Today Rocester is best known for the enormous J. C. Bamford factory with its ornamental lakes and wildfowl. However, Rocester was a Roman settlement and fort on the River Dove. It was founded about AD 70 to 75 and abandoned about 120 to 150. Some time after AD 200, another defence was built on the same site, in the vicinity of the current church. An Augustinian Abbey was founded in 1146, also near the church, but nothing remains above ground. Footsore at the end of our 12 mile circular walk from Rocester to Marston Mongomery, Somersal Herbert and Doveridge, I missed the town's greatest historic treasure, a 700 year old 20 foot high church cross, said to be the finest in the county. St. Michael's was entirely rebuilt between 1870 and 1972 by Ewan Christian except for the 13th century tower, which was extensively restored. The East range of Tutbury Mill was built by Richard Arkwright for cotton spinning. It is four storeys high and 24 bays long. There are larger additions behind.
|Arkwright's Mill||Wall plaque|
|Alternative view||St. Michael's, Rocester|
The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The King's England, Staffordshire, by Arthur Mee, Hodder and Stoughton, London, first published in 1937.
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8