Castle Howe hillfort, Little Langdale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019747

Date first listed: 07-Aug-2001


Ordnance survey map of Castle Howe hillfort, Little Langdale
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 13:09:47.


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

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Lakes

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 29726 03282


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

Reasons for Designation

Nucleated hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape which are located on hilltops or distinctive craggy knolls and have an internal area of less than 1ha. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks, usually ditches with or without adjacent banks or ramparts. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories or rocky knolls, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. The layout of the site is heavily dependant upon the topography of the location. The core area of the site, where the main living accommodation was provided, occupies the highest position on the hill or crag. Additional living or working areas are also frequently located between or within the surrounding earthworks and may take the form of rock-cut levelled areas. They are of Iron Age date and are contemporary with other more common hillfort types. Some, however, may have been reused or have been new constructions in post-Roman times. Castle Howe hillfort is a good example of this class of monument. It survives well and will retain evidence of the activities undertaken within the site and the defensive methods utilised. Its spatial association with a medieval moot suggests this area has a long tradition as an assembly point for the wider community.


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


The monument includes Castle Howe hillfort. It is located on Castle Howe, an area of high ground springing abruptly from Little Langdale valley, with a rocky knoll forming the highest point. The ground falls preciptously from this knoll in all directions and access to the summit can only be gained by a steep 6m scramble up the western face. On the northern and southern sides of the knoll, just below the summit, there are rectangular levelled areas, the former measuring approximately 6m by 3m, the latter measuring approximately 8m by 5m, which are interpreted as artificial hut platforms. At the base of the knoll's western face is the first of a series of four rock cut ditches dug across a spur of relatively level high ground extending towards the west; it measures approximately 4m wide by 1.3m deep. The second ditch measures approximately 5m wide by 1m deep and terminates at its northern end in a sub-rectangular rock-cut levelled area measuring approximately 17m by 13m. At the northern end of this levelled area is a rock-cut circular area measuring approximately 4m in diameter which is interpreted as a hut circle. A short distance to the east is a second, slightly smaller, similar feature. The third ditch measures 3m-9m wide by 1.3m deep and also terminates at its northern end in a rectangular rock-cut levelled area measuring approximately 7m by 5m. The outer ditch on the knoll's western side measures 7m wide by 1.5m deep. At the base of the knoll's eastern face are two rock-cut ditches; the inner measuring 19m wide by 0.8m deep, the outer measuring 8m wide by 1m deep. The southern end of both these ditches connects with a rock-cut levelled area of 10 sq m. The site lies at the eastern end of Wrynose Pass. It overlooks the Roman road from Ambleside to Ravenglass and a medieval moot, or meeting place, at Fell Foot.

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: 22566

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No. 14971, Cumbria SMR, Castle Howe, (1987)

End of official listing