“A thousand roads lead men forever to Rome”; Alain de Lille, 1175

All content © Roman Roads Research Association 2016, all rights reserved; unless otherwise stated.

 a charity registered in England & Wales, no  1163854.


Thanks to a substantial bequest, in 2018 RRRA was able to purchase a five probe Sensys gradiometer array, equipped with GPS, at a cost of approximately £50,000. Our aim is to train teams of volunteers drawn from our membership to conduct a series of surveys to try to fill in some of the many gaps in our understanding of the Roman road network, not simply looking at the roads themselves, but the sites that they connect. Under the tuition of James Lyall of geophiz.biz , in the winter of 2018/19 we began a pilot project in southern Yorkshire with the ultimate aim of reproducing it at key locations across the country.

In November 2018, we conducted our first two Training Days on the playing fields in front of York Psychiatric Hospital.  The site presented a unique opportunity to see if there was any evidence of an early Roman road following an alignment directly from Bootham Bar, the medieval gate on the site of the north east gate of the York's Legionary Fortress, towards Easingwold and  Thirsk.. The results found no trace of such a road, although a road of unknown date running parallel to Bootham was discovered.

The training days saw the foundation of our first team which at the time of writing is ten strong. Their current focus isan examination of the routes of Roman penetration north into the territory of the Brigantes and Parisi in the 60s and 70s AD, with over 50 Ha of survey already carried out (May 2019) at seven sites.

We have an open access policy of making as much of our work freely available to all, and where possible the final reports on the team’s work will be made available here from spring 2020 onwards. In a few cases, however, we will be unable to publish locations in order to avoid the risk of attracting nighthawks (illegal metal-detectorists) . This despicable practice is not treasure-hunting as it is often portrayed in the media, but theft, criminal damage, and worse. The irreparable damage caused to archaeological sites by illegal metal detecting can be immense,  and the objects removed represent not only theft from the landowner, but are the wanton plundering of our nation’s heritage - your heritage.