(Little Chester) Derbyshire, England.
Mentioned as Derbentione in the Ravenna
(name from the Celtic name of the river
Derwent). The earliest Roman occupation of Derventio
almost certainly took the form of a fort on the high
ground W of the Derwent. The date of its foundation
is obscure, perhaps A.D. 55-65. Later, in the governorship
of Cn. Julius Agricola (A.D. 78-85), a new fort site was
adopted on low ground across the river. The only certain
information, from the road pattern of this area, is that
the site was an important junction of N-S and E-W
Occupation is attested during the Hadrianic and Antonine periods and may well have been military in character. In the 3d or early 4th c. a circuit of defenses incorporating a stone wall was built, enclosing 2.4 ha; their
purpose is not clear. Outside them to the N, Ryknield
Street was lined with stone buildings, presumably in an
extramural vicus. A group of pottery kilns 0.8 km to
the E were active in the early 2d c., producing leadglazed vessels as well as more common wares. Finds
from the area are in the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
W. Stukeley, Itinerarium Curiosum
(1776) 85; G. Webster, Derbyshire Archaeological Journal
81 (1961) 85ff; M. Todd, ibid. 87 (1967) 70ff.