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Buglass, J. , Phillips, J, Wilson P.R. ,(Forthcoming) Report on the Excavations at Brooklyn, Norton.,

Corder, Philip & Kirk, John (1928); Roman Malton: A Yorkshire Fortress and its Neighbourhood; Antiquity, vol. 2, 1928

Kitson Clark, Mary (Ed.) (1934); Roman Yorkshire, 1933; Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. 31, part 124, pp. 382 - 387; YAS, Leeds

Kitson Clark, Mary (1935); Roman Roads in East Yorkshire in Roman Malton & District Report No. 5

Kitson Clark, Mary (Ed.) (1936); Roman Yorkshire, 1935; Yorkshire Archaeological journal, Vol. 32, part 128, pp. 459 - 467; YAS, Leeds

Margary, Ivan D. (1973); Roman Roads in Britain, John Baker, London

Robinson, J. F. (1978); The Archaeology of Malton and Norton; Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds



North Riding of Yorkshire

This road is usually omitted from modern maps of Roman remains in Yorkshire but there are actually very good grounds for regarding it as genuine, at least in part.

In the early 1930s, Dr John Kirk investigated an old course of the road leading west out of Malton, known as Braygate (Kitson Clarke 1936, p.463). His work focused on a length of causeway near Easthorpe House (now Easthorpe Hall), where seven trenches were excavated in the field immediately north east of the House.. The best preserved remains were in a trench 30ft (9m) from the eastern edge of the field and  revealed a road 21ft 6 ins wide (6.5m), with the road metalliung laid on a layer of sandstone rubble. There were rock-cut ditches on either side approx. 5ft wide (1.5m) and between 2ft 6ins and 3ft deep (0.75m - 0.9m). In the filling of the south ditch, part of the rim of a grey-ware jar was found and in one of the other trenches part of a bronze “pin” was discovered. It certainly sounds like a Roman road.

A second site was also excavated, about half a mile to the west between Hepton Hill and Head Hag, just on the south side of the modern road, in an area now covered in trees, although the road here was narrower at just 16ft (5m). There were no ditches, and the metalling of limestone pebbles was only 6ins deep laid directly on the natural surface - not at all like typical Roman construction. The area was apparently much disturbed by later trackways and, whilst the excavators did interpret this feature as Roman, the extrapolated line from the Easthorpe House  site actually places the Roman road beneath the modern road, so it seems likely that what was uncovered was from a different period. It is not possible to know whether that would be pre or post Roman.

Two years previously, Corder & Kirk had excavated a raised linear feature near Brandrith Farm, just to the west of Castle Howard (Kitson Clark 1934 pp. 382-3) at about SE695696 west of the road to Ganthorpe, heading south west towards Stittenham, although the exact location is hard to determine. The feature is often mistakenly described as running along a parish boundary which has caused much confusion since cannot be correct as the boundary actually runs north - south, almost perpendicular to the road excavated. A road was revealed which had been robbed out on the north west side, with about 12ft of metalling surviving, with a rock cut ditch. After excavating at Easthorpe House two years later, the excavators interpreted the two sites as sufficiently similar in construction to be part of the same road. In a sense, that conclusion is understandable but it is extremely difficult to link the two parts together into a sensible Roman type layout. They should probably be treated as different roads, with the one west of Castle Howard  being possibly a branch from RR815, perhaps to a  currently unidentified villa.

The line of the road, the precursor to Braygate, aligns perfectly with Malton fort, and could lead directly from the west gate. Alternatively, it could possibly be the road that Corder and Kirk said lay beneath Yorkersgate, which they claimed was itself a branch from the Roman road beneath Castlegate leading from the south gate , although their report gives no source for their information (Corder & Kirk, 1928). which they contended was the southern part of the road to Hovingham, RR814. Both the Castlegate and Yorkersgate roads are said to consist of limestone blocks set in cement, similar to construction of RR81a in Norton excavated in 2017 (Buglass, Phillips & Wilson, forthcoming) and claimed from at least two other sites in Norton in the 19th century (Robinson, 1978) .

As to where the road could be heading, that is more problematic. Projecting its alignment westwards, it actually follows a very well chosen route along easy ground between some more undulating and difficult terrain, until reaching Dalby Bush Beck, just west of Terrington. From here, there appear to be two possibilities; either it turned west north west towards Grimston Grange, Coxwold, and then joined RR80a near Thirsk or, perhaps more probably, it could have turned slightly very south of west towards the Roman town and Civitas capital of the Brigantes at Aldborough (Isurium Brigantum). The recently discovered length of road on the north east bank of the R. Ure at Aldborough (Millett & Ferriby 2015), apparently heading to a crossing of the R. Swale at Helperby could potentially be part of the same road.

RRRA Forum for RR815


Margary's Roman Roads in Britain, road 815

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Historic Environment Records, HE Pastscape and other records

Malton Roman Fort & Vicus

Entry prepared by Mike Haken.  Last updated, 21 December 2017

3.7 miles identified, total distance not known