Castleton is today a nucleated village in Derbyshire lying in the Vale of Hope in Derbyshire Peak District National Park. The village lies immediately north of Peveril Castle (SAM 13268), with the Peakshole Water river running around its west and north sides. The village thus occupies a position which is naturally both prominent and well-protected. Additional protection was afforded to the settlement in the medieval period by the Town Ditch (SAM 29937), which enclosed an area c. 1km square within which a small medieval town was regularly planned on a rectilinear gridded layout just outside the entrance to the castle. The Town Ditch is today visible as an earthwork feature on the north-west and south-east sides of the present village. Most of the rest of its former line can easily be traced in present property boundaries. The presence of the Town Ditch would also have served to emphasise the importance of the settlement which was the possession of one of the most important castles in the Peak District.
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