Prehistoric, Romano-British, medieval and early post-medieval settlements, field systems and a deer park at High Park, east of Bindloss Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019016

Date first listed: 09-Jun-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric, Romano-British, medieval and early post-medieval settlements, field systems and a deer park at High Park, east of Bindloss Farm
© 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: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Casterton

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster (District Authority)

Parish: Burrow-with-Burrow

National Grid Reference: SD 64218 78149

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or indicated by groups of clearance cairns. Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the late Neolithic/Bronze Age (2400-600 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials and are a relatively common feature of the uplands. 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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They consists largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. They were constructed from the Neolithic period (from 3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of Bronze Age field clearance. Their considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and association of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. The uplands of north west England comprise large areas of hill and mountain terrain. As a result of archaeological surveys undertaken since 1980 certain areas have become amongst the best recorded upland areas in England. Prehistoric activity accounts for extensive use of these uplands, and evidence for it includes well-preserved and extensive field systems and cairnfields, as well as settlement sites and burial monuments. Taken together these remains can provide a detailed insight into life in the 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. A coaxial field system is a group of fields arranged on a single prevailing axis of orientation. They were constructed and used over a long period of time, extending from the middle of the second millennium BC through until the early first millennium AD, and vary enormously in size, with the largest extending to almost 10,000ha. Less than 50 coaxial field systems have been recorded in England; however, further survey work and analysis of aerial photographs is likely to result in a substantial increase of numbers. They provide important information on the development of land use during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Romano-British settlements were generally small, non-defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms which were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthorks, and all sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important. Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Lancashire Lowlands sun-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area extending form the moorlands of the western Pennines to the coastal plain with its villages and hamlets. The southern part of the sub-Province supports high densities of dispersed settlements, but there are much lower densities further north, in the Craven Lowlands, the Ribble Valley and the areaas around Morecambe Bay. In the Middle Ages the larger, lowland settlements were supported by `core' arable lands, communally cultivated, with seasonally occupied `shieling' settlements. The Lune Valley and Morecamble Coastlands local region is characterised by numerous small villages and hamlets, and has a mixture of high and medium densities of dispersed farmsteads. Place name evidence, from British survivals and early Old English names to Scandanavian and later Old English names, indicates a long history of clearance and settlement. In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single (or principal) nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence instead of small settlement units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously from region to region, but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include roads and other minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In areas where stone was used for building, the outline of building foundations may still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlement frequently include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed medieval settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the Northern and Western Province of England. They are found in upland and also in some lowland areas. Where found, their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. Medieval enclosed field systems comprise fields defined and enclosed by a physical boundary. These boundaries can take various forms, including walls, hedges, earth and stone banks and ditches. Component features common to most enclosed field systems include ridge and furrow and lynchets. The development of enclosed field systems during the medieval period was a response to population pressure and expansion onto marginal land, and the extent and morphology of these field systems resulted from the nature of the topography and social and economic constraints, such as the size of the population they were intended to support. The majority of enclosed field systems are thought to have been used for pasture but others contained cultivated ground. Some continued in use throughout the post-medieval period and are a major feature of the modern landscape. They occur widely throughout England with a tendency towards upland areas associated with largely dispersed settlement patterns. Medieval enclosed field systems offer good opportunities for understanding medieval rural economy and provide valuable evidence regarding the morphology of field systems, their extent and distribution. Shielings were 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; however, the construction of herdsmen's huts in a form distinctive from the normal dwelling houses of farms only appears from the early medieval period onwards (about 450 AD). Shielings are reasonably common in the uplands but frequently represent the only evidence for medieval settlement and farming practice here. Those examples which survive well and help illustrate medieval land use in an area are considered to be nationally important. Deer parks were areas of land, usually enclosed, set aside and equipped for the management and hunting of deer and other animals. They varied in size between 3ha and 1600ha and usually comprised a combination of woodland and grassland which provided a mixture of cover and grazing for deer. Some parks were superimposed on exisiting fieldscapes and their lay-out may have involved the demolition of occupied farms and villages. Occasionally a park may contain the well-preserved remains of this earlier landscape. The peak period for laying out deer parks was between 1200-1350. However, they continued to be created, albeit in lesser numbers, until the 17th century, and many of these survive today, although often altered to a greater or lesser degree. Today they serve to illustrate