The Road: All that has arisen along the way

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Conway Hall, Red Lion Street, London, UK

Event details

2024-03-19 18:30
18:30 UTC
ICS/ICAL · gcal
£6-£9

For two thousand years, the roads the Romans built have determined the flow of ideas and folktales, where battles were fought and where pilgrims trod. Almost everyone in Britain lives close to a Roman road, if only we knew where to look.

In the beginning was Watling Street, the first road scored on the land when the invading Romans arrived on a cold and alien Kentish shore in 43 CE. As the legions pushed onwards across the landscape they left behind a vast road network, linking marching camps and forts, changing the landscape, etching the story of the Roman advance into the face of the land, channelling our lives today.

Christopher Hadley, the acclaimed author of Hollow Places, takes us on a lyrical journey into this past, retracing and searching for an elusive Roman road that sprang from one of the busiest road hubs in Roman Britain. His passage is not always easy. Time and nature have erased many clues; bridges rotted and whole woods grew across the route. Year after year the heavy clay swallowed whole lengths of it; the once mighty road became a bridleway, an overgrown hollow-way, a parched mark in the soil.

Hadley leads us on a hunt to discover, in Hilaire Belloc’s phrase, ‘all that has arisen along the way’. Gathering traces of archaeology, history and landscape from poems, church walls, hag stones and cropmarks, oxlips, killing places, hauntings and immortals, and things buried too deep for archaeology, his book The Road is a mesmerising journey into two thousand years of history only now giving up its secrets.

Near Conway Hall, Red Lion Street, London, UK

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