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CHAP. 6.

it, cut through a surface of loose stones and rock: the second is named Gorse Stone: and the third, which is the largest, is called Heart Stone, Gorse Stone. and measures eighty-three feet in circumference. Several other stones of Heart Stone. singular forms may be observed on different parts of the Moor; and particularly one called the Andle Stone, about a quarter of a mile eastward of Andle Stone. Router rocks: this is nearly sixteen feet high, and appears to have been shaped by art.

On the eminence above Matlock church, called Riber hill, are the remains of what has been supposed a Druidical altar, but which has more resemblance to a cromlech; though it may probably have only been intended as a point for the transmittal of signals. It is called the Hirst Hirst Stones, and consists of four rude masses of gritstone: one of which, apparently the smallest, is placed on the others and is computed to weigh about two tons. On the upper stone is a circular hole, six inches deep and nine in diameter, wherein, about fifty years ago, stood a stone pillar.


On the declivity of a hill on Ashover Common is a rocking-stone, called Robin by the country people Robin Hood's Mark, which measures about twenty

Hood's Mark.


six feet in circumference, and, from "its extraordinary position, evidently appears not only to have been the work of art, but to have been placed with great ingenuity."+ About two hundred yards to the north of this is a singular shaped rock, called the Turning Stone, in height nine feet; sup- Turning posed by Mr. Rooke to have been a rock idol.‡

Archæologia, Vol. VI. page 113, 114. Mr. Rooke supposes this name to have been derived


from the British Gorsed-dau.

[blocks in formation]

CHAP. 6.


On a waste piece of ground between Monyash and Arbor-low, about one mile and a half from the latter, is a huge block of limestone lying on the heath, and having a circular cavity on the top, which those who discover remnants of Druidism in every singularly shaped or hollow stone, would probably denominate a rock-bason. Its diameter is about nine or ten inches, and its depth eighteen or twenty. The interior is rugged and uneven; and has somewhat of the appearance of a corkscrew; though the hollows do not all run into each other. Scarcely a doubt can be entertained of this excavation being natural, though the particular cause of it cannot perhaps be assigned.

Two large stones, now lying on the ground in the township of Ludworth, Robin Hood's called by the inhabitants Robin Hood's picking-rods, formerly stood upright and were fixed into socket-stones. Near to them is a place called the Coombs, consisting of singular-shaped rocks.



Rocking Stone.

In the eighth volume of the Archæologia, is an account, by Mr. Hayman Rooke, of some ancient remains on Hathersage moor, particularly of a rocking-stone, twenty-nine feet in circumference; and near it, a large stone, with a rock-bason and many tumuli, in which urns, beads, and rings have been found. At a little distance, he mentions observing another remarkable stone, thirteen feet six inches in length, which appeared to have been placed by art on the brow of a precipice, and supported by two small stones. On the top is a large rock-bason, four feet three inches in diameter; and close to this, on the south side, a hollow, cut like a chair, with a step to rest the feet upon. This, in the traditions of the country, is called Cair's Chair. Cair's chair. Not far from this spot are also some rocking-stones, "and of such a kind as seems plainly to indicate, that the first idea of forming rocking-stones at all, was the appearance of certain stupendous masses, left by natural causes in such a singular situation, as to be even prepared, as it were, by the hand of nature, to exhibit such a curious kind of equipoise.”* In a wood called Linda spring, near Crich, are two rows of round pits, called Pit-steads, one of them containing twenty-five and the other twentyeight; and extending about two hundred and fifty yards in length: most of them being about fifteen feet in diameter and six feet deep. A particular account of them is printed in the Archæologia, Vol. X. page 114. communicated by Hayman Rooke, esq. who conjectured that it might have been a British town; there being no ore, coal, stone or clay, to be found here.



