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Foundations N of St Oswald's Church

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Foundations N of St Oswald's Church

List entry Number: 1004590


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ravenstonedale

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Oct-1938

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CU 306

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Monastic cell, 143m south east of Stepsbeck Bridge.

Reasons for Designation

From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597 to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious communities, including monasteries, were built to house communities of monks, canons (priests), and sometimes lay brothers, living a common life of religious observance under some form of systematic discipline. It is estimated from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England. These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to tiny establishments with a handful of brethren. They belonged to a wide variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout, although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship, learning, and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals farming estates and tenant villages. The Gilbertine order, thought to have been the only order to originate in England, was initially established for men and women. The founder, St Gilbert of Sempringham, founded double houses from 1131 until his death in 1189. After this time the houses founded were mainly for canons. Of the total of 29 Gilbertine foundations, 16 were for men. The order originated in Lincolnshire and most of the houses were established in that county, although others were established throughout eastern England. Small numbers of Gilbertine canons sometimes served hospitals, and at Old Malton, Yorkshire, a training and retreat house was established. As a rare type of monastery, all examples retaining significant remains of medieval date are worthy of protection.

Monastic cell 143m south east of Stepsbeck Bridge is reasonably well-preserved as both upstanding remains and buried archaeological deposits. The monument is representative of its period and provides insight into monastic life during the medieval period.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 23 March 2016.This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of a monastic cell of medieval date, situated on level ground close to Coldbeck. The upstanding remains stand to a height of approximately 1.5m and include a range constructed from rubble with a small porch and part of a staircase. The remains of windows, doorways and fireplaces are also visible. Partial excavation has revealed that the remainder of the buildings survive as buried foundations. The monument was a Cell of the Gilbertine Cannons of Whatton founded in 1336 and was in use until the dissolution.

Selected Sources

PastScape Monument No:- 14792

National Grid Reference: NY 72218 04293


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End of official listing