Antiquities: British and Roman

Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Antiquities: British and Roman', Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire, (London, 1817), pp. cciii-ccxviii. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Antiquities: British and Roman", in Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire, (London, 1817) cciii-ccxviii. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Antiquities: British and Roman", Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire, (London, 1817). cciii-ccxviii. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


British Antiquities.

The barren moors of Derbyshire abound with rude masses of gritstone, and single stones of large sizes appearing above the surface, as those of granite do in Cornwall; and here, as in that county, many of them have been considered as owing their present forms to art, and supposed to have been memorials of our British ancestors. Here too, as in Cornwall, among the detached masses of grit-rock, many rocking-stones have been found, and rock-basins in abundance, and as usual ascribed to the Druids; but as we have before observed, we are inclined to refer the greater part of these to natural causes; indeed, with respect to the round hollows in the gritstone rocks, which have been for ages exposed to the effects of the atmosphere, we observed as many of them on the perpendicular sides of the rock as on the top, especially in Sir Joseph Banks's park at Overton where they are particularly abundant.

The only remains in Derbyshire, which we can suppose to have been the works of the early inhabitants of our island, are, the circles of stones and some upright stones, tumuli of earth and stones (here called lows), and some rude military works in the uncultivated parts of the county. On Stanton-moor, Hartle-moor, Hathersage-moor, and Olney-moor, are several circles of stones (fn. n1), but none of them of large dimensions. The only remarkable work of this kind within the county of Derby, is Arbour-Lows in the hamlet of Middleton, about three miles south-west of Youlgrave, which consists "of an area encompassed by a broad ditch, which is bounded by a high mound or bank, and the form of the whole is nearly that of an ellipsis; the area measures from east to west forty-six yards, and fifty-two in the contrary direction; the width of the ditch is six, and the height of the bank, on the inside, five yards. To the north and south, there is an opening about fourteen yards wide. In the area are several stones of different sizes; about thirty large ones lie round the border of it, and generally point with the narrower end towards the centre: they are rough and unhewn, and are, for the most part, about five feet long, three broad, and one thick; besides these, there are about fourteen smaller ones intermixed with them in an irregular manner (fn. n2);" and three lying near the centre, one of which is larger than any of the rest, being thirteen feet long and eight feet wide. The late Dr. Pegge, who communicated an account of this ancient monument to the Society of antiquaries (fn. n3), supposes it to have been a British temple, and that the stones originally stood upright, two and two; the smaller ones he considers as fragments of the larger, broken off when they were thrown down. It seems, however, difficult to conceive that they should all have been thus prostrated, which must have been a work of no small labour, for no apparent purpose. Arbour-lows derives its name from a large low or tumulus adjoining the vallum near the southern entrance, and another at a small distance from it.

In the year 1795 two Kistvaens or British sepulchres, were discovered on opening a large tumulus, about two miles north-west from Ashford; in one of these was a skeleton with the face downwards, having a piece of the black Derbyshire marble two feet long, nine inches wide, and six inches thick, lying on the scull; under the head were two arrow-heads of flint: the other contained burnt bones and ashes. In other parts of the tumulus were found, two urns of coarse pottery full of ashes and burnt bones; two skeletons deposited on the level ground, and a spearhead of stone. (fn. n4)

In a wood called Linda spring, near Crich, are two rows of round pits, called Pit-steads, one of them containing twenty-five, and the other twenty-eight; and extending about 250 yards in length: most of them being about 15 feet in diameter and six feet deep. A particular account of them is printed in the Archælogia (fn. n5), communicated by Hayman Rooke, Esq. who conjectured that it might have been a British town; there being no ore, coal, stone, or clay, to be found here. They might, however, have been used for burning charcoal for the use of the lead and iron works, which abounded in that part of the country. (fn. n6)

On Hathersage moor is a rude well of a singular construction, called Cair's-work orCarle's-work, being a rude sort of fortification, consisting of large stones placed round the precipitous summit of a hill, except at the north end, where is a wall nine feet four inches high and nearly three feet thick, consisting of three courses of very large stones, and others set obliquely endways on the top, (fn. n7)

Upon the moors in Derbyshire are a great number of tumuli of earth and of stones, or cairns; several of these have been opened, and human bones and urns have been found in them, with beads, rings, and other relics. (fn. n8) A pair of querns or hand mill-stones were found at Darwood near Hartle-moor, by the side of a large urn, half full of burnt bones. (fn. n9)

Roman Antiquities.

