Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement and field system, south of Taddington Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017834

Date first listed: 25-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement and field system, south of Taddington Wood
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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: Sheldon

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 16889 70251


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

Reasons for Designation

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.

Dimin Dale Romano-British settlement survives in good condition and its extensive complex of enclosure boundaries, together with evidence of the sites of a number of buildings, holds important information on settlement in the Peak District during this period.


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


The monument includes a settlement and field system complex dating from the Romano-British period. Visible remains include a series of fields or enclosures bounded by earthen and stone walls, many containing orthostat (upright boulder) alignments. In addition there are lynchets, revetments, and a detached enclosure and cairn, a few metres to the south west of the main complex. The monument occupies a natural shelf overlooking the River Wye. The two components of the settlement are separated by a small limestone gorge in which a small terraced enclosure, contemporary with the settlement, is located. The main settlement and field system comprises a sub-rectangular embanked enclosure of stones, turf and boulders measuring approximately 70m by 60m, located at the western end of the shelf. Along the western side of the main enclosure is a revetted trackway. In the south eastern corner of the main enclosure is a smaller, square enclosure of similar construction, the north west corner of which contains the foundations of a structure with a cobbled floor. Several lines of boulders extend to the east of the main enclosure for up to 15m some of which are interpreted as the foundations of buildings. There are several internal embankments subdividing the main enclosure. At least three cairns survive either in the main enclosure or in its boundary walls. Beyond the main complex, there are small sections of embankments and lynchets to the east. About 20m south of the main enclosure are the remains of a small limestone quarry of uncertain date, together with associated spoil heaps. In a small limestone gorge to the east of the main enclosure is a narrow, revetted terrace of cleared ground to the west of a hollow way through the gorge. A line of orthostats also ascends the hillslope from the terrace to the west. To the east of the gorge is a small ovoid enclosure bounded by boulders. At the western end of the enclosure is a natural limestone outcrop on which have been placed loose stones to form a cairn. The latter was probably a clearance measure but could have also been used as a funerary cairn: the cairn appears undisturbed. The enclosure and cairn are likely to be associated with the settlement evidence to the west. The monument is interpreted as a settlement and field system of the Romano-British period (AD 50-350) and one of a series of farmsteads in the region, found to have been abandoned by the 4th century AD. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern walls, gates and fences, although the ground beneath the features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 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: 29821

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hart, CR, North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981)
Beswick, P, Merrills, D, 'Trans. of the Hunter Archaeological Soc.' in L H Butcher's Survey of Early Settlement ..., , Vol. 12, (1983)

End of official listing