Lead Mine, Mine and Silver Mine
Classical Evidence for the Lutudarum Roman Mining Complex
The only classical source for the Roman name of the lead/silver mines at Crich is the Ravenna Cosmology of the seventh century, which lists the name as Lutudaron (R&C#88), between the entry for Derventio (Littlechester, Derbyshire) and the unidentified Veratino entry.
The Roman Lead/Silver Mines at Crich
Lead is used for pipes and sheets. In spain and throughout the whole of Gaul it is extracted with considerable effort; in Britain, however, it is so abundant within the upper layers of the earth that there is a law forbidding its production beyond a certain amount. …” (Pliny the Elder, XXXIV.clxiv)
The Roman mines of Lutudarum (at N.G.Ref.: SK3554) were probably worked by the criminals of the province, convicted of suitably heinious crimes by their respective councils throughout Roman Britain, and sent here to work until they died. The life expectancy of a prisoner here was probably to be measured only in months. A number of lead ingots have been found in the area, variously stamped:
“[Property of] Imperator Caesar Hadrianus Augustus. From the mines at Lutudarum.”
(Burn 69a; lead sow)
“[Property of] Gaius Julius Protus. British [lead] from the Silver works at Lutudarum.”
(Burn 69b; lead sow)
“[Property of] Publius Rubrius Abascantus. From the metal-workings of Lutudarum.”
(Burn 69c; lead sow)
More Lead Pigs From Lutudarum
- This inscription is very interesting as it would seem to indicate that the mines at Crich lay within the tribal territoria of the Brigante tribe of Northern England.
- The contractor Tiberius Claudius Triferna is also known from lead sows at Charterhouse in the Mendips.
- The ‘Company at Lutudarum‘ is also mentioned on a lead sow found at Tripontium on the Watling Street in Leicestershire.
References for Lvtvdarvm
- Natural History by Pliny the Elder, translated by John F. Healy (Penguin, London, 1991);
- The Romans in Britain – An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969);
- Corpus Inscriptionem Latinosum from Gnomon Online Latin Inscriptions;
Roman Roads near Lvtvdarvm