The only Roman remains found in Derbyshire, deserving of particular notice are, the altar preserved at Haddon-hall; the inscribed blocks or pigs of lead; and the silver plate found in Risley-park. The Roman altar found in the grounds belonging to Haddon-hall, and now placed in the porch leading to the hall, is two feet eleven inches in height: it was first published by Bishop Gibson in his edition of Camden's Britannia, where the inscription is very imperfectly given. The following is now legible, only three letters being obliterated in the name of the person by whom it was dedicated, which may be supplied without difficulty, " Deo Marti Braciacœ Os\ i]tius Cœcilia[nus] Praef. Coh. I. Aquitano. V. S." Horsley, in his Britannia Romana (fn. n10), copies this inscription from Gibson's Camden; the original, he says, he could not hear of; he supposes Braciaca to be the name of a place; Mr. Baxter and Dr. Pegge considered it as an epithet of Mars. The cohors prima Aquitanorum does not occur in Horsley's work, nor in the list of Roman auxiliary troops in the Tabulœ Honestœ Missionis of the Emperor Trajan, discovered near Sydenham and Malpas (fn. n11); but it appears in that of the Emperor Hadrian (fn. n12), found near Stainington, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.The only other Roman inscription on stone found in this county, is a centurial one, 16 inches long and 12 wide, found many years ago near the east angle of the Roman station called Melandra-castle, near Gamelsly in the parish of Glossop, and now fixed up in the front of a farm-house there,; which is thus inscribed, " C[o]ho. I. Frisiano. C. Val. Vitalis," which may be read thus, " Cohors prima Frisianorum, Centuria Valerii Vitalis" The first cohort of the Frisians which appears to have been quartered at this station, occurs in the list of auxiliaries, in the Tabula Honestae Missionis of the Emperor Trajan found near Sydenham.

Figure 5:

Roman antiquities

1. - Altar, near Haddon Hall; 2. & 3. - Pigs of lead; 4. & 5. - Inscriptions thereon

A Roman pig of lead 17½ inches long and 20 ½ at bottom, weighing 173 pounds, was found on Matlock-moor in the year 1787. (fn. n13) The following inscription appears in raised letters on the top:

Another, weighing 126 pounds, was found on Cromford-moor, near Matlock, in the year 1777 (fn. n14), having the following inscription in raised letters on the top:

A third was found near Matlock in 1783 (fn. n15), weighing 84 pounds, 19 inches long at the top, and 22 at the bottom, and three inches and a half wide at the top, and four and a half at the bottom, (fn. n16), inscribed thus,

Various erroneous conjectures have been formed respecting some parts of these inscriptions, especially the LVT. which have arisen from their having been inaccurately copied. In the third inscription this occurs more at length LVTVD; and is unquestionably a contraction of Lutudarum (fn. n17), the Roman station mentioned in Ravennas next to Derventione, and which there is great reason to suppose was the present town of Chesterfield. (fn. n18)

A large silver plate of Roman workmanship, 20 inches by 15, was ploughed up in the year 1729, in Risley-park, and shortly afterwards broken in pieces; a drawing was made of some of the fragments, in the possession of Lady Aston, the proprietor of Risley-park, from which an engraving was taken, and published by Dr. Stukeley in 1736, with an account of it, which he had before communicated to the Society of Antiquaries. The plate was ornamented with various groups of horses, goats, sheep, &c. and figures of men attending them; the subject of the central compartment was hunting the wild boar. These figures were in relief and appeared to have been cast, and afterwards finished with a tool: at the bottom Was a square foot or frame to support it, round which was this inscription in Roman capitals: —" Exsuperius episcopus ecclesice Bagiensi dedit."

Dr. Stukeley reads the last word but one Bogiensi, and conjectures that this piece of Roman plate had been presented to the church of Bouge, in Touraine, by Exuperius, Bishop of Tholouse, who was living A. D. 405; and that it had been brought away from France, as part of the plunder by the English army, in the year 1421, when a battle was fought in the churchyard of Bouge, on Easter eve.

