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Historic England Research Records

Ryknild Street

Hob Uid: 1047337
Location :
City Of Derby, Derbyshire
City Of Derby, Erewash, Amber Valley, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield
Denby, Ripley, Chesterfield, Pentrich, South Wingfield, Wingerworth, Grassmoor, Hasland And Winsick, City Of Derby, Breadsall, Morley, Horsley, Horsley Woodhouse, Shirland And Higham, Stretton, Clay Cross, Tupton
Grid Ref : SK3970070000
Summary : Roman road running from Little Chester to Chesterfield, surviving as earthwork in places and sub-surface deposit. At Old Tupton the agger was noted to be 40 feet wide and 3 to 4 feet wide.
More information : RR 18d. Ryknild Street. Derby (Little Chester) to Chesterfield.
The course is well marked beyond Breadsall, one and a half miles from Little Chester, but the intervening length has not yet been ascertained. A section beyond Breadsall was examined to the south of Morley Moor where the road consisted of a foundation of sandstone blocks, a layer of smaller pieces of sandstone and a surface of small stones, over 18 feet wide.
To the north of the farm on Marks Hill there was a layer of gravel resting upon sandstone pitching about 18 feet wide.
At Brackley Gate the alignment changes from east of north to almost due north and continues straight as Street Lane, some substantial agger beind seen along the western side at several points. A particularly fine piece of agger, 3-4 feet high is visible just before the hamlet of Street Lane.
A short distance past the Heage-Ripley road there was evidently another change in alignment and traces of agger can be seen near the main Ripley road at Lower Hartsay. The alignment passes the west side of Pentrich village and close to the east side of Coneygrey Farm through fields. Just before Oakerthorpe the present road joins the alignment until Toadhole Furnace where the present road climbs to a higher level and the Roman alignment continues straight. It is clearly marked as a tufted terrace and in places as an agger to Shirland. Recent examination here showed that coal packed with stone was used for surfacing. After this the road becomes a ridgeway through Higham, Stretton and Clay Cross.
Half a mile beyond Clay Cross the present road bears away to the west through Old Tupton, and an agger, 40 feet wide and 3-4 feet high is preserved between Egstow and Tupton smithy in the meadow. It also appears just to the south of Egstow Hall Farm on the south side of the stream. A section examined here showed that the surface layer had barely survived but the core of rammed gravel and clay remained, 17 feet wide and a later deposit of earth.
The alignment continued to Four Lane Ends Farm passing the east side of Aldington's Estate, Wingerworth. A section cut here, 300 yards south of Mill Lane showed the road with side ditches,17 feet wide, comprising a layer of flat stones resting on a foundation of rammed gravel and clay.
The road was traced on this line a little to the north of its crossing with Mill Lane and suggests that it may have crossed the Rother directly to pass just to the east of Chesterfield, or a turn may have been made to keep west of the river. (1)
For continuation of this road to Rotherham see RR 18e (LINEAR 495)

See Ordnance Survey Linear Archive File RR 18d & e for details including possible deviation via Chesterfield Roman forts (a) (2)

