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.
Subway-style map of Roman roads by Sasha Trubetskoy
Section 2 Menu
Tales of the Road: This section tells what was it like to travel by stage coach in the mid 1800s.
Travel in England is inseparably connected to the state of our roads. This section looks at the history of British roads.
Wheeled transport evolved over many years. This section looks at how coaches developed.
Home Page of the Coaching Website.