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Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement and field system, south of Taddington Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Taddington, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.229 / 53°13'44"N

Longitude: -1.7484 / 1°44'54"W

OS Eastings: 416892.71132

OS Northings: 370250.208671

OS Grid: SK168702

Mapcode National: GBR 465.GT4

Mapcode Global: WHCD6.33PD

Entry Name: Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement and field system, south of Taddington Wood

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017834

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29821

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Taddington

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Sheldon St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a settlement and field system complex dating from the
Romano-British period. Visible remains include a series of fields or
enclosures bounded by earthen and stone walls, many containing orthostat
(upright boulder) alignments. In addition there are lynchets, revetments, and
a detached enclosure and cairn, a few metres to the south west of the main
complex. The monument occupies a natural shelf overlooking the River Wye. The
two components of the settlement are separated by a small limestone gorge in
which a small terraced enclosure, contemporary with the settlement, is
The main settlement and field system comprises a sub-rectangular embanked
enclosure of stones, turf and boulders measuring approximately 70m by 60m,
located at the western end of the shelf. Along the western side of the main
enclosure is a revetted trackway. In the south eastern corner of the main
enclosure is a smaller, square enclosure of similar construction, the
north west corner of which contains the foundations of a structure with a
cobbled floor. Several lines of boulders extend to the east of the main
enclosure for up to 15m some of which are interpreted as the foundations
of buildings. There are several internal embankments subdividing the main
enclosure. At least three cairns survive either in the main enclosure or in
its boundary walls.
Beyond the main complex, there are small sections of embankments and lynchets
to the east. About 20m south of the main enclosure are the remains of a
small limestone quarry of uncertain date, together with associated spoil
heaps. In a small limestone gorge to the east of the main enclosure is a
narrow, revetted terrace of cleared ground to the west of a hollow way
through the gorge. A line of orthostats also ascends the hillslope from the
terrace to the west.
To the east of the gorge is a small ovoid enclosure bounded by boulders. At
the western end of the enclosure is a natural limestone outcrop on which have
been placed loose stones to form a cairn. The latter was probably a clearance
measure but could have also been used as a funerary cairn: the cairn appears
undisturbed. The enclosure and cairn are likely to be associated with the
settlement evidence to the west.
The monument is interpreted as a settlement and field system of the
Romano-British period (AD 50-350) and one of a series of farmsteads in the
region, found to have been abandoned by the 4th century AD.
Excluded from the scheduling are all modern walls, gates and fences, although
the ground beneath the features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements
dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non-
defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone
construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also
common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures
were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common.
Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the
settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the
enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard
layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of
the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were
pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two
houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the
settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main
enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be
found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form
and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known.
These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives
throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement
forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common
throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved
earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common,
although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography.
All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be
identified as nationally important.

Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement survives in good condition and its
extensive complex of enclosure boundaries, together with evidence of the sites
of a number of buildings, holds important information on settlement in the
Peak District during this period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hart, CR, North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981)
Beswick, P, Merrills, D, 'Trans. of the Hunter Archaeological Soc.' in L H Butcher's Survey of Early Settlement ..., , Vol. 12, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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