Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three cairns, 170m west of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018831

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three cairns, 170m west 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 75093 21456

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. The prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three round cairns 170m west of the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck survives well. It is one of a number of prehistoric sites located on the fells of eastern Cumbria and indicates 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 a prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three round cairns located on a natural hillside terrace 170m west of the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck. The stone hut circle settlement includes the turf covered footings of a stone hut circle measuring approximately 11m by 9m with an entrance on its western side. Attached to the south side of the hut circle is a small rectangular stone walled stock pen measuring 10m by 9m externally with an entrance at its north western corner. Attached to the western side of this is a second, slightly larger, stock pen with an entrance on its western side. A short distance east of the hut circle there are two adjoining stone walled enclosures; the larger measuring 17m by 15m and having an entrance in its western side, the smaller measuring 12m by 15m. A little to the east of these enclosures there is an alignment of three round cairns between 4m-6m in diameter and up to 0.6m high.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 27841

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SMR No. 3951, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1985)
SMR No. 3951, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1985)

End of official listing