Monument record MDR5482 - Romano-British aisled building, Little Hay Grange, Ockbrook

Type and Period (4)

  • (Roman - 150 AD to 409 AD)
  • ? (Roman - 150 AD to 409 AD)
  • ? (Roman - 75 AD? to 130 AD?)
  • (Roman - 75 AD? to 130 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Excavations by Ockbrook and Borrowash Historical Society have revealed a substantial stone building associated with Romano-British pottery, kiln(s) and hearths. (1) Finds include 2 fibulae (1 dolphin form), a coin of Vespasian, and a gilded flower stud. (2) Pottery analysis has established the presence of late Iron Age to early Romano-British wheelmade pottery, and Romano-British pottery. The former find parallels on other sites in South Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The latter are predominantly from the Derby Little Chester kiln group or the Derbyshire ware kilns, with small amounts of traded pottery from Gaul, the Nene Valley, Oxfordshire, Dorset and Mancetter-Harthill kilns. There are also some shell-tempered jars similar to the south Midlands shelly wares. The pot spans the 1st-4th century AD. (3) The Romano-British site near Little Hay Grange was first identified during fieldwalking, when a concentration of artefacts indicated the existence of an occupation site during the 2nd century AD. These included a coin of Vespasian, another of Lucilla Verus, two fibulae, a gilded and decorated bronze stud and two lead spindle whorls. When trial holes revealed remains of stone wall footings, it was decided to conduct a full scale archaeological excavation, as the structures were clearly being destroyed by modern ploughing. When the topsoil was removed, it also became apparent that some damage had been done by medieval ploughing. Nevertheless it was apparent that there had been a Romano-British structure on the site, overlying an Iron Age ditch system (see SMR 23844 for the Iron Age site). The Late Iron Age levels within the ditch infills were sealed by spreads of Mercia Mudstone into which several bowl-shaped hearths had been cut. Pottery associated with these indicates a late 1st to early 2nd century AD date, but no evidence to indicate their purpose was discovered. The main structure proved to be a stone-built, aisled building, constructed at some time during the mid 2nd century AD, together with a courtyard outside its north wall. A pebble-strewn area, suggesting a yard, was also located to the west of the building. The building itself appears to have been demolished during the 3rd century and was in all likelihood a barn, providing storage capacity for agricultural produce and living accommodation for staff at the north end. This is a standard arrangement known from other sites. Concentrations of surface finds could indicate that other buildings once stood slightly to the north-east and west of the excavated building which, if contemporary, would indicate a larger farm complex. Since the aisled building is the first Romano-British rural dwelling to be discovered and excavated in south-east Derbyshire, it is not yet known whether or not it is typical of Romano-British farmsteads in this locality. (4)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • --- Unpublished document: Malone, S (TPAT). 1997. Littlehay Grange, Ockbrook, Preliminary Resistivity Survey.
  • --- Unpublished document: Leary, R (TPAT). Littlehay Grange, Ockbrook, Derbyshire, Romano-British Pottery second interim report and archive.
  • <1> Unpublished document: Personal Observations and letters: file 5763.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Personal Communication: A. Palfreyman 27/2/97.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Leary, R. 1996. Littlehay Grange, Ockbrook, Derbyshire. Romano-British Pottery Interim Report and Archive: with Reports on Pottery From fieldwalking. 284.
  • <4> Article in serial: Palfreyman, A. 2001. 'Report on the excavation of a Romano-British aisled building at Little Hay Grange Farm, Ockbrook, Derbyshire, 1994-97. Volume 121, pp 70-161.



Grid reference Centred SK 4379 3755 (299m by 360m) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Feb 5 2015 9:20AM

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