REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The East Moors in Derbyshire includes all the gritstone moors east of the River Derwent. It covers an area of 105 sq km, of which around 63% is open moorland and 37% is enclosed. As a result of recent and on-going archaeological survey, the East Moors area is becoming one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the enclosed land the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but survive sufficiently well to show that early human activity extended beyond the confines of the open moors. On the open moors there is significant and well-articulated evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of the gritstone uplands from the Neolithic to the post-medieval periods. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most intensive use of the moorlands. Evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairnfields in northern England as well settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains which, together, provide a detailed insight into life in the Bronze Age. Also of importance is the well preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods since this provides an insight into successive changes in land use through time. A large number of the prehistoric sites on the moors, because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, will be identified as nationally important.
This is one of the most important single-period prehistoric sites on the Millstone Grit East Moors of the Peak District of Derbyshire. Although there are many Bronze Age remains in this area, the site is of special importance due to the diversity of features relating to settlement and agriculture during this prehistoric period. The remains are in a particularly good state of preservation with well-defined clearance banks and cairns together with evidence for dwellings in the form of platform earthworks. Together, the features comprise a composite prehistoric landscape.
The monument includes linear clearance and cairns, house platforms and lynchets indicating an area of relict Bronze Age settlement and agriculture on the gritstone fringes of the Peak District. The site is located on a spur of land overlooking the Derwent valley, about 1km north east of Hathersage. The remains are located on gently shelving land facing to the south west. Two house platforms are sited close to the top of the ridge of the spur, to the north east of a cleared area. To the west of the house platforms are lengths of linear clearance including two separate, irregular fields, each with internal banked sub-divisions. There are over 20 clearance cairns distributed widely about the area; these vary in size but have an average diameter of between 5m and 7m. With one exception, the cairns are now low, turf-covered mounds, of about 0.3m in height, with some stones showing through in places. One cairn is of greater size and occupies a commanding position overlooking the landscape to the south west. This may contain human burial evidence and stands up to 1m high and is about 9m in diameter. Some of the cairns appear to have been robbed of their stone to a minor extent. The linear clearance is concentrated towards the north west end of the cleared area and appears to respect the house platforms showing that the two types of features were related. The linear clearance banks are low, between 0.2m and 0.4m in height. They are fragmentary, but a stretch of 60m in length survives, extending from one of the platforms. The linear banks were most likely created as the result of secondary ground clearance where debris was thrown to the sides of the fields, then probably defined by hedges or wooden fences. Most of the linear clearance banks are turf-covered but stones frequently protrude from the turf. Peat and turf growth may hide buried, and more extensive, clearance banks. The linear banks show that part of the cleared landscape was divided into fields. The secondary clearance indicates that arable cultivation could have been practiced as well as livestock husbandry. Within the larger enclosed areas of field banks are several sub-dividing banks showing that an intricate system of field enclosures attached to the dwellings. The field system may have been restricted to the area adjacent to the house platforms. The central position of the large cairn indicates that there was also a large, but open, cleared area to the south and south west of the dwelling platforms. Several lynchets form pronounced scarps, between 0.4m and 0.5m high and at least two of them are likely to be related to the other archaeological remains since three clearance cairns are located at their ends. The lynchets are now fragmentary but may have been part of the agricultural divisions of the prehistoric landscape. To the north east of the field system and clearance cairns are two platforms which indicate the position of dwelling houses related to the agricultural activity. Both are similar in form, one larger than the other, and are roughly ovoid in shape. They measure approximately 17m and 14m in diameter respectively. The platforms are cut into the natural land-slope creating a near level interior with revetments on their down-slopes sides standing to a maximum of 0.5m. The larger platform can be seen to relate directly to the field system to its west. The other platform also has fragmentary clearance banks adjacent suggesting that both were part of a composite arrangement of settlement and enclosure. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern stone walls, gates and fences, although the ground below these features is included.
Book Reference - Author: RCHME - Title: Settlement and Field System, Callow, Derbyshire - Date: 1987 - Type: PLAN: MEASURED
Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: Bronze Age Remains on the Eastern Moors of the Peak District - Date: 1986 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 106 - Page References: 29 - Type: DESC TEXT
Article Reference - Author: Beswick, P and Merrills, D - Title: L H Butcher's Survey of Early Settlement ... - Date: 1983 - Journal Title: Trans. of the Hunter Archaeological Soc. - Volume: 12 - Type: PLAN: SKETCH
External Links (0)
Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1997. Scheduling Notification: Callow prehistoric settlement and field system, Carr Head Moor, 300m ENE of Toothill Farm. List entry no. 1017506. SM Cat. No. 387.
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