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the basis of our modern provincial capitals. But Ribchester is an exception to this rule,

as tradition and discoveries concur in proving it to have been a place of considerable mag-

nitude and wealth, 1 though now reduced to an inconsiderable village. It seems also to

have had a large manufactory in brass, which the scattered remains of various utensils and

ornaments wrought in that metal, and, above all, innumerable metallic fragments, resem-

bling sweepings of shops, which are picked up on the shelving bank of the Ribble, serve

to evince.
It is pleasing to imagine the revolutions which seventeen centuries have produced in

the environs of this place ; where, after the Roman conquest, a curious observer, placed

upon a commanding point of Ribblesdale, might have surveyed the windings of the vale,

covered perhaps to the summits of the fells with native oak, birch, pine, ash, and alder :

its woods pierced only by the long line of "Watling-street, 2 or by another way from East

and West : the Belisama, a noble stream, deep and broad, agitated by tides and diversified

by sails ; on its northern bank the walls and towers of Coccium, surmounted by roofs of

temples or cupolas of baths ; within, the noise of industry and the tumult of military pre-

paration; and without, the naked and painted forms of the Setantii, sometimes advancing

with the irresistible impulse of barbarous curiosity to behold the operations of these new

intruders, and then retreating, with the swiftness of wild beasts, to their cabins in the

Avoods. From the same point he might now contemplate the Ribble, shrunk and shallow ;

the woods either decayed by the silent operation of natural causes, or destroyed by tasteless

and improvident avarice ; the tower of a Christian church lifting its plain but venerable

head over the buried remnants of paganism ; and the once naked salt-marshes, now become

firm and fertile soil, smiling under the hand of cultivation.

It appears from the Notitia, that the mere stations which had been planted in the

interior of Britain, to secure the yet recent conquest of the island, were generally aban-

doned in the time of the second Theodosius ; but Coccium, not being a military establish-

ment only, but a flourishing and probably a manufacturing town, appears from the bar-

barous style of an inscription, which will be given below, to have subsisted to the latest

period of the Roman power amongst us. Destroyed, probably, by no violent assault,

succeeded by no Saxon town, and even in the reign of the Conqueror remaining in a state
_* " Ubi tot Romance vetustatis vestigia, status:, numismata, columns;, eolumnarum bases, epistylia, arse, marmora,

inscriptiones subinde effodiuntur, ut non abs re fuisse videatur, quod incola; claudicante rythmo dictitant,

It is written upon a wall in Home

Kibchester was as rich as any Toune in Christendome.

Camden Brit. (ed. 1586) p. 431.]

2 The word Watling-street is used, throughout this book, in its local and popular sense.




approaching to desolation, its firm and durable walls must long have defied the ravages of

time, and long have presented a noble monument of Roman greatness. Something,

perhaps, like the state of Silchester and Caergwent at present, might have been its

appearance at the last of these periods ; that is, a spacious parallelogram, surrounded with

vast walls of excellent masonry, strengthened with herring-bone work within, and laced

at intervals with courses of different dimensions, or variegated by lozenge and chequer-

work without. Within must have appeared the slender remains of Roman habitations in

their last period of decay ; while the massy temple might still have all its columns erect

and vaults unbroken, its dedication legible, and even its altars upon their bases. So at this

day appear some of the cities of Magna Graecia, in which the remains of private houses

have so nearly perished, and the religious edifices are so entire, that a traveller is inclined

to ask whether they were intended only for habitations of the gods.

After another interval of more than four centuries, Ribchester was visited by Leland,

the first person, so far as we know, who beheld it with antiquarian eyes ; : and his description

1 The genius of Dr. Stukeley, after a rapid survey of a few hours, gave at once the most circumstantial and

entertaining account of this place which has ever been communicated to the world. The few mistakes are very

excusable in a stranger and a journalist. As the " Itinerarium Curiosum " * is become very scarce, I shall subjoin the

whole, verbatim.

" I went to view this old Station : it is prettily seated on a rising knoll upon the river ; at some distance all round

inclosed with higher ground, well clothed with wood and hedge-rows : beyond which the barren mountains, or fells

as they generally call them here, from the Cimbric//. The soil hereabouts is gravel, with clay and sand by spots.

The river Eible is very broad at this place, rapid -and sonorous, running over the pebbles, and, what is much to be

lamented, over innumerable Roman antiquities ; for in this long tract of time it has eaten away a third part of the city.

