On Tuesday the 2nd of December the four of us visited first the Bull Ring at Dove Holes and then Mam Tor just outside Castleton, in Derbyshire.
The Bull Ring (found at SK085775) is a scheduled Neolithic Henge with a single earthen bank surrounding an area of around 90x93m comprising two entrances orientated north and south. Around 15m to the south west are the remains of a Oval Barrow with a Bowl Barrow built on top of it.
Mam Tor (found at SK125835) is a scheduled late Bronze Age to early Iron Age hillfort situated at the head of the Hope valley. There are two barrows located within the fort and what are thought to be house platforms are also visible. On the south side of the hillfort is a landslip removing some of the bank and ditch perimeter.
Both sites were well worth the visit, however the henge at Dove Holes is not in such an aesthetically pleasing location as others in the area, such as Arbor Low (however both are very similar in form). The visit to the Hope valley also offers the opportunity to view defensive structures from other periods, including the Navio Roman Fort and Peveril Castle above the fortified town of Castleton. The location and form of these structures reflects the changing land use in different periods as well as social change shown by the shift from the large communal forts of the Iron Age to the segregation in the middle ages between town and lord.
As picturesque as both places are in view when covered in snow it doesn’t do much when trying to view the archaeology! Or if you do be prepared to wrap up warm!