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Monument record MDR1274 - Rock shelters, Calling Low Dale, Youlgreave

Type and Period (5)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

[SK 1835 6538]. (2). A rock-shelter at Church Dale "off Lathkill Dale, below Calling Low" (3) near Monyash was excavated by Colonel J.A. Harris of Bakewell between 1937 and 1939 when he found two cists, one containing a mass of human bones with a Peterborough bowl and a flint arrowhead of derived petit tranchet type and further burials outside the cists [see plan F/54/175/1 and illus. F/54/175/2]. (1,3,4). Neolithic cist burials which consist of a) an articulated skeleton of a woman, b) some disarticulated bones with pottery sherds and a flint arrowhead (Petit Tranchet Derivative), c) the skeleton of a young woman, d) a human pelvis and fox skull, e) child burials and f) fragments of pottery and human bones. (4). The shelter is situated at SK 1837 6541. Harris retains all the material found. (5). Major Harris presented the arrowhead and bowl to the Sheffield City Museum. (6). A unretouched blade or flake, possibly Late Upper Palaeolithic in date was also found from the excavation by T A Harris between 1936 and 1939. (8,11). Dale now known as Calling Low Dale. Evidence of excavations on east and west sides of the Dale, immediately downslope from a natural narrowing. The areas were not fully backfilled. A large quantity of excavated stone was stacked in a regular heap in the middle of the Dale between the two excavations. (10). On the east side of Calling Low Dale or Church Dale there is a natural overhang and on the opposite cliff, a second overhang, both of which have been archaeologically excavated. Between the two is a crude stone platform, presumably the spoil heap of the excavations. The main overhang on the eastern side was excavated by Major Haris and Leslie Armstrong in 1937 to 1939 (1,4,6). Two oval arcs of limestone blocks forming lidless cists were found. One contained a jumbled mass of disarticulated bones, mostly from one individual, but without the skull. A further three or four individuals were also represented. Two, highly decorated Neolithic Peterborough Ware pottery vessels, a transverse flint arrowhead and several flint and chert flakes were scattered amongst the bones. The other cist contained a tightly contracted inhumation of a woman, the front part of the skull apparently purposely pierced. Immediately outside this cist was a flexed inhumation of an adult woman and nearby, a child inhumation. Elsewhere under the shelter were six inhumations, all young children buried close together. Within a niche of the back wall there was a human pelvis and a fox's skull. Outside the shelter a small excavation trench revealed scattered human bones and sherds of pottery. The western overhang was also excavated by Harris and Armstrong, uncovering an extended adult male inhumation. One of the flints found has been tentatively identified as Upper Palaeolithic in date. (12).

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Article in serial: Leask, H G et al. 1938. 'Notes on excavations in Eire, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales during 1938', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol. 4, pp 314-325. 'Church Dale', p317.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bramwell, D (identified by?). 1951. Corr. 6".
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Cullingford, C. 1952. British Caving. p190.
  • <4> Article in serial: Piggott, S. 1953. 'Secondary Neolithic burials at Church Dale, near Monyash, Derbyshire, 1937-1939', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol. 19. pp 228-230, illust..
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 17-MAR-66.
  • <6> Article in serial: Gilks, J. 1971. 'The Peterborough Ware bowl from Calling Low Dale, Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 91.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1977. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire. pp 114-115.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Wymer, J J (ed). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales: Council for British Archaeology (CBA) Research Report 20. p424.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Hawke-Smith, C F. 1979. 'Man-Land Relations in British Prehistory: The Dove-Derwent Interfluve, Derbyshire', British Archaeological Report. Series 64 (170).
  • <10> Personal Observation: Smith, K (PPJPB). K Smith (Peak Park Joint Planning Board) personal communication. 07/12/1989.
  • <11> Index: NDAT. 2100. 2100.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 2005. Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve: Over Haddon, Monyash and Youlgreave Parishes, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 2005. No.115, pp 134-135.



Grid reference Centred SK 1836 6541 (25m by 24m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR33
  • EDR3849
  • EDR1182

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Record last edited

Mar 31 2015 9:18AM

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