43BC to 410AD: The Romans built roads! The system of roads they built was amazing and famously, all led to Rome! They were built for the movement of troops but over four hundred years they probably became used for social travel too. A milestone, or milliare, was placed at every Roman mile—4854 English feet—and posting-stations, “mansiones,” were built at distances varying from seven to twenty miles.

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. 

Next: The Middle Ages

Subway-style map of Roman roads by Sasha Trubetskoy

Click here to visit

Section 3:

The Roads


‍ The world of long-distance coach travel.




‍ text




‍ Go to Living Memories

Anecdotes written by people who actually travelled on the coaches

Go to the Age of Coaching

The coachmen, the inns, the coach proprietors - they’re all here. Come in and meet them

Go to the Roads

Britain’s roads were pretty impassable for most of our history.  Coach travel was very difficult until they improved

Go to The Coaches

Wheeled transport evolved over many years. Find out how coaches developed

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