The Abbé de la Rue, in his Memoir on the celebrated tapestry of Bayeux, printed in the Archæologia (fn. n19) supposes, with great probability,that it was presented by Exuperius, Bishop of Bayeux, to the church of Bayeux, and taken from them in the year 1106, when King Henry the First took the city by assault, from Duke Robert his brother, and with it plundered and destroyed the cathedral church. (fn. n20)

In the year 1788, a sort of bulla of brass ornamented with a scroll upon a red enamelled ground, with fragments of some other articles of brass, apparently of Roman workmanship, were found in a tumulus on Middleton-moor. (fn. n21)

Roman coins have frequently been found in different parts of this county. In 1740, an urn, filled with denarii, was dug up at a place called Greenhaigh Lane, in the parish of Alfreton. In 1748, fifteen or sixteen hundred denarii, chiefly of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines, and Sept. Severus, were found in a close, on a farm called New Grounds, in the same parish. (fn. n22) In 1761, many small copper coins of the lower empire were found upon Crich Cliff, in the foundation of a small building of unhewn grit-stone, 10 feet square. (fn. n23) About the year 1770, a great number of denarii were found in a place called Stuffins Wood, in Pleasly. (fn. n24) In 1778, an urn failed with coins of Diocletian, Constantine, &c., was dug up in Crilland Park. (fn. n25) In 1784, about 70 Roman coins, chiefly of Hadrian, Severus, and Constantine the Younger, were found at Burton Wood, about four miles from Ashborne. (fn. n26) In 1788, an earthen pot full of Roman copper coins, was found upon Edge-Moor, in Crich Common. (fn. n27)

British and Roman Roads and Stations. (fn. n28)

"The county of Derby appears to have been of considerable importance, and to have contained a body of numerous and active inhabitants in an early stage of British civilization; and the Romans, who carried on a very profitable trade with the produce of its mines, fixed stations, and formed roads in every part of it. The Britons had certainly one of their principal roads, the Rykneld, running through its whole extent, from south-west to north east, from the borders of Staffordshire to those of Yorkshire. The name is British, the R, according to Whitaker, being prefixed to distinguish it as the road of the Upper Iceni, while the Ikeneld way itself led towards Norfolk, the country of the Iceni, properly so called.

" The Caers or Carls work, near Hathersage, bears marks of British origin; it lies in the wildest part of the High-Peak, near the present road from Manchester to Sheffield, and includes the summit of a hill, which is very steep on all sides but one, and defended on that by a wall of rude and singular construction, consisting of three rows of very large stones, with other stones placed obliquely upon them, pointing towards the assailants. The whole wall is above nine feet high, and supported within by a slanting bank of earth, twenty-five feet in length. See the Plan, Archaeologia, vol. vii. p. 175. The tombs and other remains of this early people have been found in every part of the Peak, and are evidently British, by the rude urns, flint weapons, beads, and small mill-stones discovered in them, as well as by the absence of all such remains as mark a more polished æra of civilization.

"That the Romans, as soon as they were established in the island, paid considerable attention to this part of it, might be proved, (even if there did not exist so many traces of their roads and towns,) by the pigs of lead ready worked up for sale, and stamped with the name of the reigning emperor; no less than three of which have been found in the neighbourhood of Matlock, and one of them inscribed, " Socio Romœ," (to ray partner at Rome,) which clearly marks it to have been an article of trade. Two of them are now in the British Museum, and the very inspection of these is sufficient to prove, they were thus prepared for articles of commerce; and not, as Camden and others have supposed, as trophies of victory over the Ceangi or other tribes. Mr. Pegge has conjectured, that one of these pigs bears so early a date as the time of the Emperor Claudius; and if this was the fact, it would go far to prove, that the mines in the Peak, were worked by the natives before the time of the Roman invasion; as it is highly improbable, that in a short lime after the landing of the Romans, they should have so far subdued the Coritani, in the central part of the island, as to have established their own works and workmen in this remote district; or if, as other antiquaries have contended, this lead formed part of the tribute paid by the islanders themselves, (though not yet finally subdued,) to the Roman Emperor, it would carry up the British trade in these metals to a very remote period.

" From the existence, however, of the trade, and the consequent population of the country, we may expect to find Derbyshire traversed in every direction by Roman roads; and such seems to have been the case. Two of these have been examined by Mr. Pegge with so much attention, as to leave us very little to add to his observations. The first of these, the Rykneld Street, or old British road, was repaired by the Romans for their own use. It is called by the name of the Rignal-street in an old Survey of Sir H. Hunloke's property in this county, as well as in those of other estates in Warwickshire and Staffordshire, where it is described as their boundary. It enters Derbyshire from this last county, over the Dove at Monks-bridge, and its crest is visible on Egginton-heath, though much obliterated by the modern turnpike-road, which continues in its line as far as Little-Over; where, a little before it reaches the two mile stone, the Roman road keeps its north-north-east direction, while the present one slants to the east towards Derby. The old road, though not easy to be distinguished in the cultivation so general near a populous town, crossed Nun'sgreen, and proceeded down Darley-slade to the banks of the Derwent, passing that river by a bridge, (the piers of which may be felt in a dry summer,) to the station of Little-Chester, the Derventio of Richard and placed by him at the distance of twelve miles from ad Trivonam (Berry farm at Branston-upon-Trent, to which it exactly answers). It is by no means improbable, that the British Rykneld-street crossed the Derwent lower down at a ford, perhaps at the very place where Derby now stands; and then resuming its northerly course, would pass the east wall of the Roman town, as Stukeley has represented it in his map. The Roman road, however, on crossing the Derwent seems to have passed the meadows near the north gate of the station, and after clearing the houses of the vicus, would fall into the Rykneld-street, near the north-east angle of the vallum, and proceed with it in its old line. The ground about the modern village of LittleChester being chiefly under the plough, the ridge of the road near it has been long destroyed; but on passing Breadsall priory on the left, and rising up towards the alms-houses on Morley-moor, a large fragment of it is visible on the right hand: and again, though less plainly, on the moor itself, abutting on the fence about a hundred yards east of Brackleygate. It next appears close to Horsley-park, a little west of the lodge, and is very high, covered with furze in the first inclosure; then passing through another field or two, crosses the road from Wirksworth to Nottingham, about a hundred yards west of Horsley-woodhouse; being quite plain in the inclosure south of the road called Castlecroft, and again in the field to the north of it. It now enters an old lane, which it soon quits, and may be seen in a field or two to the left, running down to a house called Cumbersome, which stands upon it; from hence, down another field, over Botolph (corruptly Bottle) brook, which it crosses straight for the Smithy houses, and enters a lane called, from it, the Street-lane, where it is visible for more than a mile, as far as the water j here the lane bends to the east, while the Roman way keeps its old north-north-east bearing, up a field or two, to the lane from Heage to Ripley; this lane it crosses, and goes on to Hartey; from hence it points to the tail of Hartey-dam and is visible in the hedge of the field near the miller's house. It now runs to coney-Gre-house, crossing two lanes which lead from Pentrich Town to the common, and so down to the water, leaving a camp, which is Roman by its form, and Town to the common, and so down to the water; leaving a camp, which is Roman by its from, and was probably a station, a very little to the left. It is again seen on the north side of the water, pointing up the lane to oakerthorp, but enter the enclosures on the befor it reaches the village; and fragments of its ridge are quite plain in the croft opposite the manor-house. (fn. n29) On the other side of Oakerthorp the crest again appears in a line with this ridge, within the left hand fence; it now runs to the four lane ends, over the ground on which Kendal's, or the Peacock-Inn, stands, and Limbury chapel formerly stood; and where its gravel was dug up in laying the foundation of the summer-house. Traces of buildings, too, have been dug up in Ufton-hall field, on the other side of the road, but nothing certain is known about them. It here crosses the present road, and enters the fields on the right, but re-crosses it again on the declivity of the hill, and is visible for a mile in the demesne lands of Shirland-hall, called the Day-Cars, bearing for Higham. Hence, along the line of the present turnpike road to Clay-cross, through the village of Stretton; then to Egstow, (where is a large barrow,) and is quite plain for 300 yards, through some small inclosures (particularly in the Quakers burying-ground,) and over a part of Tupton-moor, near the blacksmith's forge; and in an old survey of Egstow farm, belonging to the Hunloke family, it is, as I have said, expressly described under the name of the Rignal-street. From this spot, which is about twenty miles from Derby, it is no longer visible, but it points, when last seen, directly for the middle of Sir Henry Hunloke's avenue, and probably went from hence to Tuptonhill, near Chesterfield, which is in the same line only three miles further, and where several Roman coins have been found, so that there seems good ground for supposing this town, as the name imports, to have been a station on the road, very probably the Lutudarum of Ravennas. (fn. n30) The country people have a tradition of the road going on still further to the north, and that after crossing the Rother near Chesterfield, it proceeded on the east side of that brook, passing on the west of Killamarsh church, and through the parish of Beighton into Yorkshire; but I am more inclined to think the Roman road continued exactly in its old bearing on the west side of the river, leaving Whittington on the left, through West-Handley and Ridgway to the Roman camp on the banks of the Don, while the old Rykneld-street, proceeds on the east side into Yorkshire.

