The Roman Road from Peasenhall to Harleston(?)

Margary Number: 35

Distance: 10 miles

First what is certain - we know this road leaves the Coddenham to Peasenhall Roman road at Peasenhall and heads north west. Quite where it originated from is unknown. The route to just short of Harleston is crystal clear but how it cross the River Waveney and where it then went is a puzzle. How can a road so obvious for 10 miles just disappear?

It has generally been assumed it would have continued its alignment and joined the Pye Road and hence on to Caistor st Edmund.



Historic Counties: Suffolk & Norfolk

Current Counties: Suffolk & Norfolk

HER: Suffolk & Norfolk



mini map

Lidar Image - Full Route

A very direct route to nowhere - well not really nowhere it is just we cannot figure out quite where its destination was. See later for some suggestions.

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full route

Peasenhall Junction

Our road almost certainly headed up Mill Hill between the yellow and white houses. The Roman road from Coddenham crosses left to right heading to.... another mystery.

Image: Google Earth

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Oblique 3D Lidar Image - Peasenhall

The climb up Mill Hill necessitated a somewhat indirect route but once on high ground then the long main straight alignment begins.

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3D lidar

Lidar Image and Route Map 1

There was a bit of a wobble off straight to negotiate the valley of the River Blyth but apart from that little deviation of straight.

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Heveningham Long Lane

Having climbed up Mill Hill our road takes on its straight alignment along Long Lane.

Image: Google Earth

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long lane

Lidar Image and Route Map 2

More of the same - unerringly straight.

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Oblique 3D Lidar Image -Silverley's Green

Roman roads don't get much more obvious than this! But how can such an obvious road disappear after the River Waveney?

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3D lidar

Roman Road, Little Whittingham Green, Fressingfield

Aptly named Roman Road at Whittingham Green.

Image: Google Earth

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roman road

Lidar Image and Route Map 3

The straight alignment ends at Weybread and there is some evidence that it probably turned to the north for a crossing of the River Waveney. But this is where the obvious signs of this road end. Once we have crossed the river we are in Norfolk.

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Lidar Image - Extension Options

It has always been assumed that this road was targeting joining the Pye Road from Scole to Caistor St Edmund. There are some faint traces to show that this could be the case but nothing of high confidence. However, it makes little sense if a connection from East Suffolk to Caistor was needed. There was the Stone Road which is shorter.

My suggestion is that perhaps Dickleburgh Moor, which was likely a mere in Roman times, was the target. Was this a religious site like Scoulton Mere also in Norfolk?

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Last update: April 2020

© David Ratledge