ESK VALLEY RAILWAY Line North Yorkshire HELMSLEY & RIEVAULX ABBEY, COXWOLD & KIRKBYMOORSIDE Scenes & Notes NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY SCENES Farndale, Hutton-le-Hole, Lastingham, Rosedale & Bransdale Scenes & Notes YORKSHIRE WOLDS scenes & notes Archaeological features on North York Moors NORTHUMBRIA, Co. DURHAM and NEWCASTLE Scenes and Notes
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HOMEPAGE Whitby Scenes

HOMEPAGE for all of Phil and Molly's Pics17. An ~8 miles/12 km circular walk from Goathland - Mallyan Spout - Wheeldale Moor - Roman Road (Wade's Causeway - Beckhole - The Incline - Goathland

Scenes of Whitby and surrounding area including Pictures of Goathland

You walk through some most pleasant countryside down into the valley of Wheeldale Beck starting from by the side of the Mallyan spout Hotel.

You walk through some most pleasant countryside down into the valley of Wheeldale Beck starting from by the side of the Mallyan spout Hotel in Goathland village.

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

Mallyan Spot Walk from Goathland

The path goes down by the Mallyan Spot Coffee shop, by the side of the Mallyan Spout Hotel

Mallyan Spot Walk from Goathland The path is a bit of a rocky-muddy scramble in places, so take care!

The path is a bit steep and a rocky-muddy scramble in places, so take care!

 

Eventually Mallyan Spout is reached.

Eventually Mallyan Spout is reached.

 

You follow the river bank of Wheeldale Beck climbing gently upwards.

You follow the river bank of Wheeldale Beck climbing gently upwards ...

 

Hunt House (1900).

... to Hunt House (dated 1900).

 

Near Wheeldale Lodge (once a YHA youth hostel), what remains alive of this old Scots pine is growing down wind!

Near Wheeldale Lodge (once a YHA youth hostel), what remains alive of this old Scots pine is growing down wind!

Wheeldale Beck is crossed by stepping stones, whose orange-brown colouration betrays the iron in the stones. Wheeldale Beck is crossed by stepping stones, whose orange-brown colouration betrays the iron in the stones.

Wheeldale Beck is crossed by stepping stones, whose orange-brown colouration betrays the iron in the stones. Wheeldale Lodge is on the distant right of the picture.

 

After the stepping stones you climb up onto Wheeldale Moor.

After the stepping stones you climb up onto Wheeldale Moor.

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Eventually the Roman Road is reached. You can see the camber clearly on this stretch of the road.

Eventually the Roman Road is reached. You can see the camber clearly on this stretch of the road.

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

The original curb stones can be seen quite clearly as a neat line on the left of the road.

The original curb stones can be seen quite clearly as a neat line on the left of the road.

On Wheeldale Moor the Roman Road heads downhill to the junction of two river-streams.

On Wheeldale Moor the Roman Road heads downhill to the junction of two river-streams.

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

Roman Road walk Wheeldale Moor

 

 

 

But, before reaching the footbridge and ford, the Roman way seems to continue as a discarded traditional North Yorkshire red roofing tiles road!

But, before reaching the footbridge and ford, the Roman way seems to continue as a discarded traditional North Yorkshire red roofing tiles road!

 

Did the Roman Road cross the river at this ford?

Did the Roman Road cross the river at this ford?

 

Climbing up from the river you go up a very sunken 'green' road-track, with a very medieval feel to it.

Climbing up from the river you go up a very sunken 'green' road-track, with a very 'medieval' feel to it.

 

There are many handsome farmhouse buildings on the walk, here Hazel Head Farm (1908)

Hazel Head Farm (1908)

There are many handsome farmhouse buildings with fine stonework on the walk, here Hazel Head Farm (1908) ...

 

... and Hollin farmhouse with the village of Goathland in the distance.

... and Hollin farmhouse with the village of Goathland in the distance.

 

After more woodland and another river crossing you deviate from the incline track to Goathland for a some welcome refreshment at Beck Hole.

After more woodland and another river crossing you deviate from the incline track to Goathland for a some welcome refreshment at Beck Hole.

 

While partaking of refreshment you will hear the sounds of the locomotives of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

While partaking of refreshment you will hear the sounds of the locomotives of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and just up the road is a bridge from which they can be observed. In this case (for steam buffs only!), Southern Railway Schools Class 4-4-0 30926 "Repton" is working hard to overcome the gradient to Goathland Station.

