Nether Haddon medieval settlement and part of an open field system, Romano-British field system and lead mining remains, 600m south west of Haddon Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020648

Date first listed: 16-Oct-2002


Ordnance survey map of Nether Haddon medieval settlement and part of an open field system, Romano-British field system and lead mining remains, 600m south west of Haddon Hall
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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: Nether Haddon

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 22769 65840


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Cheshire Plain sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, a gently rolling plain of red marl covered by ice-carried clays, sands and gravels. It is diversified by occasional sandstone escarpments, notably the Central Cheshire Ridge east of the Dee valley. It has lower densities of nucleated settlements than surrounding areas, and high concentrations of dispersed farmsteads and small hamlets. In the Wirral and the lower Dee and Weaver valleys, the settlement mix is different, with low and medium densities of dispersed farmsteads intermixed with more frequent villages. Domesday Book records a thin scatter of settlement in the Wirral, the Dee lowlands and the central and southern plain in 1086, with much woodland. The High Edge and Miller's Dale-Wyedale local region is a mixture of high Millstone Grit ridges around low plateaux and dales cut deeply into shales and mountain limestones. Besides having numerous scattered farmsteads related to settlement of marginal lands, this is an exceptional landscape of upland village settlements which, with their former communal townfields, occupied the dales and more fertile limestone tops.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. They frequently include the parish church within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages include one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. In the Central Province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life, and their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest.

Medieval villages were supported by a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to village earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape. It is usually now covered by the hedges or walls of subsequent field enclosure.

Approximately 10,000 lead industry sites are estimated to survive in England, spanning nearly three millennia of mining history from the later Bronze Age (around 1000 BC) to the present day, though before the Roman period it is likely to have been on a small scale. Lead mining features often follow a lead vein resulting in lines of shafts, waste heaps and other features. These are known as rakes but shafts can also be found in isolation. Rakes can be broadly divided between: rakes consisting of continuous rock-cut clefts; rakes consisting of lines of interconnecting or closely-spaced shafts with associated spoil tips and other features; and rakes whose surface features were predominantly produced by reprocessing of earlier waste tips. The majority of rake workings are believed to be of 16th-18th century date, but earlier examples are likely to exist. Rakes are the main field monuments produced by the earlier and technologically simpler phases of lead mining. Single shafts may simply represent areas where the vein was particularly close to the surface or possibly trials to test the quality and/or accessibility of the deposit.

Earthworks defining the buildings of Romano-British farms and the fields that surround them are uncommon in the Peak District, surviving at only 50 sites in the region. They mostly occur on the limestone plateau on the fringes of traditional settlement zones. They survive in locations where later farming activity has not obliterated the surface evidence. In contrast, the majority of Romano-British farms that probably existed on the most favourable parts of the limestone or in the valleys have now been lost.

The earthwork and buried remains of the abandoned medieval settlement of Nether Haddon and the associated open field system are particularly well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The quality of the settlement remains and the extent of the surviving open field system is a rare combination. This is complimented by the historical and archaeological documentation and together provides an important insight into the development, use and subsequent abandonment of the settlement. Taken as a whole, Nether Haddon medieval settlement will add greatly to our understanding of the village and its social and economic status in the wider rural landscape. The Romano-British field system remains are an unusual and important survival in the Peak District. The lead mining remains are also well-preserved and will contribute to an understanding of this industry in the area.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Nether Haddon medieval settlement and part of the associated open field system. It also includes post-medieval lead mining remains and part of a Romano-British field system. The monument is situated on the east facing slopes of the Wye Valley, rising to a plateau on the western edge of the monument. The underlying geology is predominantly limestone containing mineral veins of lead, calcite, galena and fluorspar.

The medieval settlement is first mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 where it is recorded as being a berewick of Bakewell. A berewick was a settlement which was physically separate from where the lord lived but still governed as part of the manorial estate. Haddon was listed twice in the survey, implying the existence of two settlements of that name, probably Nether and Over Haddon, although these prefixes were not used at that time. Documentary references to occupation at Haddon continue throughout the 12th century until the mid-13th century when `Nether' is first recorded as a prefix. It is unclear why the settlement was abandoned, but it appears from documentary sources to have been so by the late 16th century. Many villages in what is now the Peak National Park began to decline during the 14th century when the climate deteriorated, population decreased due to famines and the Black Death and cattle stocks were depleted by disease. It is possible that the abandonment of Nether Haddon was associated with the creation of the deer park in 1330.

