Ancient Monuments

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Medieval hospital 530m south east of Losehill Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Castleton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3466 / 53°20'47"N

Longitude: -1.7678 / 1°46'4"W

OS Eastings: 415552.814556

OS Northings: 383325.616105

OS Grid: SK155833

Mapcode National: GBR JY3R.21

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.T4CR

Entry Name: Medieval hospital 530m south east of Losehill Hall

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018869

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29938

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Castleton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Castleton St Edmund

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Castleton medieval
hospital. The site is situated on the south side of Castleton Road on a low
knoll which slopes to the south towards the flood plain of Peakshole Water.
The hospital, known as `The Hospital of the Castle of Peak', was founded in
the early 12th century by the Peverel family and was dedicated to St Mary the
Blessed Virgin. It appears as a royal foundation in John of Gaunt's register
dated 1372-1376. The last warden was in office between 1536-1542, after which
the hospital was dissolved.
The remains include three sides of a large sub-rectangular platform defined by
a substantial bank, representing the site of a building, measuring
approximately 35m by 27m. The north and east sides of the platform are the
most clearly defined but oval shaped hollows to the south west of the platform
suggest that some post-medieval quarrying has taken place. A low, curved mound
inside the platform may also be related to quarrying activity. At its eastern
end, the platform is divided from north to south across most of its width by a
low bank. This is interpreted as an internal dividing wall. The size of this
building, together with evidence that it was a substantial construction,
indicate that this was a major building belonging to the hospital. Medieval
hospital complexes usually included a range of buildings and features often
including medicinal herb gardens. The precise function of the building along
with the wider organisation and layout of Castleton hospital are not yet fully
Running between, and parallel to, Castleton Road and the northern side of the
hospital is a sunken track which survives to a width of approximately 5m. This
would originally have provided access to the hospital building and may have
been the predecessor to the modern Castleton Road. The track links to another
sunken track which runs parallel to the eastern side of the hospital and has
been infilled close to its northern end. This track, which survives to a width
of approximately 8m, cut into the natural slope of the field, runs to the
south and continues for about 20m beyond the building platform. It is possible
that this track led to a fording point on Peakshole Water which once passed
much closer to the hospital building.
To the east of the junction between the two tracks is a small rectangular
building platform, the southern side of which has been degraded by vehicle
erosion. The platform measures approximately 14m by 5m and is defined by low
banks. The platform may represent an annex to the main hospital building.
All fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A medieval hospital is a group of buildings housing a religious or secular
institution which provided spiritual and medical care. The idea for such
institutions originated in the Anglo-Saxon period although the first definite
foundations were created by Anglo-Norman bishops and queens in the
11th century. Documentary sources indicate that by the mid 16th century there
were around 800 hospitals. A further 300 are also thought to have existed but
had fallen out of use by this date. Half of the hospitals were suppressed by
1539 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Some smaller institutions
survived until 1547 when they were dissolved by Edward VI. Many of these
smaller hospitals survived as almshouses, some up to the present day. Despite
the large number of hospitals known from documentary sources to have existed,
generally only the larger religious ones have been exactly located. Few
hospitals retain upstanding remains and very few have been examined by
excavation. In view of these factors all positively identified hospitals
retaining significant medieval remains will be identified as nationally

The earthwork and buried remains of Castleton medieval hospital are
particularly well preserved and retain significant archaeological remains.
Hospitals usually survive as ruins or by being incorporated into later
buildings. Earthwork remains such as those at Castleton are unusual and
provide a rare opportunity for the preservation of stratified archaeological
and environmental evidence. The combined archaeological, environmental and
documentary evidence will enhance our knowledge and understanding of the
construction, history, and development of hospitals and their place in the
wider medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cox, J C, The Victoria History of the County of Derbyshire, (1907), 86
Lysons, Reverend D, Lysons, S, Magna Britannia. A concise topographical account of several coun, (1817), 72
SMR no. 3336, Castleton Medieval Hospital,

Source: Historic England

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