Settlement remains of Blakemoorgate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017765

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Settlement remains of Blakemoorgate
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 00:58:34.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SJ 37850 01031


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

Reasons for Designation

The Stiperstones offers a considerable diversity of archaeological remains which provide direct evidence for the exploitation of this area of upland and the well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, land boundaries and trackways as well as industrial remains, allows significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Distinctive farming patterns, with cottages and smallholdings, are especially associated with the Stiperstones, where settlement often developed as a result of mining employment during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This period represents a time in which arable farming increased in popularity on the moor, resulting in a number of new settlements being established on previously unenclosed moorland. These settlements survive as groups of cottages and outbuildings which sit within their own plots and are generally associated with contemporary field systems, many of which still remain in use for grazing. Many were abandoned after a relatively short time, usually in response to changing economic conditions, and thus provide information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practice amongst the communities occupying this area of upland. The better surviving examples are therefore considered worthy of protection. Blakemoorgate survives well as both ruins and earthworks and represents a good example of a deserted mining and crofting settlement. It retains both structural and artefactual evidence for the cottages and outbuildings which originally existed here, allowing an insight into the farming and domestic activities which took place on the Stiperstones during the 19th century. The site is enhanced by the survival of historical maps and documentation which provide information for the development of the site, particularly in the mid-19th century.


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


The monument is situated towards the northernmost limit of the Stiperstones ridge and includes the ruins and earthwork remains of a 19th century mining and crofting settlement and its enclosed fields. Map evidence indicates that the settlement had been established by the early 19th century and is believed to have had close associations with Snailbeach lead mine to the north. Mining was always piecemeal, and even at its height, many of the miners supplemented their income by farming. Blakemoorgate lies within an area of cleared moorland and is enclosed by a series of boundary walls and earth banks. Map and documentary evidence indicate that there were three cottages at the site by around 1845 and at least two further houses were erected before 1881. During the early 20th century, in response to the economic decline of the lead mining industry, the cottages at Blakemoorgate were gradually deserted, and the settlement was finally abandoned in the 1960s. Each stone-built cottage and its associated root store outbuilding are situated within a small enclosed yard, beyond which are a number of enclosed fields. Two of the cottages in the northern part of the site, of which one and its outbuilding are Listed Grade II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included, remain roofed and provide evidence for the plan of these buildings; a single room on each of the two floors. The water supply for the settlement was provided from a well to the south of the site and water was channelled northwards through the settlement to form a small pond beyond the site's northern boundary. The enclosed fields have been cleared of stone and several clearance cairns are visible beyond the boundaries to the settlement and within the corners of the fields. These fields are thought to have been used for cultivating crops whilst the open moorland beyond was used for grazing livestock. Blakemoorgate is approached by a number of trackways which cross the Stiperstones, and most of the blocks of enclosed fields are separated from the core of the site by trackways which also serve as approach routes or droveways to each croft. Approximately 150m to the south west of Blakemoorgate is a second crofting settlement which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The Grade II Listed cottage and its outbuilding and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 21666

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pannett, D J, Ward, R G, Thomas, D, 'Field Studies' in Farm Patterns in the Stiperstones Mining District, , Vol. 3, (1973), 763-782

End of official listing