Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British field wall and embankment, 200m south west of Roystone Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Ballidon, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1064 / 53°6'23"N

Longitude: -1.7051 / 1°42'18"W

OS Eastings: 419842.2645

OS Northings: 356619.4456

OS Grid: SK198566

Mapcode National: GBR 47S.7RC

Mapcode Global: WHCDS.S58W

Entry Name: Romano-British field wall and embankment, 200m south west of Roystone Grange

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018090

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29832

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 the foundations of a Romano-British field boundary wall
and an earthen embankment. The field wall joins with, and is at right-angles
to, the embankment, forming two sides of a rectangular enclosure.
The field boundary wall is approximately 200m long, and about 1m-1.2m wide,
running across the contour of the land and orientated north west to
south east. It is constructed from dolomitised limestone in the form of a
double line of orthostats (upright boulders) with an infill of loose rubble.
An excavation of a small part of the wall during the 1980s confirmed its date
to the Romano-British period. At its south eastern end the foundations of the
wall have been disturbed, especially during the medieval period where the wall
enters an enclosure of Roystone medieval grange, finally underlying a short
length of modern drystone walling. However, occasional orthostats in this
area still mark the course of the wall above ground and a small excavation
during the 1990s showed that further wall foundations survive below ground.
The north western two-thirds of the field wall are in a good state of
preservation as a continuous line of earthfast foundation stones.
At its north western end, the field wall joins with a linear earthen
embankment orientated roughly at right-angles to the wall. The embankment is
about 2m wide at its north eastern end and follows the contour of the land
to the south west for approximately 240m whereupon it becomes indistinct. A
modern drystone wall now overlies much of its surviving length except at its
north eastern end where the modern wall turns towards the present farmhouse
and away from the embankment. The south western end of the embankment appears
to have been destroyed.
The layout of the embankment and field wall indicates that both are part of a
Romano-British period enclosure which was associated with one or other of two
contemporary farmsteads, located approximately 300m to the north and 300m to
the south respectively.
All fences, gates and posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground below is included. Also excluded from the scheduling are the modern
drystone walls overlying part of the embankment and the disturbed south
eastern foundations of the Romano-British field wall. However, the foundation
courses of the later walls are included, as well as the ground beneath them.

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 surviving Romano-British field enclosure system 200m south west of
Roystone Grange includes a substantial and intact length of Romano-British
period wall foundations. This is particularly important to our understanding
of the typologies of enclosures of this period. The addition of an embankment,
as part of the enclosure system, also adds to our knowledge of the diversity
of ancient boundaries in the Peak District.

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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