Romano-British field wall and embankment, 200m south west of Roystone Grange


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018090

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British field wall and embankment, 200m south west of Roystone Grange
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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: Ballidon

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 19842 56619


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.

The surviving Romano-British field enclosure system 200m south west of Roystone Grange includes a substantial and intact length of Romano-British period wall foundations. This is particularly important to our understanding of the typologies of enclosures of this period. The addition of an embankment, as part of the enclosure system, also adds to our knowledge of the diversity of ancient boundaries in the Peak District.


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


The monument includes the foundations of a Romano-British field boundary wall and an earthen embankment. The field wall joins with, and is at right-angles to, the embankment, forming two sides of a rectangular enclosure. The field boundary wall is approximately 200m long, and about 1m-1.2m wide, running across the contour of the land and orientated north west to south east. It is constructed from dolomitised limestone in the form of a double line of orthostats (upright boulders) with an infill of loose rubble. An excavation of a small part of the wall during the 1980s confirmed its date to the Romano-British period. At its south eastern end the foundations of the wall have been disturbed, especially during the medieval period where the wall enters an enclosure of Roystone medieval grange, finally underlying a short length of modern drystone walling. However, occasional orthostats in this area still mark the course of the wall above ground and a small excavation during the 1990s showed that further wall foundations survive below ground. The north western two-thirds of the field wall are in a good state of preservation as a continuous line of earthfast foundation stones. At its north western end, the field wall joins with a linear earthen embankment orientated roughly at right-angles to the wall. The embankment is about 2m wide at its north eastern end and follows the contour of the land to the south west for approximately 240m whereupon it becomes indistinct. A modern drystone wall now overlies much of its surviving length except at its north eastern end where the modern wall turns towards the present farmhouse and away from the embankment. The south western end of the embankment appears to have been destroyed. The layout of the embankment and field wall indicates that both are part of a Romano-British period enclosure which was associated with one or other of two contemporary farmsteads, located approximately 300m to the north and 300m to the south respectively. All fences, gates and posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground below is included. Also excluded from the scheduling are the modern drystone walls overlying part of the embankment and the disturbed south eastern foundations of the Romano-British field wall. However, the foundation courses of the later walls are included, as well as the ground beneath them.

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: 29832

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hodges, R, Wall-to-wall History: the story of Roystone Grange, (1991)

End of official listing