" It is to be remarked, that this whole road is one of those omitted by Antonine, and mentioned, with the stations upon it, by Richard only; and that such a road did exist, after it has been thus traced by so judicious an antiquary as Mr. Pegge, it is impossible for any one to doubt. The case is the same with the roads in Scotland, described in Richard's ninth and enth iters, which have been examined by General Roy and Mr. Chalmers, and with that in Yorkshire laid down in his seventh, which Dr. Thomas Whitaker, though he denies the authority of Richard himself confesses to run exactly as he describes it. As these roads are not alluded to by Antonine in the slightest degree, while evident marks of them are found where Richard has placed them, I confess myself to be one of those who do not think it possible to dispute the authenticity of the materials he has collected.

"The second Roman road in this county, which has been examined both by Mr. Pegge and John Whitaker, (the historian of Manchester,) runs through the north part of it, under the name of the Bathom-gate; it has been traced clearly from Brough to Buxton. On leaving the station of Brough in Hope parish, the Roman road is discoverable bearing south-west, as soon as it passes the second waterflash called the Burghwash, and fragmerats of its broad ridge may be seen in the lane. It then enters Bullmeadow, running up the hedge on the left, but soon appears again in the lane leading to Smaldale, where the right hand hedge stands upon it. It then runs into the enclosures called the Doctor's Pasture and Bagshaw Pasture, and after crossing Gray ditch, bends north-west to ascend the hill, being found by the spade and plough, in a line well known to the farmers, till it comes upon the moor three quarters of a mile on the Brough side of Bathom-edge, where the crest is quite plain to the stone fence which separates Bradwell and Tideswell moors; retaining here its original breath of 18 or 20 feet, "and sweeping," as Whitaker describes it in his flowery language, " in a long strait streak of vivid green over the purple surface of the heath." It is also visible on the Buxton side of this hedge for about a mile, bearing south-west for the inclosures at the dam in the forest, and crosses the turnpike road from Manchester to Chesterfield, then after just entering Hernstone-lane it is visible in the field on the left, where, in a dry summer, the grass is of a different colour; from hence it runs in a straight green lane towards Fairfield, being seen again on Fairfield-moor, and is found by digging to have kept the same line to the hill above Buxton.

"The late Mr. King, who was better acquainted with our ancient caste than with our roads was inclined to think that this road was only a communication between the bath at Buxton and the castle of his unknown chief upon Mam-Tor. That it might have been in use for such a purpose is probable enough, but the road itself is a common Roman one, bearing every distinguishing mark of being constructed by that people; and joining two of their most decided stations, Buxton and Brough, without appearing to be any way connected with Mam-Tor. Though it passes accidentally near it.

" At Buxton, as Mr. Watson contends, a third road from the Roman station at Manchester, fell into that we have just followed from Brough. This Manchester road coming from Stockport and Saltersford-hall in Cheshire, where it is known by the name of the Old-gate, runs, according to his idea, by Pym-chair to the head of the river Goit: here it is joined, as Whitaker also allows, by a Roman way from Chester, and proceeds on the west of the present turnpike road to Cracking.stones, and thence to the station at Buxton. Mr. Leman, however, (whose authority is of great weight) is rather inclined to suppose it continued more on the line of the modern road. The existence of the road itself is unquestionable.

" A fourth Roman way may be traced, as I before observed, on the south side of Buxton, in the direction of Little-Chester. The Roman road leaves Buxton in the track of the present Ashborne road, passes through Over-street, and near the 27th mile-stone, where, as the turnpike road bears off to the west, it keeps its own straight line, and is visible on the left hand of it, from Hurdlow-house to Pike-hall; being still called among the peasants by its proper name the Roman road. It leaves Aldwark to the left, is visible on Brassington-moor, passes close by Hopton, where the late Mr. Cell opened a part of it, and probably between Keddleston-park and Duffield to Darley-slade, where it joins the great road from Ad Trivonam, and crosses the river with it. to Little-Chester. It takes no notice of the camp at Parwich, though it has every appearance of being Roman, but leaves it about two miles to the right.

" Another considerable Roman road also meets this last on the banks of the Derwent, bearing directly east from Staffordshire, most probable from Chesterton near Newcastle, in that county (the Mediolanum of Antonine's and Richard's tenth iters.) It seems to have crossed the Dove a very little below Rocester, which, from its name and situation, was probably a station on it; and leaving Marston-Montgomery a little on the right, and Long ford and Langley on the left, crosses the Ashborne road to Derby, at right angles between the second and third mile-stones, in a direct line for the gates of Little-Chester. It is known through the country by the name of the Long-lane, and its whole appearance is such as demonstrates to an antiquary, a Roman, or perhaps a British, origin. After entering LittleChester it issues from the present main street of the village, by what was probably the east gate of the station, and proceeds in its old line, leaving Chaddesden close on the right, through Stanton, into Nottinghamshire.

