« السابقةمتابعة »
(about which the learned differ) to Uriconium, (Wroxeter); and there, dropping into the Watling Street, turns nearly due east, and follows that road to London. The sum total of the several intermediate distances amounts to 500 miles or more, which proves the inaccuracy of the numerals; and they vary in different editions.
What we have to observe upon this route relates to the station called MEDIOLANUM; which being marked as 30 miles from Chester, our early topographers have sought for in Montgomeryshire, being led in that direction by Ptolemy's Geography, which mentions Mediolanum as one of the towns of the Ordovices (the people of North Wales): but Antonine's tenth route has also a station called Mediolanum as its terminus, which some of its commentators have sought to identify with the town of that name mentioned by Ptolemy; whilst others have been constrained to look for it at the stated distance from Manchester (36 miles), and have at length, justly, as we think, brought it to Chesterton,* in the immediate vicinity, though not within the limits, of the Borough of Stoke. Both the second and the tenth routes of Antonine go from Mancunium (Manchester), to Condate, but there separate; the former going to Deva (Chester), 20 miles; and the latter terminating at Mediolanum (18 miles), which would exactly reach to Chesterton, if Condate, the point of separation, were fixed at or near Northwich, the only position at which the stated distances between Manchester and Chester can be at all reconciled. The second route goes forward from Chester to Bovium (10 miles), and thence to Mediolanum, (twenty miles), which would again bring us to Chesterton, in a nearly direct line, and would necessarily fix Bovium near to Beeston Castle, which is in the parish of Bunbury, the first syllable of which name seems but a slight corruption of Bovium; and the latter is significant of an ancient town. This
* Vide Ormerod's History of Cheshire, vol. I. P. 100.
miles o merals;
of the t
have so tioned
rate; and th
only p chester
route and th
Burton upon Tra
chimes in with Cheshire history, in which it is said, that Beeston has been thought to have been an ancient military post, and that the remains of the Roman road are discoverable close under the south-east side of the hill on which the Castle stands.* For the sake of rendering the subject more intelligible, we must refer to the annexed Diagram, in which the stations of Antonine are printed in Roman letters, and the numerals of his itinerary are placed along the line of the supposed roads. The names of modern towns, upon or near the roads, are printed in Italics. By inspecting this sketch, it will be seen that Chesterton, where we would fix Mediolanum, is wide of the direct route from Deva to Uriconium, but the distance between these two cities cannot be in any manner reconciled with the Itinerary, except by allowing a considerable departure from a direct route; and if we go to the west there will be further difficulties presented by the mountains of Wales and the river Severn, which Camden, Horsley, and other writers, who have treated on this subject, do not seem to have duly considered; and it is the opinion of later inquirers, that those learned persons were certainly mistaken in placing Mediolanum, Rutunium, &c. on the west side of the Severn.† There must, undoubtedly, have been a town of the Ordovices, called Mediolanum, as stated by Ptolemy, and yet this may have been no other than ours (Chesterton); for the Ordovices are allowed to have been the original possessors. of Staffordshire; or at least of the woodland parts of it, in which Chesterton was unquestionably seated; as well as the east side of Cheshire; and they might have maintained their original station in this District, up to the time of Ptolemy.
* Hanshall's Cheshire, Introduction, xv.
+ Vide Shaw's Staffordshire, Introduction to vol. II. p. xv.
Whittaker's Manchester, vol. I. p. 148.
In the annexed diagram of the route from Mediolanum to Uriconium, the intermediate station Rutunium is placed quite accidentally at, or near Broughton, a name that indicates an ancient town, on the confines of Staffordshire and Cheshire. This route from Chester to the neighbourhood of Shrewsbury, by way of Chesterton, does not (beyond the latter place) correspond with the distances in Antonine's table; but it is a totally impracticable business, attempting to reconcile some of his distances ;* and we are, therefore, now taking the liberty of proposing to alter the numeral XI. to XXI. between Rutunium and Uriconium; and as to the zig-zag route, it must not be forgotten, that equally-acute angles are to be found in other parts of the tenth, as well as in other Itinera; and if Antonine's was a tour of inspection of the chief military posts, this circumstance is at once accounted for. Here, then, we take leave of Antonine and his Itinerary, and shall supply some information concerning a British or Roman Road, intersecting the borough of Stoke-upon-Trent,—of which he makes no mention,-indicated by the name, VIA DEVANA, Or RYKENELD STREET.
The first intimation of the Road we are going to describe, proceeded from Dr. Charles Mason, formerly tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, who had made considerable collections relative to the ancient British and Roman Roads, with a view to publication; and who, in a letter addressed to Dr. Wilkes, dated 15th March, 1758, puts the following query:†
"I should be glad to know whether you have any knowledge of a Roman Way from Burton-upon-Trent to Chester, by Newcastle, for parts of such a one I have seen; and it is part of a great one that crosses the
* Vide Iter XII. Henry's Hist. G. B. vol. II. p. 433.
+ Shaw's Staffordshire, vol. I. p. 15.