Skip to main content

Monument record MDR2401 - Possible settlement site, Dirtlow Rake, Castleton

Type and Period (3)

  • (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC? to 409 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large enclosure at Dirtlow Rake, with another immediately adjacent at SK 15141 81741. (1, 2) The main feature on this site comprises a very low but in parts quite wide stony bank in an incomplete oval measuring c.80m across. Against the inner edge is a circular platform, measuring c.40m across and partly surrounded by stones. This may be the site of a small circular building, perhaps a house or shieling. The enclosure is badly damaged; for example the southern half is partly overlain by lead mining heaps, while parts of the bank to the north-east and east were destroyed when the road diversion was built in the 1960s. The enclosure was also overlain by a wall running north-west/south-east, built in or shortly after 1691. A small excavation trench was dug in 1990 on the postulated course of the southern circuit of the enclosure. This revealed the 1691 wall and a shallow ditch of unknown date and uncertain relationship to other features, but which ran at approximately the correct orientation for it to have been associated with the enclosure. To the west and south of the main enclosure are further fragmentary earthworks, comprising low banks, some stony, that appear to define between one and three sub-rectangular areas, one of which at least is c. 20m across. Two excavation trenches were dug in this southern area in 1990; one found a possible earthen bank, undated, running towards the main enclosure, while the other, at a postulated bank, found it to be entirely natural. The date of these features is unknown, possibly being 1st or even 2nd millennium BC. (3) An archaeological evaluation in 1990 ahead of an extension to Blue Circle Hope Quarry revealed quantities of Mesolithic flint material apparently associated with linear earthwork banks. These features were subsequently evaluated further in 1994 to show part of a slight curving embanked enclosure, some having been already quarried away. Trenches did not uncover a ditch and one revealed that the superficial appearance of a bank was caused by a ridge of undisturbed subsoil or bedrock. Only in one trench did the bank prove to be an artificial structure. (4, 5, 6) Dirtlow Rake, SK 15198 81685: possible Romano-British settlement. This area is comprised of lynchets, possible single orthostatic walls and sub-circular enclosures. The dating evidence comes from Roman coins found in the Hope Valley area and a rim of Romano-British pottery. However the surviving wall is built of boulder blocks, which is not typical of the Romano-British period. At the time of site visit [2000], the site had suffered some damage associated with quarrying and land improvement since it was surveyed by Butcher [Authority 2]. (7)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • --- Unpublished document: Badcock, A (ARCUS). 2004. Archaeological survey of land at the Hope Limestone Quarry, near Dirtlow Rake, Derbyshire.
  • <1> Index: NDAT. 0602.
  • <2> Archive: Butcher, L H. 1":1mile map; Roman Sites in North Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Staffordshire, Sheffield City Museum Collection. Acc. No. SHEFM:1976.1061 D13. D111.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1992. Aston Hall, land at Castleton, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1992. Catalogue pp 2-3, Feature 5.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Parish file. T&PAT evaluation report: 1990.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Taylor, C & Guilbert, G (TPAT). 1990. Bradwell Moor, Derbyshire, Survey and Excavations in 1990.
  • <6> Article in serial: Guilbert, G, Taylor, C, Malone, S & Garton D (TPAT). 1995. 'Excavations of earthworks on the White Peak, near Bradwellmoor Barn, 1990 and 1994', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 2000. Peak District Romano-British Rural Upland Settlement Survey, 1998-1000. 3 vols.. No. 046-047.



Grid reference Centred SK 152 817 (188m by 317m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR3680
  • EDR3832
  • EDR3416
  • EDR3653

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Apr 16 2019 11:21AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.