Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Grey Hill 930m south east of Ashycroft

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015735

Date first listed: 16-May-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Grey Hill 930m south east of Ashycroft
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Bewcastle

National Grid Reference: NY 57317 76261

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or indicated by groups of clearance cairns. Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The unenclosed stone hut circle settlement on Grey Hill survives well and remains unencumbered by modern development. It lies close to other prehistoric monuments on the fells around Bewcastle and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an unenclosed stone hut circle settlement located on a slightly elevated ridge on the western slopes of Grey Hill 930m south east of Ashycroft. The site occupies drier ground than the surrounding area and includes four stone hut circles of varying sizes together with a short length of stone banking. The northern stone hut circle measures 3m in diameter with a wall up to 0.3m high and has an entrance on its eastern side. Approximately 4m to the south there is a larger hut circle measuring 12m in diameter which occupies a low stone platform. Some 9m to the south of this there is an oval-shaped hut circle measuring c.9m by 5m externally with a wall up to 0.3m high. It has an entrance on the northern side and the hut's western wall projects northwards for a short distance, suggesting it offered the entrance protection from the elements. The fourth hut circle lies approximately 13m to the SSW; it measures c.10m in diameter with a wall up to 0.3m high and has an entrance on its eastern side. Some 22m to the south there is a stone bank up to 0.3m high and 16m long. It is aligned approximately north-south but has short returns at either end.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 27760

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing