You take the high road!

·2-min read
QUEST: Eleanor Kingston, LDNPA
QUEST: Eleanor Kingston, LDNPA

PEOPLE are invited to join a mission to discover the secrets of England’s highest Roman road, High Street on Bampton Common on the eastern Lake District fells.

The 2,000 year old road linked Roman forts at Penrith, to the north, and Ambleside, to the south explains Eleanor Kingston from the Lake District National Park Authority who is leading the work.

It is part of a three-year, £3 million project, Our Upland Commons, helping to secure the future of upland commons in England, led by the Foundation for Common Land. And made possible by grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Esmée Fairbairn and Garfield Weston Foundations and local funders.

“Roman roads were the arteries of the empire, connecting communities, cities, provinces and forts,” says Eleanor.

“More than 3,000 kilometres of roads were constructed, and today it is still possible to walk some of these roads including High Street.

“Seventeen kilometres of the route in the Lake District National Park is scheduled, designated as a nationally significant site, with five kilometres crossing Bampton Common. Reaching elevations of around 820 metres (2,690ft) – it’s the highest Roman road in England. So it’s very important.

“More information about the route, updating that which was recorded in the scheduling of it in the 1970s, would help with its care, including preventing damage to it,” continues Eleanor.

“We hope volunteers will help with surveys, research, excavation and interpretation, under the direction of professional archaeologists. The work, which will take place between Monday 8 and Sunday 21 August, should answer questions like - where did the road goand how was it built? Plus, did the Romans build a formal route or use an older prehistoric trackway?”

Anyone interested in finding the answers and taking part is invited to an Introductory Session at Bampton Grange Church Hall on Saturday, June25 between 10am and noon. Those who can’t make the event, but who would like to find out more, and can email Eleanor at archaeology@lakedistrict.gov.uk

More details about ‘Our Common Cause: Our Upland Commons’ project, can be found here: https://foundationforcommonland.org.uk/our-upland-commons

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