Ancient Monuments

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Medieval town defences, 183m south east of church of St Mary and St Lawrence, and 335m north east of Bolsover Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Old Bolsover, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2277 / 53°13'39"N

Longitude: -1.2886 / 1°17'18"W

OS Eastings: 447588.237

OS Northings: 370304.6633

OS Grid: SK475703

Mapcode National: GBR 7BR.R0D

Mapcode Global: WHDFK.54NF

Entry Name: Medieval town defences, 183m south east of church of St Mary and St Lawrence, and 335m north east of Bolsover Castle

Scheduled Date: 8 July 1946

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007053

English Heritage Legacy ID: DR 95

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Old Bolsover

Built-Up Area: Bolsover

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bolsover St Mary and St Laurence

Church of England Diocese: Derby


This monument, which falls into two areas, includes the earthwork and buried remains of the medieval town defences of Bolsover situated on the north and east of the historic town. The earthworks represent the bank and ditch of the rampart which is approximately 8m in width at the base and varying between 3m and 2m in height. The 'V' shaped ditch is visible as an earthwork and varies between 6m and 7m in width and 2m to 3m in depth.
Documentary sources show that the historic town of Bolsover was in existence by 1086. It was a planned, fortified town and followed the establishment of the castle in the 11th century. A market charter of 1225 to 1226 confirmed the grid of streets, lanes and tenement boundaries. The town extended to the north from the original core.
The modern metalled roads, tracks and paths that cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath them are included.

PastScape Monument No:- 924987 (Bolsover), 316234 (earthworks)
NMR:- SK47SE87 (Bolsover), SK47SE17 (earthworks)

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Between the Roman and medieval periods a large number of English towns were provided with defences. These defences served to mark the limits of the town or its intended size and could be used to defend the town in time of trouble. Their symbolic role in marking out the settlement was also significant.
The defences to the town would have played an important role and often comprise ditches and walls with a series of gateways. Given the role played by the town defences in one of England's major commercial towns and their contribution towards and understanding of medieval and later urban development, the town defences at Bolsover are considered to be of national importance.
The medieval town defences of Bolsover are well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. Such deposits provide important information relating to the construction and use of the town defences and will add considerably to our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic structure of the medieval community. It will also provide information on the continuity and change in the use of the monument from the medieval period to the present day.

Source: Historic England

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