Ancient Monuments

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Castle Ring defended settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Elton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1622 / 53°9'44"N

Longitude: -1.6714 / 1°40'17"W

OS Eastings: 422066.935007

OS Northings: 362838.865159

OS Grid: SK220628

Mapcode National: GBR 58C.Q8N

Mapcode Global: WHCDF.9SB4

Entry Name: Castle Ring defended settlement

Scheduled Date: 28 April 1949

Last Amended: 25 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008005

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23242

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Elton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Youlgreave All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Castle Ring is situated on Harthill Moor in the eastern gritstone moorlands of
Derbyshire. The monument is a sub-circular enclosure comprising a bank,
external ditch and counterscarp bank surrounding an area of c.0.5 hectares.
The internal bank or rampart appears to be of simple dump construction and
varies between 1m and 2m high while the counterscarp bank is between 0.5m and
1m high. The ditch is c.5m wide and is less distinct on the south side where
there is no rampart visible. This is an indication that the original entrance
lay in this region. The monument has not been excavated but it forms part of a
rich Bronze Age landscape on Harthill Moor which also includes burial mounds,
a second enclosure and Nine Stones Close stone circle. Excluded from the
scheduling are all modern walls and fences, a stone water trough and a
concrete tank, although the ground underneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of
different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied
in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts
built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites,
sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended
settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops,
others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of
earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate),
others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen
ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber
fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built
round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept
in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed
yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single
family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction
and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through
to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD).
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are
important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during
this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national

Castle Ring is an exceptionally well preserved example of a defended
settlement. It lies within an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including a
second defended settlement, and will contribute to the study of settlement and
land-use in this area at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Preston, F L, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Hill-Forts of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 1-31
Rooke, H, 'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia , (1779)

Source: Historic England

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