Rock-cut buildings of Derbyshire and beyond

View Calendar
24/11/2023 19:30 - 21:00
St. Mary's Church Hall
Address: Darley Lane, Derby, DE1 3AX

Speaker: Edmund Simons

Rock-cut structures are found throughout the UK, but their highest concentrations are in the soft Permian and Triassic sandstones of the English Midlands, with the largest grouping in South Staffordshire, North Worcestershire and southern Shropshire, as well as the most famous group in and around Nottingham. There are important additional sites though, including very significant examples in Derbyshire.  Apart from in Nottingham City itself, many of the sites remain largely unstudied and at most the origin and use is obscure, with, perhaps, only their later history being known.

The Rock-Cut Buildings Project aims, for the first time, to quantify and record these structures, to create typologies and methodologies for understanding them and to develop areas for future research. The project has included collaboration with literary historians, archaeologists, geologists, conservation specialists and others. It is a work in progress, a first attempt to try and understand cave dwelling in the Midlands, its nature, origin, extent, and significance. This talk will detail the results of the project so far, concentrating on one of the most important case studies, Anchor Church near Foremarke, a site which typifies many of the known or suspected medieval sites in the wider study area. We will look at work already carried out and the potential for further archaeological and scientific investigation, as well as exploring similar sites elsewhere in the county and beyond.

Edmund Simons FSA is Associate Professor at the new Cultural Heritage institute (Royal Agricultural University). He is leading the project and has a particular life-long interest in rock-cut structures, he hails from Kinver Edge (Staffs, the largest concentration of rock-houses in the UK) and has worked on similar sites from Greece and Jordan to Ascension Island and South Georgia.

Local History Section

Related upcoming events

  • 13/01/2024 12:30 - 13/01/2024 16:00

    Join us for an afternoon at Strutts in Belper. A selection of material from the library will on on display and there will be series of short talks from members of the society describing their personal researches into the history and archaeology of the county.