" Mr. Watson, in his very clear and excellent account of the station of Melandra Castle, in Archæol. vol. iii. p. 237, observes, that from the south, east gate of that fort, a Roman road went over the moors to Brough, the line of which, for a great part, is still followed, the old pavement in many places remaining, with drains cut through it when it crosses any marshy ground. It seems to have passed Glossop on the left, running between Cross-Cliff and Whitfield, leaving the great hill of Kinderscout to, the south-west, and that of Crookstonclose on the north-east, and bearing in a straight line through Aston, to the north-west entrance of the Roman station at Brough. It is curious enough, that in all this part of its course, it goes by the name of the Doctor's-Gate, that on the other side of Brough it enters a field called the Doctors-Pasture: and that a road on the west side of Melandra falls into the great Roman way between Manchester and York, at a place which is termed the Doctor's-Lane-Head. The circumstance evidently points out a connection between the three roads, which were indeed all certainly Roman.

" There are some traces of a road, said to be high raised, near Edinghall, on the south-west borders of Derbyshire, pointing to Lullington, and supposed to communicate with a more decided one near Tamworth and Dray ton-Basset in Staffordshire. This last is a part of the Salters-way, from Droitwich into Lincolnshire; and the Edinghall road, if connected with ft, would have a claim to be considered as British. It passes, however, through a very small space of this county, and will be traced more particularly in another part of the work, " Nor have we much better information of what Nichols, in his History of Leicestershire, calls a bridle road from Derby to Coventry, and which he says is still frequented by the drovers as the best and shortest way between these towns. His informer (who gives a very confused account of it) says, it comes from Stanton, coincides in part of its course with the Salters-way, (which is next to impossible, as the bearings of the two are so different,) and turning south, passes through Sibston, Atterton, and Fen-Drayton, into the Watling-Street, about a mile and a half south-east of Mancester. From this statement, however, it is highly probable that there has been a Roman way in this direction, between Little-Chester and the stations on the Watling-Street, which, turning south-south-west after passing the bridge at Derventio, might leave Derby, Osmaston, and Swarkston on the left, cross the Trent from the latter village about Stanley, and running near StauntonHarold, Ticknal, Smithsby, and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, proceed by Swebston and Congeston, crossing the Salters-rbad near the latter, and keeping its own line (and not turning as has been supposed) straight through,Sibston, Atterton, and Dray ton, to the Watling-Street, near Mancester; especially as on the other side of this street, a way, undoubtedly Roman, proceeded in the very same bearing towards Mancester and Chesterton on the Foss.

" Marks of a third of these uncertain roads are supposed to have been seen on the east side of the Derwent, between Little-Chester and Sawley-Ferry, bearing thence to the station of Leicester, or Willoughby on the Fosse; nor indeed is it likely that so important a place as Little-Chester should have been without some communication of this sort on the side of Ratœ. In fact, this would be the continuance of the Roman road from Buxton in its original bearing.

" Having thus collected as much as is at present known of the Roman roads in this county, we come in course to consider the towns or stations in it. Of these Little-Chester was by far the most considerable. It is on the Derwent, about a mile above Derby, which no doubt has risen from its ruins; the inhabitants, when the bridge over the river was destroyed, settling (as was most natural) at the nearest ford; at which also, as I before mentioned, there is reason to think the old British road crossed, a circumstance which would have given an additional reason for the preference. The Roman town is now the site of a small village. Stukeley could trace the wall quite round in his time: the fort was of an oblong figure, containing about six acres; and streets or roads were to be seen in the fields near it, which he supposed the suburbs. Coins of brass, silver, and gold, with antiquities of every kind have been found, and foundations of buildings are still sometimes discovered. There is good ground to suppose it was called Derventio, from the neighbouring river, though therewere at least two other towns of the same name in the island; one near York, and a second in Cumberland. The many roads bearing in every direction to the station, the numerous remains dug up on the spot, and the exact distance from Ad Trivonam and Etocetum, which Richard states Derventio to be in his i8th iter, put this subject out of all reasonable doubt.

