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Derbyshire and Peak District ALSF National Mapping Programme

The Derbyshire and Peak District National Mapping Programme (NMP) aerial survey project was carried out in conjunction with Archaeological Research Services Ltd.  The Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) provided funding.

The survey aimed to produce results to assist and improve the management of pressures on the historic environment caused by past, present and future aggregate extraction in the area.

Colour aerial photo showing a disused quarry in foreground and an active one with structures at its centre in the background
Extensive limestone extraction at Topley Pike Quarry, photographed on 22 June 2005. (NMR 20256/2) © Historic England

Archaeology and aggregates

Derbyshire, including the Peak District National Park, is the most heavily quarried area of the British Isles. This is due to its rich mineral resources including sand and gravel, Carboniferous Limestone, Millstone Grit and sandstone. In the past the area also saw intense extraction of lead and fluorspars.

The survey produced varying results, spread over a number of differing landscapes within the county. A total of 77% of the records added to the National Monuments record (NMR), now the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE), were new sites. The mapped features ranged from the Neolithic period to 20th century military activity.

In the valleys of the Rivers Trent and Dove, extremely complex multi-phased cropmarks were mapped. These show activity from different eras, including the Potlock and Aston Neolithic cursus and potential Iron Age and Roman settlements.

A map extract showing cropmark features in green against a grey map background. Patterns of circles and enclosures are visible
Transcription of a cropmark complex in the Trent Valley, centred around Potlock Neolithic cursus © Historic England © Crown Copyright and database right 2010. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100019088

A hillfort examined

Situated in the heart of the Peak District is Finn Cop Hillfort, overlooking Monsal Dale. Examination of the site through aerial photographs aided the recording of post medieval quarrying and damage to the fort. It also added considerably to the record of the monument itself, revealing the previously unknown western rampart.

Subsequent projects conducted by Archaeological Research Services Ltd, along with the Longstone Local History Group, were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

These produced a detailed field survey and gave the opportunity for excavation of the site. The results have been very rewarding. More details of the post-NMP activities can be found here.

Colour aerial photograph showing a bank and ditch running round the end of a hill. They are cut by modern stone walls
Fin Cop Hillfort, dominating the junction of Monsal Dale and Taddington Dale, photographed on 9 November 2005. (NMR 20492/52) © Historic England
Derbyshire and Peak District Aggregates Assessment Project, Air Survey Mapping Summary Report, National Mapping Programme

Derbyshire and Peak District Aggregates Assessment Project, Air Survey Mapping Summary Report, National Mapping Programme

Published 1 June 2010

NMP report from the Derbyshire and Peak District Aggregates Assessment Project

The images used on this page are copyright Historic England unless specified otherwise. For further details of any photographs or other images and for copies of these, or the plans and reports related to the project please contact the Historic England Archive.

For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Remote Sensing team please contact us via email using the link above.

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Group of people standing on a stony mound
Historic Places Investigation

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