Skip to main content

Find Spot record MDR11368 - Inhumation, Chester Green, Derby

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

"On the 16th of September, 1824, whilst the workmen of Mr Harrison, of Derby, were digging for the foundation of a wall upon the Green adjoining Little Chester, they discovered the greater part of the bones of a male skeleton lying at full length, fifteen inches below the surface, with the head towards the north. The workmen destroyed the skull before they were aware of the existence of the skeleton, and the small bones of the hands and the feet had nearly mouldered away. From admeasurement of the bones which remained, the man must have been, whilst alive, about five feet ten inches. Iron rivets, much corroded, were found near various parts of the body and limbs; and a thin stratum of an ochry yellow colour surrounded the trunk and extremities, at the distance of an inch and a half from the bones; the ferruginous colour of this stratum was similar to that of the rivets, which, together with their situation, can leave but little doubt that the remains were those of a warrior who had been interred in his armour." Bateman considered that this was the skeleton of a Roman who had been "hastily interred in his military harness". As the bone was in poor condition, a plaster cast was taken by Mr Douglas Fox whilst the skeleton remained partially embedded in the clay. (1) The finding of the skeleton was reported in the Derby Mercury on September 22 1824 and by 1852 the cast referred to by Bateman was an exhibit in the new Town and Country Museum which had transferred from Full Street to the Athenaeum, a new building in Victoria Street. The north-south orientation of the body suggests either a Roman or a Saxon grave. The reference in the report to Mr Harrison indicates a possible approximate location for the find, as in the 1820s Harrison built a detached house, called Chester House, or sometimes 'The Grange' which stood on Mansfield Road, just south of the crossroads with Alfreton Road and Old Chester Road. It is obviously not possible to know which wall was being referred to. (2, 3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1848. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire. pp 149-150.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: D'Arcy, J. 2005. A City Within a City. Little Chester, Derby, AD80 - AD2000. pp 47-48.
  • <3> Unpublished document: D'Arcy, J. Email to the SMR regarding burials at Little Chester, 30 October 2007.



Grid reference SK 35654 37462 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Aug 23 2022 6:02PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.