Skiddaw Massif National Mapping Programme project
The landscape is dominated by industrial mining and quarrying sites, but also has some prehistoric and Roman remains.
The prehistoric and beyond
There had been limited survey work in the project area on a group of Iron Age enclosures on Aughertree Fell before the project. However, the need to better record and understand the wider archaeological landscape was identified. The discovery of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Green How from the air further demonstrated the need for survey. This enclosure was the first of its type in the north of England.
The mapping has helped to understand the relationships between these enclosures and the complex pattern of prehistoric field boundaries, droveways and hollow ways.
The north-eastern part of the Skiddaw massif is dominated by Carrock Fell. The summit of this steep-sided hill is crowned by the stone rampart of a hillfort that is unparalleled in the Lake District. The date of this fort remains uncertain but it could be pre-Iron Age.
As well as prehistoric activity the survey also recovered traces of more recent interventions in the landscape. Extensive evidence of lead and copper mining was recorded, complementing the detailed analytical field survey of the mining remains in Roughton Gill.
On the south side of the massif a series of rectangular mounds were recorded. These are the remains of medieval pillow mounds (artificial rabbit warrens), and are the first of this site type to be recorded in this area.
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Historic Places Investigation