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Monument record MDR2033 - Horsborough, Romano-British settlement and field system, Dimin Dale, Sheldon

Type and Period (5)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A small plateau known locally as Horsborough is the site of a 'British fortified village'. In the summer of 1908 Mr Alfred Bramwell of Bakewell made several holes and short trenches at various points within the fortified area and found a flint arrow-point, a well-made bead, one half of a pair of bronze tweezers and a quantity of pottery, including some sherds identified as Roman period and some of a 'ruder native sort', which may have been Iron Age. (1, 2) SK 1685 7025: Dimin Dale, Romano-British Settlement, Prehistoric Finds: A possible Iron Age/Romano-British village site in Demon's (Dimin) Dale on a small plateau known as Horsborough was excavated in 1906 by A. Bramwell and recently by Major Harris who has also found Bronze Age pottery (including beaker ware) and microliths. The site comprises:- [see plan AO/LP/62/153] [SK 16777028] 'A': An oval enclosure, [SK 16797029] 'B': Hut circle, [SK 16867027] 'C': Hut circle, [SK 16907025] 'D': Hut circle, [SK 16937024] 'E': Square enclosure and [SK 16917025] 'F': A long line of walling. (3). A field below the plateau upon which the settlement lies is known locally as the Orbers. There is some evidence in the landscape of an old road leading to Horsborough from High Mere; if so, the road would date at least to Romano-British times. (4). Surveyed at 1/2500. Major Harris holds a collection of finds from the area (pottery, Bronze Age artefacts, bones etc.) obtained over the last 30 years, although he was digging at odd places in a non-scientific manner. Extant remains consist in the main of the foundations of dry stone walling or "kerb" walling with an inner earth cone. The topographical situation is non defensive. (5). Listed by Challis and Harding as an irregular stone walled enclosure, 80 by 58yds, with hut sites. (6) Settlement excavated by Major Harris. Recovered quantities of Roman pottery, including Samian and colour-coated wares and a sherd of Beaker pottery. Bronze Age (or Iron Age) pottery has come from molehills on the west plateau, while two flint scrapers were found in Harris's large trench on the plateau. Romano-British huts were found paved with flags. Iron Age pottery was discovered below the floor. Another floor was below this with Bronze Age pottery artefacts, then below this were chert implements, bone and antler tools. Inspected June 1955 by JEB. Romano-British pottery from this site is in the Butcher collection, Sheffield City Museum. Oval enclosure on west small cliff wit hone linear bank to south extending in Saklow Wood from head of Demon's Dale. One sherd of Romano British pot found few yars to east of enclosure. 20 sherds of Romano-British pot (8 Derbyshire ware, 3 grey ware, 8 buff-red ware, 1 redware), 1 piece of partially smelted lead and 1 pience of iron ore. (8) Scheduled. The monument comprises a settlement and field system complex dating from the Romano-British period and occupying a natural shelf overlooking the River Wye. Visible remains include a series of fields or enclosures bounded by earthen and stone walls, many containing orthostat (upright boulder) alignments. In addition there are lynchets, revetments, and a detached enclosure and cairn, a few metres to the south west of the main complex. See the scheduling description for full details. (9) Horsborough is a Romano-British settlement area with visible archaeological components including clustered buildings, double orthostatic walls, earthen and stone banks, lynchets, double and possibly single orthostatic boundaries, rectilinear, irregular and sub-circular enclosures, trackways and terraces. The dating of this site was based on concentrations of surface finds including pottery, walls and enclosures. (10). Rim sherds from two jars in Romano-British Derbyshire coarse ware and three lithic artefacts - a chert bladelet of Mesolithic date, a flint scraper, possibly Mesolithic, and an undated chert flake - were picked up from mole hills in this area. The material was retained by the finder. (11) Site monitoring has been carried out and site appears not to be under threat. (13)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Article in serial: Storrs Fox, W. 1911. 'Derbyshire cave-men of the Roman period', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 33, pp 115-126. pp 124-126, plan.
  • <2> Article in serial: Preston, F. 1954. 'The hill-forts of the Peak', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 74, pp 1-31. pp 5-6.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Nartlett, J. 1955. Corr. 6" & Letter.
  • <4> Article in serial: Kirkham, N. 1964. 'Whale Sough and Hubberdale Mine', Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol. 2, part 4, pp 206-229.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F1 JB 05-JAN-65.
  • <6> Monograph: Challis, A & Harding, W. 1975. 'Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne', British Archaeological Report 20. Part 2. p 37, 53.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Hawke-Smith, C F. 1979. 'Man-Land Relations in British Prehistory: The Dove-Derwent Interfluve, Derbyshire', British Archaeological Report. Series 64 (170).
  • <8> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 2333 & un-numbered records.
  • <9> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification. 29821. Cat. No.: 395.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 2000. Peak District Romano-British Rural Upland Settlement Survey, 1998-1000. 3 vols.. No.011, pp 197-198.
  • <11> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 12424.1-2.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Sheppy, J (ARS). 2011. Report on finds from Deepdale Head settlement, near Monsal Head, Derbyshire.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Wheal, S (PDNPA). 2010. Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form: Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement and field system, south of Taddington Wood.



Grid reference Centred SK 1688 7024 (253m by 85m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

  • EDR362
  • EDR669
  • EDR3223
  • EDR3984
  • EDR810

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Record last edited

Nov 7 2019 3:25PM

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