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Prehistoric cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles, field systems and a medieval enclosed field system on Bootle Fell

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 cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles, field systems and a medieval enclosed field system on Bootle Fell

List entry Number: 1017066

Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Bootle

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 02-Mar-1962

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: 32833

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.

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 cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles and field systems on Bootle Fell survive well and form part of a 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 the medieval enclosed field system 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 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 an extensive range of prehistoric monuments including: 14 cairnfields of various sizes, 21 funerary cairns, six ring cairns, six hut circles and three field systems, together with a medieval enclosed field system. It is located on a large area of undulating moorland on the north western slopes of Bootle Fell where substantial mires, including the extensive Levens Moss, have restricted the prehistoric and medieval remains to the drier areas. Kinmont Beck cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13158990 between Levens Moss to the south and Kinmont Beck to the north. It includes over 170 clearance cairns and a small number of short lengths of stone bank. A substantial break of slope runs through the cairnfield with cairns on the higher ground east of this feature being larger than those on the lower ground to the west, and this phenomenon is interpreted as reflecting different stone clearance episodes. A stone bank approximately 50m long runs east-west through the cairnfield indicating the existence of a former boundary, while elsewhere within the cairnfield a number of alignments of clearance cairns are interpreted as representing the line of old boundaries in which sporadic patches of stone clearance were piled against fences or hedges. Within the cairnfield are four funerary cairns varying between 4.3m-7m long by 3.7m-6.5m wide and up to 0.5m high. One of these, at SD13218998, has a small sub- circular enclosure attached to its south west side. Damkirk Beck cairnfield is centred at approximately SD12658970 on a ridge to the west of Levens Moss. It includes over 110 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank. Within the cairnfield, at SD12758982, is a hut circle about 12m in diameter with an entrance on its south west side, while at SD12598990 there is an oval-shaped funerary cairn 9m long by 8.5m wide and 0.5m high. Oldclose Gill cairnfield is centred at approximately SD12658930 and lies on a ridge between two stream gullies south west of Levens Moss. It includes over 110 clearance cairns and a number of short lengths of stone bank, one of which is split into five lengths and runs intermittently for 210m in a north east-south west alignment and is considered to form part of a medieval field system to the south west. An alignment of clearance cairns, stone banks and two funerary cairns define the southern edge of the cairnfield while on the western side of the cairnfield there is a small prehistoric field system comprising a single rectangular arable plot measuring approximately 90m by 40m and is bounded by a combination of stone banks, clearance cairns and three funerary cairns. The five funerary cairns within this cairnfield measure between 6.6m-14m long by 5.3m-8.7m wide and up to 0.4m high. Also within the cairnfield, at SD12758933, there is a ring cairn 11.5m in diameter. Centred at approximately SD12318907, on a natural spur formed by two stream gullies, is Old Close medieval enclosed field system. It consists of an irregularly shaped field measuring approximately 200m by 90m at its widest points with an entrance on its eastern side. Within the field there is patchy, narrow ridge and furrow aligned east-west together with a length of headland. Just outside the field's entrance there is a small enclosure measuring 30m by 13m which is similar to enclosures associated with medieval settlements and field systems at Great Grassoms about 1km to the south east. Like the Great Grassoms enclosures this one at Old Close in considered to have been used for arable cultivation. The enclosure is at the northern end of a stone bank which runs along the edge of Oldclose Gill for about 150m. Despite the presence of medieval farming, prehistoric remains still surive at Old Close and include a ring cairn 9m in diameter situated close to the centre of the medieval field in an area which remained unploughed, and a small cairnfield consisting of five clearance cairns to the south of the medieval field at SD12258895. Immediately to the south of Levens Moss and north of Oldclose Gill are two small cairnfields of differing character separated by a break of slope. The western cairnfield comprises three low, ill-defined clearance cairns while the eastern cairnfield comprises over 30 better defined and more prominent clearance cairns. Amongst the eastern cairnfield are a group of four closely spaced ring cairns up to 7.6m in diameter. On the eastern side of Leven Moss there are two small cairnfields separated by a prehistoric field system. The southern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13218943 and includes over 20 clearance cairns, while the northern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13358967 and includes 11 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank, one of which defines the northern edge of the cairnfield. The field system comprises a single field about 90m square with boundaries defined by a combination of stone banks and cairn alignments. To the south east of Levens Moss, on a natural terrace either side of a modern fell track, are two cairnfields, one north of the fell track, the other largely but not wholly south of the track. The northern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13358933 and includes over 20 clearance cairns. It is separated from the southern cairnfield by an alignment of clearance cairns which may represent a former boundary. The southern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13338900 and includes over 50 clearance cairns and some lengths of stone bank together with a 70m length of stone wall aligned north-south. Within this cairnfield there are four hut circles; the eastern at SD13548903 is 8.5m in diameter with an entrance on its south side and has two small associated enclosures. A hut circle at SD13398904 measures about 6m in diameter with an entrance on its northern side. The western of the four hut circles in this cairnfield is located at SD13258901 and is about 7m in diameter with an entrance on its south western side. The southern hut circle is at SD13498879 and measures about 6m in diameter with an entrance on its northern side. A short distance north west of this latter hut circle is a small prehistoric field system consisting of a pair of parallel stone banks which define the edges of an arable plot or field about 30m square. Elsewhere within this cairnfield are two funerary cairns; one a short distance west of this field measures about 9.5m in diameter and 0.25m high, the other at SD13338901 lies on the top of a small hillock and measures 9.5m by 8.5m and 0.5m high. To the west of this cairnfield and south of Oldclose Gill are a group of three small cairnfields, two of which lie north of the fell track while one is predominantly but not wholly north of the track. Two sharp breaks of slope orientated approximately north-south divide the area into three blocks of well drained land each of which contains a cairnfield. The eastern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13148910 and includes over 20 small, relatively uniform clearance cairns. The central cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13008898 and contains over 20 randomly sized clearance cairns. Within this central cairnfield there are four funerary cairns between 4.1m-15m long by 3.9m-13.1m wide and up to 0.5m high. The western cairnfield is centred at approximately SD12908914 and includes eight clearance cairns and two short lengths of stone bank. Coppycow cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13008865 and lies within an area of undulating, erratically drained moorland south of the fell track and north of Crookley Beck. It contains over 30 clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank. Within the cairnfield are five funerary cairns, three of which are located on the tops of low hillocks. The funerary cairns vary in size between 5.5m-13m long by 3.8m-12.5m wide and up to 0.5m high. The prehistoric remains on Bootle Fell reflect either sporadic or transient occupation over a long period. The funerary cairns have forms similar to excavated funerary cairns dated to the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age (about 3000-1500 BC) while the ring cairns are similar in form to one excavated elsewhere in West Cumbria and dated to about 1700 BC. Sporadic occupation of Bootle Fell is then attested by the existence of the medieval field system. The register of the Priory of St Bees dated 1252 and the Millom Courtbook of 1510 both refer to the use of parts of Bootle Fell at these times. Modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneth 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, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1998), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1999), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15

National Grid Reference: SD 12923 88714

Map

Map
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