Fin Cop Hillfort. Solving a derbyshire mystery
The Longstone School well dressing, telling their version of the Fin Cop story
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The story of Fin Cop

The site of Fin Cop has been the focus of activities over many years, with the most obvious and visible being the hillfort or scarp edge enclosure that dates to the Iron Age. The hilltop was a place for burying the dead during the Early Bronze Age, with some burial mounds still visible today. A number of finds of Neolithic worked stone from the interior of the site attest to activity during the fourth-third millennia BC, and even further back in time, the Mesolithic hunter gatherers of the Peak came to Fin Cop to quarry the raw chert from the ground to make their tools.

The Iron Age fort is the most prominent monument on the site today, and is one of the larger examples of hilltop enclosures in the Peak District. The fort encloses an area of some 4 hectares, with good preservation of the ramparts (although these have been heavily robbed for the stone in places along the length). The site had never previously been subjected to systematic excavation and so it was unknown whether there were any surviving interior features. The recent excavations, however, have shown there to be a greater depth of soil than previously thought, and this has important implications for the potential survival of artefacts and structures, and the alkali nature of the soil on the limestone bedrock means that bone survive well.

Please use the ‘Through time’ navigation above to read about the activities at Fin Cop and its surroundings, from the Mesolithic through to the post-medieval period.

Below is the Fin Cop earthwork survey showing the location of the excavation trenches.

Fin Cop earthwork survey showing the location of the excavation trenches
Images copyright Archaeological Research Services Ltd., 2011.