Records show in AD79 a Roman road was being reconstructed from Manchester to Ribchester by way of Prestwich, Radcliffe and Cockey Moor, which passed over Radcliffe Bridge.
The route ran through Prestwich, roughly on the route of Bury New Road and there may have been fortified points at Castle Hill and Rainsough Hill. It ran in true Roman style in a straight line continuing to Starling Road on to Affetside and on through Darwen. Parts of the road are called Watling Street and are still seen today. Affetside also has the so-called Roan Cross which may have been erected to mark the halfway mark between Manchester and Ribchester. Some historians believe it was to show the halfway mark between London and Edinburgh. The 'cross' is a misnomer, as the Romans were not at that time Christains, and it looks doubtful that this ancient monument ever had the form of a cross as a simple column is all there is to be sen today.
Never truly located is the Roman stronghold of Coccium, which could have been at Ainsworth - the area is well known by the nickname 'Cockey Moor'.