Cratcliff Rocks defended settlement
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008006
Date first listed: 17-Jul-1985
Date of most recent amendment: 15-Oct-1993
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Mar-2019 at 20:27:09.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
National Park: PEAK DISTRICT
National Grid Reference: SK 22583 62381
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
Cratcliff Rocks defended settlement is well-preserved and is unusual in the use of natural rock outcrops in place of an earth rampart. These natural defences may have been augmented by a timber palisade. It lies within an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including a second defended settlement, and will contribute to any study of settlement and land use in this area at this time.
Cratcliff Rocks is an extensive outcrop on the edge of Harthill Moor in the
eastern gritstone moors of Derbyshire. The monument lies within the rocks on
the western edge of the outcrop and is a roughly circular enclosure comprising
a 5m wide rock-cut ditch surrounding an area of c.0.25 hectares. Boulders
enclosed by the ditch form an additional natural boundary and a number of
building platforms have been identified within the enclosure. No excavation of
the site has been carried out but it forms part of a rich prehistoric
landscape on Harthill Moor which includes burial mounds, a second enclosure
and Nine Stones Close stone circle.
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: 23243
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Hart, CR, North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey, (1984), 77
Heathcote, J P, Birchover, (1947), 33
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing