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Monument record MDR1812 - Hillfort/Enclosure, Burr Tor, Great Hucklow

Type and Period (2)

  • ? (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • ? (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 1000 BC to 401 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

'On the top of Burr Tor near Great Hucklow .. There is an oval camp surrounded by a double ditch, not very broad or very deep. It encloses about eight acres (as I guess) by taking in the top of the Tor. It is longest from north to south .. The entrance seems to have been at the north and the south.' (1) The site has since been enclosed and, now covered with coarse grass, is the landing ground of the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club. Roughly oval, the fort is 400 yards from north to south and 150 yards from east to west. A slight ditch, 15 feet wide where measurable, which may be the remains of a rampart, a ditch and a counterscarp bank, can be clearly traced on the ground round the eastern half of the site, and also shows on air photographs. The ground falls gradually to Bretton Clough. On the western side of the fort, at the top of precipitous wooded slopes, a bank and a berm, the latter 15ft wide, in the southern section is continued by a bank and a ditch, the latter 20ft wide, in the central section. In the northern section a landslip has carried away the ditch but part of the bank remains. The entrances are not now apparent. (2) See aerial photographs & plan A.O./LP/62/152. (3) No surveyable remains of a hill fort were seen on perambulation. The berm/ditch survives, just below the hill top, round the east side but seems utterly insignificant compared with the natural defences and is probably an old track. The plateau has been cleared for use by a gliding club and no features of archaeological interest survive. (4) Listed by Challis and Harding as an Iron Age hillfort; air photographs show a non defensive, slight enclosure. (5) In the spring of 1978 the ditch was infilled with imported soils, the interior ploughed to bedrock, and the already denuded rampart and counterscarp bank levelled. Prior to this work a measured survey was made of the earthworks which shows an enclosed area of about twelve acres and unfinished earthworks on the south-west and south-east sides. The south-west ditch terminates in an irregular quarry pit and the ditch line continues as a flat marking-out trough sweeping to the south-east and then northwards to form a protective barrier. The out-turned counterscarp bank in the north-east sector is the result of historic enclosure and not the original entrance, which was not located. A watching brief of the ploughed area proved negative although the plough share often touched the shale bedrock lying 0.14m under the turf. (7) There was erosion noted at the south end of the site in 1989, thought to be caused by winch cables. On the western edge erosion appeared to be from the use of recovery vehicles. Both sites of erosion, which affected the scheduled area, are thought to be as a consequence of the use of the site for hang-gliding by the Great Hucklow Gliding Club. (9) Scheduled. The monument includes the remains of an oval enclosure measuring c. 400m from north to south by c. 170m from east to west. Although similar in area and appearance to a promontory hillfort, due to the limited scale of the earthworks that formerly defined its east and south edges it is now believed to have been a Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age stock enclosure. (10) Site monitoring was carried out in 2012, at which time the site appeared to be under threat. (12) Burr Tor occupied the western end of a long ridge that runs west from Eyam Moor. The defences are most obvious along portions of the west side . It has been reported that in 1978, the ditches of the eastern rampart were infilled, the ditches of the eastern rampart infilled, the banks flattened an the majority of the interior ploughed. In 2011 the condition was said to have changed little since the 1970s with the main areas of upstanding preservation along the top of the western slope were there is still a reasonably extensive preserved bank, berm and ditch. The road cuts through the bank and the ditch on the west side. The western side has been encroached upon by woodland and scrub. <13>

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Mr. Cresswell (of Edale). 1792. A Note: Archaeologia. vol.10, p.467.
  • <2> Article in serial: Preston, F. 1954. 'The hill-forts of the Peak', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 74, pp 1-31. pp 6-7.
  • <3> Aerial Photograph: AP: CPE/ UK2598/ 3014-5.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 19-JAN-66.
  • <5> Monograph: Challis, A & Harding, W. 1975. 'Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne', British Archaeological Report 20. Part 2.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Sheffield City Museum. 1978. Derbyshire Origins. pp 22-23.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500. pp 73-75.
  • <8> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). 0993.
  • <9> Personal Observation: Smith, K. 1989. Personal observation following site visit etc..
  • <10> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1994. Scheduling Notification: Burr Tor Prehistoric Stock Enclosure. 23317.
  • <11> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 6303.1-6.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Wheal, S (PDNPA). 2012. Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form: Burr Tor prehistoric stock enclosure.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Waddington, C and J Brightman (ARS Ltd). 2012. Peak District Hillforts: Conservation and Management Audit.



Grid reference Centred SK 1799 7831 (199m by 394m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR3202
  • EDR4691
  • EDR1239

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 28 2020 1:19PM

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