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Monument record MDR3731 - Cratcliff Rocks hermitage, north of Cratcliff Cottage, Harthill

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 2275 6234. The Hermit's Cave, with a probable 13th (1) or 14th century (2,4) rudely carved crucifix, is at the end of a footpath branching off the path which runs between Cratcliffe Rocks and Woods and Robin Hood's Stride. (1,2,4). Hermit's Cave. (5). Cratcliff Rocks became a scheduled monument on the 8th October 1993. It is an extensive outcrop on the edge of Harthill Moor in the eastern gritstone moors of Derbyshire. The monument is a medieval cave hermitage and includes the rock shelter, the rock face outside the shelter on which survive a number of architectural features associated with ancillary structures and buildings, and the area in front of the rock face in which are preserved the buried remains of these ancillary features. This area measures 18 metres from east to west and extends for c.17 metres from the back of the cave to the edge of the drop down into Cratcliff Wood. The origins of the hermitage are not documented but a bas-relief crucifix carved inside the rock shelter has been dated stylistically to the 13th or 14th century. It is accompanied by a number of chiselled recesses which would have been used for candles and sacred vessels. Outside the shelter, on the rock face above and to either side, are a number of chiselled grooves and sockets for timber beams which indicate that a roof or awning formerly projected outward from the rock to cover the rock shelter and create an annexe to the south. East of this is another groove, cut in an inverted V, which has beam sockets at each angle and indicates that a building with a steeply pitched roof also projected at right-angles to the rock face. The latter building, which was c.3½ metres high and two metres wide, is interpreted as the living quarters of the hermit while the rock shelter, and the area under the awning, was the chapel. (6). The Hermits Cave is a rectangular chiselled chamber with an ornately carved crucifix of 13th or 14th century. The accounts of the steward of Haddon Hall for 1550, note the delivery of five brace of coneys to the hermit. (3,8). Photogrqphic record. (9).

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Cox, J C. 1877. Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. II. p357.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Clay, R. 1914. Hermitages and Anchorites of England. p32.
  • <3> Article in serial: Cockerton, R W P. 1934. 'The Portway: the Harthill Moor section', Derbyshire Countryside. Vol. 4, pp 46-47. Vol. 4, pp 46-47.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <6> Scheduling record: Ministry of Works. 1961. Ancient Monuments of England and Wales. 23245.
  • <7> Personal Observation: F1 JB 25-MAY-66.
  • <8> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 1053.
  • <9> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 6728.1-4.



Grid reference Centred SK 2275 6234 (21m by 20m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1389

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Record last edited

Apr 3 2014 4:28PM

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