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Site record MDR11320 - Area of Roman Derby

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A chronology of Roman Derby is suggested based on successive excavations conducted until the 1980s around the Strutt's Park, Little Chester and Racecourse areas of Derby. Evidence begins with the establishment of a fort in Strutt's Park in the 50s AD, which appears to have been demolished and replaced by a civilian settlement when a new fort was built across the river at Little Chester in the 80s AD. Pottery kilns were constructed in the late 1st century on what became Derby Racecourse, and a cemetery was established here to serve the civilian settlement which grew up to the east of the fort. Occupation at the fort and in the associated settlement appears to have ceased by about the mid-4th century. The forts were served by road systems connecting to other forts outside the county. (1) Occupation is attested at Little Chester throughout the Roman period, and it continued to be a focus for settlement in the post-Roman centuries, as is shown by the recent discovery of pagan Saxon graves within the area of the fortifications. There is, however, no evidence for the presence of a Germanic yeomanry operating in the late Roman period as there was in other Midland sites, like Leicester, and there appears to have been a period of desertion preceding the pagan Saxon occupation. (2) In August 1998 Trent & Peak Archaeological Unit was commissioned by the Executors of the estate of Mrs A L Beighton to conduct an archaeological evaluation on land at 192 Duffield Road, Derby. Two areas of cobbled surface were recovered, one in association with cill-beam slots, suggesting that it was most likely to have been part of a timber building, and the other perhaps part of a second structure. It is suggested that these buildings represent 2nd century ribbon development along the Roman road from Little Chester to Rocester. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Article in serial: Wheeler, H. 1985. 'Conclusions: The Development of Roman Derby', in 'Roman Derby: Excavations 1968-1983', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 105, pp 300-304. Table 24.
  • <2> Article in serial: Hall, R. 1974. 'The Pre-Conquest Burgh of Derby', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 94, pp 16-23.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Garton, D, Guilbert, G and M Southgate (TPAU). 1998. An Archaeological Evaluation in Strutt's Park, at 192 Duffield Road, Derby.



Grid reference Centred SK 35629 37423 (1713m by 1086m)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

  • EDR5140
  • EDR5209
  • EDR4024
  • EDR3387
  • EDR2547

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Record last edited

Jul 17 2024 10:01AM

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