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This road was first identified from aerial photographs during the Bolesford Project, run by the RCHME, to examine the lost centre of the Wapentake of Bolesford, immediately north of York. Bolesford later became the wapentake of Bulmer before the late 12th century (Page, 1923). Its existence is not generally known, and it does not appear on any mapping previous to this Gazetteer. It seems quite likely that this is the same road revealed by excavation in 1975 at no. 33 Huntington Road, York, by the York Excavation Group (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1975 p5), which was claimed to be leading from the porta decumana of the Roman fortress. This road was found to be unusually wide at 9m, having been later widened to 15.5m, suggesting that it had some major importance. If we assume that they are one and the same, then it must have crossed the R.Foss before heading north through Hungtington, Earswick and Strensall along a course approximating to the modern Strensall Road.
It seems to have eventually re-crossed the R. Foss just upstream of the current “New Bridge” at Strensall. Re-examination of the aerial photographs by the RCHME: Vale of York NMP project (currently unpublished) revealed a previously unrecognised length of parallel ditches between SE 62896128 and SE 62846106 to the north of this probably crossing. The probable course then crosses Pottery Lane near Park House Farm and reappears on aerial photographs at SE 63196221 and can be followed to SE 63606340. (See Fig. 1). There appears to be a slight change in alignment when it crossed the Shellik Sike Beck at SE 6375 6378, reappearing a little further north, between SE 63716421 - SE 63736397, as a pale soilmark which could indicate some surviving road structure.
Whilst the destination of this road cannot be stated with any certainty, it does appear to be on a direct course to Hovingham. Whilst there is no known permanent military site, although there is a temporary camp just to the east at Wath, there is speculation that the known Roman site in the grounds of Hovingham Hall, previously identified as a villa, may be something more substantial (Lyall 2017). If it can be proven that the recently discovered road north of the R. Ure at Aldborough heads there, and that the often questioned RR814 does exist and heads there also, then it would appear that there is a site at Hovingham considered important enough to have roads leading from Aldborough, York and Malton, the three most important Roman centres in Yorkshire.
Codrington, Thomas (1903); Roman Roads in Britain, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London
Drake, Francis (1736); Eboracum: or the History and Antiquities of the City of York, London.Kitson-Clark, Mary (1935); Roman Roads in East Yorkshire in Roman Malton & District Report No. 5
Newton, Sir Charles (1847); Map of British and Roman Yorkshire, Archaeological Institute of Great Britan and Ireland, London
Macmahon, K.A. (1964), Roads and Turnpike Trusts in Eastern Yorkshire, East Yorkshire Local History Society, York