Two round cairns, three Romano-British settlements and aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns and quarry


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021107

Date first listed: 21-Oct-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Sep-2004


Ordnance survey map of Two round cairns, three Romano-British settlements and aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns and quarry
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Crosby Garrett

National Grid Reference: NY 72108 06828


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

Reasons for Designation

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non- defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known. These homesteads 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 earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common, although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important.

A regular aggregate field system is a group of regularly defined fields, of Roman date, laid out in a block or blocks which lie approximately at right angles to each other, usually with a settlement as a focal point. Their main components are fields, field boundaries and trackways. They represent the most common form of land division in Roman Britain and examples are known to have been in use from the 1st to the 5th centuries AD, with many being a continuation or adaptation of existing pre-Roman Iron Age field systems. They are scattered throughout England but tend to survive best in the uplands where they have remained free of later agricultural degredation. They are an important source of information on the agricultural techniques and the economy of the Roman period.

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. Limestone or chalk has been the basic ingredient for lime mortar from at least Roman times. Since the medieval period, lime has also been used as an agricultural fertiliser and, since the early 19th century, widely used in a variety of other industries. The lime industry is defined as the processes of producing lime by burning and slaking. Lime or chalk, when burnt at a high temperature, produces `quicklime' which, when mixed with water, can be turned into a stable powder - lime. Lime burning sites varied in scale from individual small lime kilns adjacent to a quarry, to large scale works designed to operate commercially for an extended market and often associated with long distance water or rail transport. The form of kilns used for lime burning evolved throughout the history of the industry, from small intermittent clamp and flare kilns, to large continuously fired draw kilns that could satisfy increased demand from urban development, industrial growth and agricultural improvement. From a highly selective sample made at national level, around 200 lime industry sites have been defined as being of national importance. These have been defined to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity.

Despite some later plough damage to the northern field system, the two prehistoric round cairns and three Romano-British settlements and aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake survives well and will retain significant archaeological deposits associated with their use during these periods. The monument represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of the landscape and will add greatly to our understanding of the changing nature of settlement and economy during the prehistoric and Romano-British periods. Additionally Smardale Gill lime kilns, quarry and inclined plane also survives well. It forms a landscape of stone extraction, burning and transportation and represents a well-preserved example of mid to late 19th century large scale commercial lime production. Overall the monument retains evidence of settlement and exploitation covering a period of over 4000 years.


