Bakewell Roman Fort

Flavian Auxiliary Fort (AD 69–96)

The R.I.B. lists a single inscription on stone for Bakewell (vide supra), which seems to imply the presence of some sort of Roman military establishment, perhaps a short-lived fort. The dedication is made by the commanding officer of Cohors Primae Aquitanorum – The First Cohort of Aquitani, who are also attested at the auxiliary fort at Brough-on-Noe (vide RIB 283), about 10 miles to the north. The Brough-on-Noe fort is only just large enough to contain half of this unit, and it is possible that a similarly sized fort was built here at Bakewell to house the remaining half of the regiment. If this is the case, then the fort may have been occupied for a short period sometime during the 150AD’s, a time when the Brigantes tribe who lived in this area were known to have revolted against the Roman presence in their tribal homelands.

RIB278 - Altar dedicated to Mars Braciaca

To the god Mars Braciaca, Quintus Sittius Caecilianus, prefect of the First Cohort of Aquitanians, fulfilled his vow.

DEO
MARTI
BRACIACAE
Q SITTIVS
CAECILIAN PRAEF COH
I AQVITANO
V S

Braciaca is probably a local indigenous ‘epithet’ for the god Mars. However Braciaca seems to be a feminine name, since a-endings are generally names of goddesses: Sequana, Aventia, Bricta, Icovellauna or Nemetona, while names of gods usually end with -us (-o in the inscriptions) or -is/-ix (-i in the inscriptions): Demioncus Apollo (Apollini deo Demionco), Danuvius (Danuvio), Entarabus (deo En[t]arabo), Randosatis Mars (Marti Randosati), etc. In terms of epigraphy, it would appear that, if Bracacia had been a god, its name in the British inscription would have been: Deo Marti Braciaco or Braciaci, giving Mars Braciacus or Braciacis. Moreover, it is not rare in inscriptions to find the names of a god and a goddess placed side by side without the coordinating conjunction and. Thus, the inscription should perhaps be read: Deo Marti [et] Braciacae, ‘To the god Mars and to (the goddess) Bracacia’.

References for Bakewell

  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). 

Map References for Bakewell

NGRef: SK2168
OSMap: LR119
Type: Fort

Roman Roads near Bakewell

None identified