The Romans were famous for their roads, and this page describes how Roman roads were built, and how you could use the topic in the classroom.
The Romans built roads so that the army could march from one place to another. They tried to build the roads as straight as possible, so that the army could take the shortest route.
How the Road was Built...
1) First, the army builders would clear the ground of rocks and trees. They then dug a trench where the road was to go and filled it with big stones.
2) Next, they put in big stones, pebbles, cement and sand which they packed down to make a firm base.,
3) Then they added another layer of cement mixed with broken tiles.
4) On top of that, they then put paving stones to make the surface of the road. These stones were cut so that they fitted together tightly.
5) Kerb stones were put at the sides of the road to hold in the paving stones and to make a channel for the water to run away.
1) Print the diagram below and photocopy it. Then ask the children to draw the diagram into their books, and put the following sentences into the correct place on their diagrams.
|1) At the bottom of the trench, the Romans put a layer of big stones.|
|2) Broken stones, pebbles, cement and sand to make a firm base.|
|3) Cement mixed with broken tiles.|
|4) Paving stones formed the surface of the road. These were cut so they fitted together tightly.|
|5) Kerb stones at the sides held in the paving stones and made a channel for the water to run away.|
The above activity can also be found on a worksheet below.
2) If you have suitable materials (i.e. different sized rocks and pebbles, sand etc.), you could ask your children to make a model of the road, using the instructions above.
3) Give the children a copy of a map of Britain. Ask them to draw on the location of some Roman roads, using the information below:
|This table shows where some Roman roads started and ended. Draw the roads on your map by joining the towns with a line.|
London to Dover
Chester to York
London to Lincoln to York (this road was called ERMINE STREET)
Chester to Carlisle
Exeter to Dorchester to Silchester
You could ask the children to find the location of more Roman roads using different reference sources, and they could also find out the Roman names for the towns and cities which are joined by the roads.