Fieldwork around Idridgehay has revealed an oval enclosure south of Idridgehay Green, cut through by the northern stretch of Cliffash Lane. The internal boundary of this enclosure is curved and for most of its length has no breaks. The bank and external ditch forming the boundary have been measured at various points. The bank has spread in placed to a width of three metres with a height of a metre. Although altered by modern development on the north side, the pattern is fossilised in the rear garden fences of the modern houses to the south of the Green. The features are most notable on the west of the enclosure. On the outside of the bank and ditch a public right of way follows it for 75% of the circumference. This perhaps represents a freeboard, or area giving access to the boundary for maintenance purposes. The outer boundary of the freeboard is broken on each corner offering funnel entrances into the freeboard/green lane from the outlying fields for the easy movement of stock around the enclosure and into the outlying fields. Stone was noticed where each break in the bank formed an entrance. At Cliffash a possible dislocation of the boundary occurs similar to the off-set entrances found in parks where deer/stock could have been funnelled into the enclosure itself. Cliffash Lane is a deep holloway leading from the conjectured route of the Roman road from Buxton to Derby and Ireton Wood. It widens just before this off-set entrance and takes a slightly different line from this point. It is suggested that the continuation of Cliffash Lane into the village through the enclosure is a later extension. A public footpath follows the curve of the hay from Cliffash east and north-east round to the present B5063. On the tithe map the road is much widened at this point, possibly incorporating the freeboard. A similar pattern of narrow fields then mirrors the pattern south of the Green. (1)
It is uncertain at present as to whether the eastern boundary of the hay followed Cliffash Lane or whether it lay further east, followed by a public footpath. (2)
Article in serial: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2011. ''Hays', possible early enclosures, in Derbyshire'. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 131, pp 195-225. pp 204-205.
Unpublished document: Wiltshire, M. 2011. Information, sketch map and photographs sent to the HER Officer, 12 September 2012.
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Centred SK 2830 4892 (660m by 343m)
IDRIDGEHAY AND ALTON, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jul 27 2016 4:30PM
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