We have previously discussed both on and off list your work on salt-ways. I increasingly take the view that your salt-ways and the 'port-ways' are both strategic routes, albeit that word and concept probably not being considered at the time! With regard to port-ways it is evident to me that they serve more than coastal 'ports'. There is direct evidence that they serve both inland river ports, possible examples are Haversham on the Ouse in Buckinghamshire and Dorchester on Thames that both have recorded port-ways apparently originating from them. Note that both of these examples re near the upper navigable limits of both of these rivers
To go on from there I believe some inland trading or market centres were also ports. Name place evidence at Crick in Northamptonshire records the 'Portlow Hills', nearby at Lilbourne on the Northamptonshire/ Leicestershire border there is a record of a 'portmoot', a meeting to govern the market. Interestingly this location appears to be on the course of the portway from Dorchester on Thames that is recorded as leading towards Leicester.
Undoubtedly there was a probable 'collusion' between port-ways and salt-ways in places. Perhaps the best recorded example is that recorded in the AS Charters for Badby, Newnham and Stowe. Here the salt-way from Droitwich that led through Alcester, Stratford-on-Avon towards Wormleighton and further to the east on the 'Great-Way' before it turns to the south-east near Everdon to cross the Watling Street south of Fosters Booth heading on towards Salcey Forest. In Salcey it would have formed a crossroads with the port-way heading north from Haversham.
I have located various other port-ways in this area and will report in detail on them all in due course. This will also incorporate other communication routes and how they fitted into other aspects of the area including governance, trade, mineral extraction etc.
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 14:01:43 -07
From: Beatrice Hopkinson<[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: New Topic - Portways
I havn’t done any research on this subject, but as a practical matter wouldn’t the origins of ports be a matter of geography (deep water for boats to anchor close to shore, and sheltered coves) ? And their strategic relevance a matter of early settlement, climate, or industry (salt making, fishing, climate…) ?
On Sep 3, 2015, at 11:53 AM, davensal<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
To pick up on Catherine Petts suggestion I will launch a new topic, hopefully this will not be subsumed in extreme psychological dialogue that is well above my head as the subject I launched on early trading routes was!
This is closely linked to the last topic but is more specific with, I hope, closer parameters.
Has any member been involved with or have knowledge of research into portways including their origins and strategic relevance?