Haresceugh Fell medieval dispersed settlement 100m south west of Busk lime kiln


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021185

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Haresceugh Fell medieval dispersed settlement 100m south west of Busk lime kiln
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:41:57.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Kirkoswald

National Grid Reference: NY 63250 42582


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have evolved gradually during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Northern Pennines sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area characterised from the Middle Ages by dispersed settlements, with some nucleations in more favoured areas. The sub-Province is formed by discontinuous high moorland landscapes; agricultural settlement has been episodic, in response to the economic fortunes of adjacent sub-Provinces. Other settlements have been associated with the extraction of stone and other minerals.

The Alston Block local region encompasses the high moorlands north of Stainmore. Away from the `specialist nucleations', (the clusters of dwellings and workshops associated with mining and railways), the dispersed settlement forms include both seasonal and permanent farmsteads, as well as specialist sheep and cattle ranches. The latter were normally outlying dependencies of larger settlements or estate centres located in adjacent regions. In these upland environs, dating settlements can be difficult.

In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single (or principal) nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence instead of small settlement units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously from region to region, but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include roads and other minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In areas where stone was used for building, the outlines of building foundations may still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlement frequently include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed medieval settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the Northern and Western Province of England. They are found in upland and also in some lowland areas. Where found their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest.

Haresceugh Fell medieval dispersed settlement 100m south west of Busk lime kiln survives well and remains undisturbed by modern development. It is an excellent example of this class of monument.


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


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Harescough Fell medieval dispersed settlement located on a hillside terrace above Loo Gill 100m south west of Busk lime kiln. It includes an irregularly-shaped stone-walled enclosure which contains the remains of two smaller stone-walled enclosures, one of which is interpreted as a dwelling while the other is interpreted as a stock enclosure.

The large enclosure has maximum dimensions of approximately 55m east-west by 25m north-south. It is formed by a substantial stone wall on all sides except the south where most of the wall appears to have tumbled down the steep slope towards Loo Gill. The dwelling and stock enclosure are located against the north wall of the larger enclosure. The dwelling consists of a sub-rectangular structure with walls up to 1m high and an entrance at its north east corner. Adjacent is a sub-rectangular stock enclosure which has traces of having been sub-divided at its eastern end to form two smaller enclosures adjacent to the dwelling. There is a possible entrance into one of these smaller sub-divisions from the west.

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: 35023

Legacy System: RSM


Details in SMR, Cumbria County Council, Harescough Fell,

End of official listing