Michael Prestwich
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The royal itinerary and roads in England under Edward I
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Edward I travelled constantly. This was not in order to govern the country, but for reasons such as visits to shrines, and to go hunting, as well as to go on campaign in Wales and Scotland. The king’s itinerary was marked by few ceremonies, such as formal entries to towns, and there was no regular pattern of travel, with plans not made long in advance. The royal household, numbering up to 500 men, required twenty or more wagons as it travelled. Main roads were not always followed; those on lesser routes were quite adequate. Waterways were also used. Speed of travel varied. Over 20 miles a day was possible, but up to 15 miles a day was normal. The king’s itinerary for 1297, a time of political crisis, provides a case study.

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Medieval Britain, medieval roads

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