DERBYSHIRE HERITAGE Derbyshire Peak District - higger-tor

ROYSTONE GRANGE settlement - SK198570

An Information board describes the site history -

"For three hundred years during Roman times farmers ploughed, sowed and reaped their crops in this valley, living off the land in an organised, self-sufficient small community.

You are standing on the edge of a small native settlement first occupied about 1,800 years ago. The settlement, defined by a low wall of large limestone blocks, was built on the edge of a single large field which contained the hill now known as Roy stone Rocks, to your left The large field was probably used for winter pasture for sheep and cattle. Cereal and root crops were grown in another large field across the valley to the south-east.
Excavation of the terrace 10 metres up the slope has revealed a farmstead used from the second to the fourth centuries A.D. On this stone-fronted terrace, the first building had low, bow-shaped stone walls and a pitched roof of thatch, supported by two rows of four posts. This is a typical building of the second century A.D. in the Midlands and often preceded the development of grander villas. Finds from this site included fine Samian pottery imported from Caul (modern France) and luxury goods like brooches. The wealth of the farm at this time was probably derived from farming and lead mining.
The second building, dating to the fourth century A.D., was smaller and much less luxurious. A limestone-flagged floor was contained within walls made probably of turf. All the pottery found in this building was coarse, locally-made material. The indications are that this more modest building was the result of the general economic decline within the Empire as well as the exhaustion of the local, easily available lead ores.
This terrace is only one of a number of building platforms within the settlement. It is possible that in the early phase there was only a single farmstead which developed later in the Roman period into a more extensive, though poorer, village settlement.

Just a little further on are the remains of Roystone Grange Hall and the 19th century pumphouse used during construction of the CHPR (Cromford and High Peak Railway)

click for larger view of information board
markers indicate the position of the farmstead
copyright © Derbyshire Heritage
site map