The Roman fort at Ribchester
The Roman fort at Ribchester (Bremetennacum) stood on the banks of the River Ribble at the junction of the roads to Chester, York and Carlisle.
Recent research has revealed that a hoard of military metalwork and other items, found at the site in 1796, had probably been stored in a wooden box beneath the floor of a barrack block around AD 120. Until then the fort had been garrisoned by a cavalry regiment, the Ala II Asturum. Auxiliary troops such as these served alongside the heavy infantry of the Roman legions. The auxiliary units were usually about 500 strong and were normally recruited from new provinces or foreign tribes. The infantry regiments (cohortes) were always more numerous than the expensive cavalry (alae). A cavalry regiment would be led by a prefect and the men divided into sixteen troops, each under the command of a decurion.