The Fosse Way – High Cross and The Claybrookes

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The Fosse Way was one of the principal roads of Roman Britain. It was probably constructed around 45AD at the beginning of the Roman Occupation and ran from Lincoln to Bath and then to the Devon coast. It is virtually straight for over 200 miles and in the early stages of Roman Occupation, the midland section of the Fosse probably marked a temporary frontier in the advance northwards. For most of its length it is now developed or obscured by modern roads. The three-and-a-half-mile stretch from Stoney Bridge on the B4114 to High Cross contains one of the few sections to have survived in anything like its original form. The Fosse Way rises gently to High Cross on Watling Street, the most important Roman thoroughfare in Britain, running from London to Chester.

At 443 feet above sea level, High Cross is a natural vantage point which dominates the surrounding countryside in all directions. At about the same time as The Fosse Way was constructed, the Roman garrison built the township of Veronis at High Cross. Archaeological evidence suggests that there has been an Iron Age settlement on this same site. The stone-built pillar which now stands at High Cross is all that remains of a monument erected by the Earl of Denbigh and others in 1712. It marks the centre of Roman England and occupies the site of a wooden cross which had stood for several centuries previously. Originally a much larger and ornate structure was sited in the centre of Watling Street, adjacent to the junction of the Southern Fosse Way. In 1791 it was wrecked by lightning and the remnants re-erected in its present position. At Waymark 7, Bumble Bee Lane, turn right to find the stone pillar, on the left in the small car park just before the right bend.

Fosse Meadow contains different and complementing habitats in a mosaic. Its setting in an agricultural landscape makes it a haven for wildlife. The first woodland was planted by Blaby District Council in the early 90s. The Meadows are some of the finest examples of hay meadows in the area. Their rich diversity of species has been maintained because they have not been affected by modern agriculture. The lake development started about 2000 and is designed to complement the other habitats around it and increase the diversity of wildlife.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
13/06/2018 - Roy Davenport

I have checked this walk today and there are no problems at WP4. I suspect Kirsti has gone through the gap in the hedgerow and then followed the obvious main path instead of forking right as indicated by the LR marker and the walks text. However I have tweaked it slightly and also altered WP 10 Roy Davenport

11/06/2018 - Kirsti Smith

I also forgot to add that at point 6, there are no longer gates hanging on the Fosse Way section and the blue arrow advises you to go through one of the gates on the left.

11/06/2018 - Kirsti Smith

Did this walk Sunday 10th June 2018 and most of it is still fine but I got a bit lost around Fosse Meadows, possibly because it has changed a lot over the years but I wandered round and got back on track between 4 and 5. Also, at point 10, I think the tree in the middle of the field is no longer there and there was no waymarker near the pond. There was a path trodden across the field towards the far right corner by the red barns. Hope that helps a bit even if I couldn't work out how to do the beginning bit!

08/04/2009 - Roy Davenport

WP14 & 15 amended April 09 RD

01/05/2008 - Roy Davenport

Thanks Tracy - WP10 - It is really a sort of deepish, wet dip in the ground with marsh type reeds, that's why I said small pond because I didn't know what else to say, but it is important as a reference point.

17/04/2008 - Tracy Ayres

Did this Sunday 13th April 08. Great walk, although very muddy in places after all the rain we have had recently. The Fosse Meadows are lovely and enjoyed walking along the old Roman road! An amendment at point 14 where as you enter the field the farmer has added new fencing and gates, sectioning off parts of the field which alters directions slightly, however they are still easy to follow with new Waymarkers clearly signed. Also, there is no pond at point 10! Very enjoyable and higly recommended.

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17.4 Miles
28.6 Miles