Castle Ring defended settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008005

Date first listed: 28-Apr-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Feb-1994


Ordnance survey map of Castle Ring defended settlement
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Harthill

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 22067 62837


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national importance.

Castle Ring is an exceptionally well preserved example of a defended settlement. It lies within an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including a second defended settlement, and will contribute to the study of settlement and land-use in this area at this time.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Castle Ring is situated on Harthill Moor in the eastern gritstone moorlands of Derbyshire. The monument is a sub-circular enclosure comprising a bank, external ditch and counterscarp bank surrounding an area of c.0.5 hectares. The internal bank or rampart appears to be of simple dump construction and varies between 1m and 2m high while the counterscarp bank is between 0.5m and 1m high. The ditch is c.5m wide and is less distinct on the south side where there is no rampart visible. This is an indication that the original entrance lay in this region. The monument has not been excavated but it forms part of a rich Bronze Age landscape on Harthill Moor which also includes burial mounds, a second enclosure and Nine Stones Close stone circle. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern walls and fences, a stone water trough and a concrete tank, although the ground underneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 23242

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Preston, F L, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Hill-Forts of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 1-31
Rooke, H, 'Archaeologia' in Archaeologia , (1779)

End of official listing