Information for record number MWA4757:
The Saltway running from Droitwich to Finmere

Summary The Saltway, a major Roman road running east and southeast from Droitwich, which can be traced across much of Warwickshire.
What Is It?  
Type: Road
Period: Romano-British (43 AD - 409 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Alcester
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 25 50
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record

Source Number  

1 Major route and saltway running east via Alcester and Stratford, then south east towards the Foss Way and eventually out of the county. The course to Alcester is very direct and the road is often raised 1-2 feet as far as Red Hill, with a parish boundary along it for 1.5 miles. At Oversley Hill, just before Alcester, the present road curves away to the north to avoid the hill, but the old course is very plainly marked by a line of hedgerows with a track or footpath, past the south side of Oversley Hill Farm, to Oversley Green. At the beginning of this line, alongside a wood, the old agger and its metalling can be clearly seen, about 21 feet wide and 1-2 feet high, diverging from the present road. The road continues west along Seggs Lane, crossing Ryknield Street. After half a mile the course onward is marked by a cart track and a line of hedgerows (partly alongside the Spittle Brook), and by a deep holloway. The road crosses the boundary at New End, heading for Shurnock.
2 Noted.
3 Located at Site E, where it is of pebble and gravel construction, some 12-14 inches thick, and 15 feet wide. It had been laid on turf containing sherds of rustic ware (late 1st century). Subsequently it was built over (WA 521). A section exposed (Site O) during the installation of a septic tank and sewer had a V-ditch. It then continues east as a hedgerow and footpath, and then following the line of a modern road. It is visible in many air photos. Work in Alcester demonstrated the probable continuation of this route east of Ryknield Street along the present line of Seggs Lane. Another parallel east-west road has been located to the south of this road in the extramural suburb of Alcester. The two roads within Alcester may represent part of a rudimentary street grid in the suburb, or they may represent two phases of alignment.
4 Line of road discovered during excavation of Birch Abbey Site.
5 Archaeological observation of the laying of a new pipeline between Bordon Hill (SP 17 54) and the A46 Alcester road (SP 17 55) revealed no archaeological features in the vicinity of the route of the Roman road (A46) and there were no associated finds made.
6 Observation of the easement of the Stratford Strategic Supply water main between the Oversley Green and Oversley Hill Farm revealed the possible remains of the Roman road at grid reference SP10355689. The area contained a c7m long spread of gravel, bounded on the southern side with a line of possible kerbstones aligned almost east-west. To the south of the kerb stones there may have been a roadside ditch. No kerbstones were visible on the northern edge. The line of the road should have been uncovered within the pipeline easement over a much longer area. Evidence for the road had presumably been destroyed through ploughing and possibly quarrying of the road surface material for use elsewhere. (EWA7313).
7 A section of the Roman road was discovered by magnetometer survey and evaluation as part of improvements to the A46. This section lies just along the south edge of the Roman settlement at Billesley Manor Farm and 25m north of the modern road. It consisted of a limestone rubble surface 8m wide with Roman pottery and animal bone trampled in it. The road sloped to the south towards drainage ditches. The magnetometer readings suggested that further remains might not extend much further to the west. A correlation between parish boundaries and the possible line of the Roman road was noted as was the possible poor preservation of the road along other parts of its route.
9 A brief written in 1990 suggestes that roadside settlement would probably have occurred within 25m of the road along the stretch now marked by Cold Comfort Lane, Alcester.
10 It is not certain whether the surface exposed by Hughes' Site F in fact represents a road or some kind of hardstanding, as the northern edge was not recovered, and cobbled surfaces are common in Roman Alcester.
11The western end of the Roman road, running from Alcester, along Cold Comfort Lane, to New End (Worcestershire) was totally re-drawn to form a straight line rather than the former line that followed winding paths to the north. The actual road line shows on several Google Earth air photos with the best being the allegedly 1/1/2005 layer which shows hints of the agger as cropmarks. The possible area of metalling in Cold Comfort wood (MWA 10323) can be seen to clearly be on this line. The fact that this road is recorded with a single HER reference number across the whole county makes it difficult for any notes to give useful descriptions.
12Portable Antiquities Scheme find provenance information: Date found: 2003-01-01T00:00:00Z Methods of discovery: Metal detector

