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Fin Cop promontory fort, bowl barrow and eighteenth century lime kiln with associated quarry

A Scheduled Monument in Little Longstone, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2357 / 53°14'8"N

Longitude: -1.7396 / 1°44'22"W

OS Eastings: 417474.180807

OS Northings: 370996.660621

OS Grid: SK174709

Mapcode National: GBR 465.4ZG

Mapcode Global: WHCD0.7XVT

Entry Name: Fin Cop promontory fort, bowl barrow and eighteenth century lime kiln with associated quarry

Scheduled Date: 2 November 1950

Last Amended: 9 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011205

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23283

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Little Longstone

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Ashford-in-the-Water Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Fin Cop is a steep-sided promontory situated on the western edge of Longstone
Moor on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument occupies the
north-west corner of the promontory, overlooking Monsal Dale to the north and
Wye Dale to the west. It includes a Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age
promontory fort and, within the area covered by the fort, an Early Bronze Age
bowl barrow and an eighteenth century limekiln with an attached limestone
The promontory fort comprises a level sub-rectangular area defined on the
north and west sides by the steep scarps above the two dales and on the east
and south sides by earthwork defences. Starting on the edge of Monsal Dale to
the north, these defences extend southwards for 225m then curve south-west for
a further 160m before ending on the edge of Wye Dale. From this point, a
linear feature extends northwards back to the edge of Monsal Dale and is
interpreted as the site of the timber palisade that would have enclosed the
fort on this side. It consists of a low bank with a narrow berm or terrace to
the west and then a slight counterscarp bank. It appears, wholly or partly, to
have utilised a natural break in the limestone outcrop. The earthwork defences
round the landward edge of the fort consist, for the northernmost 180m, of a
bank, ditch and counterscarp bank, then, for the rest of the circuit, of a
bank or rampart only. The more massive inner bank is currently c.5m wide by
1.5m-2m high, the ditch is c.3m wide by 1m-1.5m deep and the counterscarp bank
is c.2m wide by 1m high. Although no longer visible, it is likely that the
ditch extended round the southern section of the rampart and has become silted
up and levelled by ploughing since the fort was abandoned. Together with the
remains of the counterscarp bank, it will survive as a buried feature and is
included within the scheduling. A gap in the double bank and ditch on the east
side indicates the original entrance into the fort.
Near the western edge of the fort, just north of the eighteenth century
quarry, are the ploughed over remains of an earlier Bronze Age bowl barrow.
The barrow was quarried for its stone in the late eighteenth century, possibly
to feed the adjacent lime kiln. Subsequently, in 1795, it was partially
excavated by Rooke. His discoveries included a rock-cut grave built up with
stone and covered by a capstone. Inside was a disarticulated skeleton
accompanied by two flint arrowheads. Elsewhere in the mound, he found a
dry-walled cist, or grave, containing the remains of a cremation, while, on
the south-east side three pottery 'urns' were discovered, one of which has
since been identified as a ceremonial food vessel. These contained further
cremations and one of the 'urns' also contained an arrowhead. Two further
inhumations were found on the east side of the mound. In its present disturbed
condition, the barrow has a diameter of 24m by 23m and a height of c.0.5m
though, originally it would have been between 1m and 2m high. Roughly 20m to
the south is an eighteenth century lime kiln set in its own small quarry. The
kiln is of the type known as a 'double pye-kiln'.
The modern field walls crossing the monument are excluded from the scheduling
though the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Promontory forts are a type of hillfort in which conspicuous naturally
defended sites are adapted as enclosures by the construction of one or more
earth or stone ramparts placed across the neck of a spur in order to divide it
from the surrounding land. Coastal situations, using headlands defined by
steep natural cliffs, are common while inland similar topographic settings
defined by natural cliffs are also used. The ramparts and accompanying ditches
formed the main artificial defence, but timber palisades may have been erected
along the cliff edges. Access to the interior was generally provided by an
entrance through the ramparts. The interior of the fort was used intensively
for settlement and related activities, and evidence for timber- and stone-
walled round houses can be expected, together with the remains of buildings
used for storage and enclosures for animals. Promontory forts are generally
Iron Age in date, most having been constructed and used between the sixth
century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are broadly contemporary with
other types of hillfort. They are regarded as settlements of high status,
probably occupied on a permanent basis, and recent interpretations suggest
that their construction and choice of location had as much to do with display
as defence. Promontory forts are rare nationally with less than 100 recorded
examples. In view of their rarity and their importance in the understanding of
the nature of social organisation in the later prehistoric period, all
examples with surviving archaeological remains are considered nationally

Although the interior of Fin Cop promontory fort has been ploughed in the
past, the monument survives well and retains substantial archaeological
remains throughout, particularly in its well-preserved defensive earthworks.
The character of the promontory as a focus for human activity over a long
period of time is demonstrated both by the bowl barrow and the modern limekiln
on the western edge of the fort.
Bowl barrows are prehistoric funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic
to the Late Bronze Age (c.2400-1500BC) and were constructed as hemispherical
mounds of rubble or earth covering single or multiple burials. Sometimes
ditched, they occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as foci for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
though differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and
a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows
recorded nationally, with many more having already been destroyed. Their
considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide
important evidence on burial practices and social organisation among early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Lime burning is an industry which is known to have been carried out in this
country for at least two thousand years, and there are examples of lime kilns
dating from the Roman and medieval periods, as well as from the relatively
recent past. The 'double pye-kiln' on Fin Cop is a larger version of the
simple 'pye-kiln' in which alternate layers of limestone and fuel were built
up behind a flue then covered over with turf and allowed to burn until the
lime had been extracted from the stone. It was then raked out of the flue and
used for a variety of purposes, including spreading on pasture to improve it
and for lining ponds. In a 'double pye-kiln' two flues were needed to extract
the lime, simply due to the size of the structure and the amount of material
being burned. In contrast to the commercial dry-walled 'running kilns', in
which fuel and limestone were continually fed in through a hole in the top,
'pye-kilns' tended to be purely domestic and may have been used only once or
twice before being abandoned. They are a common feature of the limestone
plateau of Derbyshire and are found in all the limestone areas of England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849), 26
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 9
Manby, T G, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Food Vessels of the Peak District (1957), , Vol. 77, (1957), 14
Preston, F L, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Hill-Forts of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 1-31
Rooke, H, 'Archaeologia' in Discoveries In A Barrow In Derbyshire, , Vol. 12, (1796), 327-31

Source: Historic England

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