" Another Roman town was at Brough, in the parish of Hope. It stood in some fields called the Halsteads, in an angle formed by the junction of two brooks, Bradwell and the Now, a situation which the Romans seem always to have chosen if they could possibly obtain it. It is of the shape also to which they gave a preference, an oblong of 310 feet by 270; three of the sides being still nearly perfect. Only one or two coins have been found: but urns, bricks, stone columns, foundations, one of a temple or other large building, and a tile with the remains of an inscription, C O H. undoubtedly for Cohors, have been discovered; and two decided roads, as we have seen, certainly met there. The name is unknown, but the town is undoubtedly Roman.

" A third Roman station, and of the same decided nature as the two lastmentioned, is at Melandra Castle, in the parish of Glossop, in the northwest part of the Peak, near Cheshire. Mr. Watson, who first discovered it, has given a remarkably good account of it in the third volume of the Archaeologia. It is nearly square, 122 yards by 112; and situated like that at Brough, at the meeting of two mountain-brooks. The ramparts and part of the ditch still remain; and the four entrances, as well as the site of the prœtorium, may be discovered. Foundations of many buildings are on the sides, sloping to the water. A etone too has been dug up, bearing an inscription which makes mention of a centurion of a Frisian cohort, the same body of troops which constituted the Roman garrison at Manchester, to which therefore this fort was probably an out-post. And it may be, that the troops stationed on these remote forts, were recalled to headquarters at the approach of the enemy; which will account for the few coins found, and the more perfect state of the ramparts, both here and at Brough.

" The last of our certain Roman stations was at Buxton, a spot known probably from very early antiquity for its warm springs; and evidently inhabited on this account by the Romans, several of whose haths have been discovered here, and one indeed so lately as 1781, in digging the foundations of the present Crescent. The station itself is supposed by Watson to have been on the hill above the hall, which is known by the name of the Stene or Stane Cliffs. Major Rooke also, in 1787, found remains which he conjectured to be those of a Roman temple. From these circumstances, and still more from the meeting of at least three of their roads at the same point, there is little doubt of a Roman town having existed in this spot; and there is some foundation for supposing the name of it to have been Aquœ, not only as Aquœ Sextiœ in Provence, and Aquœ Soils or Sulis in Somersetshire, were names given by the Romans to places distinguished like this by their warm springs; but because in Ravennas (who observes an awkward sort of order in his Geographical Enumeration of our British towns) the Roman station of Aquœ appears not far from Lindum (Lincoln) on one side, and Camulodurrum (Slack in Yorkshire) on the other; a situation which agrees perfectly well with this of Buxton.

" The above-mentioned places have all of them, I believe, good claim to be considered as Roman; but there are two others, whose pretensions are of a more uncertain nature. The first of these is at Parwich, between Buxton and Ashborne. The camp, which is Roman in its shape, lies about half a mile from the village, at a spot called Lombard's-Green. Roman coins too have been found there, but in an urn, not scattered upon the surface, which last circumstance would have been decisive in its favour. Foundations of walls have been dug up, and a bank, whether a prœtentura or a road is uncertain, runs strait from it to the Ashborne road on one side, and to a pool of water on the other. It must be owned that the names Lombard's-Green and Parwich (Parvus Vicus) might warrant the conjecture; and the distance, which is about half way from Buxton to Little-Chester, would suit well for an intermediate station. But, with all these advantages, the distance of two miles and a half from the Roman road, and an apparent want of connexion with it, is an objection not to be got over. If, indeed, a way from Buxton to Rocester should be found in the direction of the present Ashborne turnpike road, Parwich, being then in the space between two Roman roads, might haye some right to be considered as a station to accommodate both; but till such a discovery is made, an antiquary of any experience must be inclined to suspend his opinion.

" Another camp with a claim of the same nature is at Pentrich, on the Rykneld-Street, between Little-Chester and Chesterfield: its figure also is Roman, being square with a double vallum. Tt lies close to.the road; one coin at least has been found in it; and the distance suits well for a mansio between these two stations, being 11 or 12 miles from each. Indeed, the situation does not at all agree with Richard's present numbers; and this seems to have misled Mr. Pegge, who does not even notice its pretensions, but supposes the intermediate station would be found at Higham or Linbury, at the latter of which places, as I observed, foundations of old buildings have been discovered. But the numerals in Richard's iters, which are never remarkably accurate, are less so than usual in these roads, which he alone describes; being unchecked by those in Antonine, and only guessed at in his rude times by ignorant monks whom he states as his informers. And in this particular iter it is impossible to reconcile them either with one another or with truth; one station being inserted without name or numbers, and another with a number impossible to be right, being 16 miles from Chesterfield, and more than that from Derventio. See Pegge, in Bib. Topog. No. 24. who quotes Bertram's edition of Richard's Iters.
Eboracum Legiolio, m. p. XXI
Ad Fines, XVIII
.... m. p. XVI Supposed Chesterfield.
....... XVI
Derventione, m. p. XVI

