Prehistoric enclosed hut circle settlement, an associated enclosure, and a bowl barrow NNE of Appleby Slack
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- South Lakeland (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 28837 74520
Reasons for Designation
Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of
prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-
based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor
area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The
huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or
be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated
field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by
areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other
enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their
relationship with other monument types provides important information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Within the upland landscape of Cumbria there are many discrete plots of land originally enclosed by stone walls, ditches, timber palisades, or banks of stone and earth, some of which date to the Bronze Age, though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of these enclosures may therefore vary depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Bowl barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds which covered single or multiple burials and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in form and longevity provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite limited excavation, the prehistoric enclosed hut circle settlement, associated enclosure, and bowl barrow north of Appleby Slack survive reasonably well and remain unencumbered by modern development. The monument is one of a number of prehistoric monuments on Birkrigg Common and it indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.
The monument includes a prehistoric enclosed hut circle settlement, an
associated enclosure, and a bowl barrow located on Birkrigg Common at the
northern end of a shallow valley known as Appleby Slack. The enclosed hut
circle settlement includes a pear-shaped enclosure with maximum internal
measurements of approximately 40m north-south by 35m east-west. The enclosure
is defended by a turf-covered bank of limestone rubble up to 4m wide and 1m
high. There is an entrance on the enclosure's eastern side and internally
there are traces of three hut circles. Immediately to the south west of the
hut circle settlement there is a large stock enclosure with maximum internal
measurements of approximately 105m north west - south east by 75m north east -
south west. It is enclosed by a turf-covered bank of limestone rubble which is
best preserved on the eastern side where it measures 5m wide and 0.4m high.
Immediately outside the northern corner of this stock enclosure, in the area
between the enclosure and the hut circle settlement, there is a flat-topped
circular earth and stone bowl barrow measuring c.12m in diameter and up to
1.1m high on the downslope east side and 0.2m high on the upslope west side.
Excavation of the barrow in 1912 by the North Lonsdale Field Club located
three urns containing cremated bone and charcoal, and five burial pits each
containing fragments of cremated bone and charcoal. One of the urns was
inverted and packed around with sharp stone flakes. Within this urn were stone
tools `very like arrow or spear heads or very primitive knives or scrapers'
according to the excavator.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Gelderd, C, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Some Birkrigg Barrows, , Vol. XIV, (1914), 472-79
AP No. 2669,29, Cumbria SMR No. 2324, Camp N of Appleby Slack, (1986)
AP No. 2669,30, Cumbria SMR, Camp N of Appleby Slack, (1986)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
SMR No. 2324, Cumbria SMR, Camp N of Appleby Slack, (1986)
SMR No. 2324, Cumbria SMR, MPP Monument Evaluation Form - Settlements (RB) Enclosures, (1992)
SMR No. 2325, Cumbria SMR, Camp North of Appleby Slack, (1986)
SMR No. 2325, Cumbria SMR, MPP Monument Evaluation Form - Settlements (RB) Enclosures, (1992)
SMR No. 2369, Cumbria SMR, Birkrigg, (1986)
SMR NO.s 2324 & 2325, Cumbria SMR, MPP Monument Evaluation Form - Settlements (RB) Enclosures, (1992)
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