Unenclosed settlement, 260m south east of Cowclose House, Barnigham Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 06593 09445

Reasons for Designation

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The settlement 260m south east of Cowclose House survives well, and forms an important part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous cairns, carved rocks, settlements and evidence for the agricultural use of the land. This site will therefore contribute to studies of such prehistoric landscapes and the changing patterns of land use over time.


The monument includes an unenclosed settlement consisting of the remains of two hut circles and an adjacent enclosure. It is situated on Barningham Moor, 260m south east of Cowclose House, and is bisected by the road from Barningham to Haythwaite, and by a deep ditch on the south side of the road. The hut circles are located to the south of the road. The southern hut circle is sub-circular, approximately 10m in diameter, with a substantial rubble bank about 2.5m wide and 0.5m high. It is more irregular and less clear on its north side where there may have been an entrance. The northern hut circle is cut by the road ditch; the visible remains survive as an arc of rubble bank, about 9m long, 2m wide and 0.4m high, on the south side of the ditch. A saddle quern and rubber stone were found in the ditch. The enclosure is to the north of the road. It would have been used for agricultural purposes, possibly for holding stock. It is approximately 23m wide and 23m long, with a rubble bank wall up to 5m wide and 0.7m high. A further, less substantial curving bank, about 3m wide, 0.3m high, and 11m long is attached to the west corner of the enclosure. This may have been part of a further enclosure or field system. The surface of the road is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Prehist settlement on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)
Saddle quern and rubber stone, Laurie, T, (1997)


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

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