Brierlow Quarry, Buxton, Derbyshire

Neolithic features at Brierlow Quarry, Buxton © ARS Ltd 2024
A look at pits F12 and F13 © ARS Ltd 2024
Several fragments of Grooved Ware pottery © ARS Ltd 2024

In 2010, 2015 and 2021 Archaeological Research Services Ltd undertook archaeological investigations during topsoil stripping at Brierlow Quarry, to the south of Buxton, on behalf of Lhoist UK Ltd, which revealed a number of features, some of which produced Neolithic pottery.

In all we excavated over 20 features, six of which were pits or postholes containing pottery. A further pit and two possible tree-throw features found on site contained human-struck flints.  It has been suggested that the ‘scoops’ created after trees have been blown over and the upstanding base of the trunk and roots acted as shelters where flint working and, potentially, other activities took place. Over 80 flints were recovered from the topsoil which were not only of Neolithic date but included debitage and a microlith dating to the Late Mesolithic period, and some flints, including a barbed and tanged arrowhead, which date to the Beaker period. The postholes, pits, pottery and suggest that the site was either visited or settled intermittently by small groups of people from the 5th to the late 3rd millennia BC.

The pottery from the features is a type of Late Neolithic pottery known as Grooved Ware. Some pieces of possible Beaker pottery were also found. Charred material recovered from some of the pits includes hazel, beech, alder, oak and Pomoideae species (e.g. apple, pear, hawthorn and rowan), including hazelnut shells and crab apples. Radiocarbon dates of 3029-2907 cal BC, 2893 – 2678 cal BC and 2201 – 2032 cal BC were obtained on some of the charred material. The earlier dates are in line with the dates for other Grooved Ware sites in Northern England (for example the date from St George’s Hospital, Morpeth).

Please use the ‘Links and Downloads’ page to access the project reports.

Archaeological Research Services Ltd