The Icknield Way is one of the oldest roads in Britain, being one of the few long-distance trackways to have existed before the Romans occupied the country. It stretches from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk. It could be described as a belt studded with archaeological sites found at irregular intervals. Many modern roads follow the Icknield Way, for example the main road at Dunstable that crosses Watling Street (A5). In other places, especially to the east of Luton the route is followed by much more minor roads, and is not distinguishable at all in many places. To the west of Ivinghoe Beacon, the track extends along the scarp of the Chiltern Hills, and can be detected as far west as Wiltshire. However, this section of the track is not usually referred to as the Icknield Way, and may date from a different period from the eastern section. A modern long-distance footpath, The Ridgeway, follows the western course.
The Icknield Way used to form part of the boundary between Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and at one time Royston was cut in two by this boundary. Royston is where the Icknield Way crosses Ermine Street.
The road may be named for the Iceni tribe of ancient Britain, who may have established this route to permit trade with other parts of the country from their base in East Anglia. It has been suggested that the road has older prehistoric origins but this theory has fallen out of favour.
Somewhat confusingly, the name Icknield Way was transferred in the 12th century to a Roman road running from Bourton on the Water to Templeborough near Rotherham. This is now called Icknield or Ryknild Street to distinguish it from the older Icknield Way.
Devised by the IcknieldWay Association and supported by the Ramblers as part of a campaign to achieve National Trail status for the whole length of the ancient trackways linking the South Coast and the Wash, the Path was opened as a promoted route recognised by local authorities in 1992.
The 45km/28-mile IcknieldWay Trail is intended as a multi-user alternative between Aldbury and Pegsdon, mainly following the northern alternative of the IcknieldWay.
Due to construction work for a new bypass, a section of the IcknieldWay on the eastern edge of Baldock will be closed for intermittent periods of days or weeks during 2004-2005.
Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:
Press Releases |
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m