Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/303

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


EARLY MAN Numerous British coins, both inscribed and uninscribed, particu- larly those of Verica, Commius and Cunobelin, have been discovered at Farley Heath. At Guildford coins of Caratacus, Epaticcus and Verica have been found, and at Kingston one of Tincommius has been discovered. Many of the British coins bore devices which had obviously been derived from those on the beautiful coins of Philip II. of Macedon, but in consequence of being repeatedly copied by incompetent artists the original forms of the devices became scarcely recognizable. A coin of Verica found at Reigate in 1888, for example, is impressed with the figure of a vine leaf, a form which, as Sir John Evans has shown, was derived from one of the early varieties of the British Philipus. 1 Another coin found in a brickyard at Kew is of great interest from the fact that the device, originally the head of Apollo, has become much altered in the course of repeated copyings and really represents a form about halfway between that of the head of Apollo and that of the vine leaf. ANCIENT ROADS IN SURREY The difficulty of assigning a particular date or period to a roadway which in the first instance may have been a mere trackway across the country is so great that we cannot be too cautious in dealing with this important subject. Yet it is certain that roadways must have existed in Britain before the Roman occupation, and by general consent the old road known as the Pilgrims' Way which runs along the North Downs has been regarded as a pre-Roman way, and most of those who have written upon the subject agree that it was probably one of the first roads through Surrey at a time when the Weald was an almost impas- sable forest. In several parts of its course all traces of the road have been destroyed, in some places by cultivation of the soil, in other places by neglect and disuse, and in some instances portions of it have been entirely removed in the course of digging chalk from the side of the hill. Yet notwithstanding all this the way may be traced pretty clearly in many places in Surrey and Kent. In the western part of the county it is first found near Farnham, whence it extends along the North Downs to the Kentish boundary. Sometimes it is found on the crest of the hills, but perhaps more fre- quently on the southern slope. Between Farnham and Guildford, and for some distance further to the east, there appear to be two separate branches of the road, one of which keeps along the top of the Hog's Back, whilst the other is found on the southern slope of the hills. This lower-level road has been traced to St. Catherine's (where there was probably a ford over the river Wey), to St. Martha's Hill, Albury and Shere, rejoining the upper road near Dorking. The lower road is supposed to have been the way actually used by the mediaeval pilgrims. Eastward of Dorking the road is well seen at White Hill (an eminence 1 The Coins of the Ancient Britons, Supplement, pp. 441, 510. 249 R*