THE discovery of an ancient Roman route found in Pembrokeshire owes much of its unearthing to the work of an Oswestry scholar.

Edward Lhuyd may have been dead for more than three centuries but it was his work which modern day archaeologists have built upon to make the discovery of a road just north of St Davids.

Dr Merrony said the 32 mile route could only have been used to import gold from Ireland during the Roman occupation of Wales

"This route I have found is what people call the golden road," Dr Merrony said. "I think people were trading gold from Ireland.

"If this road does go from St Davids, as I believe, it opens up the possibility that there was trade conducted from Ireland via this road in the Preselis to the east."

The route could also have been used to move Pembrokeshire's bluestones to Stonehenge.

Dr Merrony began researching the route after following up the work of Edward Lhwyd, a keeper at Oxford's Ashmolean Museum in the 1690s who visited Wales in 1698.

Lhwyd wrote "along this mountain is to be seen an old dyke, or as it is conjectured, a Roman way, Roman coins being frequently found near."

Dr Merrony said antiquarians of the 17th and 19th centuries had embraced the existence of a Roman road and was marked on 19th century Ordnance Survey maps only to then rejected by 20th century scholars.

The discovery proves Lhuyd had been right all along.

Lhuyd was born in 1660, in Loppington, Shropshire, the illegitimate son of Edward Lloyd of Llanforda.

He attended and later taught at Oswestry Grammar School and went up to Jesus College, Oxford in 1682, but dropped out before graduation.

In 1699, it became possible through funding from his friend Isaac Newton for him to publish the first catalogue ever of fossils and was also responsible for the first scientific description and naming of what we would now recognize as a dinosaur.