Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure and hollow way


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011683

Date first listed: 16-Oct-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Feb-1995


Ordnance survey map of Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure and hollow way
© 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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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster (District Authority)

Parish: Quernmore

National Grid Reference: SD 52725 62387


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 past ploughing which has reduced the defences on the monument's eastern side, Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure survives reasonably well. It overlooks a tributary of the River Lune and is one of a number of prehistoric and Romano-British settlements similarly located in close proximity to the Lune valley. The monument will contribute to any further study of early settlement patterns in the area.


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


The monument includes Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure and associated hollow way. It is located on a small promontory on the western edge of a spur of high land with a steep declivity to the west and north. The enclosure has internal measurements of approximately 77m north-south by 70m east-west and is defended by an external shallow ditch c.11m wide. There are two entrances into the enclosure; one on the north side, the other on the south side. On the monument's south west side, and commencing adjacent to the southern entrance, there is a distinct counterscarp bank approximately 5m wide which becomes steeper on the western side of the site until it forms a deep cutting or hollow way up to 14m wide which is interpreted as a trackway. The hollow way deepens as it moves clockwise from the south west of the site and is then cut tangentially away from the enclosure and across and down the hillslope towards Lythe Brow Wood. All modern field boundaries, a pond situated within the eastern part of the enclosure and the fencing surrounding the pond are all excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath 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.


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

Legacy System number: 23760

Legacy System: RSM


Site owner to Robinson,K.D. MPPAFW, Hughes, Mr , (1994)
SMR No. 2755, Lancs SMR, Near Quernmore Park,

End of official listing