Hob Hurst's House

History of Hob Hurst’s House

This site lies high on the gritstone moorlands of Harland Edge, above Beeley in the Peak District, reached from the nearest road by a stiff uphill walk of about 2km (1.25 miles).

The word ‘hob’ – meaning a sprite, bogey or hobgoblin – features in many Peak District place names. This place may have been known locally as belonging to ‘Hob o’ th’ Hurst’. 

Aerial view of Hob Hursts House, high in the moorlands of the Peak District
Aerial view of Hob Burst's House, high in the moorlands of the Peak District

Description

The monument comprises a rectangular mound measuring 8 x 7.5 metres (26 x 25 feet) retained by drystone walling.

Surrounding the mound are a steep-sided ditch and low outer bank, which at its crest measures 16 x 16.5 metres (52 x 54 feet). The ditch may be a later feature, from a time when stone was taken from the site to build nearby drystone walls. On the north side the bank has been damaged by a packhorse track.

At the centre of the mound is a rectangular cluster of stones, measuring 3.5 x 2 metres (11.5 x 6.5 feet) internally.

Although the stones might have functioned as a burial chamber, with the spaces between them spanned by capstones, they might also have been designed as an open setting.

Thomas Bateman excavated the site in 1853 and found evidence of a cremation, and two pieces of galena, or lead ore, surrounded by an arc of small stones.

Many of the barrow mounds in the Peak District are known to date from the Bronze Age, although the unusual form of this example has led some to suggest that it might be significantly later, perhaps of Iron Age date.

Plan of Hob Hursts House earthworks
Plan of Hob Hurst's House

Note

The text on this page is derived from the Heritage Unlocked series of guidebooks, published in 2002–6. We intend to update and enhance the content as soon as possible to provide more information on the property and its history.

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