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Site record MDR4463 - Mackworth medieval settlement and associated earthworks, Mackworth

Type and Period (8)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Rectilinear earthworks are visible on aerial photographs of this area. The earthworks possibly represent a period of depopulation at Mackworth. (1-3) During a site visit in 1966, these earthworks were identified as field boundaries, drainage and rig and furrow, indicating medieval agriculture. (4) Medieval earthworks consisting of ditches, platforms, banks and rig and furrow were recorded during an archaeological survey carried out in 1979-80. Those to the north of the church seem to form one large unit, possibly a farm or manor house. Those to the south are indistinct but similar to 13th century long houses excavated at Barton Blount, so they may represent individual dwellings. Earthworks next to the church seem to be the remains of late medieval houses which probably represent contraction of the village during mid 14th century population decline. These earthworks probably cover the original earlier medieval village nucleus next to the church. (5) To the north of the church there is a large irregular platform, divided into six areas, with two east-west hollow ways, delimiting the area from medieval meadow adjacent to Mackworth Brook. Recorded as part of the TPAT Amber Valley Survey. The Earthworks also extend as far as SK 3170 3765 according to D. Farnsworth. (6) South of the church there are two long rectangular platforms with a rectangular area defined on two sides by a bank and ditch. South of this is a 10m wide east-west ditch, then two more rectangular platforms approximately 20m long behind a 30m low bank, aligning with existing buildings to the west. Suggestion that the 15m wide bank adjacent to the southern field boundary may represent the Roman road. (7) During a site visit in 1996, the land between Ashbourne Road and Lower Road was observed to contain earthworks representing house platforms, a hollow way, a pinfold, drainage, ridge and furrow, and possible quarry pits. (8) The scheduled remains include the earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned areas of Mackworth medieval settlement and part of the associated open field system. It also includes the standing and buried remains of the 15th century gatehouse, which formerly led to the courtyard of the fortified manor house known as Mackworth Castle. The monument is within five areas of protection; three to the north of Lower Road and two to the south. The settlement is linear in design and lies on a south east to north west alignment with houses positioned either side of Lower Road. Lower Road is medieval in origin and provides the only route through the village but has been bypassed, to the south, by Ashbourne Road which itself originated as a post-medieval turnpike road. The standing, buried and earthwork remains of the abandoned areas of the medieval settlement of Mackworth and Mackworth Castle gatehouse are particularly well preserved. The remains are extensive and as such provide a good picture of the layout of the medieval village and how it fitted within the wider landscape. See scheduled monument description for more details. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Aerial Photograph: 1957. A.P's 541/481/3006-7, 7.4.50 F 21,58/RAF/2315/0081-2 1957.
  • <2> Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. CU AQ1 12.
  • <3> Aerial Photograph: DCC. DCC 12/092.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 24-OCT-66.
  • <5> Article in serial: Cowell, R. 1981. 'Kirk Langley, Mackworth and Horsley : aspects of medieval settlement', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 101, pp 93-101.
  • <6> Index: TPAT. 2423. 2423.
  • <7> Index: TPAT. 2424. 2424.
  • <8> Personal Observation: Barrett, D. 1996. Site visit by County Archaeologist 30/09/1996.
  • <9> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1999. Scheduling Notification. 29959. NHLE no: 1017258.



Grid reference Centred SK 315 377 (1096m by 695m) Centred on

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR1367
  • EDR3526
  • EDR1551

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jul 25 2022 1:57PM

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