SK 490 667 Green Lane indicates the course of a possible Roman Road. Excavations were carried out by Derwent Archaeological Society, led by H C Lane, in 1968. (1) [These excavations are presumably unpublished and Harry Lane does not refer to them in his description of the road in 1973 - see source 4 below]
Mr Kay in 1962 refers to 'the route from Skegby via Scarcliffe and Clowne northwards' as one of the 'lesser known routes used by the Romans'. (2)
As early as 1828 it was suggested that there was a Roman road running from Skegby, Notts to Strafford Sands, Mexborough, in Yorkshire through north-east Derbyshire. More recently, it was observed that the field name 'Street Close' occurs in the parishes of Ault Hucknall, Pleasley, Scarcliffe and Elmton in Derbyshire, as well as in Harthill and Thorpe Salvin in Yorkshire. There are also many charters and deeds from the medieval period for Glapwell, Pleasley, Scarcliffe and Palterton which refer to 'streets' in this area, one of which was called the 'Nottingham Street'. It also appears that Longhedge Lane was being called 'street' in the medieval period. (3)
There is evidence for the course of a Roman road running from Skegby (Nottinghamshire) via Scarcliffe, Elmton and on to Mexborough (Yorkshire). An almost straight length of boundary, Longhedge Lane, separating the parishes of Ault Hucknall and Pleasley, runs for one mile from the River Meden crossing northwards as far as the A617. Along the route, the field name of Street Close occurs seven times in the parish of Ault Hucknall and eight times in Pleasley parish. After crossing the A617 the line of Longhedge Lane is taken northwards by Green Lane and this straight lane is the parish boundary between Glapwell and Pleasley as far as Losk corner. From here the A618 would mark the course of the road and at Scarcliffe the name Street Close is found directly in its path. At SK 490 733, a re-alignment point on a spur of the 500ft contour, the road veers to the north east. As Hollinhill Lane it continues on this line for the next 2 miles until crossed by the A616; it then becomes known as Gapsick Lane, later continuing as Gipsyhill Lane. At its northern end this lane has been joined to Bondhay Lane by a modern length of road. It is considered that the original route would continue due north to cross the Bondhay dyke at the county boundary. The road would then be directly aligned to Packman Lane. (4)
Topographical and place-name evidence suggests that a Roman road followed almost a straight course from just north of the Trent to the Don and beyond. It enters Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire along Longhedge Lane, which continues as the boundary between Ault Hucknall and Pleasley parishes and between Glapwell and Pleasley parishes to meet the B6417 at SK 489 666. The B6417 continues through Scarcliffe parish. There is place-name evidence of a Street Close in Ault Hucknall, Pleasley and Scarcliffe parishes. The road continues across Bolsover Moor; a field along the east side of the B6417 was Street Close ('streteyate' in 1605). The road diverges from the B6417 to follow the Elmton parish boundary and then continues through Whitwell parish as Gapsick Lane and Gipsyhill Lane to meet the county boundary at Bondhay Dyke. In South Yorkshire it continues as Packman Lane. Hunter, in 1828, noted 'This is an antient road, now known by the name of Packman's lane, but in an old terrier it is described as "an old roman way, now called the Street". A few houses which stand upon it where it enters the county are called Street-houses.' (5)
At SK 49556382 the Roman road runs for c.60m beneath pasture adjoining Longhedge Lane. The site was located by L. Cooper at the highest point in the area. There are medieval references hereabouts to 'The Great Way'. (6)
Excavation in a field adjacent to a diverted section of Longhedge Lane uncovered features identified as the remains of the original course of the road, which followed the parish boundary. The road had a maximum width of 5m (16ft) and had a ditch cut into the bedrock on the east side. No trace of a metalled surface was found; however the bedrock is very close to the surface at this point and had been modified to create a distinct camber. A few flints, possibly Neolithic, (SMR 203) were found on the road surface. (7)
Article in serial: Fullelove P and Hornshaw S P. 1976. 'The Limestone Route At Pleasley - An Interim Report', Derbyshire Miscellany. Vol 7, pp 209-213.
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Centred SK 48890 69429 (2329m by 15922m)
AULT HUCKNALL, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
CLOWNE, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
ELMTON, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
GLAPWELL, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
OLD BOLSOVER, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
PLEASLEY, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
SCARCLIFFE, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
WHITWELL, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 3 2018 1:26PM
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