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Author Topic: Watling Street  (Read 825 times)

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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Watling Street
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2016, 11:21:56 »
Quite correct CAT. See detail here from the Historic England website:- Watling Street is the later name given to one of the major Roman roads which linked Dover with Wroxeter on the Welsh borders via Canterbury, London, St Albans and Towcester. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Węcelinga Stręt, ‘the street of the people of Węcel’. Watling Street has subsequently been followed by the modern A2 and A5 roads.

Offline CAT

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Watling Street
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 22:51:08 »
Following on from the confusion in 'Guess the place' regards the line of Roman Watling Street, the fact is that there was no Roman Watling Street as it's name was given to its route by the Anglo Saxons. It is assumed that main roads were given numbers in reference to the distances between stations as can be seen in the Antonine Itinerary, a late third century survey document. As stated in a previous post, Watling Street is first referenced to the north of London in the later Anglo Saxon period and was gradually, over the next couple of hundred years, extended east of London to Canterbury and the former Roman channel ports. By the late Anglo Saxon period both Richborough and Reculver were in very serious decline so why have your principle road do to them? Only the ports of Lympne and Dover survived with the road to Port Lympne named as Stone Street, as it still is today, and not Watling Street as Finch Cole, the famous Kentish windmill historian, suggests. The point is, why does Stone Street and Watling Street survive as road names into the modern day, but not the names of the roads to Richborough and Reculver, if they ever had one? The reason being that these had stopped being routes of any consiquence early on. If you need to look for references on Kent Roman roads start with Ivan Margary's 'Roman roads in Britain: South of the Foss Way: Vol 1' and not spurious internet references or quaint Edwardian walking guides.

 

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