Derbyshire Archaeology Day supports restoration of pioneering Peak District antiquarian’s tomb

History lovers can help the Peak District National Park Foundation to fund restoration of a historic tomb, as Derbyshire Archaeology Day takes a new form.

The annual event, hosted by the heritage teams of the Peak District National Park and Derbyshire County Council, usually takes place at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it will be held online for the first time on February 5 and 6.


Thomas Bateman and his son by Thomas Joseph Banks. Copyright Museums Sheffield.

Archaeological discoveries will be highlighted through a series of two three-hour webinars.

Speakers will cover topics from the Roman period to the 19th century and, in addition, the event will celebrate two important anniversaries – the bicentenary of the birth of prominent local antiquarian Thomas Bateman (1821-1861) and the 70th birthday of the Peak District National Park.

The webinars are free, however there will be an option to make a donation to the Peak District National Park Foundation. All money raised from the webinars will help to restore Thomas Bateman’s grade-II listed tomb in Middleton-By-Youlgrave. To donate, visit

Thomas Bateman was born in November 1821 in Rowsley and became known locally as the pioneer of early archaeology. He was fascinated by Bronze Age burial mounds (barrows) and excavated more than 200 prehistoric barrows in the Peak District – earning himself the nickname ‘The Barrow Knight’.

Unlike many antiquarians working at that time, Thomas kept detailed records of his work and published his findings. He also made watercolour paintings of many of his excavation sites and artefacts.

Thomas held his collection at his home, Lomberdale House, in Middleton-by-Youlgrave. When he died, aged 39, he was buried – in line with his wishes – in a field near his home, rather than a churchyard. His tomb is topped by a stone replica of a Bronze Age collared urn.

Following his death, the collection of artefacts passed to his son, Thomas William Bateman. Today, Bateman artefacts can be found in institutions worldwide and Museums Sheffield will this year host a major exhibition about Thomas at Weston Park Museum. The exhibition will showcase an eclectic mix of objects, including several loans, highlighting Bateman’s pioneering collecting activity, network of connections and legacy.

The Derbyshire Archaeology Day webinars will include:

Friday 5 February, 1pm to 4pm
• Excavation at Staunton Lane End Cottage, Ticknall – Sue Brown (Ticknall Archaeological Research Group)
• Sadler Bridge Studios, Bold Lane, Derby. Activity at the fringe of medieval Derby -Richard Gregory (Oxford Archaeology North)
• Investigations at Dovecliff Weir, Egginton – Kris Krawiec (Trent and Peak Archaeology)
• Repairing two Bronze Age barrows in the Peak District after a moorland fire – Guy Salkeld (MoD)
• Navio Roman Fort – excavations at the vicus – Reuben Thorpe and Tom Parker (Archaeological Research Services)

Saturday 6 February 2021, 10am to 1pm
• Delving into stone mines on Cracken Edge – Elin Price
• Insights into historic buildings in Derbyshire and the Peak District – Matt Hurford (Hurford Archaeology)
• Excavations at Swarkestone Windmill – Helen Daniel (TVAS North Midlands)
• Monastic Granges of Derbyshire – Sue Woore

To register for the events, please follow the links:

• Friday 5 February 2021, 1pm to 4pm
• Saturday 6 February 2021, 10am to 1pm

Donate here.