Fin Cop Hillfort. Solving a derbyshire mystery
An excavated test pit
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Archaeological investigations

Prior to the work undertaken by Longstone Local History Group and Archaeological Research Services Ltd, three main episodes of archaeological intervention have been recorded at the site of Fin Cop, though it is possible that further small scale investigations have taken place and remain unrecorded. The first antiquarian excavation recorded was that of Hayman Rooke in 1795, when the renowned antiquarian excavated a ‘bowl barrow’ or cairn. Rooke undertook the excavation when he heard that a tenant farmer was going to destroy the barrow for limestone. He records that the barrow was originally one hundred and sixty one feet in circumference (making it approximately 15.6m diameter), and rose to a considerable height, showing that the cairns within the hillfort were a prominent feature.

The second recorded episode of intervention was in the early 20th century by Major T. Harris. Harris was a local antiquarian and he excavated a barrow on the southern shoudler of Fin Cop, discovering over 30 human burials. Unfortunately there is no fully published account of this excavation available, with the only published report having appeared in the High Peak News in 1925.

The only modern archaeological intervention to have taken place was a small evaluation trench by Wilson and English (1993), and was situated across a suspect outer bank of the main enclosure further downslope from the recent work.

The archaeological reports and leaflet produced by Archaeological Research Services Ltd are available for download below. Each report is in PDF format, click the link to open (opens in a new browser window) or right-click the link and choose ‘save as’ to download to your computer.

Wilson, J. and English, E. 1998. Investigation of a ditch and bank at Fin Cop at Monsal Head, Ashford. Derbyshire. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 118: 86-93.

Images copyright Archaeological Research Services Ltd. 2011.