Excavation of Watling Street

Description of this historic site

The site of a section of the Roman road known as Watling Street which was excavated. The site is situated 400m south east of Witherley Bridge, Mancetter.

Notes about this historic site

1 1954-5: Construction of a sewage trench revealed a section across Watling Street indicating an early road with a 3.96m interval between two ditches 0.61m wide and 1.2m deep from the centre surface of the road. The metalling consisted of gravel and some pitched stone 0.61m thick at its maximum point. The ditches appear to have gone out of use by c. 70AD. The road lay about 4.6m S of its present line and was later widened to about 7.6m by the addition of further pitching at a higher level. This widening was on the S side. By the mid 3rd century the later road was out of use, for a rubbish pit was cut through it. It was perhaps after this date that the present line was established.
2 Plan.
3 1964 Excavations. Site A; a small trench was excavated near the centre of the settlement, opposite to the Bull Inn. This showed the metalling of what was probably a N-S road of uncertain width. Only the top surface of the road was uncovered. Site C; a trench was cut behind the eastern defences. It revealed a continuous E-W road surface, sloping downwards towards the north. There was not time to extend the excavation to find the limits of the metalling or to excavate more than the top two layers, but the suggestion is that, at any rate in one of its phases, Watling Street lay rather to the north of its present line.
4 Plan of site B and C.

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