 

From Incline Cottage you then walk up the path of the original railway incline from the early 19th century ...

From Incline Cottage you then walk up the path of the original railway incline from the early 19th century ...

 

... and eventually you climb back up incline into Goathland Village.

... and eventually you climb back up incline into Goathland Village.

 


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Alternative route back to Goathland

walking on Wheeldale Moor

You can descend of Wheeldale Moor and return to Goathland passed the house that was once a YHA youth hostel.

 

walking on Wheeldale Moor

Crossing the iron-stained Wheeldale Beck

 

walking on Wheeldale Moor Ex YHA Youth Hostel, now a private house.

 

walking on Wheeldale Moor walking on Wheeldale Moor

Just before Goathland the path passes an prehistoric standing stone, its not very big, but it is very ancient.

megalith - prehistoric standing stone near Goathland

 

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Birch Hall Inn in the tiny village of Beck Hole near Goathland

The old incline near Beck Hole

The North Yorkshire Moors steam railway, train approaching the road bridge above Beck Hole

The Birch Hall Inn cum 'cafe' in the tiny village of Beck Hole near Goathland on the North York Moors, North Yorkshire. A welcome 'watering hole' for many walking tourists, especially if you have just climbed up the 'old incline' of the original Grosmont-Goathland railway. You can hear the sounds of the steam trains on the 'modern' line of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which is just up the road and links up Whitby-Pickering.


More on the Roman Road on Wheeldale Moor - Wade's Causeway (from Wikipedia)

Wade's Causeway is a sinuous, linear monument up to 6,000 years old in the North York Moors national park in North Yorkshire, England. The name may refer to either scheduled ancient monument number 1004876—a length of stone course just over 1 mile (1.6 km) long on Wheeldale Moor, or to a postulated extension of this structure, incorporating ancient monuments numbers 1004108 and 1004104 extending to the north and south for up to 25 miles (40 km). The visible course on Wheeldale Moor consists of an embankment of soil, peat, gravel and loose pebbles 0.7 metres (2.3 ft) in height and 4 to 7 metres (13 to 23 ft) in width. The gently cambered embankment is capped with unmortared and loosely abutted flagstones. Its original form is uncertain since it has been subjected to weathering and human damage.

The structure has been the subject of folklore in the surrounding area for several hundred years and possibly more than a millennium. Its construction was commonly attributed to a giant known as Wade, a figure from Germanic or Norse mythology. In the 1720s the causeway was mentioned in a published text and became known outside the local area. Within a few years it became of interest to antiquarians who visited the site and exchanged commentary on its probable historicity. They interpreted the structure as a causeway across marshy ground, attributing its construction to the Roman military, an explanation largely unchallenged throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The stretch of causeway on Wheeldale Moor was cleared of vegetation and excavated in the early twentieth century by a local gamekeeper with an interest in archaeology. Historian Ivan Margary agreed with its identification as a Roman road, and assigned it the catalogue number 81b in the first edition of his Roman Roads In Britain (1957). The causeway was further excavated and studied by archaeologist Raymond Hayes in the 1950s and 1960s, partly funded by the Council for British Archaeology. The results of his investigation, which concluded that the structure was a Roman road, were published in 1964 by the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society.

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, its identification as a Roman road has been questioned by academics, and alternative interpretations suggested for its purpose and date of construction. The monument's co-manager, English Heritage, in 2012 proposed several avenues of research that might be used to settle some of the questions that have arisen regarding its origins and usage.
 

The area through which the Wheeldale structure runs is predominantly uncultivated heather moorland. Hayes believes its appearance has remained fundamentally unchanged since the Bronze Age when its forest cover was removed to permit cultivation and grazing. Wheeldale Moor is poorly drained in places making it susceptible to flooding in both the ancient and modern eras. The underlying geology consists of patches of sand and gravel on top of mixed sandstone and oolitic limestone, known as Ravenscar Group strata.

