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Prehistoric stone circle, trackway, cairnfields, funerary cairns, hut circles, Romano-British farmstead and a medieval field system, 1.1km SE of Stainton

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: Prehistoric stone circle, trackway, cairnfields, funerary cairns, hut circles, Romano-British farmstead and a medieval field system, 1.1km SE of Stainton

List entry Number: 1016988

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Waberthwaite

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Sep-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Oct-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32830

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

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post- medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as nationally important.

In Cumbria several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non-defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. These homesteads were being built and used by non-Roman natives throughout the Roman occupation and their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important. Medieval enclosed field systems comprise fields defined and enclosed by a physical boundary. These boundaries can take various forms including walls, hedges, earth and stone banks and ditches. Component features common to most enclosed field systems include ridge and furrow and lynchets. The development of enclosed field systems during the medieval period was a response to population pressure and expansion onto marginal land, and the extent and morphology of these field systems resulted from the nature of the topography and social and economic constraints such as the size of the population they were intended to support. The majority of enclosed field systems are thought to have been used for pasture but others contained cultivated ground. Some continued in use throughout the post-medieval period and are a major feature of the modern landscape. They occur widely throughout England with a tendancy towards upland areas associated with largely dispersed settlement patterns. Medieval enclosed field systems offer good opportunities for understanding medieval rural economy and provide valuable evidence regarding the morphology of field systems, their extent and distribution. The prehistoric stone circle, trackway, cairnfields, funerary cairns and hut circles, 1.1km south east of Stainton survive well and form part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. The monument contains a complex and diverse group of prehistoric monument classes and together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times. Additionally a Romano-British farmstead survives well, is a good example of this class of monument, and will facilitate any further study of Romano- British settlement patterns in the area. The medieval enclosed field system also survives well and will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and economy during the medieval period. Overall the monument is a rare example of a landscape within which evidence of human exploitation is visible through a range of remarkably well-preserved monuments dating to the prehistoric, Romano-British and medieval periods.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of a prehistoric stone circle, a trackway, four cairnfields, two funerary cairns, two hut circles, a Romano-British farmstead and a medieval enclosed field system. It is located on gently-sloping unenclosed moorland on Waberthwaite Fell, 1.1km south east of Stainton Beck and represents evidence for the prehistoric, Romano-British and medieval exploitation of this landscape. The prehistoric stone circle is located at SD13429386 and includes a circle of 15 granite stones approximately 20m in diameter. Some of the stones on the circle's western side may have been disturbed because they now form part of the enclosure wall of an adjacent Romano-British farmstead. This enclosure measures approximately 32m in diameter and has an entrance on its eastern side. Internally there is a hut circle immediately north of the entrance and there are traces of a second hut circle and a small cairn on the enclosure's western side. A Romano-British penannular brooch was found here during limited excavation in 1957. A short distance south west of the farmstead, located on either side of Whitrow Beck, are two parallel stone banks which are interpreted as marking the course of a broad trackway. The banks are about 50m apart and approximately 165m long. A cairnfield centred at SD13309385 and consisting of about 80 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank lies to the north east, north west, west and south west of the Romano-British farmstead and extends between the trackway's stone banks and to the south of the trackway. A second cairnfield, located south of Whitrow Beck and centred at SD13019354, also consists of about 80 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank. Within this cairnfield are two small funerary cairns; the larger being oval-shaped and measuring 4.9m by 4.1m and 0.2m high, the smaller measuring 4m in diameter and 0.3m high. Both cairns are edged with a stone kerb and are encircled by a shallow ditch. Also within this cairnfield are two small hut circles; the southern hut circle is the smaller and measures about 2.6m in diameter while the northern hut circle measures 6.7m in diameter. Centred at approximately the same location as this cairnfield is a medieval enclosed field system consisting of four sub-rectangular fields, three of which are partially bounded by stone banks and lynchets. Material for constructing these stone banks appears to have been obtained from the cairnfield as no cairns lie adjacent to the stone banks, suggesting there has been systematic robbing, whilst some remaining cairns display clear evidence of stone robbing. The southernmost of the four fields is the only one not bounded by stone banks and lynchets; its southern boundary was formed by a trackway, part of which still survives in the modern enclosed field system immediately to the south west. Within this southern field, close to its north east corner and its junction with the next field to the north, there is a rectangular stone-walled enclosure. The adjacent field to the north has a narrow entrance on its northern side immediately off a trackway which separates it from the northernmost of the four fields. The northernmost field is bounded on its north east side by a small tributory of Whitrow Beck. Two lengths of stone banking within this field suggest it may have originally have been subdivided. To the west of this field, and separated by a trackway, is the fourth field which is partly bounded by a combination of banks and lynchets. A third cairnfield lies on either side of Whitrow Beck to the east of the Romano-British farmstead and is centred at approximately SD13729395. It consists of about 100 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank. The fourth cairnfield is considerably smaller than the others and is centred at SD13979375 on rising ground between Red Gill and Whitrow Beck. It consists of seven clearance cairns and short lengths of stone bank and a short length of wall. The prehistoric remains at Whitrow Beck represent either sporadic or transient occupation over a long period. Sporadic occupation is then attested by the Romano-British farmstead and the medieval field system. It is possible that some or all of the cairns forming the two cairnfields to the east and west of the Romano-British farmstead may be associated with land clearance associated with the Romano-British occupation. The stone-banked trackway may also be associated with the Romano-British farmstead. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Whitrow Beck Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 27-31
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 27-31
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 27-31

National Grid Reference: SD 13442 93917

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2017 at 01:12:27.

End of official listing