Archaeology at Longcliffe

Evidence of an Early Neolithic Settlement Found at Longcliffe

Evidence of an early Neolithic settlement and possible cereal cultivation has recently been revealed in a dig conducted by Archaeological Research Services at Curzon Lodge, Longcliffe, near Brassington in Derbyshire.
The work was undertaken on behalf of Longcliffe, prior to the development of the land for the building of the company's new transport depot and workshops. The site lies less than 1km north-west of the distinctive dolomitic ridge of Harborough Rocks, an area of considerable prehistoric activity, lead-mining and quarrying.

An Important Location for the Early Neolithic Period

The archaeological evidence from the site is thought to be related to a small-scale domestic settlement dating to the early Neolithic period. Artefacts found ranged from prehistoric stone chipped tools and worked flint to sherds of Neolithic pottery. Two hearth-pits were also uncovered during the excavation which provided radiocarbon dates spanning the later centuries of the 4th millennium BC.

It is likely the site had been damaged in the past, and possible structural evidence destroyed, which means that a more widespread settlement could have been possible. Whether large formal rectangular buildings once existed, as has been evidenced at nearby sites such as Lismore Fields near Buxton, remains unknown. However, the wealth of finds from the Longcliffe area suggests that Longcliffe and Brassington formed an important location for Neolithic settlements.