Monument record MDR13030 - Neolithic pits, King's Tree, Howden Reservoir, Hope Woodlands

Type and Period (1)

  • (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

During August 1999 a group of four features containing burnt stones and charcoal were excavated within the draw-down zone of Howden Reservoir, to the east of the King's Tree, after their discovery on the reservoir bed in 1997. The excavations were undertaken to assess the date, nature and condition of the features. They showed that three of the features were shallow pits containing charcoal, burnt gritstones and charcoal-rich silty clay. No other materials or artefacts were found within the pits apart from one tiny fragment of possible burnt bone. The largest pit was almost exclusively packed with burnt stones and charcoal. A fourth, later, pit cut into this, but contained clean sand and unburnt stones except for charcoal disturbed from the earlier pit. The pits were oval or round, with steep sides grading to rounded bottoms, and survived to depths of between 0.08 and 0.21 metres, although they were probably originally deeper. Charcoal from the basal fills of two of the pits was radiocarbon dated to the 3rd millennium BC, the later Neolithic. It may represent the remains of fires used to heat the stones which were then used to heat water. These pits are the first potentially domestic structures in the Peak District to produce a calibrated radiocarbon date to this millennium and are therefore of national/regional importance. (1, 2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 1999. Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey, Phase 2, Year 2, Neolithic Pits, Howden Reservoir (King's Tree), Hope Woodlands, Derbyshire, Excavation.
  • <2> Article in serial: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 2003. 'Neolithic pits, Howden Reservoir, Hope Woodlands, Derbyshire: excavation and fieldwalking 1999', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 123, pp 29-49.



Grid reference Centred SK 1682 9386 (24m by 22m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2905

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Aug 2 2012 2:28PM

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