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Section of Ryknield Street Roman road 220m north east of Pear Tree Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tupton, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1824 / 53°10'56"N

Longitude: -1.4165 / 1°24'59"W

OS Eastings: 439093.555452

OS Northings: 365188.356999

OS Grid: SK390651

Mapcode National: GBR 69V.GQJ

Mapcode Global: WHDFP.68RN

Entry Name: Section of Ryknield Street Roman road 220m north east of Pear Tree Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 June 2010

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021444

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35627

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Tupton

Built-Up Area: Clay Cross

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: North Wingfield St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

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 C20. 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 C17. 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 C20. 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
C17. 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.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England

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