Construction - Cross-sectional diagram of the Skivick section of Wade's Causeway, based on description given in Young (1817) and Hayes and Rutter (1964)
Cross-sectional diagram of Wade's Causeway, based on description given in Young (1817) and Hayes and Rutter (1964) The causeway's visible section on Wheeldale Moor shows the remains of a continuous surface metalled with closely fitted slabs of sandstone[4] with flat upper surfaces. The average size of a slab is 45 centimetres (18 in) square, but some examples are 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in breadth. The purpose of a central ridge along one section of the causeway, described in two independent excavations, is unknown.[6] The stone flags are seated on a cambered base of mixed gravel, clay[13] and either rubble, peat or soil, that forms a raised embankment. The embankment is from 3.6 to 7 metres (12 to 23 ft) wide[6] at its raised surface. Its width in some sections is increased by 1 metre (3.3 ft) of ditch to either side, which may or may not be associated with its original construction, making an approximately uniform total width of 5 to 8 metres (16 to 26 ft). Its height above surrounding soil level is approximately 0.4 metres (1.3 ft).

Hayes and Rutter state that the primary purpose of such an embankment would have been to provide good drainage for a road surface.[2] Archaeologist David E Johnston states that the structure is crossed by numerous perpendicular drainage culverts with small becks trickling through them since the ground is often boggy.[15] This could suggest a reason for the embankment, and its early attribution as a causeway—a route across wetland,[16] normally supported on earth or stone in the form of a raised embankment. Nineteenth-century antiquarian Thomas Codrington argued that Roman roads in Britain were generally built on embankments regardless of the underlying ground's drainage. He states that the common appellation of "causeway" in the names of Roman roads may, therefore, relate to their embankments rather than indicate that the ground on which they were constructed was ill-drained. Some historians translate Livy's phrase for Roman military construction of roads, via munire, as "making a causeway".

Johnston, historian Nikolaus Pevsner and landscape historian Richard Muir all agree that an original gravel surface dressing was once present on top of the stone of the Wheeldale structure. Whereas Johnston and Pevsner believe that the gravel was washed away through weathering,[8] Muir states that human agents were primarily responsible for its removal. Both agree that the stonework remaining does not represent the original road surface. Statements by the eighteenth-century antiquary Francis Drake and nineteenth-century topographer Samuel Lewis that the writers found it to be "paved with a flint pebble" may support this theory,[9] although Hayes and Rutter cast doubt on the accuracy of Drake's reports. Codrington states that in 1817 the causeway consisted of a "strong pavement of stones ... [with] above these another stratum of gravel ...", Hayes and Rutter state that "traces of a surface layer of gravel and small stones" remained visible in the 1960s, and professor of structural engineering John Knapton states that there remained some evidence of smaller surface-dressing pebbles as late as 1996. Codrington and archaeologist Frank Elgee consider the structure was flanked in a few sections by lateral parallel ditches but Hayes is doubtful whether they were part of the original construction or if they even existed.

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The structure is believed by several writers to extend far beyond its visible portion, but no significant sections of its conjectured course remain visible to the naked eye or have been excavated or extensively surveyed, and there is little agreement on an exact course that an extension may have taken. The total original length of the structure is therefore unknown, but may have been up to 25 miles (40 km).

Early records of the causeway's course to the north—when its remains were apparently more readily visible than today—differ considerably from one another: the early geologist and natural historian George Young, who wrote in relation to the causeway in his History of Whitby, makes no clear mention of the route of the structure north of Wheeldale Moor; it is unmarked on the 1854 Ordnance Survey map of the area; and eighteenth-century historian Thomas Hinderwell's mention of it passing near Hunt House suggests a greatly differing route to that marked on 2012 Ordnance Survey mapping. At least one source states that a "conjectural" continuation to the north is visible in vertical aerial photography. Hayes reports that in his survey in the 1950s, he found "trace of the embankment" in one short section and "a patch of the metalling" in four additional sections along a route past Hazle Head and Julian Park.

Beyond Julian Park, it has been conjectured that the structure originally continued to the Roman garrison fort at Lease Rigg, south west of Sleights, based on reports from antiquarians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that fragments were visible at numerous points along this course. Hayes and Rutter appear confident of the structure's extent as far as Lease Rigg, but admit that its extent is conjectural from well short of that point, from Dowson Garth Quarry northwards.[33]

Numerous authors have conjectured that the structure was a road that continued past Lease Rigg all the way to Roman coastal fortifications or signal stations somewhere near Whitby, but this is debated. Drake reports in 1736 that an associate had followed its course from Wheeldale Moor to the coast at Dunsley Bay, but Codrington is dismissive of his account, and whether the author meant to imply that a visible structure had been followed, or simply that the associate had followed a proposed route without encountering it, is unclear. In either case, the author did not verify sight of the structure along this course himself. Several sources after 1805 report the same endpoint for the road but it is unclear whether they are echoing Drake or had visited the site themselves. Several authorities state that any termini beyond Lease Rigg are "doubtful" and "unproven", and Elgee states that the causeway's northern course "is obscure and its termination unknown". Hayes and Rutter in 1964 found no evidence for a continuation of the structure any further north than Lease Rigg. Other authorities argue for possible courses extending northwards to Goldsborough, Guisborough, or Sandsend Bay.