I traced out the old ground plot, and where the wall and ditch went round it ; it lay in length, east and west, along the

north side of the river, upon its brink, 800 feet long, 500 broad :f originally, I apprehend, two streets ran along its

length, and three crossed them on its breadth. This place has long been famous for old monuments found therein ; and

some fragments still remaining I had a sight of. At the door of the Eed Lion ale-house I saw the base of a pillar, and a

most noble shaft, seven foot long, handsomely turned, which was fished ont of the river : it is undoubtedly Eoman

originally, though the base has, I guess, been used as the stump of a later cross, in which this country abounds:

there is a scotia and two torus's f at the bottom, though not very elegantly formed ; perhaps it was never finished ; the

whole piece is 2 feet high, 22 inches in diameter. The frustum of the column lay in the ale-house yard, where the

weather, and other accidents, have obliterated an inscription consisting of three or four lines, towards the top ; it is 17

inches diameter at top. One corner of this house is a Eoman partition-wall, built of pebbles and hard mortar, as usual.

This house now is by the brink of the river, leaving only a scanty road between; but within memory a great many

houses opposite, and among them the chief inn of the town, were washed away. Farther on, down the river, a great

part of an orchard fell down last year; and thafapple-trees still grow in their own soil at bottom. Viewing the breach

of the bank exposed thereby, I saw the joists and boards of a floor of oak, four feet under the present surface, with

Dr. Stukeley published his Itinerarium Curiosum in 1721. In 1725 he " travelled over the western and northern part of England "

with Mr. Roger Gale, son of Dr. Gale, Dean of York, the celebrated antiquary. They visited on their way to the north Chester, Liver-

pool, Ribchester, and Lancaster. After Stukeley's death, 3 March, 1765, his account of this journey was published in 1776 in the 2nd

edition of the Iter Cnriosnm, under the title of " Iter Boreale." P. A. L.
t I have not had an opportunity of verifying this measurement, which will give an area of nearly 10 acres for the city within the

walls. [See the admeasurement hereafter, p. 39.]

t Exactly the same with the base of the column and the anta lately discovered in the churchyard ; the diameters also agree.


proves the remains to have been then very conspicuous, in comparison of its present state,

in which even a curious and practised eye can discover no outward vestige of its former

greatness, hut the base of a single column, two or three half-legible inscriptions, and a few
many bits of Roman bricks, potshreds, and the like, and such floors are to be seen along the whole bank, whence most

antiquities are found in the river. The late minister of this place, Mr. Ogden [ob. 1706], collected all the coins,

intaglios, and other antiquities, found here in great quantities, but his widow, as far as I could learn, disposed of them

to Mr. Prescot of Chester. I was shown the top of a great two-handled amphora, or wine-jar, taken out of the river,

of whitish clay ; * I saw another like fragment, and, among antiquities, he took up a very large piece of corallium

tubulatum, bigger than a man's head; an admirable curiosity of nature. By symmetry I find the whole channel of the

river, at present, lies within the precincts of the old city ; the original channel on the other side being filled up with the

city walls and rubbish ; for it bends with a great elbow toward the city. The eastern limit of the city, or that upward

of the river, lies against a brook there falling in, and the two streams, playing against that angle, have carried it away,

and still threaten them. At the western end of the city, or down the stream, a whole road, and some houses too, by a

barn, are absorbed, and great quantity of ashler, the remains of the wall, has been carried off for building: much

remains in the ground, and on the edge of the stream. Farther up the land, and all along the west side of the church

wall, the ditch is perfect, and the rampire where the wall stood pretty high, and the foundation of the wall a little

apparent. They tell me the ashler-stone still lies its whole length. They call this Anchor-hill; and, when digging by

the house that stands upon part of it, they found anchors, and great quantities of iron pins, of all sizes, for ships or

barges, for they say this river was navigable so high formerly, at least for smaller vessels. The north-west angle of the

city is manifest, and where the northern wall turned down the north side of the church : a little way down a lane at that

angle, a great bank runs westward, made of stone, like a Koman road. There is a lane goes down north of the city to

the brook called the Strand, which confirms their having some sort of navigation here. At the end of this lane is the

street which is the Roman road, running directly northward up the fell, called Green gate: it passes over Langridge,

a great mountain so named from it, so through Bowland forest: it appears green to the eye. In this street, over against

the Strand, is an old white house, where they say Oliver Cromwell lay when going to Preston in pursuit of the Scots,

after the battle of Marston-moor. j The eastern wall over the brook stood likewise on a sort of precipice. I saw a large

coin of Domitian, of yellow brass, very fair, found in the river; Imp. cces. domit. aug. germ. cos. xvi. cent, per pp.

reverse, Jupiter sitting in a curule chair, the hasta pura in his left, an eagle on his right hand, Jovi VICTORI; exergue,

S. C. Another pedestal of a pillar found in the river. Just under the Red Lion a subterraneous canal comes into the

river, so high that one may walk upright in it, paved at the bottom. Many urns have been found hereabouts, but all

lost and disregarded since Mr. Ogden died, who collected such things. They know the track of the Roman road all the

way over the hills. In a garden by the Unicorn's Head, a gold finger was found, and another brass finger as large as a

man's ; two intaglia's of Mercury, with wings on his feet, the caduceus, &c. found near Anchor hill : much ashes and

bones found about the city. Up the river, eight miles off, is Pendle hill, a vast black mountain, which is the morning

weather-glass of the country people : upon it grows the cloudberry plant.

