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Roads & Tracks for Historians


Product Information

Roads & Tracks for Historians by P. Hindle

Hard back, 146 pages, Illustrated B&W, 19.5cm x 25.5cm

Road and tracks through all antiquity is the subject of this well-known author's work.


  • Early tracks
  • The great Ridgeway & the Icknield Way
  • Other prehistoric tracks
  • Roman roads
  • Tracing Roman roads
  • Stane street & the Weald
  • Watling street
  • The Viatores
  • Foss way
  • Welsh roads
  • Lakeland roads
  • Other roads
  • The end of the Roman era
  • Medieval routes
  • The dark ages
  • Medieval main roads
  • Sources
  • Local studies
  • Church paths & corpse roads
  • Pilgrim routes
  • Monastic routes
  • Early modern roads
  • Ogilby & Fiennes
  • Drove roads
  • Scottish drove roads
  • Welsh drove roads
  • Packhorse tracks
  • Unusual roads>
  • Sands routes
  • Early industrial roads
  • Military roads
  • Turnpikes
  • The turnpike network
  • Turnpike improvements
  • Scottish turnpikes & parliamentary roads
  • The end of the turnpike era
  • Enclosure roads
  • The modern era
  • Motorways
  • Footpaths
  • The future
  • Bibliography

On the inside sleeve:

Roads and tracks are major features of our British landscape, yet their origins and history are largely ignored by those who use them daily. They can tell us much about a locality or an industry and give many clues to the social and economic life of the past. Roads grew hand-in-hand with trade and, sometimes, with social or political change. All routes, from the narrowest footpath to the widest motorway, form part of the same vast network whose evolution is very clearly described and explained in this important book.

The earliest trade routes date back far into prehistory, long before the Romans imposed their impressive network of military roads. Most minor roads were both created and maintained by the passage of traffic, including many religious roads: church, corpse, pilgrim and monastic routes, largely dating from the medieval period. Cattle and sheep were driven across England from Scotland and Wales on tracks quite separate from the ordinary road network; while packhorses also had their own routes. Eventually, increasing traffic and the poor state of parish-maintained 'highways' led to the introduction of turnpikes, and the enclosures around 1800 created many new country lanes. Finally, tarmaced roads and motorways completed the present, hard-pressed network.

The first edition of this book (under the title Roads, Tracks and their interpretation) has been out of print for some years. The author has now fully revised and updated his text in this enlarged and greatly improved new edition. He explains what to look for and how to make sense of what is seen, with advice and encouragement for local research. For the local, landscape or economic historian this book provides penetrating new insight and understanding of our network of ancient, old and new roads and tracks. They have a great story to tell and the author furnishes a very readable guide to reading that story.

Product Code: Z21RT

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