Medieval farmstead at Pasture Foot, 510m north west of Bleabeck Force


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017117

Date first listed: 24-Nov-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval farmstead at Pasture Foot, 510m north west of Bleabeck Force
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lunedale

National Grid Reference: NY 86976 28097


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 evolved gradually during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Northern Pennines sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area characterised from the Middle Ages by dispersed settlements, with some nucleations in more favoured areas. The sub-Province is formed by discontinuous high moorland landscapes; agricultural settlement has been episodic, in response to the economic fortunes of adjacent sub-Provinces. Other settlements have been associated with the extraction of stone and other minerals.

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 settlment units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously 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 settlements frequently include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed mediaeval settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the Northern and Western Province 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 understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. The farmstead at Pasture Foot survives well and forms part of a pattern of medieval dispersed settlement in Upper Teesdale.


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


The monument includes a medieval farmstead consisting of the remains of a sub-rectangular building with an adjacent rubble bank. It is situated on the south bank of the River Tees, at a bend in the river, about 150m west of the west edge of Force Garth Quarry. The building is 19m long and 7m wide and is divided by a rubble bank into two compartments. The walls of the building are composed of whinstone rubble and are 2m wide and 0.6m high in the eastern half of the building. The walls of the west half have been added to in modern times to make a shelter, and are 0.8m high. At the east end of the building is a stony mound 3m in diameter. The rubble bank associated with the farmstead is `L'-shaped. It runs south from the building for about 5m before turning west and continuing to the edge of the river bank. The rubble bank is discernible as a slight rubbly crest 2m wide, and is interpreted as a wall or hedgebank enclosing a yard or garth attached to the farmstead.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 33481

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Coggins, D, 'Upper Teesdale the archaeology of a North Pennine Valley' in Upper Teesdale The Archaeology Of A North Pennine Valley, , Vol. 150, (1986), 112

End of official listing