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Monument record MDR5629 - Earthworks North East of Weigh Cottage: Aston Cursus Complex - cropmarks

Type and Period (4)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Ridge and Furrow running N-S and SW-NE. Cropmarks plotted on map overlay, 1:10,000. (1) A survey in 1992 revealed that, in a 1766 map of the estate of Leonard Fosbrooke Esq., the field consisted of a single field called Moor Close, it is now divided into 2 fields. The southern most field contains areas of ridge and furrow and the boundary between the two parishes of Aston and Shardlow remain visible as a break between two adjacent areas of ridge and furrow that are aligned in different directions. (2) The well preserved ridge and furrow earthworks in the western portion of the field (in the area north-east of Weigh Cottage) were clearly expressed in the geomagnetic survey. A faint north-east - south-west linear anomaly was present on the projected line of the western cursus ditch and extends fully across the survey area. In the south-eastern part of the field, a series of east-west ridge and furrow appear on a different alignment to that in the north of the field. There was a clear anomaly in the southern corner which continued north-east. Associated with this are 3 north-south linear anomalies, one possibly extending fully across the survey area, these may be ditches similar to those on the south of Aston Lane, and probably form part of a later prehistoric system of land division. In the eastern corner a clear anomaly of three concentric rings is evident, probably a multiple ring-ditch (or hengiform monument). (3) In conclusion, there is no indication of the Aston Cursus as a cropmark on its projected line in the centre of the area covered by SMR 25214, however this is a pasture field, so not susceptible to cropmark formation. The results of the magnetometer survey, carried out in 1992, showed a number of linear anomalies which may indicate continuation of the pattern of rectilinear land-division in the area, and a series of faint circular anomalies in the eastern corner might indicate a multiple ring ditch. (4) Excavations were conducted in 1994 in order to locate the projected lines of the Aston Cursus and the possible multiple ring-ditch. Rather than a ring ditch, the major feature at SK 427304 (tr. 2), was a V-shaped ditch which was a re-cut of an earlier ditch. Iron Age pottery was recovered, with sherds of Romano-British pottery in the upper fills. At SK 426300 (tr.5) another ditch contained a fragment of a disc quern-stone of Romano-British date. The quantity of Iron Age pottery recovered from the V-ditch suggest that it lay close to the focus of an Iron Age settlement. By the Romano-British period, the ditch had been filled in and the pattern of land division had been modified. It seems likely that these boundaries could have been related to the cropmarks recorded to the south (SMR 16615), partly destroyed by the reservoir. The Cursus was not picked up in any of the trenches under this SMR. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Archive: Whiteley, S. 1989. Aerial Photographic Transcripton Project.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Powell, A.. 1992. Proposed Service Area, A564 Derby Southern By-pass, Shardlow. Archaeological Assessment.. Stage 1, Desk-Based Ass..
  • <3> Unpublished document: Walker, J & Challis, K (TPAU). 1992. Derby Southern Bypass: Geophysical Survey on the northern terminal of the Aston Cursus near Shardlow.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Walker, J. 1993. Derby Southern Bypass Archaeological Evaluations. Report on Site Investigations..
  • <5> Unpublished document: Knight, D (TPAT). 1994. A 564 (T) Derby Southern Bypass. Summary of Rescue Archaeological Works at Aston Cursus, Potlock Cursus and Swarkestone Lowes..



Grid reference SK 42613 30070 (point) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR1714
  • EDR1721
  • EDR1707
  • EDR1711

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 7 2016 4:23PM

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