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Chesterfield Roman Fort

Hob Uid: 314408
Location :
Derbyshire
Chesterfield
Chesterfield
Grid Ref : SK3850071100
Summary : The possible site of Roman forts. Excavation during the last few years has led to re-assessment of the location and date of the fort, which occupies a promontory west of Station Road. Topographical indications suggest a size of circa 2.8 hectares (7 acres), and the finds indicate occupation circa AD 80-100. The south side lies south of the Church Lane,where a ditch was found in 1974,apparently curving outwards at a gate. West of this in the Vicarage garden the ditch resumes the alignment with indications of a demolished turf rampart. North of the gate-position, at Alpine Garden, three wall-trenches define the south-east corner of a military building with which Flavian samian was associated; the most southerly of these lies just north of an Iron Age defensive ditch, apparently backfilled when the fort was built. The significance of the ditches previously reported down-slope from Station Road, and the early dates suggested for them, remain to be confirmed.
More information : The remains of two successive Roman forts at Chesterfield have been discovered by excavations. The excavations were carried out by North Derbyshire Archaeological Society in 1974-7 at sites in Church Lane (SK 384711), Swan Yard (SK 386712) and Spa Lane/Station Road (SK 386711). The first fort was of Claudian date (41-54 AD) oriented north - south. The south defences of this fort were located in Church Lane and the south east angle at Station Road. The defences of this fort comprised a ditch, intervallum road and clay rampart. Later in the first century this fort was dismantled and a smaller one built on a different alignment: north-north-east to south-south-west. The eastern defences, located on the west side of Station Road, consisted of a clay and turf rampart, 7.5m wide, and a ditch, 3.0m wide. During a second phase, there was a six-post gateway here.Only the ditch of a third phase was found. This fort was abandoned in the mid 2nd century. An annexe to the first fort ran west - east downhill from the south east corner towards the river Rother.

At the Swan Yard site, remains of timber buildings within the fort were found. These were in four phases, the first circa 70-80 AD; the latest pottery found was of 120-130 AD. These buildings, and the defences, were succeeded by an occupation phase of iron-working furnaces about 130 AD and no evidence was found of any occupation, civil or military, after the second century. (1-3)

Liversidge (4) states that the Roman place-name "Lvtvdarvm" is probably Chesterfield, but Rivet and Smith (5) say that it is too far to the north east and that a site near Wirksworth is indicated. (4-5)

The first fort at Chesterfield laid out about AD 54-55, and possibly of the standard rectangular plan, was sited on the 300ft. O.D. contour of the spur. A second phase is represented by a curving ditch added to the south-east corner, and by two groups of internal timber structures. A large ditch to the south of these features may be identified as an annexe. Pottery evidence demonstrates demolition of this feature around AD 80 with perhaps a caretaker garrison in occupation thereafter. Around AD 100, the fort was rebuilt with an eastern entrance on the Station Road (1975) site and the south-east corner lying just north of the present road junction of Spa Lane and Station Road. The final phase of occupation of the fort is marked by a number of ovens and furnaces connected with metal-working. The fort was abandoned around AD 140 and does not appear to have been re-occupied by a military garrison. This is a tentative summary pending completion of post-excavation analysis and full
publication. (6)

SK 384712. Excavation during the last ten years has led to re-assessment of the location and date of the fort, which occupies a promontory west of Station Road; topographical indications suggest a size of c2.8 ha (7 acres), and the finds an occupation cAD 80-100.The south side lies south of the Church Lane,where a ditch was found in 1974,apparently curving outwards at a gate; west of this in the Vicarage garden the ditch resumes the alignment with indications of a demolished turf rampart. North of the gate-position, at Alpine Garden, three wall-trenches define the SE corner of a military building with which Flavian samian was associated; the most southerly of these (40cm wide by 20cm deep) lies just north of an Iron Age defensive ditch, apparently backfilled when the fort was built. The significance of the ditches previously reported down-slope from Station Road, and the early dates suggested for them, remain to be confirmed. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 7 1976 322 (R Goodburn)
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 8 1977 387 (S S Frere)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 9 1978 430-2 illus (R Goodburn)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britain in the Roman Empire 1968 208-9 (J Liversidge)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Place-Names in Roman Britain 1979 403-4 (A L F Rivet & C Smith)
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500 1981 87 (C.R. Hart)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 16 1985 282
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 100
Monument Start Date : 80
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 37 SE 22
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1047337
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1047415
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : SWAN YARD, ST MARY'S GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : CHURCH LANE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : SWAN YARD, ST MARY'S GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : STATION ROAD (EAST & WEST & SPA LANE?)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1975-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : VICAR LANE, CHESTERFIELD
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31
Associated Activities : VICAR LANE, CHESTERFIELD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD VICARAGE GARDEN
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND ADJACENT TO CHURCH WAY
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND TO REAR OF THE SLUG & FIDDLE PH, CHURCH WAY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : SPA LANE VAULTS, ST MARY'S GATE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31