Ardotalia (also known as Melandra, or Melandra Castle) is a Roman fort in Gamesley, near Glossop in Derbyshire, England.[1]

Ardotalia 5574
The western ramparts

Ardotalia was constructed by Cohors Primae Frisiavonum—The First Cohort of Frisiavones.[2] Evidence for the existence of this unit exists not only from the building stone found at the site but also from various diplomas and other Roman writings.[2] This unit would have had around a thousand men, including the specialist craftsmen needed to perform the skilled work of building the fort.[3]

This unit was assisted in constructing the fort by the 3rd Cohort of Bracara Augustani. These men were probably Iberian Celts from the colony of Braga in Portugal, who seem to have been attached to the XX Legion Valeria Victrix in Chester. Whilst it is unknown which of these Cohorts manned the fort, it seems more likely that the 3rd Cohort of Bracara Augustani performed this duty, as they were from a hilly region and so were more experienced in holding terrain such as that found around Glossop. The Frisiavones were from low-lying lands beyond the Rhine and so may have been divided between the lower terrain of Manchester and Northwich.[3]

The First Cohort of Frisiavones were also present at Brocolitia, one of Hadrian's wall forts and settlements, at Carrawburgh, Northumberland. Evidence for this relies on an inscription on an altar stone, which tells us that Optio Maus (an NCO within the Cohort) had repaid a vow to the goddess Coventina.[2] Whether this altar was the repayment of the vow is unknown.

The name Melandra is of unknown origin but may have been originated by the John Watson, Rector of Stockport, who visited the site c. 1771 when substantial stone remains existed.[4] The name Ardotalia is a hypothetical emendation of Zerdotalia written in the Ravenna Cosmography.[5] The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[6]

Ardotalia (Melandra Castle)
Across the overgrown site of the fort where no walls remain with the hills of Tintwistle and Peak Naze behind
The fort today looking towards Longdendale
Ardotalia is located in Derbyshire
Map showing the location of Ardotalia within Derbyshire.
LocationHigh Peak, Derbyshire
RegionEast Midlands
Coordinates53°27′09″N 1°59′17″W / 53.45250°N 1.98806°WCoordinates: 53°27′09″N 1°59′17″W / 53.45250°N 1.98806°W
TypeRoman fort
FoundedCohors Primae Frisiavonum—The First Cohort of Frisiavones
Associated with3rd Cohort of Bracara Augustani
Official nameMelandra Castle Roman fort
Reference no.1004595


  1. ^ Historic England. "Ardotalia (Melandra Castle) (306340)". PastScape. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Roman Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Ward, A M; Brown, M H (1986). Melandra Castle Roman Fort (booklet). Retrieved 17 October 2016 – via Glossop Heritage Trust.
  4. ^ Hanmer 1993, p. 20
  5. ^ Rivet & Smith 1979, pp. 256–257
  6. ^ Historic England. "Melandra Castle Roman fort (1004595)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  • Hanmer, J.; Winterbottom, D. (1993), The Book of Glossop (2nd ed.), Baron Birch, ISBN 0-86023-484-3
  • Rivet, Albert Lionel Frederick; Smith, C. (1979), The Place-Names of Roman Britain, London: Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-2077-4
Barrow Hill Engine Shed

Barrow Hill Roundhouse & Railway Centre, until 1948 known as Staveley Roundhouse & Train Centre, is a former Midland Railway roundhouse in Barrow Hill, near Staveley and Chesterfield, Derbyshire (grid reference SK413754).


Bredbury is a suburban town in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, 7.9 miles (12.7 km) south-east of Manchester, 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of Stockport and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south-west of Hyde. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 13,593.The town reaches to the lower southern slopes of Werneth Low, an outlier of the Peak District between the valleys of the River Tame and River Goyt, head-waters of the River Mersey.


Carrawburgh is a settlement in Northumberland. In Roman times, it was the site of a 3½ acre (1.5 ha) auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall called Brocolitia, Procolita, or Brocolita This name is probably based on the Celtic name for the place, and one possible translation put forward is 'badger holes'. The fort there was a mile or so west of the Wall's northernmost point at Limestone Corner, and just over a mile west of the nearest milecastle, Milecastle 30. The fort either used the Wall (narrow gauge on a broad base at this point) itself as its northern rampart, or was built parallel to it but detached. It certainly postdates both the Wall and the vallum (which it is built across).