It has also been suggested that the structure originally extended southwards from Wheeldale Moor to link up to the Roman Cawthorne Camp (sometimes spelled 'Cawthorn'). In the twentieth century English Heritage identified two sections of ground on Flamborough Rigg and Pickering Moor as extensions of the Wheeldale structure. Hayes states that the Flamborough Rigg section remained "clearly visible" as late as 1961, and that additional sections near Keys Beck were visible in aerial photography from 1946. The accounts of Hinderwell, Young, and Hayes & Rutter, as well as the 1854 and 2012 Ordnance Survey maps, appear to corroborate the stated course of the structure along this section.

There is further conjecture that the original structure's course may have gone beyond Cawthorne Camp to the Roman settlement of Derventio Brigantum (possibly either Stamford Bridge[19] or modern-day Amotherby near Malton). Any postulated extension further south than Cawthorn is contested. Hinderwell reports in 1811 that the late Robert King had found evidence of a continuation of the causeway between "Newsom-bridge" and Broughton (a former township located near Appleton-le-Street). Hayes and Rutter failed to find any trace of the causeway south of Cawthorn along a route via Amotherby, Barugh or Newsham in their survey in the 1950s, and note that its course could not be determined as early as 1726.

Beyond Malton, there is a postulated stretch of Roman road leading towards York, which it is possible may be an extension of the causeway. Evidence for it is very slim: it is mentioned by Drake in 1736, but Codrington could find no trace of it in 1903, and writes that there is "some uncertainty as to the connexion". Archaeologists Philip Corder and John Kirk reported a possible section of Roman road at Brandrith Farm (grid reference SE 698692) in 1928, but it is unknown whether this relates to the same structure as Drake observed, or has any association with the Wheeldale structure.

Historian Hector Munro Chadwick states that historical explanations for ancient structures would have been known to educated clergymen from the seventh century, but that structures were generally named by less educated people, often after mythological characters. Oral folklore in the North York Moors area from the Early Middle Ages has not generally survived into the modern era, but social historian Adam Fox states that the attribution of the causeway to Wade existed in oral folklore dating from at least as early as the Renaissance era. The folklore held that the causeway was built by a giant called Wade[6] for his wife to take her cow to either market or pasture. In 1890, historian Thomas Bulmer records that Wade is represented as having been of gigantic stature ... His wife ... was also of enormous size, and, according to the legend, carried in her apron the stones with which her husband made the causeway that still bears his name.
The legend of Wade and his wife are reflected in alternative names for the structure that include "Old Wife's Trod", "Auld Wife's Trod" and "Wade's Wife's Causey". The folklore of Wade was still common locally in the early nineteenth century. There is some confusion as to whether the name Bel or Bell relates to Wade's wife, or to his cow. Bulmer refers in 1890 to "[Wade's] wife, Bell" and Young also assigns the name to Wade's wife in 1817. Hayes (1964) accepts this attribution but antiquarian Hilda Ellis Davidson believes that the folkloric Bel refers to Wade's cow and reflects an earlier tradition of the "fairy" or bountiful cow.The earliest published source of the legend, from 1779, is ambiguous and refers to "Bell Wade's cow".

Etymological history of early names: Several of the earliest sources refer to the structure as "Wade's Causeway", "Wade's Causey", and "Wade's Wife's Causey". The word causeway derives from the earlier English causey way or simply causey. Causey derives from the Middle English cauci, which derives from the Anglo-French causee, itself derived from the Medieval Latin calciata ("paved highway"), which ultimately may derive from the Latin calx (meaning "heel"). The derivation from calx can most likely be explained by the practice in the Ancient Roman era of consolidating earthworks through trampling with the heel of the foot.

