Prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1019617
Date first listed:
05-Jan-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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:
Copeland (District Authority)
Parish:
Eskdale
National Park:
LAKE DISTRICT
National Grid Reference:
SD 19280 99379

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.

The prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn survives reasonably well and forms part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. In conjunction with a wide range of other prehistoric remains in the vicinity, the monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times.

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and an associated field system, located on relatively flat ground 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn, immediately south of an unnamed stream which drains into Low Birker Pool. It represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape and includes one oval-shaped and six circular clearance cairns up to 0.7m high. The circular cairns measure between 2.4m and 9m in diameter while the oval-shaped cairn measures 4m long by 2.7m wide. The hut circle settlement is centred towards the north eastern end of the monument at approximately SD19339941. It consists of the fragmentary stone walls of a sub-circular enclosure within which are the remains of two hut circles between 5m and 5.5m in diameter. One of the huts has an entrance on the western side while the other has an entrance on its north eastern side. Associated with the cairnfield and hut circle settlement are fragmentary traces of a small field system consisting of a curvilinear stone wall or bank which may have formed part of an enclosure, together with two short lengths of wall. The area between these features is relatively cairn-free suggesting that the ground was cleared in preparation for arable cultivation.

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:
32891
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 60-73

Legal

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

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