Type: Roman Spa Town
|ENE (8) to Brovgh-on-noe (Brough-on-Noe, Derbyshire)
NW (21) to Mamvcivm (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
Probable road: SE (30) to Littlechester (Littlechester, Derbyshire)
The only classical reference to the Roman name for Buxton is in the Ravenna Cosmology of the seventh century. The entry Aquis Arnemeza (R&C#107), occurs between the other towns Navio (Brough-on-Noe, Derbyshire) and Ardotalia (Melandra Castle, Derbyshire).
The Latin name then, for Buxton was Aquae Arnemetiae, the prefix aquae literally means 'of the waters', and was used by the Romans to denote natural spa's or springs. The second part of the name is associated with the Welsh/Gaelic word Nemeton or "sacred grove", which here seems to be used in the plural form. We can readily assume from the origins of the Roman name for Buxton that the natural springs here represented a religious centre of some considerable importance, probably used by many generations of native Britons prior to the coming of Rome.
|... TRIB POT COS II P P A NAVIONE M P XI|
"... Tribunician Power, Consul two times, Father of his Country, eleven thousand paces from Navio."
(RIB 2243; milestone)
The only evidence for a temple to this deity, who may be a pseudonym of Nemetona, is a solidly-built Podium of well-dressed stone with a packed clay infill which was investigated in 1787. This platform measured 22½ ft. wide by 46 ft. in length, and stood about 4 ft. in height. Iron nails and roofing tiles suggest that the superstructure was of timber. The suspected temple was oriented north-south and faced the Roman baths at St Anne's Well about 80 ft. away.
The only other recognised Spa-town in Roman Britain is Aquae Sulis (Bath, Avon), which is also a known Nemeton grove.