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Castle How hillfort

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: Castle How hillfort

List entry Number: 1013384

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Allerdale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Wythop

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Jun-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Oct-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 23792

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

In the northern uplands a number of small hillforts or fortified enclosures of varying shape have been identified. These are all located on hilltops or distinctive craggy knolls, generally have an internal area of less than 1ha, and are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more closely set earthworks, usually ditches with or without adjacent banks or ramparts. Ditches are often rock cut and the associated ramparts, where they exist, are usually largely of stone construction. These defences entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories or rocky knolls, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. The layout of the site is heavily dependent upon the topography of the location. The core area of the site, where the main living accommodation was provided, normally occupies the highest position on the hill or crag. Additional living or working areas are also frequently located between or within the surrounding earthworks and may take the form of rock cut levelled areas which enhance lower natural terraces on the hill. They are mostly of Iron Age date and are contemporary with other more common hillfort types. Some, however, may have been reused or have been new constructions in post Roman times. Hillforts of this type are rare, with fewer than 100 identified examples in England. In view of this rarity, their importance for hillfort studies, and their importance for understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of national importance. Castle How hillfort is a good example of this class of monument. It survives well and its defensive earthworks in particular remain well preserved. It will retain evidence of the activities undertaken within the site and the methods utilised in its defence.

History

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

Details

The monument includes Castle How hillfort. It is located on the summit of Castle How, a rocky hillock rising steeply above the western shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. The ground falls steeply on the monument's north and south sides. To the east and west there are earthworks which defend the fort along its easiest line of approach. These defences include a series of four rock cut ditches with banks and counterscarps on the western side, and two rock cut ditches with banks and counterscarps on the eastern side. Access into the hillfort's interior is on the eastern side via a path which passes through a gap in the outer bank and across a causeway over the inner ditch. This entrance is defended by a rocky hummock c.2m high located between the inner and outer ditches, and which is dished out artificially so as to provide a rock breastwork. The summit of the hillfort is an artificially levelled plateau measuring c.38.5m east-west by 18m north-south. The north side of the summit is raised up to 0.7m high suggesting it formed the footings of an earth or stone rampart of which no other trace now exists. On the south east side of the summit, overlooking the inner ditch, there is a small ledge measuring c.6.5m by 2.7m which is interpreted as a hut platform. On this ledge R G Collingwood found fragments of pot boilers (cobbles which would be heated then dropped into pots of water) during an inspection of the site in the early 1920's. Also visible during Collingwood's inspection was a cobble stone revetment in the innermost western and outermost eastern ditches and along the northern edge of the hillfort just below the summit. Amongst the stones used for this revetment Collingwood found more pot boilers and pieces of red sandstone, one of which had parallel chisel tooling which he interpreted as being of Roman origin and which was given to Keswick Museum, and another which he considered to be part of a Roman roofing tile.

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
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Castle How, Peel Wyke, , Vol. XXIV, (1924), 78-87

National Grid Reference: NY 20173 30827

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1013384 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 03:10:27.

End of official listing