Rocester /ˈroʊstər/ ( listen) is a village and civil
parish in the East
Staffordshire district of Staffordshire, England.
Its name is spelt Rowcestre in the Domesday Book. It is located on the
3 Modern times
5 External links
The village is about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Uttoxeter, and
close to the county border with Derbyshire. According to the 2001
census the parish had a population of 1,431. The village lies on a
triangle of land between the
River Churnet and River Dove, which join
to the south. The parish borders, from the south going clockwise, the
Uttoxeter Rural, Croxden, Denstone, Ellastone, all in East
Staffordshire, and then Norbury and Roston,
Marston Montgomery and
Doveridge, all in the
Derbyshire Dales district of Derbyshire.
A Roman fort was founded on the site in about 69 AD, as an
intermediate point between
Derby and Newcastle-under-Lyme. The remains
of the earthworks can still be seen. After the Romans departed, in
about 400 AD, the village remained in use by the Anglo-Saxons
throughout the Middle Ages.
In 1141 the St Mary's Augustinian Abbey was built on the site now
known as Abbey Fields. The order was disbanded in 1538; the abbey and
its chapel were demolished and a manor house was built on the site.
St Michael's Church, Rocester
The village church, St Michael's, was constructed in the 13th century.
It was mostly rebuilt in 1873, although the tower is the original.
Richard Arkwright bought an old corn mill on the River Dove
and converted it to a water-powered cotton mill. This introduced
industry to a predominantly agricultural community. With industry came
the canal and railway networks, and
Rocester became an important
trading point. The mill was a great driving force in the expansion of
the village; its owners were responsible for much building in the
village. The mill has now been converted into the JCB Academy.
On 1 August 1849
Rocester railway station
Rocester railway station was opened by the North
JCB site at Rocester
The Fossor, at the JCB headquarters
The mill remained the primary employer until the 1950s, and finally
closed in 1985. By this time another major employer had arrived in the
village, JCB. The present factory, on the site of the original 1950s
factory, was opened in 1970 and is the world headquarters for the
There are a number of sculptures around the JCB site and landscaped
parkland nearby. Most significant of these is The Fossor, which takes
its name from the
Latin fossor i.e. digger. The steel sculpture,
created by Walenty Pytel, is made entirely of digger parts and is a
powerful representation of JCB. It weighs 36 tonnes, stands 45 feet
high and was the largest steel sculpture in Europe at the time of its
creation in 1979. It can be seen from the B5030 road that passes it.
The village has several businesses, a school, a pre-school and a
Rocester is home to the football team
Rocester lies on the
Staffordshire Way, and is the southern terminus
of the Limestone Way, a footpath which runs 46 miles (74 km)
north to Castleton in the Peak District.
^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
^ Church of St Michael Historic England. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
^ Public Sculpture of
Staffordshire and the Black Country, George T.
Noszlopy and Fiona Waterhouse, 2005, ISBN 0-85323-989-4
Media related to
Rocester at Wikimedia Commons
Rocester Photography A
Rocester photo site
Rocester The community website
Rocester : Roman Fort and Town
Civil parishes of East Staffordshire
Barton under Needwood
Draycott in the Clay
Horninglow and Eton
Rolleston on Dove