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Monument record MDR10917 - Romano-British settlement site, Wattscliff Plantation, Elton

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low wall features, vegetation-covered, showing on an aerial photograph. (1) This site represents a small settlement which has suffered considerable destruction since first surveyed by Makepeace in 1980. Originally it consisted of at least three round houses. One was constructed of large gritstone boulders set on edge with gritstone paving internally, the other two were less substantial features. Only the larger now remains [in 1998]. It was excavated by the Heathcotes and later by the Hunter Archaeological Society. The most interesting aspect of the later excavations was the discovery of a fragment of a polychrome glass bowl. This may indicate some wealthy occupants or, perhaps more likely, it was for use as glass ornaments for jewellery decoration, such as those found at Staden and possibly at Thirst House Cave. Two small field terraces to the north may indicate some agricultural activity. (3) Part of the Romano-British settlement complex at Robin Hood's Stride [SMR 6716] appears to have extended to the south, to the east of Watscliffe Plantation. In the early 1980s the farmer made an attempt to clear the land and some of the features were destroyed, but one hut was rescued, fully excavated and restored by members of the Hunter Archaeological Society (report and finds in Sheffield Museum). The pottery finds were similar to those recovered by the Heathcotes; however, the most interesting object was nearly half of a polychrome mosaic glass bowl, in 19 fragments but in an excellent state of preservation. The ground colour is peacock blue and the millefiore rods are yellow. One fragment was associated with a pottery sherd dated c. AD 120-180. What such a rare and precious object was doing in what otherwise appears to be an ordinary native Romano-British settlement is not known but one possibility, although unproven, is that it was intended for use in jewellery decoration. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. NDAT 3884.
  • <2> Aerial Photograph: OS. 1972. OS 258.72.009.
  • <3> Article in serial: Makepeace, G. 1998. 'Romano-British rural settlements in the Peak District and north-east Staffordshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 118, pp 95-138. p 119.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Beswick, P. 1998. Wattscliffe Quarry. Archaeological Appraisal..



Grid reference Centred SK 22400 62117 (113m by 268m)

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Record last edited

Jul 13 2012 2:18PM

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