MAM TOR A Bronze Age Hill-fort?
by David Coombs
MAM TOR, Derbyshire (SK 128837) is at 1,696 ft. O.D. one of the highest hill forts in Britain. Situated in the Peak District at the south end of the Pennines it sits atop the highest point of a hog backed ridge of shale and sandstone with commanding views on all sides. Today it is owned by the National Trust (who kindly gave their per mission to excavate) and is a well known local monument, dramatic in summer, though in winter it is bleak and inhospitable. Between 1965-9 the site was used as a training excavation by Manchester University and has become one of the most interesting of the recent hill fort excavations.
The fort is tongue shaped, the defences consisting of a single bank and ditch of circumference 1,200 yards, which encloses an area of c. 16 acres. The southern end is subject to landslides and here the defences are broken. There are indications of simple inturned entrances at the southern and northern ends. At present the height of the rampart above the ditch is 25-30 ft.
Before excavation began a proton magnetometer survey was carried out by Michael Tite in the northeastern sector of the fort and the anomalies where tested produced evidence of occupation in the form of pottery, hearths or gullies. On the ground it is possible to see many