A publication of c. 1975 suggests that in the corner of Big Wood is a square feature that might be a Roman signal station. This feature is still visible as an earthwork near the south-western end of Big Wood. It is clearly visible on aerial photographs that pre-date the 1960s, but more recent tree growth has hidden the once sharp outlines of the feature. The site is best seen in winter, being difficult to identify in summer. It is roughly square, with sides of about 100 ft to 110ft, and diagonals running north-south and east-west. An embankment marks the sides and, north of centre, there is a mound approximately 3ft high and 34 ft to 37ft across. In Derby Museum there are photographs of an unpublished excavation by Derbyshire Archaeological Society in May 1978, which include a trench into the mound and a picture of the only find, namely a large pair of shears. There are a number of possible interpretations - Roman signal station, square barrow, garden feature, fox covert, windmill site, rabbit warren - however, no conclusion can be reached at present. The feature is not shown on a map of 1737, when it would have been part of Allestree Common, and is depicted as a plantation on a map of approximately 1780. It is marked by a dashed line on an estate map of 1843, by which time it lies within a larger area of woodland, but it is not marked on any later 19th century 25" Ordnance Survey maps.
Unpublished document: Regan, A J. 1996. 'The Thing in the Wood' - Some Observations.
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Centred SK 3412 4041 (21m by 21m)
DERBY, DERBY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Dec 21 2018 9:27AM
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