It is difficult to assign any particular era with correctness for those relics discovered in various parts of the county, denominated Celts. The accompanying plate, No. 1. is a celt, found in 1807, in the environs of Hope Dale, and is now in the possession of William Bateman, esq. F. A. S. of Middleton. It measures four inches and three-eighths in length, and weighs 11 oz. The one represented in plate No. 2. was found near Haddon hall, and is in the possession of D'Ewes Coke, esq. of Brookhill. This is a very perfect one, with a groove on each side, and ground to a fine edge. These instruments vary in shape, resembling chisels; their real use is unknown, but the opinions of learned men are more in favour of weapons than the other appropriations. Some authors have stated them to be the Munimenta Antiqua, Vol. I.

СНАР. 6.

heads of spears or walking-staves; others, chisels, used by the Romans for cutting and polishing stones. Whitaker stated them to be battle-axes; Celts. Stukeley, Druidical hooks for the misletoe; others, instruments for making the holes for tent poles, or for skinning animals. Fosbrooke says, they were manifestly tools for domestic use, and employed in chipping stone and other matters. Philip Gell, esq. of Hopton has one in his possession made of a peculiar kind of stone, which he supposes to have been a sacrificing instrument. We have also seen them of flint. The earlier kinds were inserted in wooden handles, the socket being of a later date.

Many of these celts have been discovered in Derbyshire, and on an analysis of their composition, by the Rev. J. Cumming, professor of chemistry at Cambridge, they were found to contain ten per cent of tin, being bronze, made of copper and tin. Some of these celts are, however, of other materials.

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]

The Roman altar, found in the grounds belonging to Haddon hall, and Roman Antiquities. now placed in the porch leading to the hall, is two feet eleven inches in Roman height. The following inscription is now legible, only three letters being Altar. obliterated in the name of the person by whom it was dedicated, which may be supplied without difficulty, "Deo Marti Braciaca Ostius Cæcilianus Præf. Coh. I. Aquitano. V. S." Horsley supposes Braciaca to be the name of a place; Mr. Baxter and Dr. Pegge considered it as an epithet of Mars. The cohors prima Aquitanorum does not occur in Horsley's work, nor in the list of Roman auxiliary troops in the Tabula Honesta Missionis of the Emperor Trajan, discovered near Sydenham and Malpas; but it appears in that of the Emperor Hadrian,† found near Stainington, in the West-Riding of Yorkshire.

Reliquiæ Rom. Vol. I. Part iv. plate 1, 2. † Gough's Camden, Vol. III. page 28.

CHAP. 6.

British and

"The county of Derby appears to have been of considerable importance, and to have contained a body of numerous and active inhabitants, in an early stage of British civilization; and the Romans, who carried on a very profitable trade with the produce of its mines, fixed stations and formed roads in every part of it. The Britons had certainly one of their principal roads, the Rykneld, running through its whole extent, from south-west to north-east, from the borders of Staffordshire to those of Yorkshire. The name is British, the R, according to Whitaker, being prefixed to distinguish it as the road of the Upper Iceni, while the Ikeneld way itself led towards Norfolk, the country of the Iceni, properly so called.

"The Caers or Carls work, near Hathersage, bears marks of British origin; it lies in the wildest part of the High Peak, near the present road from Manchester to Sheffield, and includes the summit of a hill, which is very steep on all sides but one, and defended on that by a wall of rude and singular construction, consisting of three rows of very large stones, with other stones placed obliquely upon them, pointing towards the assailants. The whole wall is above nine feet high, and supported within by a slanting bank of earth, twenty-five feet in length. See the plan, Archaologia, Vol. VII. page 175. The tombs and other remains of this early people have been found in every part of the Peak, and are evidently British, by the rude urns, flint weapons, beads and small mill-stones discovered in them, as well as by the absence of all such remains as mark a more polished æra of civilization.

