The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 22 (1944) > Issues > Issue 6 > Some Thoughts on the History of British Highways
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Some Thoughts on the History of British Highways

Extracts from the Presidential Address to the Institution of Highway Engineers given at Leicester on 2lst April, 1944. When Julius Caesar made a landing in this country, it was only in the nature of a commando raid, and it was not until the victories of Julius Agricola, from A.D. 78 to 84, carried the Roman frontier to the Firths of Forth and Clyde that the work of Roman civilisation followed. The population was grouped in cities such as York and Lincoln, which were governed by their own municipal officers, guarded by massive walls and linked together by a network ofroads, which extended from one end of the island to the other. These roads were built as military highways, to keep a conquered people in subjection ; but later a certain amount of commerce came into being, and agricultural produce, tin from the mines of Cornwall, lead from the mines of Somerset and Northumberland, and iron from the mines of the Forest of Dean, were exported to supply the necessities of Gaul. Town and country were all crushed by taxation and the mines were worked by forced labour. George McLean Gibson