Derventio (Derby) Vicus

Pottery and Roman Settlement

The site of the vicus of Derventio Roman Fort, and a possible Small Town.

The earliest feature found was a large pit, probably dating to circa 130-150 AD, containing charcoal, daub, ash, pottery, and a ‘dolphin’ brooch. A road of hard-packed gravel bounded by kerbstones was found to run east-west across the site.

It may be part of a minor road joining Ryknield Street or perhaps a continuation of Stukeley’s ‘gravel’d road’. A thin gravelled surface was present over the remainder of the site.

The road and pit are probably earlier than the first Antonine phase of the fort defences, suggesting early growth of an organised vicus, although the large area of open gravel may suggest a military parade ground.

… first-century pottery and coins of Nero and Vespasian were found in two gullies at Strutt’s Park, on the west bank of the River Derwent facing Little Chester. This is the first positive evidence of first-century occupation on the suspected site of an early fort.” (Britannia, 1971)

Unfortunately the Strutt’s Park site was buried beneath a housing estate before the Roman fort could be properly investigated.