Only the fort's earthworks are now visible, the Wall at this point and the fort's north ramparts having been demolished for the construction of General Wade's early 18th-century military road (now the B6318). The late 19th-century archaeologist John Clayton carried out a partial excavation of the site, revealing a military bath-house outside the fort's west gate (in 1873) and the fort's south-west corner-tower (in 1876).

The Roman Inscriptions of Britain lists 48 inscriptions for the site. They show its garrisoning units to have been as follows:

RIB 1550 – Hadrianic? c. AD133 – First Cohort of Aquitani

RIB 1563b – AD122-138 – Cohors I Tungrorum

End 2nd century – Cohors I Cugernorum

RIB 1544, RIB 1553, and Notitia Dignitarum – AD213-222, AD237, and AD400 respectively – First Cohort of BataviansThe First Cohort of Frisiavones are also attested at Brocolitia at some stage, as shown by an inscription on an altar stone, which tells us that Optio Maus had repaid a vow to the goddess Coventina. (This unit is also recorded as present at Ardotalia.) Whether this altar was the repayment of the vow is unknown.


Gamesley is a residential area within the Borough of High Peak

in Derbyshire, England, west of Glossop and close to the River Etherow which forms the boundary with Tameside in Greater Manchester. Gamesley is a ward of the High Peak Borough Council. It had a population of 2,531 at the 2011 Census.


Glossop is a market town in the High Peak, Derbyshire, England, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Manchester, 24 miles (39 km) west of Sheffield and 32 miles (51 km) north of the county town, Matlock. Glossop is near Derbyshire's county borders with Cheshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is between 150 and 300 metres (492 and 984 ft) above mean sea level, and lies just outside the Peak District National Park.

Historically, the name Glossop refers to the small hamlet that gave its name to an ancient parish recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and then the manor given by William I of England to William Peverel. A municipal borough was created in 1866, and the unparished urban area within two local government wards. The area now known as Glossop approximates to the villages that used to be called Glossopdale, on the lands of the Duke of Norfolk. Originally a centre of wool processing, Glossop rapidly expanded in the late 18th century when it specialised in the production and printing of calico, a coarse cotton, and became a mill town with many chapels and churches, its fortunes tied to the cotton industry.

Architecturally, the area is dominated by buildings constructed of the local sandstone. There remain two significant former cotton mills and the Dinting railway viaduct. Glossop has transport links to Manchester, making the area popular for commuters.

Greenfield, Greater Manchester

Greenfield is a village in the Saddleworth parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, England. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Oldham, and 13 miles (21 km) east-northeast of the city of Manchester. It lies in a broad rural area in the southern edge of the South Pennines. To the east of the village Dovestone Reservoir, Chew Reservoir and Greenfield Reservoir lie within the Peak District National Park, though no part of the village itself lies within the Peak Park boundary.Lying within the ancient county boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Greenfield is mainly situated on and around two roads in the Chew Valley. One of these roads is the main A635 road from Ashton-under-Lyne to Holmfirth.

Hayfield, Derbyshire

Hayfield (SK037870) is a village and civil parish in High Peak, Derbyshire, England, with a population of around 2,700. The village is 3 miles (4.8 km) east of New Mills, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Glossop and 10 miles (16 km) north of Buxton, in the basin of the River Sett.The civil parish includes Hayfield village itself, the hamlets of Little Hayfield and part of Birch Vale, and a significant proportion of the Kinder Scout plateau.

John Garstang

John Garstang (5 May 1876 – 12 September 1956) was a British archaeologist of the ancient Near East, especially Anatolia and the southern Levant. He was the younger brother of Professor Walter Garstang, FRS, a marine biologist and zoologist. Garstang is considered a pioneer in the development of scientific practices in archaeology as he kept detailed records of his excavations with extensive photographic records, which was a comparatively rare practice in early 20th-century archaeology

List of Roman place names in Britain

A partial list of Roman place names in Great Britain.

This list includes only names documented from Roman times. For a more complete list including later Latin names, see List of Latin place names in Britain.

The early sources for Roman names show numerous variants and misspellings of the Latin names. Moreover, one of the principal authorities, Ptolemy, wrote in Greek so names that he records need to be transliterated back into Latin to reveal the original form.

Note that in general only one source is shown below for each name, although many of the names are recorded in more than one of the sources.


