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Monument record MDR3997 - Enclosed settlement, Swine Sty, Big Moor

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

[Name SK 272754] "British Pit Dwellings" (1) A settlement site and numerous barrows found on Big Moor, one mile west of Ramsley Lodge and near "Swine Sty", within the curve of the 1000 ft contour (2) Visible on AP's (3) Surveyed. (4) An extensive area of stone clearance heaps, cleared patches, vestigial field banks, and some 34 cairns, indicative of a settlement site. The cairns range from 3.0 - 16.0m in diameter and up to 1.4m in height. Surveyed at 25". Probable burial cairns have been annotated 'B'. (5) Listed by Challis and Harding as stone clearance heaps, cleared areas and 34 cairns under 'Bronze Age Extensive Settlement'. (6) Hut circle and associated enclosure. (7) Excavations by the Hunter Archaeological Society (8,9) at Swine Sty, a settlement on a sheltered platform below an escarpment. The site is well drained and sits just below 1000ft O.D., and is enclosed by a stone bank on three sides and a steep escarpment on the north side - an enclosed area of three-quarters of an acre. The enclosure bank, sectioned in two places, was found to be 2.13m wide at the base and survived to a height of 0.6m. It was comprised of earth and small stones, with larger stones piled on top. The sequence of events appears to be as follows: PHASE I A circular timber hut was constructed in Area one, and possibly two other structures in Area two. PHASE 11 Construction of the stone enclosure bank respecting the hut in Area one. PHASE Ila The timber hut was rebuilt in stone with roughly laid stone footings 1m. to 1. I in. wide with stone lined niches or cupboards inset in the northern stretch of the wall. The external diameter is about 6m. with a doorway to the west. PHASE III Enclosure wall extended to the south and east and built to a narrower gauge. PHASE Illa Cobbled area built behind eastern wall to aid drainage. PHASE IV Abandonment of site due to waterlogging. PHASE V Historic pack horse tracks cut through enclosure. PHASE VI World War 11 Exercise Area. Area one revealed the circular hut of two phases with pottery, flint and worked shale inside and outside the structure. From Machin's Plan , there appears to be a clearly defined break in the broad enclosure wall stopping abruptly 3m. west of the hut with perhaps a later blocking of smaller stones. This may have been a small gateway through the early enclosure. No other gateway was found by the excavators although a gap which exists in the north-western stretch of enclosure bank is possibly also original, allowing for easy access to the fields above the site. Samples from a charcoal scatter in layer two, Area four, outside the hut, provided a radio carbon date around 1600 b.c. (HAR 1233. Age B.P. (y'rs) 3560 ± 80 = 1610 b.c.). Area two produced considerable evidence for working shale into rings and bracelets with no decrease in finds to the north, suggesting that the working area extends beyond the excavators' trenches. In Area three the enclosure wall bulges out suggesting expansion of the settlement. This wall appears to be narrower and less substantial than elsewhere. Even the pottery is slightly different and possibly represents a later development. To the north-east a break in the enclosure bank (Area.five) had the appearance of an entrance, but excavation showed the bank footings were continuous and that the breach was caused by an historic pack horse trackway. Swine Sty is the only Bronze Age settlement site to have been excavated in North Derbyshire and full publication of the results will be of national importance. The field systems above and adjacent to the settlement site remain to be researched to establish when they were in use and whether they were for arable or pasture. The inter-relationship of settlements, field systems, ritual and burial monuments will only be understood when excavation is undertaken in wider terms than the individual site. It is clear that many settlements were abandoned amidst increased waterlogging. (13) Points out that the carbon for the date (HAR-123) was obtained from open ground and not in any phased feature. (14) Photographic record and sketch plan (15-16)

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Sheffield Clarion Ramblers Bklt 1951-2 Map Scale 2" to 1 ml (GHB Ward).
  • <2> Unpublished document: Letter (F.L. Preston, Hon. Corr. 10.11.1951).
  • <3> Aerial Photograph: 1948. AP. CPE/UK 2598/4091-3 dtd 16.4.48.
  • <4> Archive: B.M.Marsden. (Tracing in AO Archives No 2132).
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: F1 BHS 07-APR-67.
  • <6> Monograph: Challis, A & Harding, W. 1975. 'Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne', British Archaeological Report 20. Part 2. p43.
  • <7> Index: NDAT. NDAT 0275. 0275.
  • <8> Article in serial: Preston, F L and Richardson, G G S. 1969. 'Excavations at Swine Sty, Big Moor, Baslow 1967', Transaction of the Hunter Archaeology Society.
  • <9> Article in serial: Machin, M L. 1971. 'Further excavations of the enclosure at Swine Sty, Big Moor, Baslow'. Trans. Hunter Archaeol. Soc..
  • <10> Article in serial: Beswick, P and Machin, M L. 1975. 'Further excavations of the enclosure at Swine Sty, Big Moor, Baslow', Trans. Hunter Archaeol. Soc..
  • <11> Article in serial: Barnatt, J. 1986. 'Bronze Age remains on the East Moors of the Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 106, pp 18-100. 18-100, p45-6 fig 16.
  • <12> Article in serial: Barnatt, J. 1987. 'Bronze Age settlement on the East Moors of the Peak District of Derbyshire & S. Yorkshire', PPS. Volume 53. p393-418.
  • <13> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500.
  • <14> Article in serial: Barnatt, J (PPJPB). 1995. 'Neolithic and Bronze Age radiocarbon dates from the Peak District: a review', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 115, pp 5-19. p.10-11.
  • <15> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 1378.1-13.
  • <16> Unpublished document: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Parish file. Sketch plan: Butcher.



Grid reference Centred SK 272 754 (100m by 100m) (Centre)

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Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR863

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Record last edited

Nov 12 2014 4:42PM

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