the intensity of the anomaly being consistent with the presence of a metalled surface and the absence of a breach in the field boundary in either the present hedgerow or that depicted by the aerial photograph. The failure of r3 to be reproduced as a magnetic anomaly is perhaps explained by the poor contrast in magnetic susceptibility between the Lias blocks of the paving of the roadway and the surrounding subsoil developed over the same geology. In addition, the alignment of the buildings within the earthwork appears to respect r3 and only the modern services pipeline is seen to intersect it.

The three ditch anomalies (m14) appear to be orientated parallel to the course of the Exeter -Dorchester Roman road and may represent a series of Roman road gullies.


Reed, S. J., 1999, Archaeological Observations During Excavation of Footings for Agricultural Building at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Report - Watching Brief). SDV336658.

Archaeological observations by Exeter Archaeology during excavation of the footings for an agricultural building at Woodbury Farm in April 1999 revealed the upper surface of a road in three of the eight pits. The surface was encountered at a depth of 0.55-0.6 metres below ground level and consisted of very compacted small flint fragments in a grey clay matrix. Excavation did not intrude into the archaeological deposits. The surface is likely to represent the Roman road between Exeter and Dorchester that is aligned on the route of the present day Woodbury Lane. The absence of a road surface in the southern pits would indicate that this road was not leading into the Roman fort to the south. No finds were recovered during excavation of the trenches. Other details: Maps.


Exeter Archaeology, 2002, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Development at Land off Woodbury Lane, Axminster, 2, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV99325.

At Woodbury Farm, and at Kings Farm to the south-east, the Roman road metalling was observed to the south of Woodbury Lane. Other details: Fig 2, Site 4.


Oxford Archaeotechnics Ltd, 2002, Land East of Woodbury Farm, Axminster: Geophysical Survey (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV131836.

A geophysical survey comprising magnetometer survey was carried out on circa 3.8 ha of land east of Woodbury Farm, on the Southern outskirts of Axminster in advance of a proposed playing field development.

The survey area lies immediately east of an earthwork enclosure thought to be the site of an early Roman Fort with later Roman occupation within it characterised by stone buildings, which may represent a posting station (mansio). Previous geophysical survey and archaeological investigation has further identified extra-mural development alongside the Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter to the west of the defensive enclosure, which is a scheduled ancient monument.

The survey confirmed a continuation of archaeological activity, including features of a probable industrial nature, immediately east of the enclosure, and located the course of a road some 7-10 metres wide which has previously been identified within the enclosure.


Dyer, M. J. + Whiteaway, T. E., 2003, Archaeological Recording During Gas Main Replacement Works, Woodbury Lane, Axminster, Devon, 11 (Report - Watching Brief). SDV320799.

No evidence was found for the Exeter to Dorchester Roman road in the two fields to the west of Wyke lane. Other details: Figure 2.


Exeter Archaeology, 2008, Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon, 7 (Report - Assessment). SDV342566.

Other details: Site 18, figure 7.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124242Article in Serial: Cole, M. A. + Linford, N. T.. 1993. The Geophysical Survey at Woodbury Farm, Axminster. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume.
SDV131836Report - Geophysical Survey: Oxford Archaeotechnics Ltd. 2002. Land East of Woodbury Farm, Axminster: Geophysical Survey. Oxford Archaeotechnics Report. 2631102/AXD/EXA. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV320799Report - Watching Brief: Dyer, M. J. + Whiteaway, T. E.. 2003. Archaeological Recording During Gas Main Replacement Works, Woodbury Lane, Axminster, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.38. A4 Stapled + Digital. 11.
SDV336658Report - Watching Brief: Reed, S. J.. 1999. Archaeological Observations During Excavation of Footings for Agricultural Building at Woodbury Farm, Axminster. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342566Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2008. Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 08.24. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7.
SDV99325Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2002. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Development at Land off Woodbury Lane, Axminster. Exeter Archaeology Report. 02.79. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2, 6.
SDV99887Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J. + Simpson, S. J.. 1993. Excavation of the Exeter-Dorchester Roman Road at the River Yarty and the Roman Fort Ditch and Settlement Site at Woodbury, Near Axminster.. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume. 80-81.

Associated Monuments

MDV14185Related to: Roman Fort at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Monument)
MDV42538Related to: Roman Road at Woodbury Fort (Monument)
MDV42204Related to: Roman Road at Woodbury Lane, Axminster (Monument)
MDV18564Related to: Roman Road in Axminster Parish (Monument)
MDV18564Related to: Roman Road in Axminster Parish (Monument)
MDV18564Related to: Roman Road in Axminster Parish (Monument)
MDV18564Related to: Roman Road in Axminster Parish (Monument)
MDV14186Related to: Roman Road in Kilmington Parish (Monument)
MDV70545Related to: Roman Road north of Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Monument)
MDV42536Related to: Roman Settlement at Woodbury Farm, Axminster (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4523 - Archaeological Assessment of Land off Duke's Way, Axminster, Devon
  • EDV891 - Archaeological Recording During Gas Main Replacement Works, Woodbury Lane, Axminster
  • EDV966 - Archaeological Observations During Excavation of Footings for Agricultural Building 'Woodbury Farm', Axminster
  • EDV968 - Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Development at Land off Woodbury Lane, Axminster

Date Last Edited:Jan 15 2019 3:32PM