Wiltshire Council protects ancient byway and Grade II listed packhorse bridge near Malmesbury

Wiltshire Council has completed work to improve and protect the natural and historic environment along a byway that follows the Fosse Way, a Roman Road. The improvements have been made on this important ancient road at Brokenborough, between Malmesbury and Shipton Moyne.

The Fosse Way is a historic Roman road that was built during the first and second centuries, linking Exeter in the south-west to Lincoln in the north-east. The work was undertaken to protect a Grade II listed packhorse bridge that crosses the watercourse next to the ford. Large natural stone boulders have been installed to improve management of vehicles through the ford crossing and deter illegal activity by 4×4 vehicles.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “The team has done a superb job to improve and protect the natural and historic environment at this important Roman road. The ford here has attracted illegal 4×4 activity that caused significant damage to the approaches to both the ford and the riverbanks.

“This new work, including the installation of large, natural stone boulders and bank regeneration, will help to protect the ancient bridge and wildlife habitats, and also help to deter illegal 4×4 vehicle activity.

“A recent wildlife survey of the area found historic evidence of water voles and so the work included protecting access tunnels for the voles.

“We hope that this work will attract visitors to see this historic bridge and enable more people to walk in the footsteps of the Romans here in Wiltshire.”