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Hill, I have constantly gone with six horses, and even then with difficulty.

“ B. W. HORNE."

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Sir, “ In reply to your letter, I have to state to you the wonderful improvement made on the Archway road.

road. The short time since its completion, and the severe winter it had to encounter, proves beyond doubt the complete success of of the plan. Since my commencement in driving on the Birmingham road, it was with difficulty I could get up the Archway Hill, on one side or the other, with six horses, but now four middling horses are sufficient for any of our loads.

“ Thomas BRAMBLE.

“ Lawrence-lane, 15th May.

- Sir,

“ In reply to yours of the 4th instant, requesting my opinion respecting the late improvement of the Highgate Archway road, it is with sincere pleasure I am enabled to state, that, during the whole course of my experience, I never saw so much improvement in so short a period : in fact, from its being the very worst piece of road between London and Manchester,

it is now become, through your exertions, decidedly the best. I was fearful the severe winter we have experienced, setting in so very soon after its being completed, would have broken it up; but I am most happy to say that, during the whole winter, I have not observed single place where it was the least affected. Previous to this winter, it was all we could do to walk up both sides of the Archway with six horses, and now we can trot up with our heaviest loads with four.

“When I first commenced driving on the above road, we were obliged to keep twelve horses to work a slow coach to Barnet, and now we can work a fast one the same distance with ten horses.

“ I think the facts above stated are at once a convincing proof of the full success of the plan you have adopted; and, as one individual concerned I beg leave to offer you my most sincere congratulations thereon.




A useful road may be constructed by making a foundation with rubble stones, and laying broken stones or gravel upon them.


The stones should be reduced so as not to have any of them more than four pounds in weight; these should be laid in a regular bed, to the depth of seven inches in the middle and four inches at the sides, supposing the road to be thirty feet in breadth ; a coating of small broken stones should then be laid on in the

way directed when a pavement is used.

If the subsoil be clay, a course of earth, of any kind, that is not clay, of the thickness of six inches, should be laid upon the clay, to prevent it from rising and mixing with the stones.

A road made according to the rules here given will not be a very expensive one: it will answer for cross turnpike roads, and other roads that do not communicate between large towns and collieries.

This plan is much superior to, and not more expensive than, the next plan.


A road may be constructed, suitable to light carriages and little traffic, by forming a level bed on the natural soil, and putting upon it a body of broken stones, of twelve inches in thickness in the middle, and six at the sides. The swnes should be laid on in successive layers, taking care to let each layer be worked in, and consolidated, before a fresh one be laid on. If the subsoil is clay, a course of earth should be laid upon it, as proposed in the last plan.

Roads of this description are not sufficiently strong for great thoroughfares. This plan, however, having of late been recommended, as greatly superior to all other plans, by persons who profess to be experienced and scientific road-makers, a number of turnpike trustees have adopted it; but experience has fully established its unfitness for roads of great traffic, in comparison with roads made with a proper foundation. In point of fact, there is nothing new in this plan; for all the roads of the kingdom have been made in this way, and the universal defect of them, namely, their weakness, is the result. The reason is very obvious; for if a body of small broken stones be laid on the natural soil, the weight of carriage wheels passing over it forces the lower course of the stones into the soil, while the soil is forced up into the interstices between them; the clean body of stones, first laid on to make the road, is thus converted into a mixed body of stones and earth, and, consequently, the surface of the road cannot but be very imperfect as to hardness. It is necessarily heavy in wet weather, on account of the mud the earth makes on its surface; and, in dry weather, on account of a quantity of dry dirt.

A road made on this plan will require, for two or three years after it is said to be finished, the expending of large sums in new materials, to bring it into any thing like even an imperfectly consolidated state ; and, after all that can be done, such a road will always run heavy, and break up after severe frosts; for, as the natural soil on which such a road is laid is always more or less damp and wet, it will necessarily keep the body of materials, of which the road is made, damp and wet; in consequence of which, the surface of the road will wear down quickly. Hard frosts will penetrate through the materials into the under soil, and, when thaws take place, break up the whole surface.

It is in this way that the ruinous state of most roads, after severe frosts, is to be accounted for.


In a country where no stone can be got for making a road, and nothing better than gravel can be procured, the following plan of employing it may be adopted :— When the bed of the

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