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
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Cumbria-Solway sub-Province of the Northern and
Western Province, an area characterised by dispersed hamlets and farmsteads,
but with some larger nucleated settlements in well-defined agriculturally
favoured areas, established after the Norman Conquest. Traces of seasonal
settlements, or shielings, dominate the high, wet and windy uplands, where
surrounding communities grazed their livestock during the summer months.
The Lake District local region is characterised by a series of mountain blocks
separated by deep valleys, providing great variation in local terrains.
Settlement is sparse, but villages and hamlets occasionally appear in the
valleys. Higher up, above the level of medieval fields enclosed by the stone
walls known as head-dykes, are traces of medieval and earlier settlements
in farmlands since abandoned.
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 a 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 usually 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
inportant sources for understanding about rural life in the five or more
centuries following the Norman Conquest.
Seven Intakes medieval dispersed settlement 210m south west of Fell Foot
survives reasonably well and remains largely undisturbed by modern
development. It is a good example of this class of monument.
The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Seven Intakes
medieval dispersed settlement located on flat ground south of the River
Brathay 210m south west of Fell Foot. The settlement, which is also known
as Vicars, includes the remains of at least one and possibly two buildings
situated within an irregularly-shaped enclosure. Traces of a smaller
enclosure lie adjacent on rising ground to the south west.
Remains of a three-roomed stone-walled building measuring approximately
26m long by 9m wide survive. The building is thought to originally have
been smaller and of two rooms only with the third, eastern room, added at
a later date. There are traces of stone cobbled flooring in the building's
western room. A short distance to the north there are the remains of a
possible smaller rectangular building measuring approximately 14m long by
10m wide. A stone bank runs from the north western corner of this building
a short distance to the south bank of the river. Attached to the southern
side of this stone bank is a low sub-circular platform. To the north there
is another short length of stone bank running parallel to the north wall
of the possible smaller building. The irregularly-shaped enclosure is
defined by a tumbled stone wall on all sides except the north, and it
survives best on the monument's western side. Another smaller enclosure
partly defined by a tumbled stone wall exists to the west of the
A modern drystone wall on the monument's north east side is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.