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Monument record MDR1923 - Cow Low field system and settlement site, Wormhill

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

[SK 103728] "Celtic" field system. (1) A pronounced system of ancient fields; the maximum heights of dividing banks achieve 1.5 metres. (2) SK 102728. Green Fairfield. Rectilinear field system, Romano-British period. (3) SK 1010172802 - 1050272709. Celtic fields. This site is threatened by spoil and over-burden from the ICI quarry at Tunstead. It was visited on 23.5.76 and was found to be unharmed. The full extent of the fields is probably not discernible due to levelling on the north side by later ploughing. (6) The Cow Low 'Celtic' fields were detected from aerial photographs and subsequently have been surveyed for this report [1976] as they are under threat from the tipping overburden from Tunstead quarry. They survive under rough pasture with lynchets and dividing balks which reach a maximum height of 0.5m. The field system shows tracing of having continued northwards towards Cow Low barrow and to the west to Cow Low Farm. Within the fields lie several rectangular structures, usually abutting their boundaries. From observations these appear to be later in date and are not related to settlement in the fields. (7) Detailed survey reveals two distinct forms of field: small rectangular fields near the settlement, and 'long fields' abutting. It is not clear whether these represent different phases or purely stock corrals near the farmsteads and arable or sheep folds on the edges of the settlement. The fields have been surveyed and sketched. (8) Cow Low, Green Fairfield. SK 102721. South facing dale edge settlement and field system. Earth banks and lynchets. Romano-British. (9) Cow Low, SK 100726 to SK 105728. Altitude 274m-335m. Area 15ha. A large complex site on a shelf and valley slope above the River Wye. The site is a classic example of a Romano-British settlement with 'Celtic' fields. There appears to be a central nucleus of houses or crofts and small enclosures surrounded by more regular fields. These appear to show an expansion outwards from the centre, linked by linear banks or boundaries. Some field boundaries show changes or modifications where older fields are overlapped by later ones. The fields to the south, overlooking the River Wye, show regularity of size and form. There are some field boundaries running downslope towards the river. Flat and beehive querns have been recorded from this site, suggesting a possible origin for this settlement in the late Iron Age. (11) The site was surveyed in May 1999. The field system includes lynchets, stone banks, possible orthostatic walls, terraces, rectilinear enclosures and irregular enclosures. The probable settlement lies within the field system. The floor plan of the buildings appears to be ovoid which is important for dating purposes because it is thought that ovoid and rectangular buildings were introduced in the 2nd century AD. (12)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Aerial Photograph: CPE/UK. 1948. A.P's: 2598/3111-2.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 07-JAN-66.
  • <3> Article in serial: James, C. 1963. East Midlands Archaeology Bulletin. p 6.
  • <4> Article in serial: Butcher, L H. 1963. East Midlands Archaeology Bulletin. p 1.
  • <5> Aerial Photograph: DCC. 1972. AP-DCC Survey, flight 18, photo 916.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: N Derby Arch Trust SMR (Microfiche reel 3, CRH 23.5.76).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Hart, C (NDAC). 1976. Archaeological survey of Wormhill, a Peakland Parish under threat. p6; Fig. 8.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500. pp 104-105 (plan).
  • <9> Article in serial: Beswick, P and Merrills, D. 1983. 'L H Butcher's survey of early settlements and fields in the Southern Pennines', Transactions of the Hunter Archaeology Society. Volume 12, pp 16-50. p 36.
  • <10> Index: NDAT. 1016. 1016.
  • <11> Article in serial: Makepeace, G. 1998. 'Romano-British rural settlements in the Peak District and north-east Staffordshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 118, pp 95-138. p 117; Fig. 23.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 2000. Peak District Romano-British Rural Upland Settlement Survey, 1998-1000. 3 vols.. Site Code 065a, 065b.
  • <13> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 6502.1-2.



Grid reference Centred SK 102 727 (674m by 418m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR3663
  • EDR3805
  • EDR869
  • EDR1875

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Record last edited

Nov 17 2022 10:47AM

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