Information for record number MWA4759:
The Fosse Way

Summary The Fosse Way, a Roman road of mid 1st century origin, running from Cirencester to Leicester, partly along a temporary frontier line. The road runs to the south east of Stretton on Fosse.
What Is It?  
Type: Road
Period: Romano-British (43 AD - 409 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Brandon and Bretford
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 34 60
(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
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 The Fosse Way probably originated as the link road along a temporary frontier line and was in existence by AD 47. Between Cirencester and High Cross it runs remarkably straight and without major settlements. In Warwickshire, the route can be traced throughout the county, and is still in use for much of its length, with the agger surviving well in a number of places. road alignments have altered at some points, notably near Offchurch, Eathorpe, Stretton on Dunsmore, Bretford, and Brinklow, but only at the last is there real doubt about the course of the road.
2 AP showing faint traces of alignment east of Offchurch and, possibly, at Eathorpe.
3 AP showing traces of alignment east of Offchurch.
4 -
6 APs showing possible alignment north of Stretton on Dunsmore.
7 -
8 A section of the Fosse Way at its intersection with the M40 motorway revealed two surfaces. The first, of gravel on a sandstone base, was 6m wide; this was sealed by a surface of large cobbles 4.8m wide. No side ditches were found. The road at this point appears to differ in its construction from lengths revealed adjacent to Roman settlements such as at Chesterton.
9 A section through the Fosse way to the south of Princethorpe identified a single road surface and part of the agger. However, during excavation of two sections in this area in 1959 and 1960 two distinct surfaces were identified. The lower road surface appeared to be constructed of smaller stones than the upper. (See WA 5374 and 3105).
10 The alignment of the agger at Offchurch, where the B4455 deviates from the course of the Roman road, centred SP3749 6602, referenced in
3 is also visible on Google Earth satellite imagery (2010 layer).
11 Further information on the section of Fosse Way excavated in July 1989 in advance of the construction of the M40, including a poor-quality photograph (see
8). The primary road surface was flat, c.6.10m wide and consisted of rammed gravel on a base of sandstone blocks, with a total thickness of up to c.0.24m. Directly above this was a second surface, of large cobbles, up to c.4.80m wide and sharply cambered. Both the surfaces were cut by a recent field ditch; no associated dating evidence was found.
12 Earthwork features possibly associated with the line of the Roman road were mapped to the east of Bretford (see MWA12284).

Source No: 2
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP36NE
Author/originator: RAF
Date: 1947
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 42/36NE
Source No: 3
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP3765
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1970
Page Number: 176
Volume/Sheet: SP3765
Source No: 4
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4173
Author/originator: Pickering J
Date: 1970
Page Number: A
Volume/Sheet: SP4173/A
Source No: 5
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP1473
Date: 12/07/75
Page Number: B
Volume/Sheet: SP4173/B
Source No: 6
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4173
Author/originator: Pickering J
Date: 07/21/79
Page Number: C
Volume/Sheet: SP4173/C
Source No: 7
Source Type: Article in serial
Title: Britannia: Roman Britain in 1989
Author/originator: S S Frere, MWC Hassall and R S O Tomlin
Date: 1990
Page Number: 303-378
Volume/Sheet: 21
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Roman Roads in Britain
Author/originator: Margary I D
Date: 1955
Page Number: 153-154
Source No: 9
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: Archaeological Excavation and Watching Brief at Princethorpe, 1994
Author/originator: Cuttler R
Date: 1994
Page Number:
Source No: 10
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Google Earth Aerial and Street View
Author/originator: Google Earth
Date: 1945-present
Page Number:
Source No: 8
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 98
Author/originator: Booth P B
Date: 1994
Page Number: 31-36
Volume/Sheet: 98
Source No: 11
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: M40 Motorway, Warwickshire: Archaeological Survey 1992
Author/originator: Adams, D, Jenkins, D and Wise, J.
Date: 1994
Page Number:
Source No: 12
Source Type: Verbal communication
Title: Validation as a result of the NMP project data
Author/originator: G Carey
Date: 2009 onwards
Page Number:
The Fosse Way Roman road running Stretton on Fosse parish
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1994
Click here for larger image  
A section of the Fosse Way Roman Road east of Radford Semele
Copyright: WA Baker
Date: 1959
Click here for larger image  
A section of the Fosse Way Roman Road running through the parish of Brandon and Bretford
Copyright: WA Baker
Date: 1959
Click here for larger image  
A section of the Fosse Way roman road running through Monks Kirby parish
Copyright: WA Baker
Date: 1959
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
source Britannia Britannia, the journal of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies which contains articles about the archaeology of Roman Britain. It is published annually and copies are held at 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
technique Earthwork Earthworks can take the form of banks, ditches and mounds. They are usually created for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, might be the remains of a boundary between two or more fields. Some earthworks may be all that remains of a collapsed building, for example, the grassed-over remains of building foundations.

In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky than during the other seasons, earthworks have larger shadows. From the air, archaeologists are able to see the patterns of the earthworks more easily. Earthworks can sometimes be confusing when viewed at ground level, but from above, the general plan is much clearer.

Archaeologists often carry out an aerial survey or an earthwork survey to help them understand the lumps and bumps they can see on the ground.
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 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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monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument SETTLEMENT * A small concentration of dwellings. back
monument STONE * Use only where stone is natural or where there is no indication of function. back
monument HIGH CROSS * A churchyard or memorial cross set on a long shaft. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument ROAD * A way between different places, used by horses, travellers on foot and vehicles. back
monument WELL * A shaft or pit dug in the ground over a supply of spring-water. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument MOTORWAY * Fast arterial road with separate carriageways limited to motor vehicles 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 EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record