an important aspect of the activities of the medieval nobility and still exert a powerful influence on the pattern of the modern countryside. Early post-medieval dispersed settlements are morphologically similar to earlier medieval dispersed settlements in this area. They frequently occupy the same or an adjacent area to that previously occupied by a medieval dispersed settlement, and in some cases represent a continuity in use of the medieval site into the early post-medieval period. However, many early post-medieval dispersed settlements were constructed in response to population pressure and movement onto marginal land or changes in existing land use. Field systems associated with early post-medieval dispersed settlements likewise followed a similar pattern. The prehistoric, Romano-British, medieval and early post-medieval settlements and field systems and the deer park at High Park, east of Bindloss Farm survive well and will retain significant archaeological deposits associated with use during these periods. The monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of the landscape over an approximately 4500 year period and contains a wide variety of monument classes. It will add greatly to our understanding of the changing nature of settlement and economy in this area during the period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes earthwork and buried remains of a complex and extensive area of archaeological remains, the dates of which span an approximately 4500 year period. It is located on either side of Eller Beck on the steep eastern side of the Lune valley and has been identified by a combination of documentary sources, aerial photography, field survey and limited excavation. The monument extends across the Lancashire/Cumbria boundary and includes nine prehistoric funerary cairns, two prehistoric hut circle settlements with associated cairnfields and field systems, a prehistoric field system of the type generally described as `coaxial', nine Romano-British settlements, two medieval dispersed settlements with associated curvilinear field systems, five medieval dispersed settlements, two curvilinear medieval field systems, three medieval shielings, part of a later medieval field system, an early post- medieval dispersed settlement and part of an early post-medieval field system. A number of trackways of various periods lie within the monument. Documentary sources also indicate that a late medieval deer park was created here in the early 15th century. The oldest features are considered to be five large prehistoric burial cairns dated to the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age (about 2400-1500 BC), four of which are aligned and lie in prominent positions along the watershed between Eller Beck to the north and Leck Beck to the south. The most northerly of these four cairns is the most complex and consists of an oval-shaped platform measuring 30m by 28m and up to 1m high upon which a cairn measuring 14m by 12m and up to 0.8m high has been constructed. The other three cairns in the alignment measure between 14m-22m in diameter and 1m-2m in height. The remaining cairn in this group lies on the top of a small knoll at SD64607836 and measures 12m in diameter and up to 0.6m high. Four other funerary cairns, dating to later in the Bronze Age (about 1500-600 BC), lie close to the edge of the valley of the Leck Beck; three are round and measure between 6m-14m in diamater and 0.5m-0.6m high, while the fourth is oval-shaped and measures 16m by 10m and up to 0.6m high. Two prehistoric hut circle settlements with associated cairnfields and field systems are centred at approximately SD64057798 and SD64497852 and are thought to date by analogy with field systems elsewhere in northern England to the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age (about 1000-300 BC). The eastern of these monuments includes three sub- circular building platforms upon which timber huts would have stood. These features lie within an area of field system remains which are characterised by a patchwork of small irregular fields bounded by lynchets and stone banks. A clearance cairnfield created by the dumping of stones in mounds during preparation of the land for cultivation is also associated with the settlement and field system, and some of these cairns are incorporated into the prehistoric field boundaries. The western hut circle settlement consists of two building platforms surrounded by a similar arrangement of fields and clearance cairns. Survey has demonstrated that a major reorganisation of the landscape occurred during the later Iron Age/Romano-British period (about 300 BC-400 AD), as a series of parallel boundaries formed by stone banks and lynchets were built to divide the land into a series of strips at right angles to the contours, a system generally described by archaeologists as a coaxial field system. Ten of these coaxial field boundaries survive, with the longest running west to east for about 630m, while the distance between each boundary is fairly consistent, with almost all lying between 90m-120m apart. There are many short breaks suggesting entrances in the boundaries. At least four of these boundaries have adjacent and thus presumably contemporary trackways. No settlements contemporary with this field system have been identified, suggesting that they were sited elsewhere, perhaps in the valley bottom. If this was the case, the trackways may have provided access for the stockmen to move animals from settlements and winter pasture on the valley floor to upland summer pasture beyond the limit of the coaxial field system on the valley side. However, two small rectangular structures interpreted as huts or animal pens are an integral part of one of the boundaries east of Threepenny Bit Wood, while a sub-circular enclosure with a single entrance centred at SD64167864 is approached by a trackway running adjacent to one of the field boundaries, and is interpreted as a probable stock enclosure contemporary with the coaxial field system. A rectangular enclosure, also interpreted as a stock enclosure associated with the field system, lies a short distance to the north on the east side of a modern field boundary. Survey has also demonstrated that some of the Romano-British settlements are later than the field system. These settlements were the small farmsteads of the indigenous population during the Roman occupation (first to fifth centuries AD); however, some of these settlements were clearly reused during the medieval period. The settlement centred at SD64087837 comprises a sub- elliptical enclosure subdivided into five compartments. There are three entrances in the enclosure bank with additional gaps in the internal banks giving access into the individual compartments. A trackway approaches this settlement from the north and forks to pass either side of it. The settlement centred at SD64007829 consists of a number of stone banks which define a series of small enclosures lying predominantly east of a length of trackway. Unlike many of the settlements here, this site is unenclosed. The settlement centred at SD64037814 comprises a sub-elliptical enclosure