Navio (Brough-on-Noe)

Fort and Possible Settlement

Navio – (The Place on the River) Anavia

The only classical geography which contains the Roman name for Brough-on-Noe is the seventh-century Ravenna Cosmology (R&C#106), which contains the name Nauione or Navione between the entry for Bannovallum (Horncastle) in Lincolnshire and the other two Derbyshire entries Aquae Arnemetiae (Buxton) and Ardotalia (Melandra Castle).

If the entry in the Ravenna Cosmology were the only source for the name it would be a bit tentative, however, further confirmation is contained in the R.I.B.. This work records a Roman milestone at Buxton in Derbyshire, some eleven miles to the south-west of Brough-on-Noe, the text of which is reproduced and translated below.

RIB2243 - Fragmentary milestone

... with tribunician power, twice consul, father of his country, from Navio 11 miles.
[...] TRIB POT COS II
P P A NAVIONE
M P XI
See note on Navio under Brough-on-Noe.

This rectangular fort with an area of 2¼ acres was established in Flavian times, but by the time of Hadrian the ditches had silted-up which is a sure indication that the fort had been abandoned by the military. The site was re-occupied during the Antonine period, and a new fort built of stone, with a six foot stone wall which was probably backed by an earthen rampart. This rebuilding is attested on an inscription of governor Julius Verus which was later smashed and buried in debris around 196/7AD which possibly indicates that the fort was destroyed by enemy forces. The strong-room in the centre of the fort was rebuilt shortly afterwards during the rule of Severus, and by 343 this room was used to store a number of altarstones, which were still in situ when excavated, together with a number of “4 century coins”.

A section across the south defences conducted in 1969 revealed a triple-ditch system:

  1. Inner: 14ft (c.4.3m) wide & 6ft (c.1.8m) deep, containing burnt rubble from the demolition of the Antonine timber buildings, also faced stones probably from the later rampart wall.
  2. Central: 12ft (c.3.7m) wide & 5ft (c.1.5m) deep.
  3. Outer: 5ft (c.1.5m) wide & 2&fracc12;ft (c.0.8m) deep, lying some 25 feet (7.6m) outside the inner pair. This outer ditch was perhaps a range marker for missile weapons hurled from the fort rampart.

Roman Inscriptions From Brough-on-Noe

There are – in addition to the stone from Buxton – four inscriptions in Latin which have been recovered from the close neighbourhood of Brough-on-Noe, all of these texts are reproduced and translated below.

RIB283 - Building dedication to Antoninus Pius

For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of his country, the First Cohort of Aquitanians under Julius Verus, emperor's propraetorian legate, under the charge of Capitonius Priscus, prefect, (built this).
IMP CAESARI T [...]
[...]TONINO AV[  ...]
COH I AQVITAN[...]
SVB IVLIO V[...] AVG
PR PR INST[...]E
[...]APITONI[  ...]SCO PRAE
Julius Verus: governor of Britannia about a.d. 158.

RIB281 - Altar dedicated to Arnomecta

To the goddess Arnomecta Aelius Motio gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
DEAE
ARNOMECTE
AEL MOTIO
V S L L M
Arnomecta is presumably commemorated in the Roman name of Buxton, given as Arnemeze (for Arnemetiae) in Ravennas (see Richmond and Crawford Arch. xciii (1949) 23).Motio seems to be a variant of Mottio, of which Holder cites one example, or of Mottius, of which he cites some examples.

RIB282 - Altar dedicated to Mars

To the god Mars ..
DEO
MARI
[...]
No commentary.

Restored Dedication to the God Hercules

HERCVLI … G … RESTITVTIONEM PS ACAEP A SC … … PROCVLVS PRAEF POSVIT IDEMQVE DEDICAVIT

“For Hercules […] Gaius […] the rebuilding {PS ACAEP A SC}¹ […] Proculus the prefect has placed this with the same dedication.”

(altarstone; Britannia xi (1980), p.404, no.3)

  1. This phrase is difficult to expand and translate, but I’m working on it!

References for Navio

  • Britannia i (1970) p.283;
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).

Roman Roads near Navio

WSW (8) to Aqvae Arnemetiae NW (12) to Melandra Castle (Melandra Castle, Longworth, Derbyshire) ENE (17) to Danvm (Doncaster, South Yorkshire) WSW (8) to Bvxton (Buxton, Derbyshire) ENE (17) to Templeborovgh (South Yorkshire)