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Site record MDR3251 - Field system, Carsington Pasture

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Ditch and boundary enclosure of about 500 acres, with internal pasture divisions and areas of rig and furrow, identified by L H Butcher and C James. Medieval? (1, 2) There is evidence that these divisions pre-date the lead mining activities in the area. It is possible that they might be Roman, in the style of those at Roystone Grange. (3) A series of low banks have been identified on Carsington Pasture. Typically they are of earthy material and, in their eroded state, are up to two metres wide, and usually not more than 30cm high, but occasionally are as much as a metre. Occasional boulders within the banks suggest they were once substantially higher and at the western end they are well defined, with a short section of "double orthostat wall". Such low enclosure banks and orthostat walls are a frequent feature on Romano-British sites but are also associated with medieval field systems. Traces of a medieval field system can be seen on the open top of the Pasture in snow or appropriate light and it could be that the banks are the boundary of these, though an older origin is at least possible by comparison with other Romano-British sites. It is suggested that an early route, the Portway, crossed Carsington Pasture, and was later used in the Roman period, providing a means of communication for the Roman lead industry and perhaps supporting the possibility, together with the evidence of the earthworks, that Carsington Pasture is an area of early, and possibly Romano-British lead mining. (4) On Carsington Pastures there are a number of linear banks which divide the pasture into three large areas. The boundary bank on the north runs eastwards from SK 244546 for 3km towards Ivet (Ibet) Low and on to Godfreyhole. It is not known if this is Romano-British or later, but it does not conform in any way to the present parish boundary. Romano-British pottery has been found at SK 243543 and at SK 246548. Within this large boundary bank are a number of 'celtic' type enclosures at SK 246540, much damaged by later lead mining. (5) Survey of the area in July 1999 identified a range of features, including lynchets, earthen banks, stone banks, ditches, and both single and double orthostatic walls, as well as rectilinear and irregular enclosures. The features are thought most probably to represent a Romano-British field system, with dating evidence comprising the finds of Romano-British pot sherds by Makepeace (Authority 5) in the general area and the presence of double and single orthostatic walling. However at one location wall footings typical of post-medieval walls are visible and it is possible that the features date to the medieval or post-medieval period. The boundaries could be from an early field system, or represent the extent of common rights or lead-mining rights. (6) In early summer 2004 the eastern half of Carsington Pasture was subject to extensive damage as a result of being used for the National Landrover Trials. The area was extensively rutted and a wall was clipped, doing minor damage. (7) A walkover survey of part of Carsington Pasture in 2006 noted a series of shallow banks forming two distinct linear features; the first was aligned approximately north/south and measured 120m in length, 1.5m in width, with a height of 0.5m. The second was aligned approximately east-west and measured 130m in length by 1.8m in width with a height of 0.5m. A third bank was observed to the north, measuring c. 400m in length, 1.4m in width and 0.4m in height. Frequent medium-to-large stones were observed jutting through the turf covering. (8) Excavation of a number of trial trenches in the north-eastern part of Carsington Pasture did not identify any significant archaeological remains. A trench through two parallel linear banks showed them to be possible post-medieval field breaks. (9) A topographic and walkover survey of 2008 failed to identify any features associated with Roman or prehistoric field systems. (10)

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Article in serial: E. Mid. Arch. Bull. 1962.. No 5. p 7.
  • <2> Index: NDAT. 0574. 0574.
  • <3> Personal Observation: Pers. Comm. Wildgoose, M APR-83.
  • <4> Article in serial: Willies, L. 1995. 'Roads, agricultural features and mines on Carsington Pasture', Bull. Peak District Mines Historical Society. Volume 12, pp 19-23.
  • <5> 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 116.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Bevan, B (PDNPA). 2000. Peak District Romano-British Rural Upland Settlement Survey, 1998-1000. 3 vols.. Site 098, Illust. Nos 59-61.
  • <7> Article in serial: Heathcote, C (PDMHS). 2005. 'Peak District mines, observations and discoveries, part 13', Peak District Mines Historical Society Newsletter. p 10.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology North. 2006. An archaeological desk-based assessment and rapid visual inspection of the proposed development area for a wind farm at Carsington, near Matlock, Derbyshire (NGR 424824, 354269). p 8-10, Fig. 9, Plates 2-4.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Brightman, J, Burrill, C, Sandiford, T & Shakarian, J (ARS). 2008. Carsington Pasture Derbyshire. Report on Pre-Determination Archaeological Evaluation Work.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Brightman, J and T Sandiford (ARS Ltd). 2008. A Contour and Walkover Survey of Carsington Pasture, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 246 540 (1416m by 1205m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • EDR2569
  • EDR1928
  • EDR2428
  • EDR1875
  • EDR2429
  • EDR5017

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Record last edited

Sep 13 2020 8:50PM

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