Ancient Monuments

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Roman bath house at Parker's Piece

A Scheduled Monument in Darley, Derby

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Latitude: 52.9322 / 52°55'55"N

Longitude: -1.4764 / 1°28'35"W

OS Eastings: 435291.773476

OS Northings: 337326.482845

OS Grid: SK352373

Mapcode National: GBR PKB.G7

Mapcode Global: WHDGT.9K6G

Entry Name: Roman bath house at Parker's Piece

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1952

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007049

English Heritage Legacy ID: DB 105

County: Derby

Electoral Ward/Division: Darley

Built-Up Area: Derby

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Chester Green St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Derby


This monument includes the buried remains of a Roman bath house situated on level ground to the east of the River Derwent. The bath house survives as a series of buried structures and deposits which were discovered in 1924 during the erection of a pavilion. The site was partially excavated revealing a hypocaust and the foundations of a stone wall measuring 10.6m long and 0.9m thick containing flanged hypocaust tiles and wall plaster. Finds of Roman bricks and tiles, as well as imported Roman pottery, were also recorded. The bath house is sited about 137m to the south west of the Roman Station of Derventio.
The pavilion stands partly within the monument, but is excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath it is included. This monument lies within the buffer zone of Derwent Mills World Heritage Site.

PastScape Monument No:-313286
NMR:- SK33NE12

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The bath house was one of the principal public buildings of a Roman town. The practice of communal bathing was an integral part of Roman urban life, and the public bath house served an important function as a place for relaxation and social congregation as well as exercise and hygiene. Public bath houses were used by most inhabitants of Roman towns, including slaves, to the extent that private bathing facilities in town houses were rare; men and women bathed at separate times of day, or in separate suites. Bath houses therefore varied in both size and plan, according to the local population and bathing arrangements, but all consisted of a series of rooms of graded temperature containing a variety of plunge-baths. The bath house was heated by hypocausts connected to nearby furnaces; it was also linked to, and depended upon, an engineered water supply which involved the construction of drains, sewers and an aqueduct. As a necessity of Roman town life, the public bath house was one of the first buildings to be constructed after the establishment of a town. Most bath houses, therefore, originated in the first or second century AD and continued in use, with alterations, to the fifth century. They are distributed throughout the towns of Roman Britain. In view of their importance for an understanding of Romano-British urban development and social practice, all surviving examples are considered to be worthy of protection.
The bath house near Chester Green Road, is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. Such deposits will provide information on the construction, use and abandonment of the bath house and the associated Roman fort of Derventio. It is an important monument group and will improve our knowledge and understanding of the social, economic and cultural elements of the Roman community and its place in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England

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