Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age Hillfort
West of Castleton, Derbyshire OS Map Ref SK128837
OS Maps - Landranger 110 (Sheffield & Huddersfield), Explorer OL1 (The Peak District - Dark Peak Area)
Looking north to Mam Tor. The line of defenses can be seen as the narrow light band below the summit.
The mighty hill of Mam Tor
(sometimes known as the Shivering Mountain because of landslides on its
eastern side) stands at the western end of the Hope valley above Castleton
with the Vale of Edale just to the north and offers as fine a view of
the surrounding landscape as just about any site you could find. The first
evidence of prehistoric use of the hill comes from the Bronze
Age but it must have been a significant place to people long before
that - indeed a polished stone axe and flints
from the Neolithic
had been found here. The first Bronze Age remains at the site consist
of 2 round
barrows near the top of the hill - one actually has a trig point that
records the height as 517 metres above sea level. This particular barrow
is quite low and is now cobbled to protect it from damage but the other
barrow to the southwest is quite well preserved despite having a large
crater-like hole in its top. Both barrows have fine views to the north,
south and west.
The southwest entrance to the hillfort.
Inner bank, berm and silted ditch on the south side.
Barrow near the southwest entrance.
Satellite view of Mam Tor. The black dashed line shows the inner rampart with the outer defenses being visible along the western side while the sheer scale of the earthwork can be judged from the size of the road snaking across the lower left of the picture. The area of landslides across the southeastern edge of the hill which gives it its distinctive profile are also clearly visible.
The antiquarian view - drawing of the earthworks of Mam Tor taken from 'Sketch of a Tour into Derbyshire and Yorkshire' published in 1783 by William Bray. It is interesting to note that even over 200 years ago the hillside was subject to landslides (shown as the area marked 'I' on the lower left).
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