SK 1723 8171 = SK 1710 8181: Bradwell, Grey Ditch: In this section, the ditch is only faintly discernible as a very shallow depression, having suffered heavily from ploughing. (1)
This section of Grey Ditch lies to the west of Bradwell Brook, crossing relatively level land, where shales are again smothered by drift, until it encounters Mich Low, a rocky outler of the limestone scarp rising to 215m. It is closely aligned with the section to the east (SMR 2219) and, though now some 250m apart, may once have run through unbroken except by the brook (and perhaps by Batham Gate) - together they form a cross-valley dyke. In 1992 a cutting had to be made through the earthwork for a pipeline, at which time an excavation was carried out. The ditch was found to have been recut on a minimum of five different occasions. Much of the bank comprised tips and dumps of orange/brown sandy clay apparently lacking in any structural complexity and there was no evidence for any form of revetment at front or back. It stood up to 1.2m above the surface upon which it was built and survived up to 8.4m wide at the base. The crest of the bank and, in places, much of the rear slope was capped with chert and limestone chippings, perhaps put there to produce a relatively erosion-resistant metalling - if so, then the bank presumably never stood much taller here than as excavated. It appears that the bank can be interpreted as the result of a single episode of construction, whereas the ditch was renewed on several occasions, suggesting that it was the ditch which was regarded as the essential feature. The bank appears to have been constructed on a recently ploughed field, with the pre-bank ploughsoil containing nine pieces of certain and probable Romano-British pottery, including several sherds of Derbyshire Ware. In addition, eight other Romano-British potsherds came from residual contexts. This lends some support to the interpretation of Grey Ditch as a post-Roman barrier. (3)
A recent rapid survey that included this section of the earthwork notes that it has suffered heavily from ploughing. The ditch is only faintly discernible as a very shallow depression. However, the field boundary along the side of the monument sits on a bank c. 1.5m high. (4)
Bibliographic reference: Wild, J P. 1967. 'The Grey Ditch, Bradwell', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 87,.
Unpublished document: Guilbert, G & Taylor, C. 1992. Grey Ditch, Bradwell, Derbyshire. 1992 Excavation: Preliminary Report..
Unpublished document: Taylor, H (PDNPA). 2000. Eden Tree Lodge, Bradwell, Derbyshire, rapid farm survey, 2000. Feature no. 2, p 1.
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Centred SK 1722 8175 (237m by 109m) (Centred on)
BRADWELL, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 12 2016 10:56AM
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