Ancient Monuments

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Promontory fort south of Ballcross Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bakewell, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2187 / 53°13'7"N

Longitude: -1.6602 / 1°39'36"W

OS Eastings: 422785.281119

OS Northings: 369122.505598

OS Grid: SK227691

Mapcode National: GBR 57T.72B

Mapcode Global: WHCD7.GCNB

Entry Name: Promontory fort south of Ballcross Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 March 1955

Last Amended: 4 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011430

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23310

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bakewell

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Edensor St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is a small promontory fort located on a spur of Calton Hill. It
includes a sub-rectangular enclosure with an internal area of 0.8ha, bounded
on the west side by a steep slope and precipice which has been partially
scarped. On the east side the fort is enclosed by a 2m high bank which was
found, during partial excavations of the site carried out in 1952-55, to be a
stone revetted box rampart. Three decorated stones, known as cup-and-ring
marked rocks, were found within the structure of the revetment wall. The
northernmost 20m of the rampart is flanked by an outer ditch which measures
c.7m wide by 1.5m deep and has a slight counterscarp bank on the outer edge.
Pottery and quern stones found during excavation date the promontory fort to
the Iron Age while the cup-and-ring marked rocks indicate earlier occupation
of the area in the Bronze Age. Excluded from the scheduling are the field
walls and fencing crossing the monument and a number of telegraph poles with
their stays, although the ground beneath 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

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

The small promontory fort south of Ballcross Farm has been partially excavated
and is reasonably well-preserved, retaining substantial archaeological remains
throughout. The character of the promontory as a focus for human activity for
an extended period during prehistory is demonstrated by the cup-and-ring
marked rocks found within the rampart. This evidence of earlier Bronze Age
settlement in the area is associated with a group of Bronze Age barrows
located on nearby Calton Pasture.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Reeder, P, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Prehistoric Rock Art in the Peak District, , Vol. 102, (1984)
Challis, A J, Harding, D, 'BAR 20, Part 2' in Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne, (1975)
Preston, F L, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Hill-Forts of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954)
Sheffield City Museum, Find in Sheffield Museum,

Source: Historic England

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