CIMRM Supplement - A stone Cautopates and two other figures. Manchester, Britain.
A stone block depicting Cautopates, another block with a primitive head, and a third with arms crossed, all found at Hulme by the Roman road outside the Roman fort at Manchester in 1821. Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
The Gentlemen's Magazine, 1821, vol. 129, part 1, p.257; Samuel Hibbert, The ancient parish church of Manchester, 1848. p.19; F. Bruton, The Roman Fort at Manchester. Manchester 1909. Online here; F. Bruton, A Short History of Manchester and Salford. Manchester 1927.
In 1821 the Gentlemen's Magazine, vol. 129, p.257, reported that three large blocks of stone, all about two and a half feet high, were discovered, just within the gravel, about six feet below the ground. The first was a representation of Cautopates, within a raised square border or moulding. The Cautopates has the usual form with the torch downwards and crossed legs. The lower moulding on one side suggests that it was part of a series. The second was a large head. The third was an image in a flowing dress, with arms crossed at the front, and the head broken off but found nearby. The head portion of the last monument was lost sometime after 1848 but is depicted by Hibbert. They were found on the exact line of the Roman road from Manchester to Chester, a few hundred yards to the south of the Roman fort of Mamucium, the modern Castlefields district of Manchester. Various other Roman finds were made at various times very nearby, including an altar of Legio VI Victrix. The stone used is the local dark brown grit stone, so not brought from a distance.
The items are kept in the basement of the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, but in 2012 were on loan to the Manchester Museum.
Vermaseren appears to have omitted from the CIMRM the details of the Manchester Mithraeum and its remains, but he gives the Bruton references in the bibliography.
Some of the literature supposes that there was a Mithraeum at the site, and that it was destroyed by the works. However the only account of the find seems to be that of Whatton in the Gentleman's Magazine, and this does not make either statement. In the absence of further investigation, possibly the stones were simply dumped here at some point and abandoned, perhaps after the triumph of Christianity?
From Shelagh Grealey, Roman Manchester, p.16: