Derby is a small city in the East Midlands of England and is regarded as an ancient settlement. On the high ground close by the city there have been Bronze Age finds and just one mile north of the city centre stands a Roman fort of the first century AD. The old town of Derby is thought to be of Saxon foundation and is also claimed to be the only town, other than York, to have had its name changed by the Vikings - from Northworthy to Derby.

Monastic scrolls suggest that a castle once stood near the river in the south-east corner of the old town but although there are many references and even place names in the locality no trace has ever been found. Its location was a mystery until detective work by Ron McKeown uncovered a possible answer.

Yet more mystery awaits the curious historian because the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles claim that a fierce battle took place at Derby in AD 917 but again, there are no remains of such a battle. In fact there is very little in the archaeological record to confirm the prescence of either the Saxon or the Viking so what is going on?

The book, The Rivers of Time, is an investigation by local historian Ron McKeown into Derby's past and the evidence suggests that the Viking town could have looked like the picture below, a classic D shaped enclosure surrounded on three sides by water. derby viking 02.jpg (192K)
As the investigation develops Ron McKeown is able to give answers to many previously unanswered questions. The depletion of the mills recorded in the Domeday survey are looked at with new ideas and a logical picture emerges.

The untypical layout of the Roman Fort at Little Chester is explained and the positioning of the Vicus to the east starts to make sense.

The foundation of Nottingham is considered and the Five Towns of the Vikings are explained.

However, emerging evidence still ongoing after publication is raising questions about the validity of the arguments for Man Made Global Warming.

Ron McKeown's original hypothesis was that the high water levels had dropped because of Crustal Motion, now called Glacial Rebound which is a logical conclusion if temperatures are higher today than at any time previous. But the doubts have since crept in and it could well be that the evidence in The Rivers of Time is telling us that, contrary to Goverment views, temperatures really were higher in the Medieval Warm Period.

If you want to join in the debate then you need to get the book. It is in A5 format and comprises 95 pages crammed with details and observations. It costs 8.50 from the Tea Rooms on Darley Park, Scarthin Books at Cromford or you can order it direct from the author. For ordering details please Email Ron as under

email address (27K)

Ron McKeown is a member of The Derby Heritage Forum