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


The monument includes two prehistoric round cairns, three Romano-British settlements and associated regular aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns, quarry and associated inclined plane. The prehistoric and Romano-British monuments are located on a gently-sloping enclosed moorland plateau whilst the kilns, quarry and inclined plane are located to the east on the steeply sloping western side of Scandal Beck. The Romano-British settlements and field systems are bounded by steeply-sloping ground on the east side and by a steep limestone outcrop on the south. On the west and north east sides the field system boundaries are formed by earth dykes whilst the northern limits of the field system are marked by a limestone scarp along the top of which runs a modern drystone wall. The prehistoric and Romano-British parts of the monument are described from south to north. At NY72200731 there is an oval-shaped prehistoric round cairn consisting of a grass-covered stone mound up to 1m high measuring 14m by 12m. The northern settlement is located at NY72480711 and consists of a square earth and stone-walled enclosure with two smaller rectangular enclosures on the west and an irregularly-shaped enclosure on the east. Within the south east corner of the square enclosure there are traces of a possible two-roomed building while in the north east corner of the larger western enclosure there are the remains of a square building. The irregular enclosure contains two hut circles and a small rectangular enclosure and is crossed by the eastern boundary of the field system associated with the settlement, suggesting that this part of the boundary was laid out after the irregular enclosure had gone out of use. There are faint traces of a rectangular building situated at the angle where the boundary crosses the irregular enclosure. After crossing this enclosure the boundary runs north to a limestone outcrop. A second bank runs from the north east corner of the enclosure to the outcrop thus forming another enclosure. Running west from the south west angle of the settlement, along the top of a ridge, is a 230m length of trackway with traces of a wall on each side. It terminates at the end of the ridge close to the remains of a rectangular structure of uncertain function measuring 21m by 7.5m. Surface remains of the field system associated with the northern settlement have been largely obliterated by later ploughing. The central settlement is located at NY72320691 and consists of a large irregularly-shaped enclosure with entrances on the north and south west sides. It is sub-divided into numerous smaller enclosures, some of which contain remains of hut circles and some of which are interpreted as stock enclosures. A wall from the south west entrance of the settlement runs in a westerly direction along the top of a ridge then descends to join the western boundary of the monument adjacent to a wide entrance through the boundary bank. The slightly lower ground immediately south of the central settlement is covered by an extensive field system consisting of numerous rectangular fields bounded by low turf-covered banks. At NY72910652 there is a prehistoric round cairn consisting of a grass-covered stone mound 11.5m in diameter and up to 1.2m high. South of this cairn, at NY71880643, there is the southern of the three settlements. Known as Severals, it consists of a large irregularly-shaped enclosure with numerous smaller sub-rectangular enclosures, some containing hut circles, on its east side. The large enclosure is itself sub-divided internally into smaller enclosures, some containing hut circles and others interpreted as stock pens. Entrances into the settlement are not clear but there is a well-defined sunken way leading up to the settlement from the south west. Another trackway, flanked by wall foundations, runs from the west boundary wall of the settlement westwards to join the western boundary of the monument where there are traces of a narrow entrance through the boundary bank. In an enclosure south of the settlement there is a small rectangular structure with an entrance from an adjacent enclosure to the west. Immediately north of this structure are traces of a large rectangular building and a short distance to the east there is a circular enclosure. Radiating from the settlement is a field system consisting of numerous sub-rectangular fields of varying sizes bounded by low turf-covered banks. A wall runs from the north east of the settlement to the boundary wall of Smardale Gill quarry approximately 390m to the east. The surviving field systems here are unusual in being heavily lyncheted, suggesting repeated use of these enclosures for arable cultivation. The earth dyke forming the monument's western boundary may have functioned as a barrier for livestock grazing the wider fell. The stone-walled trackways connect the settlements with the enclosed pastures of the field systems and provided protected access to the settlements through the arable-type fields. The trackways suggest the need to contain the movement of animals and it is thought that such constraints were related to the existence of arable fields used as hay meadows in the vicinity of the settlements. Smardale Gill lime kilns, located at NY72430653, are mid-19th century constructions and represent a major commercial lime producing operation. The kilns are of two phases of construction, with the one to the right being the original, and consist of a large bank of two dressed limestone kilns up to 10m high. Both kilns have two draw holes set within semi-circular draw arches which are set about 2m above ground level. Access to the draw holes was by steps cut into the face of the wall. A railway siding enabled trucks to be shunted into position and burned lime could then be shovelled directly into the trucks. The two charge holes above the kilns are largely infilled but the original one displays evidence of having been lined with firebricks. The kilns are draw hole type lime kilns which were used to burn limestone. Typically the limestone was tipped into the kilns from above via the charge holes then burned using wood, coal or coke as a fuel. The resultant quicklime, also known as birdlime or slaked lime, was then shovelled out from the draw holes at the bottom of the kilns. Lime has many uses including spreading on lime deficient soils to encourage plant growth, the whitewashing of walls and ceilings of buildings, and concrete and cement production. At Smardale Gill the fuel was brought to the charge holes in trucks along a tramway or inclined plane to the south of the kilns. The trucks were hauled by a stationary engine located in an engine house, the ruins of which still contain the engine beds located above the kiln adjacent to the charge holes. To the rear is an extensive quarry containing numerous spoil heaps which is believed to have been exploited for building stone as well as lime for burning. Smardale Gill lime kilns are a Listed Building Grade II. All modern walls, fences, fenceposts, signposts and gateposts 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 35010

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 88
Lime, Cement, Plaster Industries site assess, , Smardale Lime Kilns, Crosby Garrett, (1996)
Keates, A G, 'Assoc for Industrial Archaeology' in Smardale, (1995)
Keates, A G, 'Assoc for Industrial Archaeology' in Smardale, (1995)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
Smardale Gill lime kilns, Crosby Garrett, Lime, Cement & Plaster Industry site assessment, (1996)

End of official listing