Prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021140

Date first listed: 12-Nov-2003

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well
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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: Millom Without

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SD 17529 89859

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, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well survives well. It forms part of a well-preserved prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria which together represent 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 a prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east Hodgewife Well. It is located on the east facing gently-sloping fellside north of a minor road across Corney Fell and represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape. The cairnfield consists of over 200 round and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to 0.6m high; the round cairns measuring between 2m-6.6m in diameter, the oval-shaped cairns measuring between 3.3m-9.5m long by 1.9m-6m wide. At SD17668972 there is a ring cairn consisting of well-defined circle of stones 8.25m in diameter and up to 0.3m high surrounding a flattish, largely stone-free centre. At SD17318993, on the east-facing hillslope and thus protected from the prevailing westerly winds, there are the remains of a hut circle measuring approximately 14m in diameter with an entrance on its northern side. Associated with these features are faint traces of a field system formed by fragments of enclosures and stone banks or walls. At SD17448998 there are the southern and eastern walls of a small enclosure while further south, at SD17548985, there is a discontinuous stone bank defining the western and northern boundaries of a probable D-shaped enclosure devoid of cairns. A third, smaller three-sided enclosure is situated at SD17628975. Three lengths of stone bank or wall are found close to the southern end of the cairnfield; one about 70m long marks the southern limit of the cairnfield while another, about 20m long and well-defined, lies beyond the south western limit of the cairnfield.

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: 35013

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997)
Cross, M, 'Trans Cumb And West Antiq And Arch Soc. New Series' in Explorations on Thwaites Fell, South Cumberland, , Vol. XXIX, (1929), 250-8

End of official listing