Origin of the name Wade: It is not known for certain who the causeway is named after, but the figure was at the latest pre-Renaissance, and the majority of sources agree that it has its origins in the medieval period or earlier. The name Wade appears as one of the most common surnames in a 1381 poll tax register from Suffolk, and philologist P H Reaney reports multiple instances of it from the 11th and 12th centuries. The names Wade or Wada were common in pre-medieval English history and historian William Searle records around a dozen historic Wades in his Onomasticon of early Anglo-Saxon names. The earliest figure from the region identified as Wade in extant writings is Duke Wada, a historical personage of Saxon descent who is recorded in 1083 as having been a prominent figure living in the Yorkshire area around 798. It is possible that this person was either named after—or has been conflated over time with one of several earlier, mythological figures known as Wade. Chadwick states that it is most probable that the causeway is named directly after a well-known mythological, rather than historical, Wada.

The earliest origins of tales relating to a mythological Wade are confused and diverse. Linguist George McKnight states that the epic of Wade, although becoming a "mass of tales ... of the most diverse origin imaginable", was one of only a few clear examples of an epic from the Early Middle Ages surviving into Middle English. Geoffrey Chaucer, writing in the fourteenth century, makes reference to early English legends of Wade but these no longer exist in their complete form. Walter Map, writing in the twelfth century, also mentions a Vandal prince Gado (thought to be a Latin form of Wade) in his fantastical lay De Nugus Curialium.

The Wades in these early English works likely relate to one or more earlier legendary figures known as Wade, or variations thereof, in Northern European folklore and legend. Various authors suggest links to: the giant Vađi, (also known as Witege, Vathe, Vidia, Widga, Vidga, Wadi or Vade) mentioned in the Norse Saga of Bern in the Ţiđrekssaga; the Danish hero Wate, also called Wada; the Anglo-Saxon deity Wōden (also Wōđanaz or Wōđinaz), who was historically referred to as "heaven's giant"; and the German figure Wa-te, a fierce sea-king similar to Neptune, who reigns in Sturmland in the 7th-century saga Kudrun. Nurse and Chadwick identify all the above figures as being later facets of a single legendary character present in an early, shared mythology of tribes living around the rim of the Baltic and North Seas. There are possible etymological links between Wade's causeway and other UK archaeological sites: Wade's Gap on Hadrian's Wall in Northumbria; the Wansdyke that runs between Wiltshire and Somerset; and Wat's Dyke in the Welsh borders: all three have pre-modern origins and the latter two have sections contested as Roman in part.

It is thought that Skivick or Skivik, the local name for the section of structure visible on Wheeldale Moor, could derive from two morphemes from Old Norse. The first syllable could derive from skeiđ, which could mean either a track or farm road through a field, or from a word used to describe a course or boundary.[ The second syllable could derive from vík, meaning a bay or a nook between hills. Scandinavian or Norse place-names are common in Yorkshire and Norse peoples settled in the Yorkshire area from 870 AD onwards following raiding over the previous seventy years.[69] Sawyer states that early Norse colonists had a profound effect on place-names in the areas in which they settled. Sedgefield states that the skeiđ derivation specifically in place-names within northern England points to Scandinavian settlement of the area, but that due to the inheritance of language across generations, a place-name containing skeiđ may in any individual case have been applied any time between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. Historian Mary Atkin states that skeiđ place-names appear near Roman sites frequently enough to suggest an associative link.

Theories on structure's origins and purpose: A wide variety of interpretations for the structure have led, in the absence of any hard evidence, to a broad range of proposed dates for its construction, from 4,500 BC to around 1485 AD. In archaeological excavations, no coins or other artefacts have been found on or around the structure to aid its dating, and no evidence has been gathered as of 2013 through radiometric surveys. This has led to great difficulty in establishing even an approximate date for the causeway's construction. Attempts to date the structure have therefore relied on less precise means including etymology,[55] the structure's probable relationship in the landscape to other structures of more precisely established date and function, and the comparison of the causeway's structure and fabrication to structures such as Roman roads.


One objection to identifying the road as Roman was that, based on readings of the Iter Britanniarum—the section of the 4th-century Itinerary of Antoninus that lists major Roman Roads and stations within Britain—there had never been any major Roman roads in the area. In 1817, Young attempted to address this problem by arguing that the course of one of the identified had been misinterpreted and ran between Malton and Dunsley, passing through Wheeldale.[96] Such an argument was possible because the Iter Britanniarum was not a map, but rather a list or itinerary of roads and their distance between various settlements. Roman names for settlements were used in the document and, since many of these named sites had not been conclusively matched to contemporary settlements, identification of exact routes listed in the Iter was often difficult. There were few other objections at the time to the causeway's identification as a Roman road and by the twentieth century the causeway was commonly being referred to as the "Wheeldale Roman Road", or "Goathland Roman Road".