" Digging in the churchyard, silver coins have been frequently turned up. The river hither open and deep, but
* [Afterwards in the possession of the Rev. Samuel J. Allen, as would appear by the following passages :
" What other pieces of sculpture, &c. I had were at the same time sent to T. H. Whitaker, esq. of the Holme, near Burnley, in

whose possession they now are. They were not of great interest. The first was, I believe, the top of the great two-handled amphora

msntioned by Stnkele'y, the mouth six inches in diameter, and the whole fragment about one foot and a half in height. [But perhaps one

of the great amphora; found in the ruins of the temple in 1813, p. 35.] The second had for some time been used as a stand for milk at

Salesbury Hall, and seemed from the mouldings to have been part of a building. It bore faintly traced a patera, or sacrificial implement

of some kind. The third was a portion of a cylindrical column, with a capital and remains of foliage, having a rude resemblance to the

Corinthian style. I could not quite satisfy myself whether it was Roman or of later date, and cannot put my hand on any delineation of

it, though I think I made one before I parted with it. I found it at a cottage in Salesbnry, and have a clear recollection of having seen

one with similar foliage at Salesbury Hall, both probably brought from Ribchester. These were all the Ribchester antiquities which

were ever in my possession." Letter published by Messrs. Just and Harland in Journal of Archaeological Association, vol. vi. p. 245.]

f A strange mistake, since at Marston-moor Cromwell and the Scots fought on the same side. Cromwell certainly passed through.

Ribchester, and might probably sleep at this house, on his way to fight the Duke of Hamilton, in 1648.



uninscribed stones, wrought after Roman mouldings. But " Ribchester," says our ancient

topographer, " is now a poore thing : it hath beene an Auncient Towne. Great squarid

stones, voultes, and antique coynes be found ther : and ther is a place wher that the people

fable 1 wher that the Jues had a temple." - Leland, Itinerary, iv. fol. 39. The edifice, we

see, had now disappeared, but the name had been continued by tradition ; and the inha-

bitants, whose ideas of a temple were all fetched from that of Solomon, assigned it, of

course, to that well-known and detested people.

The collections of Leland, though he was a classical scholar of the first rank, are very
at Salesbury, a mile higher, rocks begin: therefore it is likely this place was chosen by the Romans because at the

extent of navigation. Half of one longitudinal street, and of two latitudinals, are consumed. Horses and carriages

frequently fall down the steep from the street, because it is narrow, and but factitious ground.
" Panstones, up the hill, by the Green-moor lane, or Eoman road, is a place much talked of; but they know not for

what. I suppose it is either some Roman building, or a road eastward, or some terminus. They told me of an altar

thereabouts, with an inscription, axes, and the like carved on it : it is on Duttonley, by Panstones. Ilaughton tower

is within view, a great castle; upon a precipitous hill.

"Many are the inscriptions found here from time to time: Dr. Leigh has seen them all. Now they are removed,

lost, or spoiled: one great altar they told me was carried to Dunkin hall, the seat of Lady Petre, with an inscription,

a ram, and a knife : many taken away by the family of Warrens, living lately at Salesbury hall. I saw the fragment

of a stone in a corner of a house by the mill, cut with very fair large letters : under the next house is the frustum of

a pillar 20 inches diameter, made into a horse-block. I saw another flat stone at the town's end, laid over a gutter,

with a monumental moulding upon it.

" Above the town half a mile is a noble bridge of four very large arches, built lately by the, country : over this I

went to Salesbury ; but all the inscriptions are carried away, probably to Mr. Warren's other seat, near Stockport in

Cheshire. I found a large stone in the corner of the house, which has been a Roman monumental stone, foolishly

placed there for the sake of the carving : there are three large figures upon it, sweetly performed; and good drapery,

though half worn away by time; a man and a woman holding hands, both half naked; somewhat roundish in the

woman's hand: at the end is Apollo resting on his harp, his head leaning on his hand, as melancholy for the loss of a

votary ; for such we may guess the deceased, either a poet, physician, or musician : probably there was more carving on

those sides within the wall.* This has been a very large seat, with a park. They told me there were some carved

stones at Dinkley, another seat of Mr. Warren's, a mile farther; but I found they were all carried elsewhere, save two

altars, both obliterated, but well cut : one stood in a grass-plot in the garden, covered over with moss and weeds ;

another used in the house as a cheese-press.^ This is a romantic place, hanging over the river purling across the

rocky falls, and covered with wood. The late Mr. Warren was very careful of these learned remnants. They told me

Ribchester was destroyed by the Scots.J These are all the memoirs I could pick up in about five hours I staid there,

et antiquum tenuerunt flumina nomen. Ovid, Met. [xiii. 897]." Itinerarium Curiosum, vol. ii. p. 3G-38.