within which a number of stony banks or tumbled walls divide the interior into four strips which are themselves further subdivided by stony banks. Remains of two hut circles which provided accommodation for the settlement's inhabitants survive within two of the internal strips. Two trackways converge at the settlement's north west corner, pass round it, and continue south eastwards. A rectangular structure on the western side of the settlement indicates later reuse. The settlement centred at SD63797808 comprises a small sub-oval enclosure defined by an insubstantial stone bank. There is an entrance in the north west from which a track leads to a sub-circular building platform and an adjacent small stock pen. The settlement centred at SD64187810 is sub-rectangular in plan and is surrounded by a stone bank on all sides except uphill to the east. Two cross banks subdivide the enclosure into three compartments which themselves are subdivided by banks and scarps. A trackway approaching the settlement from the north west and running down the western side gives access to each of the three compartments, while the southern compartment has a second entrance in its southern side. Limited excavation of this settlement in 1964 produced evidence of a small hut and occupation debris of the second to fourth centuries AD. The settlement centred at SD64397804 is crossed by a modern field boundary. To the south of this wall the settlement is defined by a stony bank, while to the north of the wall there is no evidence of an enclosing bank. Of the internal enclosures, one in the southern half consists of a steeply-sided hollow and is interpreted as a stock yard. Remains of a rectangular structure indicate later reuse of this settlement. The settlement centred at SD64207799 is a small triangular-shaped enclosure divided internally into two compartments, with an entrance on the west giving access into the northern compartment; the southern compartment is accessed by a gap in the dividing wall. Various scarps suggest the remains of two buildings in the northern compartment. The settlement centred at SD64057785 consists of a sub-square enclosure defined on three sides by a stone bank with an entrance on the north side approached by a trackway. Internally the main enclosure contains a large hollow area interpreted as a stock yard and two adjacent platforms interpreted as houses or ancillary buildings. There are also a number of other small yards or pens. The northernmost settlement is centred at approximately SD63857877 and consists of a sub-circular enclosure subdivided into four enclosures, three of which are sunken, suggesting they were used as stock pens. There is a building platform attached to the western side of the enclosure and remains of a stone hut circle attached to the eastern side. The remains of numerous medieval dispersed settlements also survive in the constraint area. One centred at SD63907816 consists of a rectangular building together with two adjacent small enclosures or stock pens. A more complex medieval dispersed settlement is centred at SD64467840 and consists of a rectangular building and three other building platforms all within an irregular curvilinear enclosure which is accessed by a trackway from the south west. Associated with this settlement is a large sub-rectangular enclosure subdivided into three paddocks or fields. Other field systems lie to the east and west; that to the east consists of a large curvilinear enclosure subdivided into two, while that to the west consists of a smaller paddock which uses the steep declivity to Eller Beck as its northern boundary. A trackway runs along the eastern side of this field system. A third medieval dispersed settlement consists of a rectangular building at the south east corner of the Romano-British settlement centred at SD64087837. It has an associated field system consisting of a large curvilinear paddock containing four entrances. A trackway runs along its western side. A fourth medieval dispersed settlement appears to have reused the Romano-British settlement centred at SD64037814. Here two rectangular buildings have been built, one overlying part of the earlier settlement, the other built up against the northern corner of the earlier settlement. A fifth medieval dispersed settlement consists of a rectangular building partly overlying the Romano- British settlement centred at SD64397804. To the south of this another medieval dispersed settlement represented by a rectangular building lies at SD64397792, while a seventh medieval dispersed settlement consisting of a rectangular building at SD64147810 lies immediately to the west of a Romano- British settlement. The remains of three medieval shielings also survive. These were small rectangular stone-built huts, the largest here measures 9m by 6m, constructed to provide accommodation for herdsmen tending animals grazing the upland summer pasture. Fragments of a late medieval field system survive at the south western side of the monument, centred at approximately SD63847798 and consisting of a number of field boundaries formed by slight stony banks with traces of shallow ditches down one or both sides. Also dated to the medieval period are a number of tracks running down the eastern side of the monument which cut through features of an earlier date. These tracks are considered to be different branches of a single route and are likely to represent the route taken by herdsmen driving their flocks to summer pasture on the higher ground. Documentary sources indicate that a deer park was created hereabouts in 1402 by the lord of the manor, Sir Thomas de Tunstall. The deer park was in use for approximately 250 years until the Civil War when it is thought that all the deer were slaughtered for food by Parliamentary troops. The park's exact location and boundaries are unknown but the county boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire is traditionally thought to have marked its northern boundary. All medieval settlement and agriculture within the boundaries of the park is therefore thought to have ceased, as activities which hindered the grazing of deer would have been prohibited. An early post-medieval dispersed settlement is considered to have been constructed shortly after the demise of the deer park. Remains of this feature are centred at SD64337793 and consist of a group of four rectangular buildings and a small stock yard. This settlement had been abandoned by the late 1840's when the Ordnance Survey map of 1847 shows the present drystone field boundary crossing the site. Nearby, and possibly associated with this settlement, are remains of an early post-medieval field system centred at approximately SD64477785, consisting of a small area of ridge and furrow within a series of strip lynchets. All modern field boundaries, gateposts and sheepfolds are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features, some of which lie on top of earlier, prehistoric boundaries, is included. The circular plantation in the northern part of the scheduling, the octagonal plantation (Threepenny Bit Wood) and the covered resevoir are totally excluded from the scheduling.

