Little Round Table henge

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1008237
Date first listed:
31-Mar-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Little Round Table henge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Cumbria
District:
Eden (District Authority)
Parish:
Yanwath and Eamont Bridge
National Grid Reference:
NY 52387 28180

Reasons for Designation

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.

Little Round Table is one of a group of three henges clustered near to the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther. Despite mutilation of the monument's eastern side by road construction, survey of the remainder of the monument together with limited excavation have confirmed the survival of the henge's low earthworks, entrance and outer ditch. It will contain evidence of the activities undertaken within the internal area.

Details

The monument includes much of the western half of Little Round Table henge. It is located on a comparatively flat alluvial river terrace between an escarpment to the west and the steep slope to the River Lowther to the east, and lies a short distance from the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther. The eastern half of the henge would have extended across to the present river bank. No archaeological remains have yet been confirmed to survive on this side of the monument and hence it is not included in the scheduling. Faint remains of the henge include a low curving bank on the northern side which measures some 30m in length and is up to c.4.9m wide by 0.15m high. On the southern side of the site there are remains of a low discontinuous earthen bank with some stone visible, much reduced and spread to a width of 9.4m and up to 0.3m high. Antiquarian reports noted an outer ditch surrounding the enclosure and an entrance at the NNE. Limited excavation in 1939 across the projected line of the monument's northern perimeter located the outer ditch and found it to be V-shaped in profile and up to 4m wide by 2m deep. The entrance to the monument was also located during the excavation. In 1988 further survey work found the monument to measure 92m in diameter overall. All fences, walls, railings, gateposts, and the surface of a farmtrack are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
23676
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Pennant, T, A Tour in Scotland; 1769, (1790), 277-8
Stuckley, W, Itinerarium Curiosum, (1776), 43
Atkinson, W, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. Old Ser.' in On Some Earthworks Near Eamont Bridge, , Vol. VI, (1883), 444-55
Bersu, G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in King Arthur's Round Table. Final Rep With App On Lit Round Table, , Vol. 40, (1940), 169-206
Topping, P, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in The Penrith Henges: A Survey By the RCHME, , Vol. 58, (1992), 249-64
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Henges, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Source Date: 1859 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Westmorland Sheet III, 16
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" Source Date: 1897 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Westmorland Sheet III, 16

Legal

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

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