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Stane Street - Colchester to Braintree

Margary Number: 32

Distance: 14.75 miles

Essex has its own Stane Street. This one runs from Colchester via Braintree and Great Dunmow to Braughing in Herfordshire. As this is the main route in and out of Colchester it would appear to be the earliest road to Colchester. There was a minor Roman settlement at Coggeshall.

 

 

 

Historic Counties: Essex

Current Counties: Essex

HER: Essex

 

location

mini map


Lidar Image - Full Route

The first alignment was on Coggeshall, or just past it, where it makes a turn for the cross roads and settlement in Braintree.

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full route

Colchester - Balkerne Gate

Obviously meant to impress.The gateway originally had four arches, 2 for the main road and 2 separate arched footways on either side. The surviving gateway which we can see today is the south-side arched footway; however, the remains of a guard tower are also visible. The gate consisted of two broad carriageways, each 17 ft (5.2 m) wide, flanked by two footways, each about 6 ft (1.8 m) wide. The whole gate projects 30 ft (9.1 m) in front of the town wall, and the total extent of the frontage is 107 ft (33 m).

Reconstruction drawing of the Balkerne Gate

Creative Commons Image: a 1st-century Roman gateway in Camulodunum, it is the largest surviving gateway in Roman Britain, Colchester, Great Britain (22915487469).jpg" by Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

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blakerne-gate

Lidar Image and Route Map 1

This is the common route as far as Marks Tey. The initial route at the Colchester end was probably twinned as far as Lexden.

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map1

Oblique 3D Lidar Image - Marks Tey

At Marks Tey is the important junction for Chelmsford to the left and Braintree straight on. This arrangement would seem to implay that the Braintree road was the earlier.

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3d lidar

Lidar Image and Route Map 2

From Marks Tey the alignment continues to just beyond Coggeshall.

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map2

Coggeshall - West Street

Our road runs through the centre of Coggeshall and out via West Street. There was a small Roman settlement at Coggeshall. The Cottage date is 1560.

Image: Google

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west street

Lidar Image and Route Map 3

A final slight change of alignment around Ballaglas Cottage.

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map3

Oblique 3D Lidar Iamge - Braintree

Braintree was an important Roman crossroads and settlement.

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braintree lidar

Coggeshall Street - Braintree

The Roman road enters Braintree via Coggeshall Street. Today the route ahead is blocked but the Roman line went straight on here.

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coggeshall street

Braintree Historic Town Map (Roman Period)

The Roman period plan from the Essex Historic Towns Survey overlaid on a modern map. The cemetery location is a little odd - they were almost invariably located alongside roads.

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braintree

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Last update: July 2020

© David Ratledge