Field system 200m south east of Longley Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018080

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Field system 200m south east of Longley Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kelsall

National Grid Reference: SJ 52975 70101


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

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 field system. 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.


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


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 technique.

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: 30375

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of : Volume I, (1987), 104,112

End of official listing