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Monument record MDR8054 - Iron Age-Romano-British settlement, Chapel Farm, Great Wilne

Type and Period (1)

  • (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

A geophysical feasibility study of pasture land revealed traces of medieval ridge and furrow within land north of Cow Way Drain, also within a strip alongside the south western boundary of the site [see SMR 25232]. Anomalies located close to the pond on Cow Way Drain (centred at SK 45153050) indicated underlying archaeological features. (1) On the basis of the results of the geophysical feasibility study, four areas were designated for follow-up detailed and gridded magnetometer survey. This provided evidence for a complex of features of both geomorphological and anthropogenic origin in the vicinity of an existing pond on the Cow Way Drain. In addition there was a substantial curving 'cut' feature which was provisionally interpreted as a channel, probably artificial and possibly representing a leat associated with a past industrial process. (2) A desk-based assessment focused upon a feature mentioned in the original report as a possible Medieval bridge site. The feature is a small pond (centred at SK 45303042), situated along the length of the Cow Way Drain stream, the stream is probably a remnant of an ancient channel of the Trent. It is suggested that the pool may have formed as a bridge scour feature, therefore any bridge remains are likely to be in the position of the pool or just upstream of it. There are no other features that might suggest the presence of a bridge site. (3) Four evaluation trenches were excavated in Stoneylands Close in 1996 to investigate the complex of features revealed during geophysical survey. The discovery of a gully with three large flint blades may suggest a phase of later Neolithic or early Bronze Age settlement, this is supported by the discovery of a scatter of flintwork. A dense pattern of Late Iron Age/Romano-British ditches, gullies and pits correlating closely with the geophysical anomalies was revealed in all four trenches, together with a rich collection of pottery and other artefacts of these periods. These imply a major Late Iron Age/Romano-British settlement engaged in mixed farming and possibly with associated industrial activities such as pottery production. Occupation may have been concentrated within an area defined by a substantial curving ditch demarcating the southern edge of the gravel terrace, but features were also recorded beyond the boundaries of the enclosure. Pottery from the enclosure ditch suggests an origin for this feature in the mid-1st century AD, continuing in use no later perhaps than the 2nd century AD. Some of the handmade pottery from this and other contexts could imply an Iron Age origin for the settlement. Traces of wall plaster and dressed stone and a possible tessera suggest that in the Roman period the settlement may have incorporated buildings of some architectural pretension. Discoveries of lead and iron artefacts add to the impression of at least moderate wealth. Radiocarbon samples taken from four channels in the area suggest a long, complex sequence of channel activity, from the later Neolithic to the post medieval period. No evidence was obtained during excavation which might be associated with a bridge at the Cow Way Drain Pool. (4) …..Pottery kiln?? In 1997 two further evaluation trenches were excavated. A trench centred at SK 44818 30400 revealed a high density of Romano-British features on the gravel terrace, supporting the results of earlier evaluations in this area. These features included a scatter of pits and post-holes and, most significantly, a north-west/south-east linear ditch which yielded late 1st/early 2nd century AD pottery, part of a gritstone rotary quern re-used as a whetstone and several heat-affected stones. A post-hole in the terminal of the ditch yielded two joining fragments of a mortarium dated to the early 2nd century AD. A possibly hypocaust tile was recovered from the topsoil. Clear evidence was obtained for the truncation of the Romano-British settlement by later bankside erosion. The fluvially redeposited material included a sherd of Iron Age scored ware, lending further weight to the case for an Iron Age origin for this settlement. A trench centred at SK 45439 30561, across a dense pattern of geophysical anomalies, revealed no archaeological remains but showed them to be associated with tree root penetration which, when taken together with comparable features in the northern part of Stoneylands Close, suggests extensive woodland clearance over an unknown time period. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Johnson, A (Oxford Archaeotechnics). 1996. Hemington Quarry: Chapel Farm Extension, Derbyshire, Geophysical Feasibility Study. SMR Doc. No. 286.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Johnson, A (Oxford Archaeotechnics). 1996. Chapel Farm Extension, Hemington Quarry, Derbyshire, Magnetometer (Gradiometer) Survey.. SMR Doc. No. 289.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Cooper, L.. 1997. Hemington Quarry Extension, Chapel Farm, Shardlow and Great Wilne, Derbyshire: Assessment of Cow Way Drain Pool as a potential bridge site.. SMR Doc. No. 287.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Knight, D & Malone, S (TPAT). 1997. Evaluation of a Late Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement & Palaeochannels of the Trent. SMR Doc. No. 285.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Knight, & Malone, S (TPAT). 1998. Further Evaluations of an Iron Age and Romano-British Settlement and Fluvial Features at Chapel Farm, Shardlow & Great Wilne, Derbyshire.. SMR Doc. No. 290.



Grid reference Centred SK 45265 30493 (368m by 241m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (9)

  • EDR1668
  • EDR1674
  • EDR3783
  • EDR1670
  • EDR1671
  • EDR1673
  • EDR1669
  • EDR1672
  • EDR3492

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 8 2016 10:08AM

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