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: 32848

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 18
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Copy Gill, Cumbria, (1998), 15-18
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 13
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 12
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 26
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 22
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 22
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 15-16
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 14
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 18-19
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Copy Gill, Cumbria, (1998), 14-15
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 11
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 22
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 22-4
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 27-8
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 25
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 10
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 13-14
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 32
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 21
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 21
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 28
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 12
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 26-7
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 11
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 28
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 20
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 11-12
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 21
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 10
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 18-20
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 20-21
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 21
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 27-8
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 15
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 11
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 25
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Copy Gill, Cumbria, (1998), 27
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 14
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 12
Jecock, M, High Park, Lancashire and Cow Close, Cumbria: An Arch Survey, (1998), 22
Lowndes, R, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Celtic Fields, Farms And Burial Mounds In The Lune Valley, , Vol. LXIII, (1963), 80-95
Other
AP No. MUCS151,18. In SMR No. 2666, Manchester University, Settlement east of Bindloss Farm,
Manchester University, Field system east of Bindloss Farm,
Manchester University, Field system east of Bindloss Farm,
SMR No. 2512, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck T5, (1998)
SMR No. 2513, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck T1, (1998)
SMR No. 2514, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck T4, (1998)
SMR No. 2515, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck T2, (1998)
SMR No. 2516, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck T3, (1998)
SMR No. 2666, Cumbria SMR, Field system east of Bindloss Farm, (1987)
SMR No. 671, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck and High Park, (1998)
SMR No. 6712, Lancashire SMR, Eller Beck and High Park, (1998)

End of official listing