The world of long-distance coach travel
The first roads
The Celts were trading across Europe and although nothing remains of their roads, they must have followed fixed routes
The Romans built roads, famously straight. These are the first roads that we in England are familiar with
After the Romans left, our roads fell into disrepair. Find out what happened
After the dissolution of the monasteries, even the church’s work ended
During the Stuart period the first beginnings of improvement appeared
The first proposal to improve Britain’s roads
The first person to take active steps to improve the roads
As pressure for improved transport links grew, this engineer made a real difference
Perhaps the most famous roadmaker, His method is still essentially in use today
Britain’s roads at last allow fast long-distance travel
Anecdotes written by people who actually travelled on the coaches
The coachmen, the inns, the coach proprietors - they’re all here. Come in and meet them
Britain’s roads were pretty impassable for most of our history. Coach travel was very difficult until they improved
Wheeled transport evolved over many years. Find out how coaches developed
Sources and information about how I came to create this website
Home Page of the Coaching Website
Roman roads were scientifically constructed:-
• Pavimentum (foundation) Fine earth, beaten hard.
• Statumen (the bed of the road) Large stones, sometimes mixed with mortar.
• Ruderatio Small stones, well mixed with mortar.
• Nucleus A mixture of lime, chalk, pounded brick, or tile; or gravel, sand, and lime mixed with clay.
• Summum Dorsum Surface of the paved road.
They were so well made that remains of Roman roads are still sometimes uncovered, in fairly perfect condition, although buried from six to fifteen feet, after the hundreds of years of neglect which followed the abandonment of Britain and the decay of Roman civilisation.
Subway-style map of Roman roads by Sasha Trubetskoy