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Romano-British farmstead and post-medieval charcoal burning site 570m north east of Ladybower Inn

A Scheduled Monument in Derwent, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3784 / 53°22'42"N

Longitude: -1.6873 / 1°41'14"W

OS Eastings: 420897.499287

OS Northings: 386883.065137

OS Grid: SK208868

Mapcode National: GBR JYNC.HN

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.1BSW

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead and post-medieval charcoal burning site 570m north east of Ladybower Inn

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020413

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31309

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Derwent

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bamford and Derwent St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead and post-medieval charcoal
burning platform. The farmstead provides important evidence for settlement
and agriculture during the Romano-British period.

The monument occupies an area of gently sloping ground looking southwards over
the Ladybower Gorge. A substantial area of land directly to the south and
south east of the monument has been removed by late 19th and early 20th
century quarrying. The farmstead comprises the remains of two small
enclosures and an oval structure representing a house site. The enclosures
and house site are largely defined by rubble boundaries containing some
earthfast boulders and orthostatic (edge-set) slabs. The boundaries are
clearly defined and measure up to 2m in width and 0.75m in height. The
largest enclosure measures 19m by 22m and forms a rough `U'shape. A small
break within the southern part of the enclosure is indicative of an entrance.
The enclosure may originaly have been complete, with the presently missing
northern section having been completed by an organic boundary such as a hedge.
Alternatively this section of the enclosure may have been removed with the
construction of the drystone wall directly north of the monument. The house
site is set within and attached to the eastern boundary of the large
enclosure. The oval enclosure defining the building measures 7.5m by 9.7m.
Sherds of Romano-British pottery have been found on the ground surface within
this area. The enclosure surrounding the house site is indicative of a yard
and is likely to have been used for domestic activities, as a small garden
plot or as a stockpen. Fragments of a further enclosure exist some 20m north
east of the settlement, these remains comprise a pile of stones, earthfast
boulders and a lynchet. The north east enclosure is roughly sub-rectangular
and measures 7m by 5.5m. Further investigation will be required to ascertain
whether this feature represents a second house site, or part of a larger
enclosure. The farmstead survives in good condition with excellent potential
for undisturbed remains surviving beneath the ground surface. The farmstead
is associated with a slightly larger settlement of Romano-British date located
within view, to the south and on the opposite side of the Ladybower Gorge.

A level platform is situated directly to the south west of the largest
enclosure. It is eliptical in shape and is terraced into the sloping ground
with a low revetment along its downslope side. The platform measures 8m by 7m
and is characteristic, in size and form, of a post-medieval charcoal burning
platform. Similar platforms occur frequently throughout the surrounding
region. This feature survives in good condition and will contain undisturbed
archaeological remains.

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

The East Moors in Derbyshire includes all the gritstone moors east of the
River Derwent. It covers an area of 105 sq km, of which around 63% is open
moorland and 37% is enclosed. As a result of recent and on-going
archaeological survey, the East Moors area is becoming one of the best
recorded upland areas in England. On the enclosed land the archaeological
remains are fragmentary, but survive sufficiently well to show that early
human activity extended beyond the confines of the open moors.
On the open moors there is significant and well-articulated evidence over
extensive areas for human exploitation of the gritstone uplands from the
Neolithic to the post-medieval periods. Bronze Age activity accounts for the
most intensive use of the moorlands. Evidence for it includes some of the
largest and best preserved field systems and cairnfields in northern England
as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and
other ceremonial remains which, together, provide a detailed insight into life
in the Bronze Age. Also of importance is the well preserved and often visible
relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods since this
provides an insight into successive changes in land use through time.
A large number of the prehistoric sites on the moors, because of their rarity
in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections,
will be identified as nationally important.

Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up
to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which
may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These
were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or
curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemetaries
may be located nearby. Romano-British farmsteads usually survive as buried
features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks.
Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found thouhout the British
Isles, they date to the period of Roman occuption (c.AD 43-450).

Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements,
with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming
economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later
prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a
limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. As a highly representative form
of rural settlement, all Romano-British farmsteads which have significant
surviving remains will merit protection.

The Romano-British farmstead 570m north east of Ladybower Inn survives in good
condition with excellent potential for further remains beneath the ground
surface. Very few Romano-British settlements are known within the gritstone
areas of the Peak District and the majority of Romano-British settlements
existing on the limestone plateau comprise substantially larger enclosures or
village-like settlements. The farmstead consequently forms part of a small but
particularly important resource for understanding settlement, agriculture and
native culture during the Romano-British period.

Charcoal burning platforms are small industrial features associated with areas
of historically managed woodland. They date from the late medieval period
through to the 19th century, although the majority are of post-medieval date.
The platforms are commonly found in large groups (and are often spread through
substantial areas of woodland), with occasional isolated examples. The
platforms vary in size and form, but are usually oval or eliptical in shape,
some later platforms are rectangular. Frequent associations include small
water courses or leats, trackways and pack-horse routes. Charcoal was a vital
resource for the iron smelting industry from the medieval period until the
18th century (when the demands of the new blast furnaces could not be met by
the charcoal production industry and manufacturers switched to coked coal).
Charcoal was also an important fuel for the lead smelting industry, in
gunpowder manufacture and for the production of blister steel during the 19th

The charcoal burning platform 570m north east of Ladybower Inn survives in
good condition and will contain undisturbed archaeological information. This
feature provides important information on the medieval or post-medieval
charcoal production industry.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bevan, WJ, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey 1994-1997, (1998), 82
Bevan, WJ, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey 1994-1997, (1998), 82-83
Bevan, W J, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey Phase 2, year 1, (2000), 7-9
Bevan, W J, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey Phase 2, year 1, (2000), ill# 4
Bevan, W J, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey Phase 2, year 1, (2000), 7-9
Bevan, W J, The Upper Derwent Archaeological Survey Phase 2, year 1, (2000), Ill #4

Source: Historic England

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