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


Natural Rock Feature


In 1691 the 'remarkable Ashover personality of later Stuart times', Leonard Wheatcroft, wrote in his autobiography "And in that yeare I bu(i)lde(d) the fabrick upon the top of Ashover Hill, upon which I made a song which you may find in my booke of poetry'. This records how on April 11 1689 Wheatcroft had lit a bonfire on the hilltop to celebrate the coronation of King William of Orange and Queen Mary Stuart and that he had decided to "bu(i)ld me up a fabrick, to behould each pleasant day". It was obviously intended as a kind of rustic folly or summer house where he and his friends could celebrate the Protestant Succession. We have some knowledge of the appearance of his 'Fabrick' as it was recorded on a plan and elevation by Hayman Rooke in 1784. This shows that the natural rock outcrop sloping from north-east to south-west had been built up with squared stone to create an oval tower-like structure measuring 9 ft by 6 ft. The top of the wall has the effect of being battlemented, but this may simply be the result of years of decay. An entrance was left at the south-east side and around the inside of the horseshoe-shaped wall was a continuous stone seat. The top of the rock seems to have been made up with earth or stones to form a flat but sloping floor, in the middle of which stood an oval stone 'table'. The sketch agrees with Wheatcroft's own description of the structure. "This fabrickes bu(i)lded like an ovall, 'tis neaither square nore loung nor round". He also mentioned that "in it there is but one doore". Whether it ever had a roof or any type of wooden superstructure is not clear but no trace of this artificial building now remains.

From the Derbyshire HER
stubob Posted by stubob
1st April 2013ce

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