The Romans arrived in Kirkham around 70AD, possibly during the expansion of the province under the Roman governor Agricola. A fort, possibly of turf and wood, was established on the north bank of the Belisama Fluvius (River Ribble) on the Fylde in Lancashire, astride a Roman road which runs eastward to communicate with the fort at Ribchester, via the major industrial settlement at Walton le Dale which also gave road access north to Lancaster (Calunium) and south to a settlement near Wigan. The road through Kirkham continued west for about three miles and then abruptly turned north-north-west towards the end of the Fylde and the ancient seaport at Fleetwood.

There are only 9 known coins from this site, ranging from a silver issue of Octavian (c.45-26BC) to a copy of a silver coin of Honorius (Imp. 395-423AD), thus covering the entire period of Roman Britain. Of particular interest is a gold coin of Vespasian and two Greek Imperial Aes issues.

There is nothing reported in the R.I.B. for Kirkham, at least, nothing recorded on stone. In addition, Kirkham is not mentioned in any of the classical geographies, although it may be associated with the Pampocalia entry in the Ravenna Cosmology (R&C#125), which is discussed on the RBO page for Walton le Dale.

References for Kirkham

  • Roman Coins from North-West England by David Shotter (Lancaster 1990) p.14;
  • Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
  • Recent Discoveries in Roman Britain From the Air and In the Field by I.A. Richmond in J.R.S. XXXIII (1943) pp.45-54;

Map References for Kirkham

NGRef: SD4331 OSMap: LR102

Roman Roads near Kirkham

NNW (14) to Portvs Setantiorvm (Nr. Fleetwood, Lancashire) ESE (8) to Walton Le Dale (Lancashire)

Sites near Kirkham Roman Fort