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Monument record MDR334 - Alleged Roman structure (site of), Terrace Road, Buxton

Type and Period (2)

  • (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD?)
  • ? (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

In 1788 Hayman Rooke gave a short account of what he described as 'a little Roman building, the foundation of which I discovered last September at Buxton'. He stated that there was 'an oblong tumulus inclosed with a ditch and vallum; the ditch 3 yards wide; the vallum was not of equal height in every part. On opening this tumulus at the top, we found one foot of earth, which covered a body of stiff blue clay of about four feet, and which appeared to have been rammed in. Close to the ditch we discovered a strong wall made without mortar, inclosing an oblong square 46 feet by 22 feet 6 inches … From the foundation, on the outside only, were four off-sets; the inside of the wall was rough and irregular; which are proofs of its having been built against the above mentioned body of clay … The superstructure seems to have been built with large well-dressed stones; as those now appear to be which are above the off-sets. Nothing was found in clearing out the clay but two or three nails, a fragment of a patera, and a piece of a tile with the sides raised, exactly of the same kind as those found in the Roman villa [at Mansfield Woodhouse]'. Rooke suggested the building could be a temple built on the hill, with extensive views. (1) Round the healing springs at Buxton there naturally gathered a small settlement or village. Traces of this have been encountered at various times on the low hill which rises south and south-east of the baths, some 60 or 70 feet above them. The first discovery came in 1787, when Rooke noticed here some 'little banks of earth' and 'an oblong tumulus' and, on digging, uncovered some masonry. He describes this masonry as an unmortared wall crowned originally (as he supposed) by a superstructure of well-dressed stone. The use of the building cannot now be determined. Rooke thought it a temple, but for this there seems no good reason. He gives the position as on the top of Staincliff, which corresponds to the present Terrace and Terrace Road. Unfortunately, his plans of the site and the building are practically useless. (2) In 1787, a building was uncovered by Rooke on top of Staincliff, which corresponds to the present Terrace and Terrace Road. The building comprised an unmortared wall enclosing a rectangular area 7m (22.5ft) by 14m (46ft), forming a podium 1.3m (4ft) high. The axis is north-south, facing the Roman bath at St. Anne's Well and this is very probably the temple of Arnemetia. The temple of Sulis at Bath faced the baths in the same way. (3) The earliest undoubtedly Roman discovery was made by Rooke in 1788 on the Slopes, somewhere in the area bounded by the present War Memorial and meteorological station (judging from his plan and the map of 1780). He found a rectangular structure with stepped rubble sides and a clay core. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Article in serial: Rooke, H. 1789. 'Account of a Roman Building and Camp lately discovered in Buxton in the County of Derbyshire..', Archaeologia.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Haverfield, F. 1905. 'Romano-British Derbyshire', in Victoria County History, Derbyshire, Vol 1. p 225.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Lewis, M. J. T. 1966. Temples in Roman Britain. p 71.
  • <4> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 0549, 0553.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Walker, J, Walker L & Sheppard, R (TPAT). 1994. Buxton: The Natural Baths. p 10.



Grid reference Centred SK 058 734 (63m by 67m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3930

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Record last edited

Jan 31 2018 10:58AM

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