There was also support for the identification of the structure as a Roman road on etymological grounds. The early twentieth-century literary scholar Raymond Chambers argued that the name "Wade's causeway" is an example of Angle and Saxon settlers arriving in Britain and assigning the name of one of their heroes to a pre-existing local feature or area: if his argument that the structure was given its current name sometime during the Saxon era—between approximately 410 and 1066 AD is accepted, then it must have been constructed prior to these dates. Atkin reaches a similar conclusion, arguing that the Norse morpheme skeiđ that is a partial root for Skivick, a local name for a section of the structure, is commonly found amongst Roman structures that are discernible by later Saxon or Viking settlers. Hayes and Rutter also identify the structure as a Roman road, but using a quite different etymological argument: they state that there is an absence among the names of settlements along the causeway of the Anglo-Saxon morphemes ceaster and stret and that, as per Codrington, these morphemes would be expected to be found in the names of several sites that lie alongside a former Roman road. They conclude that the absence of settlements with such names along the postulated extended course of Wade's Causeway indicates that the structure must already have been abandoned and of little significance by the Anglo-Saxon period (c. 400–600 AD), most likely by around 120 AD, and must therefore be of early Roman origin.

Several authorities who accepted the structure's interpretation as a Roman road attempted to make more precise estimates of the date of its construction by identifying periods of Roman military activity in the region, since the majority of Roman roads were of military construction. Historian Albert Norman, writing in 1960, states that the Wheeldale structure most probably dates from either the first or fourth century AD[89] but most sources appear to favour a first-century date: both historian Brian Hartley and Hayes & Rutter estimate around 80 AD; and Elgee estimates 86 AD. The earlier, first-century, estimates assume that the road is Roman and that Roman road-building in the region occurred around the time that Gnaeus Julius Agricola was the Roman governor of Britain. Agricola made a concerted effort to expand and consolidate Roman control over lands of the Brigantes tribes in the North York Moors area in the 80s AD[64] and is thought to have ordered the construction of nearby Lease Rigg fort. The fourth-century estimates, by contrast, assume that the tribes in the North York Moors area were either bypassed or subdued in the first century but that, being of little importance strategically, their lands were not subject to Roman occupation or construction until the fourth century. A second wave of Roman military activity appears to have occurred in the region during this later period in response to new military incursions and raiding by Saxons, Picti, Scoti and Attacotti. The east coast of the North York Moors area formed the northern flank of the Saxon Shore defences believed to have been constructed against this perceived threat.

The above explanations all place the causeway within a Roman military context. An alternative, or perhaps secondary, usage for the causeway in Roman times is suggested by landscape author Michael Dunn and others, who state that it may have been constructed for the transport of jet inland from Whitby.[67] Hayes and Rutter are dismissive, stating that the value of jet mined in the Roman period would not have justified the expense of the causeway's construction.[99]

A possible issue with the causeway's identification as a Roman structure in the latter half of the twentieth century was its incorporation of many small bends along its course. Roman military roads are usually straight in both their overall course, and also typically from one vantage point to the next. Both the Foss Way[102] and the Stanegate, roads of established Roman provenance, have sinuous courses similar to Wade's causeway, so the objection is not conclusive.

 

The use of dressed stone rather than gravel as a surface dressing was also occasionally held to be a sign against the causeway being of Roman construction: the majority of Roman roads that were finished with a material other than simple packed earth were dressed in either packed gravel or pebbles. There are other examples of Roman roads paved with stone blocks, including the 11 miles (18 km) section of the Via Appia—the oldest major Roman route in Italy—near Albano. Historians Richard A Gabriel and Michael Grant state that of the 400,000 kilometres (250,000 mi) of known Roman roads, over 80,000 kilometres (50,000 mi) may have been stone-paved. The Roman writer Ulpian specifically differentiates between via munita, which always had a paved stone surface, and via glareata, which were earthed roads with either gravelled surfaces, or a gravelled subsurface and paving on top. The causeway may well have had a gravel surface dressing originally, which has been removed since through robbing and natural weathering. Another difference in construction detail between Wade's Causeway and a typical Roman road is its lack of a foundation of large stones. Codrington and archaeologist John Ward stress that the structure of Roman roads varied greatly depending upon their situation and the materials available, especially within Britain.

