Roman Fort Environs and Roads
Project No. GAT1632

Roman Road near Pentir

Project background
A project examining aspects of Roman military sites in Gwynedd was set up in 2000. The first part of the project examined fort environs using geophysical survey and was successful in identifying a wide range of previously unknown extramural features such as vici and mansiones. The project encouraged participation by community and amateur groups. This allowed geophysical survey to be expanded into the interiors of some forts and assessment excavation to take place in order to confirm the results of the surveys.

The project was expanded to examine the Roman military road network. This comprised an initial collation of data including the results of a wide ranging and largely unpublished survey carried out by the Ordnance Survey in the 1970s. The resulting road alignments were mapped as linear files in a GIS programme. This includes linked database entries giving background information and assessments of confidence in the data. The results were integrated into the HER and have been utilised in the planning process and research.

This was followed by a comparative fieldwork survey which examined all extant remains of Roman roads in the county, examined some areas where data had not previously been collected and made scheduling recommendations.

Both aspects of the project produced a large numberof new discoveries, representing the most significant step forward in our knowledge of the monuments of Roman Wales in many decades. The new information has been disseminated through regular publication and lecturing, at both local and national levels. This culminated in a project to produce a new edition of The Roman Frontier in Wales in conjunction with Dr Jeffrey Davies, Prof Barry Burnham (editors) and RCAHMW.

David Hopewell