The Roman road known as Ryknield Street seems to have been an important route running nearly due south-north through the Midlands, to give direct access from the Foss Way north-east of Cirencester to settlements at Alcester, Wall (at the junction with Watling Street), Derby and Templeborough in Yorkshire. Its route is described by Margary (Authority 1), with the relevant Derbyshire sections being his Roman road nos. 18c, 18d and 18e. In summary, the road would have crossed the River Dove into Derbyshire at Stretton, somewhere near its junction with the Trent. Although the present road curves westward, it is likely that the old road made a direct crossing which has long since been destroyed. From here it ran north-east to the Roman site at Little Chester on the northern edge of Derby. It then ran in a more northerly direction towards Chesterfield, its course being visible in some areas and uncertain in others. It probably passed just to the east of the modern core of Chesterfield, and then continued northwards towards the Roman site at Templeborough (Rotherham), although its exact route is less certain in north-east Derbyshire. (1)
Excavations have taken place on sections in Tapton in 1954. (2, 3)
Route may have linked up to the fort known as Ad Pontem. (4)
Traces of the road were found during a resistivity survey of 2017 c.170m east of the earthworks of the scheduled Roman fort of castle Hill. (5)
Bibliographic reference: Margary, I D. 1967. Roman Roads in Britain. Chapter 7: The West and North Midlands. Roman road no. 18.
Photograph: Woodhead, K. 1954. Photos of excavation on the Roman Road in Tapton.
Bibliographic reference: Oakley, R. Excavations on Ryknield Street near Chesterfield, 1953 and 1954.
Unpublished document: Smith, R (Sherwood Archaeological Society). 1980. A review of the evidence for a road link in Roman times between the Foss Way and Ryknild Street connecting the fort of Ad Pontem with the Roman site at Chesterfield.
Unpublished document: Foster, K and B Foster. 2017. Coneygrey Farm, Pentrich, Derbyshire, DE5 3RJ: Electrical Resistivity Survey Report.
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Record last edited
Aug 8 2023 11:19AM
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