Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Monday, 9 September 2013

Roman roads in the Hyde area

I have been interested for many years now in trying to see if there is any evidence of roman roads passing through the Hyde area. The nearest certain Roman camps or stations are situated in Castleshaw Manchester (Mamucium) and Melandra Castle, Glossop (Ardotalia). Stockport is also possible, but despite strong local tradition, there is little evidence of a Roman site.

A few Roman coins have been found on the banks of the Mersey many years ago, other Roman coins cropped up east of Bredbury railway station in the 1930's and also a coin found in Hyde in 1905.

The first possibility is a road from Stockport crossing an old ford on the Mersey near the market place, this continuing through Bredbury into Hyde as Stockport Road. This road then possibly continues along Mottram Old Road to Melandra Castle in Glossop. (See maps )

A Roman road from Melandra castle to the Cheshire area has been said to cross Werneth Low at some point, whether it's the same road as above or a different one is debatable.

The third possibility is the road from Castleshaw in Manchester to Melandra castle in Glossop. If a straight line is drawn between the two it passes straight through the centre of Hyde and Godley.

The Roman road builders would always try and build their roads as straight as possible, but obviously due to geographical conditions , it was not always possible, so some deviations are inevitable. Even so this road must have passed through Hyde at some place.

I have checked the internet, but unfortunately it does not come up with anything definite, only vague references.

Middletons's History of Hyde says the following:-

The main road, which ran from Chester to York by way of Manchester, was joined by crossways which connected the forts at Manchester with those at Stockport, Melandra and Brough in the Vale of Hope. The road from Stockport passed over Werneth low to Melandra thence under the base of Buckton Hill through Saddleworth, when it joined the main road from Manchester to York.

It would be nice to try and locate the Castleshaw to Melandra road, as it appears as far as I can see, without contacting local archeologists , that we seem to have been missed out. Admittedly due to all the modern roads and buildings, it may be impossible now to locate them, somebody may have some knowledge of possible locations. If anyone has any info or suspicions please let us know.


Tom said...

Thank's for this post Paul, I will be watching this with interest.

Marjorie said...

Roman artifacts have been found at the archeological dig in Mellor, and on the route from there to Melandra.

Martin Taylor said...

When walking along the lane from the Rising Moon towards Stalybridge, you turn right onto a very straight section of (what was 30 years ago) cobbled road. My grandmother told me it was a bit of a Roman road. I don't know where she got her information from, but she wasn't prone to making things up.

Anonymous said...

the roman road runs along the hill at the back of the rising moon pub. I remember that you could see the ditches and cobbles as you walked along. manchester university had a dig up on the farmers fields behind it in the 70's, and identified it as a roman encampment. the findings are with the greater manchester archaeology unit. hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Im here cos my missus ex said he woke up in the night once to see a roman soldier standing over him. I live in Newton just down from the rising moon near Dukinfield golf course.

Lolo B said...

My Godmother's brother, Alan Richardson, published a book in 2004 called The Romans in the Manchester Area. I have a copy but you can sometimes find it for sale on Ebay or source a copy in some local libraries.
He covers the Castleshaw to Melandra roman road, along with other roads & features such as the Nico/Mickle Ditch. Thought you may find this useful. Lorraine B

Lolo B said...

My Godmother's brother, Alan Richardson, published a book called The Romans in the Manchester Area in 2004. I have a copy but you may be able to buy a copy on ebay or try the local libraries.He covers the Castleshaw to Melandra route along with other roads & features such as Nico/Mickle Ditch.You may find this useful.

Gareth said...

Nice information about Hyde's possible Roman conncetions. I had my Y-DNA taken and it came back as Haplogroup J2 which is a Haplogroup most common in the Middle East/Mediteranean and I was a bit puzzled. My dad has lived in Hyde all his life and so has our paternal ancestors going a long way back. Possible Roman connection? from what I've been told Haplogroup J2 is a Roman marker for males in the UK, interestingly the Roman Empire map is almost exactly similar to Haplogroup J2 distribution map. Hyde isn't far from Melandra Roman fort either.