" Now if we suppose the number left vacant to be as small as possible, for instance VII., the distance from Little-Chester to Chesterfield, according to Pcgge, would be 39 miles, but by actual measurement it is only 23. It is, therefore, far more rational, as Mr. Leman and Whitaker have agreed, to strike out the vacant fifth station, and alter the XVI on each side to XII, which in the first placo would agree to the whole distance between Little-Chester and Chesterfield, and in the second to the particular distance of Pentrich from both of them; though this last circumstance seems to have escaped Whitaker's notice. The iter would then stand thus:—
.....XVI Supposed Chesterfield.
.....XII Supposed Pentrich.
.....XII Little-Chester.

" I should, therefore, without much hesitation, be inclined to rank the camp at Pentrich among the Derbyshire stations, as noticed by Richard in his 18th Iter.

" As to the Roman camp in the gardens of the village, which Pegge states as so plainly to be seen from the hill above Castleton in the Peak, it may have been either a summer camp for the garrison of Brough,. or constructed here as a check to the old works on Mam-Tor, which King and others call Roman, but which I should rather suppose British, as we find circumstances exactly similar at Burrinswark in Scotland, and at the foot of the great British camp on Borough-hill near Daventry.

"The camp on Combe-Moss, four miles from Buxton, which Major Rooke is said to have discovered, may in like manner have been a summer, or an exploratory camp to that station; but this antiquary was too apt to suppose all the camps he saw, however irregular in their shape, to be Roman, and he has not left us the slightest description of it to form our opinion on the subject."


  • n1. See Archæologia, vol. vi. p. II2, II3. vol. vii.p. 19. 177.
  • n2. Pilkington's Derbyshire, vol. ii. p. 459.
  • n3. Printed in the Archaelogia, vol. vii. p. I3I.
  • n4. Communicated by Hayman Rooke, Esq., to the Society of Antiquaries, and printed in the Archæologia, vol. xii. p. 327.
  • n5. Vol. x. p. 114.
  • n6. Camden speaks of the great quantities of lead melted on the hills near Crich. Britan. p.314. Edit. 1586.
  • n7. Archæologia, vol. vii, p. 175. Bray's Tour, p. 243
  • n8. Archæologia, vol.vii. p. 177.
  • n9. Ibid. p. 19
  • n10. P.318.
  • n11. Reliquiae Rom. vol. i. part. ir. pl. I, 2.
  • n12. Cough's Camden, vol.iii.p. 28.
  • n13. Archaeol. vol. ix. p. 45.
  • n14. Ibid. vol. v. p. 369.
  • n15. Ibid. vol. vii. p. 170.
  • n16. This was presented by Mr. Adam Wolley to the British Museum, where that found on Cromford-moor is also deposited.
  • n17. See fac-similes of two of these the annexed plate.
  • n18. Seep. ccxi.
  • n19. Vol. xviii. p. 91.
  • n20. A silver dish or lanx, of the same kind, and quite perfect, was found near Corbridge, in Northumberland, in the year 1735, and is now in the possession of the Duke of Northumberland. It is 20 inches long and 15 wide, and weighs 148 ounces. See Hutchinson's Northum berland, vol. i. p.145
  • n21. They are now in the possession of Mr. White Watson of Bakewell. See an account of this discovery in the 9th vol. of the Archæologia, p. 189.
  • n22. J. Reynolds's Collections.
  • n23. Ibid.
  • n24. Ibid. vol. x.
  • n25. J. Reynolds's Collections.
  • n26. Gents. Mag. for 1784. part II. p. 791.
  • n27. Archaeol. vol. x.
  • n28. Communicated by the Bishop of Cloyne.
  • n29. In this part of its course it leaves Alfreton (which some writers supposed it passed through, and have even called a station on it) without notice, nearly two miles on its right.
  • n30. The occurrence of the name of this station on the Roman pigs of lead found in Derbyshire, affords a strong confirmation of this conjecture. See p. ccvi. S.L.