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Maiden Castle univallate prehistoric defended enclosure

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: Maiden Castle univallate prehistoric defended enclosure

List entry Number: 1008633

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Matterdale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Jul-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 23687

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

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Despite plough damage to the defences on the north and west sides of the monument, Maiden Castle univallate prehistoric defended enclosure survives reasonably well. It lies towards the edge of an area where the rich agricultural soils of the Eden valley and its tributary valleys supported a considerable prehistoric and Romano-British population from Neolithic times onwards. The monument will contribute to any further study of early settlement patterns in the area.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes Maiden Castle univallate defended enclosure. It is located on a plateau on the south east facing slopes of Soulby Fell and includes a roughly circular enclosure defended by a rampart, ditch and counterscarp bank. The enclosure measures approximately 65m in diameter and contains internal earthworks which include two sub-circular low platforms c.8m in diameter which are interpreted as house platforms. Defending the enclosure is an earth and stone rampart, a ditch and a counterscarp bank. The rampart measures c.5m wide by 1m high, the ditch measures c.5m wide by 0.5m deep, and the counterscarp bank measures c.5m wide by 0.2m high. All modern field boundaries and gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Ferguson, C, Archaeological Survey of Cumberland & Westmorland
Challis, , Harding, , 'British Archaeological Reports' in Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne, , Vol. 20 pt ii, (1975), 51
Maclean, H, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Caerthannoc or Maidencastle, Soulby Fell, , Vol. XII, (1912), 143-6
Other
Letter to Maclean,Rev.H. in CW12 p144, Forster, R H, (1912)

National Grid Reference: NY 45124 24354

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008633 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 05:46:34.

End of official listing