For much of the twentieth century, the consensus remained that the road was most probably Roman. It was still referenced as an undoubted Roman road in a 1947 UK Government report and in 1957 Margary, the leading authority on Roman roads at the time, accepted the road as Roman and assigned it the catalogue number 81b in his list of Roman roads in Britain. In the late 1950s and early 1960s this was a definitive and unquestioned interpretation of the monument.[75] Several works in the 1980s and 1990s stated that Roman-era road construction was still the most probable explanation of the structure.


Whilst nineteenth- and to a lesser extent twentieth-century attitudes often suggested that any well-constructed pre-modern road surface must be Roman, late twentieth-century archaeologists were more open to evaluating the structure within the context of a wider span of historical periods. After an early allowance by Phillips in 1853 that the causeway could be British rather than Roman[109] there was little further investigation of such a possibility. In 1994, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England began a review of the date or origin for the Wheeldale causeway. Detailed air photography of the Cawthorn camps in 1999 site failed to find evidence of a road leading towards Wheeldale Moor from the camps to which it is historically related,[111] and the causeway does not obviously connect to the main Roman road network. Several writers around the turn of the millennium began to express doubt about the established narrative for the structure as a Roman road. Twenty-first century archaeologists then found several exemplars of other cambered, metalled roads that pre-date the Roman presence in Britain, and hence set precedence for the possibility of a pre-Roman origin for the Wheeldale causeway. Several sources from the mid-1990s onwards have suggested that the structure may be a pre-Roman (Iron Age) road of uncertain route or purpose.

Blood and Markham (1992) have proposed an interpretation of the structure as a post-Roman (medieval) road, possibly relating to the wool trade, although this is harder to reconcile chronologically with etymological explanations for the structure's naming. English Heritage state that it is "quite possible" that the causeway was used as a road during the medieval period despite being built much earlier. Similarly Hartley, whilst accepting the structure as a Roman military road, believes it is unlikely that the causeway immediately fell out of use once its military use ceased. Drake recorded that by 1736 the causeway was "not now made use of", but there is no historical record covering its possible use as a road during the medieval period.


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Whitby and Scarborough between the sea and the edge of the North York Moors, North Yorkshire Northern England * docspics photos images pictures photographs of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor © Phil Brown * Tourist information Top tourist attractions, self-catering holiday cottages, luxury hotels, B&B, hostels to suit all budgets, pubs, inns, dining out, coach tours, varied tourist attractions, cafes, restaurants, eating out, quality local food, historic towns, pretty villages, museums, weekend-breaks, museums, historic churches buildings, good places to stay for walking holidays, outstanding scenery in the area, friendly people, interesting walks, weekend-breaks docspics images photos of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor © Phil Brown Tourist information on Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, top tourist attractions near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor Things to do near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, What to see near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, Walks near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, weekend breaks near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor family holidays near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, Top tourist attractions near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, luxury hotels near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, self-catering holiday cottages near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, B&B near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, friendly pubs near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, cafes near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, eating out in fine restaurants near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, bargain holiday breaks near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, wining & dining weekend breaks near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, touring coach tours including Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, pretty villages near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, historic towns near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, visiting museums near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, local art galleries near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, guided walks from Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, history of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, architecture of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor trains to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor buses to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor coach tours to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic houses near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic churches near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic buildings tourist attractions near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor tourist information for Roman Road Wheeldale Moor good places to eat near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor properties for sale near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, renting a flat of house near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, property for rent near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, houses for sale near Roman Road Wheeldale Moor docspics images photos of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor © Phil Brown Tourist information on Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, top tourist attractions in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor Things to do in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, What to see in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, Walks in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, weekend breaks in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor family holidays in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, Top tourist attractions in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, luxury hotels in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, self-catering holiday cottages in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, B&B in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, friendly pubs in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, cafes in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, eating out in fine restaurants in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, bargain holiday breaks in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, wining & dining weekend breaks in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, touring coach tours including Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, pretty villages in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, historic towns in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, visiting museums in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, local art galleries in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, guided walks in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, history of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, architecture of Roman Road Wheeldale Moor trains to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor buses to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor coach tours to Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic houses in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic churches in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor historic buildings tourist attractions in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor tourist information for things to do in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor and see in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor good places to eat in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor properties for sale in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, renting a flat of house in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, property for rent in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor, houses for sale in Roman Road Wheeldale Moor

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