Ryknield Street Section at New Tupton – A report by by C. F. O’Brien (Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee) and Malcolm Todd (Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies, University of Nottingham) details results of a Section across Ryknield Street at New Tupton.
The Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 96. Vol 96, pp. 23-25.
In May 1975 a mechanical section was cut through the agger of Ryknield Street at New Tupton (SK 392664) in connection with a pipe-laying operation conducted by the National Coal Board. The Trent Valley Archaeological Research Committee was informed of the work at an early stage, and shortly after the Roman road had been sectioned the contractor’s trench was claned up, examined and recorded by the writers. The trench was dug across the road in a particularly well-preserved sector largely free from modern obstructions. A new section of the road could thus be expected to provide fresh information on its structure.
Two successive road surfaces were revealed. The earlier, of small stones loosely packed together, measured only 2.90 m. (9 ft. 7 in.) wide and had been laid directly on the natural clay. Though not impossibly narrow for a Roman road, this may only have served as a bottoming, the surface having been worn off by heavy use. Over this first road there had accumulated a dense, friable, black deposit which subsequent examination showed to be coal-dust. This layer, which varied from 2 to 10 cm. in thickness, extended beyond both edges of the road, being in all 8.50 m. (28 ft. 4 in.) wide. The deposit contained no features of interest except a small intrusion near its western edge, probably an old animal burrow.