The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Rainster Rocks

Natural Rock Feature


Rainster Rocks lies near the south western end of a chain of dolomitic limestone outcrops that start in the north east at Harboro' Rocks moving through Longcliffe Crags and finishing at Black Rocks.
Smaller in area than Harboro' or Longcliffe the outcrop at Rainster is impressive because of its height.
With both the outcrops to the NE having a prehistory, (Harboro' Rocks where a Neolithic passage grave was erected and a Neolithic cave burial was located along with signs of Palaeolithic activity and Longcliffe Crags where Rains Cave is sited), I've often wondered about Rainster Rocks and whether they were an important part of the ancient landscape.
So over the last 5 or 6 years I've been searching the area around the rocks for any kind of evidence. At the south side of the rocks is a Romano-British settlement and lead rake and this is noted in the NMR.
The area is also heavily marked with Medieval ridge and furrow so any chance of finding a long lost barrow wasn't on the cards....but what there was was a prolific amount of mole I took my chance with them after successes with this method elsewhere in the Peak.
After a year or two with no success I started to take the lads up there with me to help me look....I showed them a piece of flint so they knew roughly what they were looking for and the youngest promptly went to a mole hill and recovered what looked to be a flint awl.
That was all that we found and nothing more turned up for several years until this year. Checking the mole hills this year I've found up to now what looks to be the rough out of a small flint axe and also a small quartzite celt (at least I think thats what they are, I'm trying to get in touch with the small finds officer at Derby's museum to confirm my beliefs).
While I know that a couple of random finds prove nothing the rocks lie within 2 miles of the Neolithic/Mesolithic sites of Minninglow Hill and Tithe Farm, the Mesolithic site at Hoe Grange and the Neolithic sites at Roystone Rocks and Curzon Lodge.
stubob Posted by stubob
22nd February 2011ce
Edited 22nd February 2011ce

Comments (4)

Nice work there mate, you gotta love the moles. megadread Posted by megadread
22nd February 2011ce
I would say all 3 of your items are definite artifacts. There are clear signs of working to both the flint items and the (quartzite?) celt looks very promising aswell.
I have visited Rainster Rocks several times and I am sure it would have been a focus of activity in prehistoric times - it is such a prominent and imposing place that it would be impossible to not be venerated by our ancestors. I still venerate it today.
Keep up the good fieldwork and be sure to report all finds as they may lead to larger professional investigation if you find enough items in 1 place.
Rachel Atherton is the Portable Antiquities Officer (based in Derby Museum).
Rock on
Blingo_von_Trumpenst Posted by Blingo_von_Trumpenst
23rd February 2011ce
Your persistence has definitely paid off Stu, wonderful stuff. fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
25th February 2011ce
You might want to check out Nut Wood, a short distance from Longcliffe crags.
I found a stone staircase and what appears to be a stone seat at the top of a cliff.
Very reminiscent of features at harborough rocks and behind the druid's inn. no idea as to the age of the site though.
Posted by wolf
29th August 2015ce
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