The settlement lies on the lower slopes of the valley side, close to the western bank of the River Wye. Here the village is above the valley flood plain but also close to Haddon Hall, the lord of the manor's residence. The settlement survives as a series of earthwork and buried remains which, although clearly visible on the ground, are most easily defined from aerial photographs. Central to the settlement is a deeply incised gully which survives to a depth of approximately 1m. This is interpreted as a hollow way and would have formed the main street of the village. Just north of Haddon Barn the hollow way runs north west to south east adjacent to, and parallel with, the modern A6 road. It continues on this alignment for approximately 150m before dividing with one branch curving to the north and the other to the west. At the junction of this divide there appears to be a triangle of open ground which is interpreted as a village green. The hollow way leading to the north meets with a third hollow way which turns to the west to follow a modern field boundary. The branch leading to the west continues on that alignment to the edge of the monument. Another hollow way runs north east to south west along the field boundary approximately 50m north of Haddon Barn. At its eastern end this links with the hollow way which runs parallel to the A6 and would have provided access to the open fields.

Adjoining the hollow ways are numerous boundary banks which form a series of terraced, sub-rectangular enclosures or crofts. Within many of the crofts there are small areas of raised ground which are again terraced and defined by low banks. These are interpreted as the remains of medieval buildings, or tofts with the low banks representing the buried remains of walls. The tofts and crofts represent the house and garden plots within the village.

Surrounding the settlement and within the existing parish of Nether Haddon is an area known as Haddon Fields which was probably farmed from the settlement during the medieval period. The fields were first documented in the mid-12th century as `Campo de Haddona', meaning open countryside or open field. The extensive area covered by the open field includes a large part of the monument, and a considerable amount beyond. This suggests that Nether Haddon was a thriving small village. Only the well-preserved earthworks which are physically associated with the settlement are included in the scheduling.

The open field system is visible on the ground as parallel ridges known as ridge and furrow (cultivation strips). Numerous groups of ridge and furrow (furlongs) are evident, marked by headlands (larger banks marking the boundaries of the furlongs). The earthworks survive to a height of up to 0.75m. Extensive ridge and furrow is most clearly evident in the western half of the monument. Strip lynchets are also visible within the open field. A lynchet is an artificial bank which has been deliberately produced as the downslope edge of a cultivation terrace. Lynchets are most clearly visible at map grid reference SK23256580 where they lie approximately 15m apart and 1m high.

Approximately 180m south of Haddon Barn are a series of low earthen banks which form two partly enclosed, small, rectilinear areas. They form part of a system of enclosures or small fields which pre-date the 18th century enclosure of this area. Similar field systems have been identified elsewhere in the Peak District and have been interpreted as being Romano-British in date.

The monument also includes two areas of lead mining activity. These are visible at map grid references SK22486613 and SK22886604. At the former site a single shaft with the associated waste hillock survives. The shaft is characteristic of lead mining remains in the region. These are typically found in groups following lead veins known as rakes and this may be part of a rake which continues outside the monument to the south east. The shaft post dates both the medieval ridge and furrow and a hollow way and is probably associated with the mining activity in the area between the 16th and 18th centuries. All the mines in the area are recorded on 19th century maps as being `old', implying their disuse by this time. The other area of mining activity is also represented by a single mine shaft and waste hillock but this does not appear to be aligned along a rake.

There are a number of small stone quarries distributed across the monument. Two of these, adjacent to the A6, are small wall builders' quarries associated with the construction of a wall along the side of the road. Another close to the western corner of the monument is slightly larger and probably provided stone for local field walls and buildings. Although the quarries have caused some localised degradation of the earthworks, this does not detract from the importance of the monument.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling. These are: all field walls, fences, gates, troughs, dew ponds, the barn situated approximately 50m south west of the car park for Haddon Hall, and the milestone, which is Listed Grade II, just north of Haddon Barn, positioned alongside the 1759 turnpike road, now the A6. However, the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 30000

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bevan, B, Haddon Feilds Nether Haddon Derbyshire, (1995), 1-45
Bevan, B, Haddon Feilds Nether Haddon Derbyshire, (1995)
Bevan, B, Haddon Feilds Nether Haddon Derbyshire, (1995), 1-45
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Derbyshire, (1905)
Wightman, W E, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Open Field Agriculture In The Peak District, , Vol. 81, (1961), 111-125
1999? Held at Peak National Park Offe, Nether Haddon medieval settlement,
Held at Peak National Park Office, Haddon Fields - Colour APs, (1999)

End of official listing