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Iron mining shaft mounds and medieval earthworks south of Bentley Grange Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Denby Dale, Kirklees

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6138 / 53°36'49"N

Longitude: -1.5993 / 1°35'57"W

OS Eastings: 426603.882711

OS Northings: 413101.496818

OS Grid: SE266131

Mapcode National: GBR KV8N.K8

Mapcode Global: WHCBB.DFNF

Entry Name: Iron mining shaft mounds and medieval earthworks south of Bentley Grange Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1958

Last Amended: 8 April 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005786

English Heritage Legacy ID: WY 475

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Denby Dale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Emley St Michael the Archangel

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

Summary

An area of iron mining pre-dating the Industrial Revolution represented by at least 60 shaft mounds surviving as substantial earthworks, these overlying medieval earthwork remains thought to relate to the well documented grange of Byland Abbey.

Source: Historic England

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: iron mining shaft mounds surviving as upstanding earthworks, medieval ridge and furrow overlying earthwork remains of building platforms and small enclosures, along with associated buried remains and deposits.

DESCRIPTION: the shaft mounds are not randomly scattered, but form a rough grid pattern, the shafts being typically about 50m apart. The smallest mounds are about 25m in diameter and appear to be simple rings of spoil around a central depression marking the position of the shaft. Most are larger, typically around 40m in diameter, up to 2-3m high, and have definite flattened tops, mostly with a central shaft, but sometimes with the shaft off-set to one side. A number of the mounds have access ramps, platforms interpreted as gin circles and other earthwork features. About five shaft mounds, concentrated in the western part of the area of assessment, south of Woodhouse Lane, are particularly large, more irregular and complex in shape with earthworks suggestive of horse gins set to the side of the shaft along with earthworks of other features. There are at least 50 shaft mounds surviving as upstanding earthworks south of Woodhouse Lane. To the north of the lane there are a further 10 shaft mounds surviving as clear upstanding earthworks, although generally more spread and eroded than those to the south of the lane, in addition the western part of this area is thought to include the buried remains associated with up to three or four infilled shafts. These shaft mounds are considered to pre-date the Industrial Revolution, probably the C16, although a medieval date cannot be completely discounted.

Overlain by the shaft mounds, most clearly observed south of Woodhouse Lane, there are the upstanding earthworks of medieval ridge and furrow arranged in two blocks: that to the east being orientated north-east to south-west, with the second block to the west being orientated more east-west. This ridge and furrow also appears to be of two phases with a lower profile ridge and furrow pattern overlying a higher profile pattern. The ridge and furrow also appears to at least partially overlie a set of earlier earthworks including a number of small rectangular enclosures around 30m across, terraced into the hillside. Close to Woodhouse Lane there are a number of smaller building platforms, typically 10m across, some of which clearly extend under the spoil of later shaft mounds. All of these medieval earthworks are considered to be related to the monastic grange.

AREA OF SCHEDULING: this includes all of the shaft mounds that survive as upstanding earthworks. The area of scheduling is divided into three areas by Woodhouse Lane and the driveway to Bentley Grange Farm. The largest area, that to the south of Woodhouse Lane, is defined by existing field boundaries. To the north of Woodhouse Lane, the area to the west of the driveway to the farm is also defined by modern fence lines except to the north-west where the boundary is as mapped, drawn to follow the edge of arable cultivation at the time of the site inspection. The area to the east of the driveway is drawn to fencelines to the south and west, the stream to the east and a straight line on the north side drawn 5m beyond the bases of the larger two shaft mounds.

EXCLUSIONS: fences, gates, stiles and water troughs are all excluded from the scheduling, however the ground beneath these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The iron mining shaft mounds and medieval earthworks south of Bentley Grange Farm, are scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Period, survival: as one of the best preserved mining landscapes nationally that pre-dates the Industrial Revolution;

* Documentation: although the shaft mounds may be mainly C16, the monument is thought to include earthworks related to the well documented medieval monastic grange;

* Diversity, potential: for the range of different forms of shaft mounds providing the potential for a greater understanding of early mining technology, the spoil heaps are also thought to overlie and preserve remains of medieval buildings.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Beresford, M W, St Joseph, J K S, Medieval England: An Aerial Survey, (1979), 256-7
Michelmore, DJH, West Yorkshire: an Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981), 792-3
Moorhouse, S & Wilmott, A, , 'Emley, Bentley Grange' in CBA Forum, (1985), 27-28

Source: Historic England

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