Hardendale medieval dispersed settlement and site of medieval monastic grange
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1016759
Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
Parish: Shap Rural
National Grid Reference: NY 58222 14679, NY 58274 14590
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Cumbria-Solway sub-Province of the Northern and
Western Province, an area characterised by dispersed hamlets and farmsteads,
but with some larger nucleated settlements in well-defined agriculturally
favoured areas, established after the Norman Conquest. Traces of seasonal
settlements, or shielings, dominate the high, wet and windy uplands, where
surrounding communities grazed their livestock during the summer months.
The Eden Valley local region is a rich agricultural lowland ringed by mountain
pastures. It is densely settled with small market towns, villages, hamlets and
isolated farmsteads. Medieval castles and monasteries, a multitude of
earthwork sites and the distinctive mix of Celtic, Scottish, English,
Scandinavian and Norman place-names all testify to the ancient and long
sustained occupation of this important region.
In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single (or principal) nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence instead of small settlement units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across the area. These small settlements usually have a degree of interconnection with their neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enourmously from region to region, but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include roads and other minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In areas where stone was used for building, the outline of building foundations may still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlement frequently include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed medieval settlement are found in both the South Eastern and Northern and Western Provinces of England. They are found in upland and also some lowland areas. Where found, their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of information about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. A monastic grange was a farm owned and run by a monastic community and independent of the secular manorial system of communal agriculture and servile labour. The function of granges was to provide food and raw materials for consumption within the parent monastic house itself, and also to provide surpluses for sale for profit. The first monastic granges appeared in the twelfth century but they continued to be constructed and used until the Dissolution. This system of agriculture was pioneered by the Cistercian order but was soon imitated by other orders. Some granges were worked by resident lay-brothers (secular workers) of the order but others were staffed by non-resident labourers. The majority of granges practiced a mixed economy but some were specialist in their function. Five types of grange are known: agrarian farms, bercaries (sheep farms), vaccaries (cattle ranches), horse studs and industrial complexes. Granges could be found wherever a monastic site held lands and on occasion these could be located some considerable distance from the parent monastery. The number of monastic granges which originally existed is not precisely known but can be estimated at several thousand. Of these, however, only a small percentage can be accurately located on the ground today. Of this group of identifiable sites, continued intensive use of many has destroyed much of the evidence of archaeological remains. In view of the importance of granges to medieval rural and monastic life, all sites exhibiting good archaeological survival are identified as nationally important. The monument is a rare example in north west England of a medieval dispersed settlement which developed out of an earlier medieval monastic grange. Despite being partly overlain by post-medieval development, a substantial proportion of the medieval dispersed settlement of Hardendale survives reasonably well. It is a good example of this class of monument in the Eden Valley local region and will add greatly to our understanding of the wider settlement and economy during the medieval period. In addition, buried remains of the medieval grange will also survive.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes earthworks and buried remains of Hardendale medieval
dispersed settlement, considered to have been founded as a medieval monastic
grange during the 13th century. It is located at 320m OD on a limestone ridge
approximately 2km ESE of Shap village, adjacent to the point where land
suitable for arable cultivation and meadow gives way to higher, poorer quality
land suitable only for grazing. It is in two separate areas of protection.
Although the date of the first settlement at Hardendale is unknown, the place-
name is first mentioned in documentary sources in 1235. Hardendale belonged to
Byland Abbey, Yorkshire, until the Dissolution in the 16th century and is
considered to have been a monastic grange specialising in cattle farming (a
vaccary) or sheep farming (a bercary). The settlement remains in occupation
today; the scheduling includes those parts of the settlement which were
abandoned but are still identifiable, including tofts or house platforms and
crofts or garden areas and associated small enclosures. Although Hardendale is
identified as an upland medieval dispersed settlement it does contain features
found in larger medieval villages; such features survive immediately to the
west of the main street and include a relatively regular arrangement of three
building platforms and assorted crofts and rectangular enclosures which pre-
date the existing post-medieval field system. This complex of building
platforms and enclosures forms a `compartment' behind which are the earthwork
remains of a back lane running approximately parallel with the main street.
Other earthwork remains of the medieval settlement, including a boundary bank,
small enclosures and faint traces of building platforms, lie to the east of
the main street in a triangular-shaped area of land between Hardendale Hall
and the main street.
All modern field boundaries, gateposts, telegraph poles, and a ruined stone
outhouse are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these
features is included. A septic tank in the field north of Raby Cottage is
totally excluded from the scheduling.
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: 32823
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Roberts, B K, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Five Westmorland Settlements: A Comparative Study, , Vol. 93, (1993), 132-43
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