Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, two enclosures and three round cairns, 280m SE of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018830

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, two enclosures and three round cairns, 280m SE of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Murton

National Grid Reference: NY 75527 21381

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone- based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Within the upland landscape of Cumbria there are many discrete plots of land, or enclosures, enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing. Their size and form may therefore vary depending upon their function. Their variation in form, longevity and relation to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age. They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, enclosures and round cairns survives reasonably well and represents a complex and diverse group of prehistoric monument classes. Together these represent long term management and exploitation of the landscape and indicate the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three round cairns. It is located on sloping ground on the valley side 280m south east of the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck. The settlement includes a circular terrace approximately 5m in diameter cut into the hillslope which is interpreted as the site of a hut platform. Approximately 20m south east of the hut platform is a round cairn measuring 7.5m by 5m and up to 0.2m high which is kerbed with boulders on its upslope northern side but tumbling downslope on its southern side. A short distance upslope from the hut platform there is an oval shaped stone walled enclosure measuring 15m by 12.5m within which is a round cairn approximately 6m in diameter. To the west are traces of a larger irregularly shaped stone walled enclosure measuring approximately 28m north- south internally with an entrance on its south eastern side. The wall on the northern side of this enclosure fades into the hillside but on the southern side it continues as a low stone bank running north westwards along the contour for about 15m, suggesting there may have been an entrance on this side also. A short distance further west lies a substantial round cairn measuring 9.5m by 8.5m and up to 0.6m high with a disturbed central cist.

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

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 27840

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SMR No. 16548, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1987)

End of official listing