Late prehistoric enclosed settlement and sub-rectangular enclosure on Gerrick Moor, 710m south west of Osbourne House
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1018807
Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)
National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS
National Grid Reference: NZ 70436 11854
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of
different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied
in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts
built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites,
sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended
settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops,
others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of
earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate),
others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen
ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber
fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built
round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept
in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed
yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single
family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction
and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through
to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD).
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are
important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during
this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national
The North York Moors is an area which has an abundance of prehistoric remains, particularly within moorland landscapes where they have not been disturbed by more recent agricultural activity. These provide evidence for the widespread exploitation of the uplands throughout prehistory. Many remains date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) and relate to diverse activities, funerary and ritual practice, as well as agriculture and settlement. For the end of the first millennium BC the range of evidence is more restricted. Settlement at this time was concentrated in the lowland areas surrounding the moors, although some settlement was located on the periphery and in the valleys. These late prehistoric settlement sites on the higher ground are of two types: those consisting of a small number of unenclosed hut circles and those found within small square or sub-rectangular enclosures. Some examples of the former are thought to date from the Bronze Age, but excavation of others and of a few of the enclosed settlements suggests that they were occupied during the Iron Age to the Romano-British period (c.700 BC-AD 400). A number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements on the North York Moors survive as upstanding monuments and these are between 0.1 and 0.5ha in area. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight and consist of a ditch with an internal bank, but examples are known with an internal and external bank and with an internal ditch or no ditch at all. They are square or sub-rectangular in shape and often have at least two rounded corners, giving a characteristic `D'-shape. Few of these enclosed settlements have been subject to systematic excavation but examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of settlement, including the presence of buildings. Some of the enclosures may also have had a function as stock enclosures. Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the North York Moors and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time. Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives are considered to be nationally important. This enclosed settlement is in a good state of preservation. The archaeological deposits survive intact and significant information about the date and form of construction will be preserved. Important evidence for the nature and duration of the occupation will survive within the enclosed area. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment and economy will also survive beneath the banks and within the buried ditches. The settlement enclosure on Gerrick Moor, 710m south west of Osbourne House is situated close to an unenclosed settlement in an area which includes other late prehistoric enclosed settlements as well as earlier monuments. Monument groupings such as these offer important scope for the study of the distribution and development through time of prehistoric activity across the landscape.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes an enclosed settlement on level ground at the northern
tip of a moorland ridge on the north edge of the North York Moors. The
settlement is visible as a well defined rectangular enclosure which measures
27m east to west by 16m north to south internally. It is bounded by an earthen
bank 2.5m wide and up to 0.6m high, which is broken on the south side, forming
an entrance 2.5m wide. The bank was originally surrounded by a ditch up to
2.5m wide and 0.3m deep, but this is only visible now on the north and west
sides of the enclosure, the remainder having been filled in over the years by
soil slipping from the bank. On the south side of the enclosure to the east of
the entrance there are two earthen banks running north to south between the
enclosure and a natural dip in the topography. These are 2m wide and stand up
to 0.4m high. The more westerly bank has traces of a shallow ditch on the west
side which is 1.5m wide and about 0.2m deep. The west edge of the easterly
bank continues the line of the east edge of the bank on the east side of the
main enclosure. The east bank was originally flanked by a ditch on the east
side but this is no longer visible as an earthwork, having been filled in over
the years by soil slipping from the bank. Together the banks form a subsidiary
enclosure with internal dimensions 25m north to south by 8m east to west.
The settlement lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including ritual
and funerary monuments, as well as other late prehistoric settlement sites.
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: 32015
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Hayes, R H, North-East Yorkshire Studies: Archaeological Papers, (1988), 51-56
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Vyner, B E, 'CBA Research Report 101: Moorland Monuments' in The Brides Of Place: Cross-Ridge Boundaries Reviewed, , Vol. 101, (1995), 28
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