From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Ryknild Street Fortlet, Castle Hill Camp

53°04'58.6"N 1°25'31.8"W
Plowed Out

  • History
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Ryknild Street Fortlet also known as Castle Hill Roman Camp is located on Castle Hill between Oakerthorpe and Pentrich, Derbyshire.

Although not much remains today, it was first spotted in 1769 by Pegge, who recorded a square camp with a double vallum. It lies in a commanding position on a ridge-top overlooking Ryknild Street. Both the rampart and the hollow over the ditch-system are about 30 ft. wide. There is a gate in the centre of each of the north and south sides, where a gap occurs in the rampart and a causeway leads across the ditch.

Trenches were dug in 1909, discovering a layer of un-mortared paving just below the turf. 14 pottery fragments were found and identified as Roman by John Ward. A small Neolithic flint scraper was also found. Sadly Smithard gives a very disjointed report on what was a very badly executed excavation. No plans or sections are given and the illustrations of pottery sherds are not very informative.

In 1956 - 7, the excavations revealed evidence of timber buildings, but nothing more permanent was found. The material at Coneygrey Farm has come from sporadic excavations by different groups of people in the past 20-30 years.

Today the earthworks are covered in long grass and appear to have been flattened slightly since the excavations 1959. The adjacent fields are all arable without surface indications of other works.

Castle Hill Camp is scheduled as an ancient monument.