ENTRY IN THE SCHEDULE OF MONUMENTS COMPILED AND MAINTAINED BY THE SECRETARY OF
STATE UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREAS ACT
1979 AS AMENDED.
MONUMENT: Section of Ryknield Street Roman road 220m north east of Pear Tree Farm
PARISH: TUPTON
DISTRICT: NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE
COUNTY: DERBYSHIRE
NATIONAL MONUMENT NO: 35627
NATIONAL GRID REFERENCE(S): SK3909565209
SK3908465044
DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT
This monument includes a section of Ryknield Street Roman road, here visible as an earthwork, forming part of the original Roman road between Chesterfield and Little Chester. This is a proven Roman road serving Chesterfield and Pentrich Roman forts traceable for many miles to the north and south of the site. The earthwork survives well in two sections and the monument is therefore defined by two separate areas of protection. These two areas of Ryknield Street have been identified as the best preserved section of the Roman road certainly within the county of Derbyshire if not further afield.
At Old Tupton the road is broadly aligned north-northeast by south-southwest, angling eastwards towards Eckington as it continues northwards of the site.
The northernmost section survives as a substantial earthwork approximately 105m in length and 1-1.5m in height and rises to a cambered surface. The western limit of the earthwork has been obscured through a raising and levelling of the ground to the west of the monument that might relate to the use of the site as a cricket pitch in the early 20th Century. The southern area of protection is more denuded standing approximately 0.3m high. It is approximately 30m in length, the southernmost 10m of the earthwork having been truncated, possibly at the time Egstow Hall (a Grade II listed building)was built in the 17th Century. The earthwork does not survive above ground immediately beyond this section. Investigation beneath the peak of the camber to the west of Packman's Cottages revealed a stony or hard substrate at a depth of 10-20cm which is understood to be the road surface. A second partial excavation found 5cm by 5cm pieces of sandstone at a depth of 20-25cm. These findings are comparable to the construction material discovered during excavation of a section of the road to the north in New Tupton in May 1975. Here at least two phases of road surfaces were revealed.
All hardstandings, fence posts, boundary markers, the roofed structure
located in the south west corner of the southern area of protection and the gate and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath all these features is included.
At Old Tupton the road is broadly aligned north-northeast by south-southwest, angling eastwards towards Eckington as it continues northwards of the site.
The northern-most section survives as a substantial earthwork approximately 105m in length and 1-1.5m in height and rises to a cambered surface. The western limit of the earthwork has been obscured through a raising and levelling of the ground to the west of the monument that might relate to the use of the site as a cricket pitch in the early 20th Century. The southern section of the monument is more denuded standing approximately 0.3m high. It is approximately 30m in length, the southern most 10m of the earthwork having been truncated, possibly at the time Egstow Hall (Grade II) was built in the 17th Century. The earthwork does not survive above ground immediately beyond this section. Investigation beneath the peak of the camber to the west of
Packman's Cottages revealed a stony or hard substrate at a depth of 10-20cm which is understood to be the road surface. A second partial excavation found five by 5cm pieces of sandstone at a depth of 20-25cm. These findings are comparable to the construction material discovered during excavation of a section of the road to the north in New Tupton in May 1975. Here at least two phases of road surfaces were revealed.
All hardstandings, fence posts, boundary markers, the roofed structure located in the south west corner of the southern area of protection and the gate and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath all these features is included.
ASSESSMENT OF IMPORTANCE
Roman roads were artificially made-up routes introduced to Britain by the Roman army from c.AD 43. They facilitated both the conquest of the province and its subsequent administration. Their main purpose was to serve the Cursus Publicus, or Imperial mail service. Express messengers could travel up to 150 miles (241km) per day on the network of Roman roads throughout Britain and Europe, changing horses at wayside `mutationes' posting stations set every 8 miles (12.87km) on major roads) and stopping overnight at `mansiones' (rest houses located every 20-25 miles (32km-40km). In addition, throughout the Roman period and later, Roman roads acted as commercial routes and became foci for settlement and industry. Mausolea were sometimes built flanking roads during the Roman period while, in the Anglian and medieval periods, Roman roads often served as property boundaries. Although a number of roads fell out of use soon after the withdrawal of Rome from the province in the fifth century AD, many have continued in use down to the present day and are consequently sealed beneath modern roads.
On the basis of construction technique, two main types of Roman road are distinguishable. The first has widely spaced boundary ditches and a broad elaborate agger comprising several layers of graded materials. The second usually has drainage ditches and a narrow simple agger of two or three successive layers. In addition to ditches and construction pits flanking the sides of the road, features of Roman roads can include central stone ribs, kerbs and culverts, not all of which will necessarily be contemporary with the original construction of the road. With the exception of the extreme south-west of the country, Roman roads are widely distributed throughout England and extend into Wales and lowland Scotland.
They are highly representative of the period of Roman administration and provide important evidence of Roman civil engineering skills as well as the pattern of Roman conquest and settlement. A high proportion of examples exhibiting good survival are considered to be worthy of
protection.
The section of Ryknield Street to the north east of Pear Tree Farm has been recognised to be one of the best preserved sections of Roman road in Derbyshire, surviving for over 100m as an upstanding earthwork that is seemingly undisturbed. It constitutes a significant stretch of the road between the Roman forts at Chesterfield and Pentrich. The monument will retain important archaeological deposits which will contribute significantly to our knowledge and understanding of the form of construction of this important feature of Roman infrastructure. (3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Roman roads in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 306-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1973
Source Number : 1a
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Derby, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 243
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1909
Source Number : 3
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Heritage Protection Adviser 25-JUN-2010
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 1b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Pegge S. 1769. Roman Roads through the country of the Coritani. 7.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 1c
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 206
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8
Source Number : 1d
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Smithard W.
Page(s) : 111
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 35
Source Number : 1e
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Munslow F W.
Page(s) : 74
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 68
Source Number : 1f
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Saunders M.
Page(s) : 110
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 79
Source Number : 1g
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Oakley R H.
Page(s) : 144
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 75
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Linear Archive File RR 18d & 18e in NMRC
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : Derbyshire archaeological journal
Source details : Riden P.
Page(s) : 18-24
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 100 - 1980

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Road
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Roman Road Number
External Cross Reference Number : RR 18d
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 35627/01
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : LINEAR 494
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RYCKNIELD STREET, LITTLE CHESTER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1910-01-01
End Date : 1911-12-31
Associated Activities : MOORLEY MOOR
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1948-01-01
End Date : 1948-12-31
Associated Activities : RYKNIELD STREET, OLD TUPTON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF MILL LANE, RYKNIELD STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : RYKNIELD STREET, SKEGGERLEG
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : DARLEY PLAYING FIELDS, LITTLE CHESTER (RYCKNIELD STREET)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1966-12-31
Associated Activities : RYKNIELD STREET, NEW TUPTON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1975-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : RYCKNIELD STREET, WINGERWORTH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : RYCKNIELD STREET, WINGERWORTH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : STORFORTH LANE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : 19 RYKNIELD ROAD, KILBURN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31