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The Romano-British period

Roads continued

The road from Leyton might have been part of the measures to prevent a recurrence of Boadicea’s rebellion but fell out of use quickly.  There were no objects on the short section found at Clyde Place.

The existence of a Roman road through the Beaumont estate suggests that area was then clear of trees which would otherwise provide cover for an ambush.  Roman agriculture used a plough cutting vertically in long, narrow fields 1.  It is possible the distinctive field boundaries running parallel to the Lea Bridge Road seen in the Tithe Map of about 1840 date back to Roman times.  “Networks of co-axial fields are sometimes located beside Roman roads, the orientations of which they shared, and these must have been set out either by the Romans or by their successors.” 2  The Lea Bridge Road, Capworth Street and the ‘Walthamstow Slip’ boundaries fit into the east-west field boundaries, suggesting that the route taken by the Roman road is at least as old as the field boundaries (in contrast Stewart Ainsworth on a Time Team TV programme talks of the Roman Fosse Way “crashing through” field systems which must therefore be older).

1  The Roman Chilterns by Keith Branigan and Rosalind Niblett

2  Be Your Own Landscape Detective, Investigating Where You Are, by Richard Muir