Source No: 7
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: A46 Environmental Assessment Supplementary Archaeological Report
Author/originator: Palmer N J
Date: 1995
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Archaeological Observation of Stour Valley Mains Replacement, Stratford
Author/originator: J Meek
Date: 1996
Page Number:
Source No: 9
Source Type: Evaluation Report
Title: Cold Comfort Lane Archaeological Brief
Author/originator: Cracknell S
Date: 1990
Page Number:
Source No: 11
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Google Earth Aerial and Street View
Author/originator: Google Earth
Date: 1945-present
Page Number:
Source No: 12
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Database
Author/originator: British Museum
Page Number:
Source No: 6
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological Recording on the Severn Trent Water Stratford Strategic Supply Water Main 1995-1996.
Author/originator: Palmer S & Meek J
Date: 2003
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Report No 0307
Source No: 8
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: SMR card : text
Author/originator: JMG
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 76 (1958)
Author/originator: Birmingham Archaeological Society
Date: 1960
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 76
Source No: 4
Source Type: Serial
Title: WMANS, no 8, 1965
Author/originator: Gould, J (ed)
Date: 1965
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 8
Source No: 1
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Roman Roads in Britain
Author/originator: Margary I D
Date: 1955
Page Number: 283-4
Source No: 2
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Notes on Roads - Trackways
Author/originator: Foster P
Date: 1982
Page Number:
Source No: 10
Source Type: Unpublished document
Author/originator: Booth
Date: 1978
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
source SMR Card Sites and Monuments Record Card. The Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record began to be developed during the 1970s. The details of individual archaeological sites and findspots were written on record cards. These record cards were used until the 1990s, when their details were entered on to a computerised system. The record cards are still kept at the office of the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMANS West Midlands Archaeological News Sheet, a publication that was produced each year, this later became West Midlands Archaeology. The West Midlands Arcaheological News Sheet contains reports about archaeological work that was carried out in the West Midlands region in the previous year. It includes information about sites dating from the Prehistoric to the Post Medieval periods. It was produced the Department of Extramural Studies at Birmingham University. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique Magnetometer Survey A magnetometer survey measures the earth's magnetic field and the effects that structures in the ground may have on it. For example, walls, pits and trenches might display different levels of magnetism than the surrounding ground. These differences can affect the readings taken during the survey. Once the readings have been recorded they are plotted out to produce a plan of features that exist below the ground. See also geophysical survey. back
technique Cropmark Cropmarks appear as light and dark marks in growing and ripening crops. These marks relate to differences in the soil below. For example, parched lines of grass may indicate stone walls. Crops that grow over stone features often ripen more quickly and are shorter than the surrounding crop. This is because there is less moisture in the soil where the wall lies.

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technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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period Modern The Modern Period, about 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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period Roman About 43 AD to 409 AD (the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD)

The Roman period comes after the Iron Age and before the Saxon period.

The Roman period in Britain began in 43 AD when a Roman commander called Aulus Plautius invaded the south coast, near Kent. There were a series of skirmishes with the native Britons, who were defeated. In the months that followed, more Roman troops arrived and slowly moved westwards and northwards.
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period modern About 1915 AD to the present (the 20th and 21st centuries AD)

In recent years archaeologists have realised the importance of recording modern sites. They do this so that in the future people will be able to look at the remains to help them understand the events to which they are related.
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monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument MANOR FARM * A farm on the estate of a manor. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument ARCHAEOLOGICAL FEATURE * Use only for features assumed to be archaeological but which cannot be identified more precisely without further investigation .Use more specific term where known back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument SEWER * A large drain or conduit for carrying away wastes. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument BOUNDARY * The limit to an area as defined on a map or by a marker of some form, eg. BOUNDARY WALL. Use specific type where known. back
monument SUBURB * A largely residential area on the outskirts of a town or city. back
monument ABBEY * A religious house governed by an abbot or abbess. Use with narrow terms of DOUBLE HOUSE, MONASTERY or NUNNERY. back
monument PATH * A way made for pedestrians, especially one merely made by walking (often not specially constructed). back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument PARISH BOUNDARY * The limit line of a parish. back
monument MAGNETOMETER * An instrument for measuring magnetic forces, especially the strength of terrestrial magnetism. back
monument KERBSTONE * An edging of stone forming the kerb of a path. back
monument WOOD * A tract of land with trees, sometimes acting as a boundary or barrier, usually smaller and less wild than a forest. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument RED HILL * Iron Age or Roman coastal site producing salt by boiling of seawater in fired clay pans, resulting in characteristic mounds of 'BRIQUETAGE' (see Archaeological Objects Thesaurus). back
monument PIPELINE * A conduit or pipes, used primarily for conveying petroleum from oil wells to a refinery, or for supplying water to a town or district, etc. back
monument TRACKWAY * A pathway, not necessarily designed as such, beaten down by the feet of travellers. back
monument CROSS * A free-standing structure, in the form of a cross (+), symbolizing the structure on which Jesus Christ was crucified and sacred to the Christian faith. Use specific type where known. back
monument DRAINAGE DITCH * A long, narrow ditch designed to carry water away from a waterlogged area. back
monument FOOTPATH * A path for pedestrians only. back
monument FARM * A tract of land, often including a farmhouse and ancillary buildings, used for the purpose of cultivation and the rearing of livestock, etc. Use more specific type where known. back
monument SEPTIC TANK * A watertight reservoir or tank that receives sewage, and by sedimentation and bacterial action effects a process of partial purification. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record