history of the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent
|Chesterton and Roman Occupation|
Chesterton and Roman Occupation Source: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward, 1843
"…Chesterton, - the very name of which imports that it was a castle or fortress, when the Saxons first invaded Britain, and imposed names significant to themselves, upon the towns and places of their newly-acquired dominions.
The castle of Mediolanum, or Chesterton, probably went to decay in the Saxon era, there being no mention of any such in the public records subsequent to the conquest. The earliest account we find respecting it, is that of Erdeswick, whose tour in Staffordshire was taken about the year 1598; and who, after mentioning the neighbouring seat of Bradwell, belonging to the Sneyd Family, (where he was probably a guest), proceeds as follows:
'A little lower stands Chesterton, where are to be seen the ruins of a very ancient town or castle, there yet remaining some rubbish of stone and lime whereby may be perceived that the walls have been of marvellous thickness; and the name doth argue some town, or rather castle, there to have been seated, as also by the decay thereof, which may seem to be occasioned by the building of Newcastle; whereupon, as I take it, the same took the name of Newcastle.' (Hardwood's Erdeswick, p.9)
The hill on which the fortress stood is moderately elevated…The whole Station seems to have formed a parallelogram of about three hundred and seventy by three hundred yards, and to have inclosed upwards of twenty acres of ground; and area sufficient for accommodating a Roman Cohort, which contained six hundred men, with equipage, stabling, and stores…
We cannot learn that Chesterton has furnished any coins, or other testimonials of its Roman origin… they have been found abundantly in the neighbourhood; for, March 28, 1817, a great deal of Roman copper coins were turned up by plough on a farm about three miles from Chesterton, called little Madeley Park, the property of Lord Crewe, and occupied by Mr. Joseph Taylor.
The coins were of great variety, principally of Constantine the Great, who succeeded to the empire of the west… AD 306. There were many coins … between the years 260 and 280 of the Christian era.
Chesterton has the addition "under Lyme," in Camden's Britannia, but which has been long disused: we are desirous, however, of tracing this affix…"
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