Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British field system, 420m south east of Roystone Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Ballidon, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1042 / 53°6'14"N

Longitude: -1.6989 / 1°41'55"W

OS Eastings: 420257.448762

OS Northings: 356371.500341

OS Grid: SK202563

Mapcode National: GBR 47S.H8S

Mapcode Global: WHCDS.W76M

Entry Name: Romano-British field system, 420m south east of Roystone Grange

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018089

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29831

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Ballidon

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bradbourne All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes an extensive Romano-British field system comprising
platforms, terraces, revetments, orthostat (upright boulder) walls,
plough-marks and the remains of a stock enclosure, located on a north and
west facing hillslope overlooking a dry limestone valley.
At the northern end of the field system are faint traces of plough-marks
running parallel to terraces revetted with orthostats, identified as being of
Romano-British construction. In addition, a bank and ditch also divides the
area into two or more field plots. A more recent enclosure wall to the north
has also been identified as containing foundation elements dating to the
Romano-British period and these foundations are included in the scheduling.
Extensive field surveys in the 1980s and 1990s have enabled the development of
Roman and medieval wall foundations to be fully understood in
this area. There are platforms in several areas of the field system. Some are
small and of unknown function, but at least one is likely to have been the
site of a building of the Romano-British period, associated with the field
system. This platform is revetted on its downslope (south western side) and
two other sides with characteristic orthostats. The dimensions of the platform
indicate a building of approximately 13m by 8m.
There are several lines of orthostats running across the contour of the west
facing hillside, indicating that this whole area was also divided into field
plots. Some of the alignments are also accompanied by earthen embankments. On
the eastern side of the field system the land is less steep and where small
stone cleared natural terraces have been enhanced by the construction of
revetments of earth and stone.
In the western part of the monument are the remains of an enclosure,
constructed from orthostats, which lies in the valley bottom. This is
interpreted as a stock enclosure also of the Romano-British period. A hollow
way extends to the south from the enclosure and eventually aligns itself with
the present single track road through the valley beyond the area of
protection. At the sides of the hollow way are lines of orthostats, some
defining small, stone cleared terraces, occasionally revetted on their
downslope (south) sides. Within the area of protection are a number of small
stone quarries and evidence of lead mining activities, particularly in the
northern part of the field system.
All fences, gates, posts and the metalling of tracks are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. The drystone wall in the
northern part of the monument is also excluded from the scheduling, except
for its foundation courses and the ground beneath them which are included
together with a 2m margin. The wall foundations are included because of their
origins in the Romano-British period.

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

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.

The Romano-British field system 420m south east of Roystone Grange contains
a range of features which survive well and which, together, form an
outstanding landscape of archaeological features associated with this period.
The evidence for at least one building platform indicates that archaeological
features relating to settlement of this period are likely to be preserved
below ground.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodges, R, Wall-to-wall History: the story of Roystone Grange, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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