"That the Romans, as soon as they were established in the island, paid considerable attention to this part of it, might be proved (even if there did not exist so many traces of their roads and towns) by the pigs of lead ready worked up for sale, and stamped with the name of the reigning emperor; no less than three of which have been found in the neighbourhood of Matlock, and one of them inscribed, "Socio Roma," (to my partner at Rome) which clearly marks it to have been an article of trade. Two of them are now in the British Museum, and the very inspection of these is sufficient to prove, they were thus prepared for articles of commerce; and not, as Camden and others have supposed, as trophies of victory over the Ceangi or other tribes. Mr. Pegge has conjectured, that one of these pigs bears so early a date as the time of the Emperor Claudius; and if this was the fact, it would go far to prove, that the mines in the Peak were worked by the natives before the time of the Roman invasion; as it is highly improbable, that in a short time after the landing of the Romans, they should have so far subdued the Coritani, in the central part of the island, as to have established their own works and workmen in this remote district; or if, as other antiquaries have contended, this lead formed part of the tribute paid by the islanders themselves (though not yet finally subdued) to the Roman Emperor, it would carry up the British trade in these metals to a very remote period.

"From the existence, however, of the trade, and the consequent population of the country, we may expect to find Derbyshire traversed in every direction by Roman roads; and such seems to have been the case. Two of these have been examined by Mr. Pegge with so much attention, as to leave us very little to add to his observations. The first of these, the


Rykneld street, or old British road, was repaired by the Romans for their CHAP. 6. own use. It is called by the name of the Rignal-street in an old Survey British and of Sir H. Hunloke's property in this county, as well as in those of other Roman estates in Warwickshire and Staffordshire, where it is described as their boundary. It enters Derbyshire from this last county, over the Dove at Monk's bridge, and its crest is visible on Egginton heath, though much obliterated by the modern turnpike-road, which continues in its line as far as Littleover; where, a little before it reaches the two mile stone, the Roman road keeps its north-north-east direction, while the present one slants to the east towards Derby. The old road, though not easy to be distinguished in the cultivation so general near a populous town, crossed Nun's-green, and proceeded down Darley-slade to the banks of the Derwent, passing that river by a bridge (the piers of which may be felt in a dry summer) to the station of Little Chester, the Derventio of Richard, and placed by him at the distance of twelve miles from ad Trivonam (Berry farm at Branston-upon-Trent, to which it exactly answers.) It is by no means improbable, that the British Rykneld-street crossed the Derwent lower down at a ford, perhaps at the very place where Derby now stands; and then resuming its northerly course, would pass the east wall of the Roman town, as Stukeley has represented it in his map. The Roman road, however, on crossing the Derwent, seems to have passed the meadows near the north gate of the station, and after clearing the houses of the vicus, would fall into the Rykneld-street, near the north-east angle of the vallum, and proceed with it in its old line. The ground about the modern village of Little Chester being chiefly under the plough, the ridge of the road near it has been long destroyed; but on passing Breadsall priory on the left, and rising up towards the alms-houses on Morley moor, a large fragment of it is visible on the right hand: and again, though less plainly, on the moor itself, abutting on the fence about a hundred yards east of Brackley-gate. It next appears close to Horsley-park, a little west of the lodge, and is very high, covered with furze in the first enclosure; then passing through another field or two, crosses the road from Wirksworth to Nottingham, about a hundred yards west of Horsley-woodhouse; being quite plain in the enclosure south of the road called Castlecroft, and again in the field to the north of it. It now enters an old lane, which it soon quits, and may be seen in a field or two to the left, running down to a house called Cumbersome, which stands upon it; from hence, down another field, over Botolph (corruptly Bottle) brook, which it crosses straight for the Smithy houses, and enters a lane called, from it, the Street lane, where it is visible for more than a mile, as far as the water; here the lane bends to the east, while the Roman way keeps its old north-north-east bearing, up a field or two, to the lane from Heage to Ripley; this lane it crosses, and goes on to Hartey; from hence it points to the tail of Hartey-dam, and is visible in the hedge of the field near the miller's house. It now runs to Coneygree-house, crossing two lanes which lead from Pentrich town to the common, and so down to the water; leaving a camp, which is Roman by its form, and was probably a station, a very little to the left. It is again seen on the north side of the water, pointing up the lane to Oakerthorp, but enters the enclosures on the left, before it reaches the

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