Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Prehistoric enclosure and associated field system south east of Ivy Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Hesket, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.823 / 54°49'22"N

Longitude: -2.8442 / 2°50'39"W

OS Eastings: 345855.674661

OS Northings: 547899.873038

OS Grid: NY458478

Mapcode National: GBR 8DLN.1W

Mapcode Global: WH80J.81VF

Entry Name: Prehistoric enclosure and associated field system south east of Ivy Cottage

Scheduled Date: 2 August 1973

Last Amended: 7 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007873

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23671

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Hesket

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Hesket-in-the-Forest St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a prehistoric enclosure and associated field system
located south east of Ivy Cottage on the lower northern slopes of Barrock
Fell. The site is visible as crop marks on aerial photographs which clearly
show features such as infilled ditches and hut circles.
The aerial photographs show a curvilinear ditched enclosure measuring
approximately 60m across its widest parts and containing two hut circles
adjacent to its northern side, two oval hut circles or small enclosures at the
eastern side, and traces of a hut circle adjacent to the western side. There
is an entrance at the enclosure's north western corner. To the north of the
enclosure aerial photographs have identified the infilled ditches of a field
system. This includes two sub-rectangular fields or enclosures at the northern
end of the complex which are joined to the main enclosure by fragmented traces
of parallel ditches. Other fragmented infilled ditches belonging to this field
system lie to the north west of the main enclosure.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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
prehistoric enclosures may therefore vary very considerably, depending on
their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity, and their
relationship to other monument classes provides important information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices among prehistoric
communities. Field systems provide important evidence of a carefully planned
reorganisation of landscape and definition of landholdings. Their articulation
with other contemporary archaeological features, such as land boundaries and
enclosures, provide an insight into agricultural practices and activity during
the Bronze Age.
The prehistoric enclosure and associated field system south east of Ivy
Cottage remains clearly visible on aerial photographs, despite the fact that
no upstanding earthworks survive. The monument lies within the Eden valley and
its tributary valleys, an area whose rich agricultural soils supported a
considerable prehistoric and Romano-British population from Neolithic times
onwards, and it will contribute to any further study of the early settlement
patterns of the area.

Source: Historic England


AP No. BE/83, Cambridge University Collection,
SMR No. 706, Cumbria SMR, Settlement E of Ivy Cottage, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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