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.
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
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
Ron McKeown is a member of The Derby