Defended enclosure at Salterbeck
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007071
Date first listed: 16-Jul-1980
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 13:33:43.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Allerdale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: NX 99694 25865
Defended settlement, 490m north east of Beckstone Bridge.
Reasons for Designation
During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national importance.
Defended settlement 490m north east of Beckstone Bridge is preserved as a cropmark and a partial earthwork and will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and the environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. The monument provides insight into the character of fortified settlements during the Iron Age.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 31 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 remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date forming a protected promontory at the south west end of a ridge. The settlement, which is preserved as a cropmark and partial earthworks, includes a sub-circular enclosure measuring 54m by 69m, surrounded by partial concentric double ditches and part of a rampart. The form of the settlement indicates it to be of Iron Age date.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: CU 533
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing