Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Slight univallate hillfort on Barrock Fell

A Scheduled Monument in Hesket, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.8194 / 54°49'9"N

Longitude: -2.833 / 2°49'58"W

OS Eastings: 346572.968713

OS Northings: 547488.48812

OS Grid: NY465474

Mapcode National: GBR 8DNQ.G5

Mapcode Global: WH80J.G466

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort on Barrock Fell

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1974

Last Amended: 24 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007874

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23672

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 is a slight univallate hillfort located on the upper slopes of
Barrock Fell approximately 400m north west of the summit. The site is visible
as crop marks on aerial photographs which clearly show much of the hillfort's
infilled ditch.
The aerial photographs show a single ditched sub-circular enclosure measuring
approximately 65m in diameter.
Two post and wire fences crossing the monument are excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath these is included.

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

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes,
generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and
defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively
small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth -
fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for between 150 and 200 years
prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have
generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places
of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a
rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access
to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple
gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation
indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate
features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few
examples. Internal features include square or rectangular buildings supported
by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone
round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes,
stakeholes and gullies. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150
examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low,
in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas
where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the
Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different
classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern
England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. In view of the
rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding
the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which
survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further
archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The slight univallate hillfort on Barrock Fell remains largely visible on
aerial photographs despite the fact that no upstanding earthworks survive and
a conifer plantation exists on the hillfort's western edge. It is a relatively
small example of this class of monument and will retain evidence for the
arrangement of the settlement within the hillfort's interior.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Challis, , Harding, , 'British Archaeological Reports' in Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne, , Vol. 15, (1975), 122
AP No. DO 049, Cambridge University Collection,
SMR No. 707, Cumbria SMR, Enclosure on Barrock Fell, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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