Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Throstle Brow prehistoric enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Hunsonby, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7306 / 54°43'49"N

Longitude: -2.6752 / 2°40'30"W

OS Eastings: 356614.198699

OS Northings: 537494.567328

OS Grid: NY566374

Mapcode National: GBR 9FRR.M0

Mapcode Global: WH80Z.WC8B

Entry Name: Throstle Brow prehistoric enclosure

Scheduled Date: 8 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007867

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23664

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Hunsonby

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Addingham St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is Throstle Brow prehistoric enclosure located on the edge of a
wide sandstone terrace above the east bank of the River Eden. It has been
identified from cropmarks visible on aerial photographs which clearly show the
infilled encircling ditch of the enclosure together with a narrower infilled
linear ditch connecting with an entrance on the north eastern side of the
enclosure and interpreted as the eastern boundary of a contemporary trackway.
There is a modern pond within the enclosure.
The enclosure is sub-rectangular and measures approximately 88m east-west by
90m north-south at its widest parts. It is surrounded by a ditch varying
between c.2m-4m wide. At the north eastern side of the enclosure there is an
entrance c.5m wide. Immediately north of this entrance the trackway ditch arcs
to run NNE-SSW along the eastern side of the enclosure for approximately 100m.
A post and wire fence and two gateposts are excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath these features is included.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Prehistoric enclosures are plots of land usually enclosed by stone walls or
banks of stone and earth in upland areas, and banks of earth with an external
ditch in lowland areas. Many date to the Bronze Age (c.2000 - 500 BC) although
earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or
as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to
accommodate animal shelters and hut circle settlements. The size and form of
enclosures may therefore vary considerably, depending on their particular
function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other
monument classes provides important information on the diversity of social
organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities.

Throstle Brow prehistoric enclosure remains clearly visible on aerial
photographs, despite the fact that no upstanding earthworks survive. It lies
very close to the major complex which includes the stone circle known as Long
Meg and Her Daughters. It is thought that this enclosure was in use around the
same time as this adjacent complex and attests to the importance of this area
as a major gathering point of the wider populace for religious, ritual and
ceremonial purposes during many centuries.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Stuckley, W, Itinerarium Curiosum, (1776), 47
Crawford, O G S, 'Antiquity' in Notes and News: Long Meg, , Vol. 8, (), 328-9
AP No. CCC 2522,18, Cumbria County Council, Throstle Brow,

Source: Historic England

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