(Former Type) (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
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[Name centred: SK 3560 5789] 'Pitsteads' is the name applied to two rows of pits in part of Linda Spring [now Lindway Springs] Wood described by the Rev. J. Mason and Hayman Rooke after a visit in 1789. (1)
The two rows of pits were found to run east to west for c. 250 yards. The rows were not parallel but diverged, from four to nine yards apart. In the southern row 28 pits were counted and in the northern 25. The pits averaged 15½ feet in diameter and 6 feet deep. Rooke noted that no coal, ore, stone or clay was to be found in them, 'the soil being a dry kind of sandy gravel'. He was of the opinion that the pits formed 'a kind of street' of 'subterraneous dwellings' belonging to early Britons. (2)
In about 1894, Watkins hunted for 'these remains of ancient British life'. He noted that 'we found what we had come for and no mistake about it. True there was not much to see, but I had not expected more, and no doubts assailed me as to the truth of the assertion that they were the foundations of old British dwellings'. (3)
In this wooded area, beside a stream, at the foot of a moderately steep northern slope, are a number of irregular mounds and pits. They are quite clearly old mineral workings, the mounds being formed of broken shale and stone, typical of similar workings in the area of the Peak. The 'sandy gravel' noted by Auth. 2 is a superficial deposit only. Mr. S.O. Kay (4) made some minor excavations in the pits, c. 1955, but found nothing of significance. Though these workings were evidently of some antiquity before 1792 when they were first noted, they are not considered to be of any great archaeological significance in view of the great number of such sites in the area of the Peak. (5)
A number of shallow pits generally along the line of a coal outcrop; each one approximately 20-30 feet in diameter, and 5 feet in depth. They probably date to the late 18th to early 19th century. There is a local tradition, dating back to at least 1931, that these features represent a 'British village'. The pits are, however, quite obviously old bell pits for coal and ganister. (6)
Personal Observation: F1 WCW 05-MAY-60.
Article in serial: Rooke, H. 1792. 'Description of certain Pits in Derbyshire. In a Letter to the Hon. Daines Barrington', Archaeologia. Volume 10, pp 114-117. p 130.
Article in serial: Watkins, E. 1914. 'The pitsteads in Lindway Springs Wood', East Derbyshire Field Club Transactions'. pp 34-40.
Verbal communication: Kay, S. O.. Oral Mr. S.O. Kay. Hon. Corr. Woodlinkin Notts.
Personal Observation: F2 WCW 24-MAY-60.
Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 11.2.
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Centred SK 3562 5788 (233m by 128m) (Centre)
CRICH, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jul 7 2015 3:30PM
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