1 There is the same tradition at Leicester, and probably from the same cause. [Those who know the history of

Leicester best, suppose that the Jewry Wall there, really the West-gate of the Roman city, derived its name from

contiguity to the Jews' quarter, as in the case of the Old Jewry in London. J. G. N.]
2 So faithful is tradition to the transmission of facts through a period of eleven or twelve centuries. The remains

of this temple have now been traced.

* This is the identical altar of Apollo Aponus; now, by favour of Lord Bulkeley, in my possession.

f That seen by Camden, No. IV. in p. 27 hereafter.
J The tradition was right. For in the Inymsitio Nona/rum, lately published [1807], Ribchester is expressly returned as laid waste

by the Scots, in their destructive expedition of 1322 [et etiam dicta parochia destrncta est apnd Scottos, Inq. Non. p. 38. Eccl'ia de

Eyblcester' com. Lane. Inq. capta apnd Lane. 1 5 Edw. III.] . They never crossed the Kibble, at least so as to do any considerable mischief.




defective in point of information on the subject of Roman antiquity : he glanced over our

stations with an hasty eye : he scarcely transcribed an inscription. But about fifty years

after (A.D. 1582) Ribchester was first visited by the great Camden, to whom we are in-

debted for an account of several valuable remains of this station, which are now no more.
From him, from Leigh, 1 from Horsley, and from later discoveries, is collected the

following sylloge of inscriptions discovered here, which I believe to be complete :

The first seems to have been very obscure, and may be supposed to have been tran-

scribed incorrectly. It stands, however, in Camden as follows :

We are told by Camden that the stone with this inscription was in a wall at Salesbury

Hall, with a portraiture of a Cupid and another little image. I strongly suspect this to

have been the stone yet remaining there, and engraved by Leigh, on which, however, the

principal figure is an Apollo Pharetratus, which occasioned the mistake ; and this may

afford some support to the conjectural reading which I am about to offer. Camden fairly

acknowledges, that after much study he could make no sense of it. Leigh foolishly

mistook the third line for the Saxon name of Oslaldiston ; and the cautious and accurate

Ilorsley, who seldom ventured far into the regions of conjecture, threw little further light

upon the subject. After the despair of two great men (for Leigh was childishly ignorant

of the subject), will it be deemed presumption to offer a conjectural reading of the

whole ?
[It is unnecessary to reprint Dr. Whitaker's arguments in support of his first con-

jectural reading, which was thus, Deo sancto soli invicto socio ob salutem Domini nostri

(the Emperor's name erased) ala Equitum Sarinatarum cui prseest Ventidius
Antoninus, Centurio Legionis sextse Victricis, Domu Eliberi. In his last edition of this

work, and in his Richmondshire, ii. 462, it was amended as follows :]

It is not without some satisfaction that I find my conjecture to have been substantially

right. In the summer of the year 1814, by the favour of Lord Bulkeley, I was per-

mitted to detach this fine sculpture from the wall, of which, for more than two centuries,

it had formed a corner stone, when, on the third side, appeared the inscription which had

been so unskilfully transcribed for Camden, and which, without correction, has found its
1 [Leigh visited Ribchester in 1699. (Nat. Hist. Lane. t>k. 3, p. 6.)]












way into Gruter, Horsley, and Leigh. After the most attentive

consideration, I now think that the inscription is to be read :
" Deo Sancto Apollini Apono, pro salute Domini nostri, Ala

equitum Sarmatarum, Brennetennorum, Dianius Antonius, Cen-

turio Legionis Sextse Victricis, Domo (or Domu) Velitris."
There is space for four lines, which appear to have been worn

away, at the bottom of the stone, and which would probably have

explained the connection of a Centurion of Roman foot with an

Ala of Sarmatian horse. I suspect the word which follows Sar-

matarum to express a subordinate tribe of that vast and widely-

spread nation, the Sarmatse Brennetenni : at least, I can assign

no other meaning to it. There is an instance of a similar com-

bination in Horsley's Northumberland, cviii. "Equites Caesar-

ienses Corionatse ; " of which the meaning of the last word is

equally unknown.

It is remarkable that the engraver, uncertain about the

proper termination of the ablative of Domus, cut both the letters V and O, the one over

the other, so that it is impossible to discover which was his last determination. The

formula is common. Thus we have Domo Samosata on one of the Chester altars engraved

by Leigh.
Still, there is an apparent impropriety in placing a Centurion of the sixth legion over

an Ala of Sarmatian horse, but this objection is done away by the following authority (see

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