Castle Hill (Pentrich) Roman Forts


The earthworks of a Roman 1st century fort lies beside the main Derby to Chesterfield Roman road, about two miles from the known Roman lead/silver mines at Lutudarum/Crich, along the Derwent valley to the north-west. Situated in a commanding position overlooking the River Derwent from the east, the site at Pentrich consists of a small rectangular earthwork lying within a larger (and presumably earlier) enclosure, both of which are aligned north to south. The smaller earthwork, which has gateways positioned in the centre of the north and south defences, was described by Webster as “a signal station similar to those on the north Devon coast” – i.e. at Martinhoe and Old Burrow – and attributed by him to the campaigns of Aulus Didius Gallus c. A.D. 52 to 57 (JRS 1953 p.87; Webster p.100 & map fig.36 p.92). It would appear that at Pentrich we have a small fort or fortlet of a little under 1¾ acres which was succeeded by a smaller station of just under ½-acre; the time-frame, however, remains uncertain.

References for Castle Hill (Pentrich) Forts

  • Rome Against Caratacus by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1993);
  • Air Reconnaissance of Southern Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xliii (1953) pp.81-97; 

Map References for Pentrich

NGRef: SK3854 OSMap: LR119

Pentrich I

OS National Grid Reference: SK386541
Dimensions: c.300 x 240 ft (c.91 x 73 m)
Area: c.1¾ acres (c.0.67 ha)

Pentrich II

OS National Grid Reference: SK386541
Dimensions: c.150 x 135 ft (c.48 x 41 m)
Area: c.½-acre (c.0.19 ha)

Roman Roads near Pentrich

N (11) to Chesterfield (Derbyshire) S (10) to Littlechester (Littlechester, Derbyshire)

Sites near Castle Hill (Pentrich) Roman Forts