Roman roads in the changing landscape of eastern England c.AD410 – 1850

Albone, James (2016) Roman roads in the changing landscape of eastern England c.AD410 – 1850. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Roman roads are one of the most important legacies of the Roman period in Britain
and many of the routes that they define still remain in use today. Although they have
long been the subject of academic research, their history since the end of the Roman
period has been largely overlooked. By studying the use, significance, and survival
and loss of Roman roads in parts of eastern England between the fifth and mid
nineteenth centuries this thesis directly addresses the gap in the existing literature.
The survival of Roman roads is intrinsically linked to the continued existence and
significance of their destinations, be they former Roman settlements or new (urban or
religious) locales. Whilst destinations continued to function the roads leading to them
also remained in use. When destinations failed the roads ceased to serve as long-distance
routes and became prone to fragmentation and loss. The initial breakdown of
the Roman road network commenced as part of wider societal and landscape changes
in the eighth century when former Roman settlements finally ceased to function.
Sections of some Roman roads continue to be used as local roads today but countless
more were probably removed during the post-medieval enclosure process. Roman
roads have significantly influenced the development of the landscape through which
they pass by acting as foci for burials, settlements, churches and economic activity.
They have also functioned as boundaries, most notably those of medieval parishes – a
role which influenced the continued use of some roads.
The relationships between Roman roads and the surrounding landscape, and the
factors affecting their survival and loss, examined in this thesis are also applicable to
roads of other periods. Consequently the findings presented here not only advance our
knowledge of Roman roads but also have wider implications for English landscape

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Users 4971 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 13:49
Last Modified: 17 May 2017 13:49


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