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Icknield Street


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Icknield Street or Ryknild Street is a Roman road in England, with a route roughly south-west to north-east. It runs from the Fosse Way at Bourton on the Water in Gloucestershire to Templeborough in South Yorkshire . It passes through Alcester, Studley, Redditch, Metchley Fort, Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Burton upon Trent and Derby.
Four Roman roads having the King's protection are named in the Laws of Edward the Confessor: Watling Street, Ermine Street, the Fosse Way and Hikenild or Icknield Street. Hikenild Strete is generally supposed to be connected with the country of the Iceni. Various forms of the name designate roads from the borders of Norfolk through Cambridgeshire, Bucks, Berks, Hants and Wilts into Dorset. These locations, however, would identify the route as Icknield Way an Iron Age trackway running from Norfolk to Dorset. The road acquired the name Ryknild Street during the 12th century when it was named by Ranulf Higdon, a monk of Chester writing in 1344 in his Polychronicon. Higdon gives the name of the fourth road as Rikenild Strete, which, he says, tends from the south-west to the north, and begins at St. David's and continues to the mouth of the Tyne, passing Worcester, Droitwich, Birmingham, Lichfield, Derby, and Chesterfield. It has borne that name, or Rigning, Reenald or Rignall, from early times. In three of the four MSS of Higdon the name is given as Rikenilde or Rikenyldes, and in the fourth , Hikenil Street. Trevisa's English translation calls it Rykeneldes Strete. Harverfield, writing in the Victoria County History of Warwickshire doubted whether the road had any real and original right to either name, preferring Ryknild as no less correct and being able to distinguish it from Icknield Street in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It is now called Icknield or Ryknild Street to distinguish it from the older Icknield Way. A preserved section of the Roman road can be seen at Sutton Park, now in the City of Birmingham.


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Birmingham, United Kingdom

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