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Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary cairns, cemetery and cairnfield, Romano-British farmstead, shieling and lynchets

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary cairns, cemetery and cairnfield, Romano-British farmstead, shieling and lynchets

List entry Number: 1018500

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ennerdale and Kinniside

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Mar-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27822

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post- medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as nationally important.

In Cumbria several distinctive types of native settlement dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non-defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the Roman occupation, their origins lying in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the latter. They are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will be normally identified as nationally important. Shielings are small seasonally occupied huts which were built to provide shelter for herdsmen who tended animals grazing summer pasture on upland or marshland. These huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was moved in spring from lowland pasture around the permanently occupied farms to communal upland grazing during the warmer summer months. Settlement patterns reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age onwards. However, the construction of herdsman's huts in a form distinctive from the normal dwelling houses of farms only appears from the early medieval period onwards (from AD 450) to about the end of the 16th century. Shielings have a simple rectangular or ovoid plan normally defined by drystone walling although turf-built structures are known. Most examples have a single undivided interior although two-roomed shielings are known. They are reasonably common in the uplands but frequently represent the only evidence for medieval settlement and farming practices here. Those examples which survive well and which help illustrate the medieval land use of an area are considered to be nationally important. Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary cairns, cemetery and cairnfield survive well and form part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric settlements which extend over Town Bank and Stockdale Moor. The monument contains one of the most complex and diverse groups of prehistoric monument classes to be found on the Lake District fells, and together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times. Additionally the Romano-British farmstead survives well and is a good example of this class of monument. It will facilitate any further study of the Romano-British settlement patterns in the area. The medieval shieling and associated lynchets also survive well and will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and the economy during the medieval period. Overall the monument is a rare example of a landscape within which evidence of human exploitation is visible through a range of remarkably well-preserved monuments dating from prehistoric times to the medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of four prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, associated field systems, funerary cairns, a cairn cemetery and an extensive cairnfield, a Romano-British farmstead, and a medieval shieling and associated lynchets. It is located on Tongue How, which lies at the western end of Town Bank, a large area of unenclosed moorland on the southern slopes of Lank Rigg, and represents evidence for the prehistoric, Romano-British and medieval exploitation of this landscape. Two of the prehistoric stone hut circle settlements lie adjacent to each other at NY07030981 and NY07100982; the western settlement exhibits a hut circle measuring approximately 13.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.35m high and an entrance on its eastern side. A substantial stone wall connects the hut circle to a sub-circular stock enclosure to the south east. This has an entrance on its northern side and contains a sunken interior within which are traces of a later three-sided drystone structure of uncertain function. To the north east of this enclosure, and joined by a stone wall, is a circular feature interpreted as a second hut circle. The eastern of these two adjacent stone hut circle settlements consists of a partly excavated and reconstructed hut circle measuring 9.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.75m high together with two associated stock enclosures; an oval one to the west of the hut circle and an irregularly-shaped one to the north. On the hillslope to the south, west and east of these hut circle settlements lies an associated field system defined by a series of parallel stone banks. The fields are generally long and narrow and vary between 27m and 32m in width. The absence of stone clearance cairns in some of the fields and the presence of cairns in other fields suggests different agricultural practices were undertaken here. The third prehistoric stone hut circle settlement lies approximately 400m WSW of the two adjacent hut circle settlements. It consists of a hut circle measuring approximately 9.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.5m high and an entrance on the western side. To the north lies an oval stock enclosure which is connected to the hut circle by a stone wall. Approximately 350m east of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements is a complex unenclosed stone hut circle settlement consisting of two hut circles and five artificially levelled terraces upon which huts are considered to have been constructed. Associated with this group of dwellings are the remains of at least five enclosures, some of which would have been used for stock control whilst others display evidence of soil slippage, suggesting they were used for cultivation. At the southern side of the settlement area there are a series of four approximately parallel stone banks/cairn alignments forming the field boundaries of a small associated field system. A further more extensive but fragmentary field system consisting of field boundaries formed by cairn alignments and stone banks is centred approximately 400m south west of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements. A final field system is centred approximately 600m ENE of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements; this consists of three field boundaries formed by a combination of cairn alignments and fragmentary stone banks which appear to be aligned along three radial lines extending from an unmarked origin a short distance to the north east. These boundaries form two fields; the northern one contains a single cairn whilst the southern one contains numerous clearance cairns and seven larger funerary cairns, indicating that it functioned as a small prehistoric cairn cemetery containing individual funerary cairns varying between 3.5m in diameter to a maximum of 14m long by 9m wide and up to 1m high. By contrast upwards of 300 generally smaller clearance cairns form a cairnfield which is scattered over the whole of Tongue How. Some of the cairns are randomly distributed clearance cairns while many others have been used in the formation of field boundaries as noted above. Amongst these clearance cairns are an additional six funerary cairns including one situated on the highest point of Tongue How at NY07370991 and one located close to the two adjacent hut circle settlements. This latter funerary cairn was excavated during the 1950s and was found to contain a stone cist and evidence of a cremation. The character of these prehistoric field systems on Tongue How is quite distinct and falls into two basic types; at the eastern end the field system is associated with randomly distributed clearance cairns and a concentration of funerary cairns, while at the western end the field systems are associated with stone hut circle settlements and employ a different approach to stone clearance. Here the stone has been piled into banks and cairn alignments to form long, narrow fields of fairly uniform width within which there is a general absence of clearance cairns. These differences between the field systems indicate the use of different agricultural practices; random cairns can obstruct the use of the plough, thus the differences between the field systems is interpreted as reflecting a change of emphasis from pastoral towards arable farming. The systems therefore represent different stages of agricultural development and while it is possible that the two contrasting farming practices were in contemporary use, it is more likely that the relative chronology reflects their typological development. The complex unenclosed stone hut circle settlement with its associated small enclosures situated approximately 350m east of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements is interpreted as representing a transitional type of settlement between the two field systems. A short distance north west of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements is a Romano-British enclosed farmstead at NY06980988 consisting of a circular stone boundary bank approximately 36m in diameter and with an entrance on the eastern side. Within the enclosure there is a short length of stone bank which subdivides part of the interior, and the remains of three hut circles varying between approximately 5.5m - 10.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.5m high. Approximately 260m south east of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements are the remains of a single-roomed medieval shieling at NY07240962 measuring 7.1m by 5.2m with walls up to 1.2m high and an entrance on the western side. Associated with the shieling are a series of six agricultural terraces or lynchets cut into the hillslope and varying between 12m - 63m in length and 2m - 3.5m in width. A stone bank running down the hillslope marks the western end of these terraces. The prehistoric remains on Tongue How reflect either sporadic or transient occupation over a long period. The funerary cairns have forms similar to excavated funerary cairns dated to the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age (about 3000-1500 BC) while the unenclosed hut circles are considered by comparison with dated examples from elsewhere in northern England to span a broad period from about 1750-450 BC. Sporadic occupation at Tongue How is then attested by the Romano-British farmstead and the medieval shieling and its associated lynchets.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54

National Grid Reference: NY 07183 09720

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jul-2018 at 01:47:55.

End of official listing