Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019928

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water
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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

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland (District Authority)

Parish: Ulpha

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SD 16681 96763

Summary

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

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 and associated field system 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water 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 contemporaneous remains in the vicinity the monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system located on the south-facing slopes of The Seat, 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water. It represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape and includes over 30 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to 0.4m high. The circular cairns measure between 1.8m to 5.9m in diameter while the oval-shaped cairns measure between 3.3m to 8.3m long by 1.6m to 2.7m wide. Associated with the cairnfield is a field system consisting of two short lengths of stone wall or banks running downslope on a north west-south east alignment marking the north eastern and south western limits of the field system. Another feature of the field system, and one considered to be an indicator of past arable cultivation, is a lynchet running across the contours and centred at approximately SD16759675. A short length of drystone wall on the monument's south west side is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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: 32886

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
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

End of official listing