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Monument record MDR4919 - 'The Mottes', Moated Site North of Dannah Farm, Shottle

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

In the south-west corner of the field called 'The Mottes' at Dannah Farm is a square mound surrounded by a ditch with a slight outer bank, the entrance being a causeway across the ditch in the centre of its north side. The central mound, 60ft square, has a level surface 4ft above the bottom of the ditch, which is 15 to 20ft wide. In July 1957 the Nottingham University Archaeological Society excavated three trenches on the earthwork. The first, 88ft long and 5ft wide, ran from the centre of the mound into the field on the east; the second cleared the north-east corner of the mound, while the third was to examine the causeway. The excavation found no foundations or post-holes on the earthwork and there were very few finds. The pottery was interpreted as showing that the mound was made during the 14th century and that there was sporadic occupation during the 15th century. The majority of finds that were made came from the original surface of the mound at its centre and consisted of pottery and nails. It was suggested that there may have been a temporary shelter of a very slight nature erected there but that in view of the relative scarcity of finds it cannot have been occupied for any length of time. (1) Surveyed at 1:2500. This earthwork is a small, well-preserved moat, now dry and under pasture. (2) No change. (3) A flat-topped mound 18m x 18m is surrounded by a moat 5-7m wide with outer bank, perhaps marking the site of what might have been a parker's lodge. John, 4th son of Ralph Gell of Hopton, was described at his death as 'of Shottle Park', but this may mean little. Excavation revealed no structural remains but pottery of 14th and 15th century date. (5) Scheduled. This monument, which is sometimes known as The Mottes, is a moated site comprising a roughly square platform, 1.2m high, surrounded by a moat which varies between 4.5m and 6m wide and is enclosed by an outer bank measuring lm high by 2m wide. The platform is 18m square and is reached by a 3.6m wide causeway which crosses the moat midway along the north side. In 1957, a partial excavation of the site was carried out by Nottingham University Archaeological Society. The excavation evidence indicated that the platform was raised by laying rubble from the ditch onto the old land surface, topping this with a layer of clay, and layering soil and small stones on the surface. The strong foundation provided by this method, together with the lack of evidence for a timber framed building, indicates that the moat may have been the site of a stone built structure, which was possibly demolished to provide material for later field walls. The precise function of the site is unknown but it may have been a hunting lodge or a deer enclosure as it lies inside Duffield Frith, 600m south of the forest boundary today represented by Palerow Lane. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Article in serial: Manning, W. 1957. 'A medieval earthwork at Dannah Farm, near Belper', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 77, pp 60-62.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 RWE 12-NOV-62.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F2 BHS 07-JUN-66.
  • <4> Index: Trent and Peak Archaeol T 2279.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Craven, M & Stanley, M. 1984. The Derbyshire Country House, Vol II. p 89.
  • <6> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1994. Scheduling Notification. 23300. Cat. No.: 319.



Grid reference Centred SK 3117 5047 (75m by 66m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR875
  • EDR1041
  • EDR1558

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Dec 8 2010 11:59AM

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