Mamucium, also known as Mancunium, is a former Roman fort in the Castlefield area of Manchester in North West England. The castra, which was founded c. AD 79 within the Roman province of Britannia, was garrisoned by a cohort of Roman Auxiliaries near two major Roman roads running through the area. Several sizeable civilian settlements (or vicus) containing soldiers' families, merchants and industry developed outside the fort. The area is a protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.The ruins were left undisturbed until Manchester expanded rapidly during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. Most of the fort was levelled to make way for new developments such as the construction of the Rochdale Canal and the Great Northern Railway. The site is now part of the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park that includes renovated warehouses. A section of the fort's wall along with its gatehouse, granaries, and other ancillary buildings from the vicus have been reconstructed and are open to the public.

Peak District

The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. It is mostly in northern Derbyshire, but also includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. An area of great diversity, it is mostly split into the Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and the geology is gritstone, and the limestone area of the White Peak.

The Peak District National Park became the first national park in the United Kingdom in 1951. With its proximity to the cities of Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Sheffield, and access by road and rail, it attracts millions of visitors every year.Inhabited from the Mesolithic era, evidence exists from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. Settled by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons, the area remained largely agricultural and mining grew in importance in the medieval era. Richard Arkwright built his cotton mills at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Quarrying became important as mining declined. Tourism grew after the advent of the railways, visitors attracted by the landscape, spa towns at Buxton and Matlock Bath, Castleton's show caves, and Bakewell, the national park's only town.

Tourism remains important for its towns and villages and their varied attractions, country houses and heritage sites. Outside the towns, walking on the extensive network of public footpaths, cycle trails, rock climbing and caving are popular pursuits.

River Etherow

The River Etherow is a river in northern England, and a tributary of the River Goyt. Although now passing through South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester, it historically formed the ancient county boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire. The upper valley is known as Longdendale. The river has a watershed of approximately 30 square miles (78 km2), and the area an annual rainfall of 52.5 inches (1,330 mm).

Roman sites in Great Britain

There are many Roman sites in Great Britain that are open to the public. There are also many sites that do not require special access, including Roman roads, and sites that have not been uncovered.


Stalybridge is a town in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 23,731 at the 2011 Census.Historically part of Cheshire, it is 8 miles (12.9 km) east of Manchester city centre and 6 miles (9.7 km) north-west of Glossop.

When a water-powered cotton mill was constructed in 1776, Stalybridge became one of the first centres of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. The wealth created in the 19th century from the factory-based cotton industry transformed an area of scattered farms and homesteads into a self-confident town.


Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, where the River Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey, and the largest in the metropolitan borough of the same name.

Historically, most of the town was in Cheshire, but the area to the north of the Mersey was in Lancashire. Stockport in the 16th century was a small town entirely on the south bank of the Mersey, and known for the cultivation of hemp and manufacture of rope. In the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the British Isles. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was also at the centre of the country's hatting industry, which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year; the last hat works in Stockport closed in 1997.

Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey. This structure featured as the background in many paintings by L. S. Lowry.


The Metropolitan Borough of Tameside is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after the River Tame, which flows through the borough and spans the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Mossley and Stalybridge plus Longdendale. Its western border is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Manchester city centre. It borders High Peak in Derbyshire to the east, the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham to the north, the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport to the south, and the City of Manchester to the west. As of 2011 the overall population was 219,324.The history of the area extends back to the Stone Age. There are over 300 listed buildings in Tameside and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments, which includes a castle of national importance. The settlements in Tameside were small townships centred on agriculture until the advent of the Industrial Revolution. The towns of the borough grew and became involved in the cotton industry, which dominated the local economy. The current borough was created in 1974 as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972. Since then the area has been administered by Tameside Borough Council, which has been judged by the Audit Commission to be "performing strongly".

Treak Cliff Cavern

Treak Cliff Cavern is a show cave near Castleton in Derbyshire, England. It is part of the Castleton Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of only two sites where the ornamental mineral Blue John is still excavated (the other is the nearby Blue John Cavern). As part of an agreement with English Nature, the Blue John that can be seen in the show cave is not mined but it is extracted in small quantities from other areas of the cave and made into saleable items like bowls, jewellery and ornaments.The cave comprises two sections, the Old Series, discovered by lead miners in the 18th century, and the New Series, discovered during blasting in the 1920s. Only the Old Series contains Blue John, but the New Series is well decorated with flowstone, stalagmites and stalactites. Three human skeletons and flint implements from the Neolithic era were found in a small cave nearby in 1921.

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Stately homes
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