Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system at Little Wood

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019935

Date first listed: 27-Jan-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Jan-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system at Little Wood
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Threshfield

National Park: YORKSHIRE DALES

National Grid Reference: SD 98251 64289

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.

The prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system at Little Wood survives well and significant evidence of the original form and function of the different elements will be preserved. The monument offers important scope for understanding settlement and social organisation in the prehistoric period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a prehistoric settlement and associated field system. The monument is situated on a set of level terraces at Little Wood, 600m south west of the River Wharfe. The settlement lies in the eastern half of the monument and includes at least six hut circles up to 11m in diameter. They survive as shallow circular depressions bounded by slight stony banks. In at least two places the banks survive as roughly coursed rubble walling up to 1m high. Four of the hut circles are clustered together. Immediately to the south and east of the hut circles are shallow rubble banks forming small paddocks and enclosures. The field system lies to the west and south west of the settlement. This includes a series of irregularly shaped fields formed by substantial rubble walls up to 4m thick and 0.5m high. The fields vary in size from 20m to 60m across. At the north of the field system the edge of the terrace has been built up and revetted with stone. In some places the walls are still in use, separating modern fields. Throughout the monument are areas of limestone pavement. Some of this has been incorporated into the field system. The field system originally extended further to the west and south but no traces of this now survive. All fences, gates and signs are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 31335

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
White, R F, Long Ashes Caravan Park: The Archaeological Potential, (1984)
White, R F, Long Ashes Caravan Park: The Archaeological Potential, (1984)

End of official listing