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Monument record MDR15573 - Possible Roman Road (remains of), Burbage and Houndkirk Moors, Derbyshire Dales and South Yorkshire

Type and Period (1)

  • (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SHEFFIELD, BURBAGE MOOR (SK 250 812 - SK 291 831): T C Welsh reports that remains suggesting a road, possibly of Roman construction, have been noted. Lengths with camber and lateral ditches occur between SK 2500 8125 and SK 2512 8117 as an incline approaching Winyards Nick from the north-west; between SK 260 811 and 2638 8135 descending the east slopes of Carl Wark to Burbage Brook; and from SK 2810 8234 to SK 2907 8314. Between SK 2526 8115 and SK 2560 8110 the camber has been worn and broken by the ruts of later tracks which run alongside to the north; this stretch features about 50m of kerbs. Fragments of camber occur at SK 269 814, SK 2707 8174 and SK 2731 8167. A section with incline terrace, camber and some kerbing occurs on the west side of Houndkirk Moor Road, from SK 2763 8174 to SK 2792 8213, but the kerbed portion is duplicated elsewhere on that road and may be more recent. A possible continuation near Hathersage (SK 243 813 - SK 240 812) suggests that, if Roman, it may link with the length of road from Brough-on-Noe to Shatton. (1) SK 263 813: At the confluence of Parsons Brook with Burbage Brook, remains of the abutments and piers of a bridge, of possibly part-timbered construction were found. The west bank abutment follows a 22m sunken incline from the end of the road embankment SK 260 811 to SK 263 813, below Carl Wark. A later zig-zag track cuts through it twice. The road has been traced 50m east, with kerbs, until obliterated by erosion gullies. (2) F L Preston notes that the road remains tentatively assigned a Roman origin by T C Welsh [Authority 1] appear to be of two roads, one (SK 2500 8125 - SK 2732 8167) being the Dore to Hathersage bridleway, the other (SK 2763 8174 - 2907 8314) seeming to be the 'high road' to Buxton before it was turnpiked in 1757 and diverted to join the Manchester road at Ringinglow after 1788. Features noted by Welsh at SK 303 848 have been reinterpreted by R D V Perrett as a natural ridge. The possible road embankment noted inside a bend on Brookhouse Hill at SK 304 850 could not be identified. However, T C Welsh strongly disputes these reinterpretations and stands by the results of his own original fieldwork. (3) As these remains of a kerbed and cambered road have been challenged, on the grounds that they could be explained as part of two independent routeways, further documentary research and fieldwork was carried out by Welsh to ensure that his original interpretation was correct. He concluded that the remains are closely associated with routeways of various periods, but cross from one to another as a consistent feature. It ascends the gritstone edges from Hathersage by a minor bridleway giving access to routes to Sheffield and Chesterfield, and crosses Hathersage Moor on the latter axis. South of Carl Wark (SK 259 814) it changes direction, following an independent descent to Burbage Brook, where it joins the bridleway, to climb Burbage Edge, and cross the high ground beyond. It then follows the approximate line of the Sheffield to Buxton turnpike to a point south-east of Ringinglow. The road is consistently 5 to 6 metres wide, with kerbstones either visible or just below the surface. In some places it is raised to an embankment up to 8 metres wide. The best evidence survives where it is independent of other routeways, either on an original course, as the decent below Carl Wark, or to the side of other routes, as on Houndkirk Moor. Where it coincides with the turnpike or bridleway remains, the remains are fragmentary or absent. It also disappears on eroded hillsides where 18th or 19th century routeways are still visible. Notably, at Winyards Nick (SK 251 811), subsequent traffic has eroded up to 5 metres below the level at which the road entered the Nick. The physical evidence provides reasonable grounds for assigning the road remains to antiquity; the most probable origin being a Roman road. The currently accepted course [in 1984] of the Roman road between Brough on Noe and Templeborough is the Long Causeway, although there is doubt to its authenticity [see SMR 11348]. The earliest use of the name Long Causeway or Causey appears to be a sketch by W Fairbank dated 1792, and it is not impossible that the Roman road crossed the moors by a different route. The road across Hathersage, Burbage and Houndkirk Moors makes use of the broken and dissected gritstone edges two miles to the south of Long Causeway. By this route the road climbs a series of smaller edges by means of gaps, losing height between them. See source for more details. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Article in serial: 1978. Extract from 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Register: 1977', in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 50, p. 11. p. 11.
  • <2> Article in serial: 1979. Extract from 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Register: 1978', in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 51, p. 6. p. 6.
  • <3> Article in serial: 1980. Extract from 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Register: 1979', in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 52, p. 187.
  • <4> Article in serial: Welsh, T C. 1984. 'Road remains at Burbage and Houndkirk Moors, Sheffield - a possible Roman road', in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 56, pp. 27-31. Vol. 56, pp. 27-31. pp. 27-31.



Grid reference Centred SK 2571 8108 (5517m by 2057m)

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Record last edited

Apr 10 2017 3:38PM

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