Late prehistoric enclosed settlement on Coomb Hill, 540m south west of Coomb Slack Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017152

Date first listed: 04-Aug-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jan-2000


Ordnance survey map of Late prehistoric enclosed settlement on Coomb Hill, 540m south west of Coomb Slack Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 11:47:25.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Hutton Buscel


National Grid Reference: SE 95320 89263


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

Reasons for Designation

The North York Moors is an area which has an abundance of prehistoric remains particularly within moorland landscapes where they have not been disturbed by more recent agricultural activity. These are evidence for the widespread exploitation of these uplands throughout prehistory. Many remains date from the Bronze Age (c. 2000-700 BC) and relate to diverse activities, funerary and ritual practice as well as agriculture and settlement. For the end of the first millennium BC the range of evidence is more restricted. Settlement at this time was concentrated in the lowland areas surrounding the moors, although some settlement was located on the periphery and in the valleys. These late prehistoric settlement sites on the higher ground are of two types: those consisting of a small number of unenclosed hut circles and those found within small square or sub-rectangular enclosures. Some examples of the former are thought to date from the Bronze Age, but excavation of others and of a few of the enclosed settlements suggests that they were occupied during the Iron Age to the Romano-British period (c.700 BC-AD 400). A number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements on the North York Moors survive as upstanding monuments and these are between 0.1 and 0.5ha in area. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight and consist of a ditch with an internal bank, but examples are known with an internal and external bank and with an internal ditch or no ditch at all. They are square or sub-rectangular in shape and often have at least two rounded corners, giving a characteristic D-shape. Few of these enclosed settlements have been subjected to systematic excavation but examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of settlement, including the presence of buildings. Some of the enclosures may also have had a function as stock enclosures. Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the North York Moors and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time. Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives are considered to be nationally important. The Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round and square barrows. The spatial and chronological relationships between the round and square barrows in this area, and between both types of barrow and other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Despite limited disturbance the enclosed settlement 540m south west of Coomb Slack Farm is in a good state of preservation and will contain significant information about the date and form of its construction. Important evidence for the nature and duration of the occupation will survive within the enclosed area. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment and economy will also survive beneath the banks and within the lower ditch fills. The settlement is situated close to a group of square barrows and this type of association provides important scope for understanding the different social and ritual uses of the landscape in the late prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes an enclosed settlement situated on level ground at the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. The settlement is visible as a well defined enclosure almost square in shape which measures internally about 46m. It is bounded by an earth and stone bank 3m wide and up to 0.8m high, which is broken in two places on the east side, one of which would have formed an entrance. The bank is surrounded by a ditch up to 2.5m wide and 0.7m deep; the ditch is only visible as a slight depression on the east and south sides of the enclosure, having become infilled over the years by soil slipping from the bank. The ditch was originally surrounded by an outer bank. This is visible on the west side and in places on the north side, surviving up to 2m wide and 0.3m high, but has become eroded over the years elsewhere and levelled by forestry operations. The north east corner of the enclosure has been truncated by a forestry track which runs NNE to SSW. The settlement lies close to a group of round and square barrows in an area which includes the remains of other prehistoric settlements, land divisions and burial monuments.

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: 33509

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Lee, G E, Wykeham Archaeological Survey, (1991)
Mytum, H, 'Moorland Monuments' in Iron Age square barrows on the North York Moors, , Vol. 101, (1995), 31-37

End of official listing