Approximate line of the Roman road running south-east from Derby as far as Sawley on the River Trent, perhaps for river traffic there, as there is no trace of any road continuation beyond. From Little Chester a paved road has been proved from the Mansfield road on to the racecourse, although then for half a mile the suburb of Chaddesden has obliterated any traces. Beyond this the Nottingham/Derby road follows the alignment for 3¼ miles to Borrowash and then, where this turns off, the road through Draycott continues the same line, a footpath linking the two in Borrowash and preserving the line for a few yards. The Nottingham road is a fine highway and is raised 2-3 feet, and the road through Draycott is also somewhat raised in many places. Near Sawley Grange the present road diverges from the alignment for half a mile but there seems to be no trace of the old road upon the alignment there. Then for the last mile into Sawley the present road follows the line closely again. (1)
A section of this road was uncovered in a field adjoining Derby Racecourse in 1910. It was described as being 12ft wide, with metalling of heavy coarse sandstone covered with a 3 inch layer of smooth gravel. (2)
Further excavation of the road on Derby Racecourse in 1974 showed it to differ significantly in its construction from the stretch that had been examined in 1910. It was suggested that the road was probably constructed shortly after the establishment of the fort at Little Chester in the 80s AD. (3) [see SMR 32522 for more details of the road within Derby City boundaries]
Bibliographic reference: Margary, I D. 1967. Roman Roads in Britain. Chapter 7: The West and North Midlands. Roman road no. 182.
Article in serial: Smithard, W. 1913. 'Records and traces of old roads near Derby', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 35, pp 111-136.
Article in serial: Dool, J. 1985. 'Derby Racecourse: excavations on the Roman Industrial Settlement, 1970', in 'Roman Derby: Excavations 1968-1983', Derbyshire Archaological Journal. Volume 105, pp 155-221. pp 156-158.
Find a placename, postcode or grid reference
The map is limited to 3000 records per layer so not all records are being displayed for this area. Zoom in to see more.
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.