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Wade's Causeway
Wheeldale Moor, south of Goathland, North Yorkshire, UK
associated engineer
Anon
date  circa 100 AD
era  Roman  |  category  Road  |  reference  SE801971
ICE reference number  HEW 824
Wade's Causeway is the local name for the route of a Roman road that crosses part of Wheeldale Moor in the North York Moors National Park. A short section has been excavated and preserved. It is probably the best-preserved stretch of Roman road in Britain.
The road connected four Roman camps at Cawthorne with the garrison at Lease Rigg, south west of Sleights. Most sources say Wade's Causeway linked Malton with Whitby, running through Cawthorne along the way. It seems unconnected with the main Roman road network, though it's possible that at Malton it joined roads that lead to York, Market Weighton and Fridaythorpe.
A 2km stretch of the road has been excavated, although it it is now somewhat overgrown. However, enough can be seen to make a visit worthwhile. The most accessible section can be found just west of Wheeldale Road, which runs south from Egton Bridge and Grosmont.
Roman roads were built by Legionaries of the Roman Army, and sometimes conscripted labourers. The road surface is cambered, with large smooth stones as a foundation and smaller ones or gravel on top (now washed away). In places, kerb stones still remain and there drainage ditches either side of the road. In places culverts with large cover stones run diagonally across the roadway.
Wade’s Causeway sloped down into the camps at Cawthorne, where it was some 3.5m wide and built up to one metre higher the surrounding ground level. Away from the preserved section, most of the road's stonework has long since been removed for wall building by later generations.
Research: ECPK, JJ
bibliography
"Roman Britain: Historical Map and Guide"
Ordnance Survey, Southampton, 5th edition
www.north-york-moors.co.uk
reference sources   RRB
Location

Wade's Causeway