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Name:Highstones Fortlet, Highstones, Tintwistle
HER No.:14238
Type of Record:Monument
Designation:Scheduled Monument 1019061: ROMAN FORTLET 320m EAST OF HIGHSTONES


Scheduled earthwork interpreted as being a Roman fortlet commanding views along Longdendale.

Grid Reference:SK 064 990

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds

  • FDR1166 - QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDR1439 - Ordnance Survey Field Report, 27-JUN-78
  • EDR4159 - Site visit, Roman Fortlet 320m east of Highstones, by PDNPA Volunteer Ranger, in 2015

Full Description

Centred at SK 0643 9901 on a gently sloping south facing grass covered hillspur are the well preserved remains of a rectangular earthwork with rounded corners. It measures about 67m north west to southeast by 54m transversely between the centres of the ditch which averages about 8.0m wide and varies from 0.5m to 1.5m maximum depth. There is a less-well defined causeway entrance about 5.5m wide midway in the southeast downhill side. There is no trace of an inner rampart but there appears to have been a counterscarp bank along the southwest side (its southern end and part of the ditch have been mutilated by quarrying and an access trackway). Apart from this slight outer bank there is no other trace of the material that must have come from the ditch. There is no trace of any stonework and the sloping interior is featureless. The earthwork is not in a strong defensive situation but it has clear views along Longdendale to the east and west. Its exact purpose and period are uncertain. Though there is no stonework visible or evidence of huts, its form is suggestive of a native settlement with possible Roman influence, but the ditch is remarkably well preserved. Discovered during field investigation, 27/06/78. Surveyed at 1:10 000. (1)

Listed as a possible Roman fortlet; a fragment of quern stone of 'possible Roman date' was found incorporated into the 'enclosure' field walls which divide the site. (2)

Scheduled. The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Highstones Roman fortlet. It is situated at approximately 250m above sea level on a gentle, south facing slope to the north of Torside Reservoir. The site commands extensive views for at least five miles east and west along Longdendale and would have been ideal for controlling the southern exit of Crowden Brook Valley. The monument survives as a sub-rectangular enclosure with rounded corners, a shape which is characteristic of Roman fortification construction. The enclosure is surrounded by a rampart and external ditch, although the rampart may have been partly removed by later small-scale quarrying. (4)

The site was visited in 2015 as part of on-going Scheduled Monument monitoring. A feeding trough was positioned in the centre of the monument; and stones had been used to make a rough low level wall. (5)

<1> F1 ISS 27-JUN-78 (Personal Observation). SDR6347.

<2> Hart, C (NDAT), 1981, The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, p. 90 (Bibliographic reference). SDR10777.

<3> NDAT, NDAT 3871 (Index). SDR14291.

<4> English Heritage, 2000, Scheduling Notification: Roman fortlet 320m east of Highstones, Cat. No.: 483 (Scheduling record). SDR18605.

<5> Groves, R (PDNPA Volunteer Ranger), 2015, Roman Fortlet 320m east of Highstones: Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form (Unpublished document). SDR23663.

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SDR6347 - Personal Observation: F1 ISS 27-JUN-78.
[2]SDR10777 - Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500. p. 90.
[3]SDR14291 - Index: NDAT. NDAT 3871.
[4]SDR18605 - Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Notification: Roman fortlet 320m east of Highstones. 29972. Cat. No.: 483.
[5]SDR23663 - Unpublished document: Groves, R (PDNPA Volunteer Ranger). 2015. Roman Fortlet 320m east of Highstones: Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form.