Field system 200m south east of Longley Cottage
- 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.
- Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 52975 70101
Reasons for Designation
Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) to the
end of the fifth century AD. They usually cover areas of up to 100ha and
comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly the same direction,
with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right angles to one
another. Individual fields generally fall within the 0.1ha-3.2ha range and can
be square, rectangular, long and narrow, triangular or polygonal in shape. The
field boundaries can take various forms (including drystone walls or reaves,
orthostats, earth and rubble banks, pit alignments, ditches, fences and
lynchets) and follow straight or sinuous courses. Component features common to
most systems include entrances and trackways, and the settlements or
farmsteads from which people utilised the fields over the years have been
identified in some cases. These are usually situated close to or within the
The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for
land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought
to have been used mainly for crop production, evidenced by the common
occurrence of lynchets resulting from frequent ploughing, although rotation
may also have been practised in a mixed farming economy. Regular aggregate
field systems occur widely and have been recorded in south western and south
eastern England, East Anglia, Cheshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, North and
South Yorkshire and Durham. They represent a coherent economic unit often
utilised for long periods of time and can thus provide important information
about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and
broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several
centuries. Those which survive well and/or which can be positively linked to
associated settlements are considered to merit protection.
The field system remains 200m south east of Longley Cottage are unusual and important as few comparable examples survive in this area of England. The field system with its lynchets and house platforms survive well despite the actions of later ploughing in the south eastern quarter. The terraces stand up to 2m high in places and the earthwork divisions of the smaller enclosures are clearly visible.
The monument includes a system of terraces, known as lynchets and associated
enclosures on the northern end of a ridge which passes to the west of Longley
Farm. The lynchets run across the slope, between 25m and 50m apart, forming
terraces 100m to 150m long.
The fourth and fifth lynchets from the bottom have earthwork enclosures
attached to the lower edges of the terraces forming platforms which may have
been smaller cultivated areas surrounding a house site. On the south east
side the lynchets have been ploughed away and are barely visible.
These terraces are the result of ploughing strips across the slope, degrading
the upper part and accumulating soil on the lower part of each strip. Such
field systems can be attributed to a Romano-British or early medieval farming
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:
Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume I, (1987), 104,112
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