This page focuses on the minor routes of the Seaton Ross parish. Today the minor routes fall into two categories – which overlap somewhat: tracks used by farmers for their vehicles and footpaths with public rights-of-way (since 1932). Both can be found on the current Ordnance Survey maps of the parish.
However, in the early 19th century, the situation in the parish was not as straightforward as today. An 1828 map of the parish by Greenwood – who generally only shows significant routes – shows a couple of ‘minor’ roads in addition to the main roads we still have:
Click on these to see details:
The two main minor roads are highlighted in orange so that they can be identified – although in fact on the original map (left above) the top one of these has the same emphasis as the main roads. What is particularly significant about these routes is that they offer alternative routes to nearby towns – specifically “Bibbles Road” to Melbourne (top left) and another to Holme (bottom right). The route to Holme is considerably shorter than the alternative route via Southfield Lane and leaves Seaton Ross from Mains Lane, going past the site of an old hall.
In support of the reality of these minor roads, William Watson’s Book of Roads’ (1828) – see William Watson papers – also identifies these two roads as significant. They are not of the same status as main roads, as in some parts they have field gates across at intervals, although in fact at this time so did the south end of Southfield Lane.
The LH image shows five pages from the Book of Roads and the RH image shows the minor roads marked on an 1851 6-inch OS map – with the appropriate pages of the Book of Roads also shown. Farms outside the village are highlighted with red cicles and it may be seen that the minor roads connect them together.
The next available map showing a similar level of detail is the 1851 1-inch OS map:
This shows that during the 24 years since the last map, the situation has already changed: “Bibbles Road” to Melbourne has disappeared – possibly as the enclosure of Seaton Common around 40 years earlier was completed. The centre part of the route from Mains Lane to Holme has been broken and been replaced with a route via Park Farm. This route survived as a public footpath and in living memory was used by Seaton Ross residents to reach the railway station on the NW edge of Holme – usually by bike! It is almost half the distance of the station at Foggathorpe, although this route would probably not have been able to carry goods traffic.