Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Enclosed prehistoric settlement east of Malham Cove

A Scheduled Monument in Malham, North Yorkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.0721 / 54°4'19"N

Longitude: -2.1555 / 2°9'19"W

OS Eastings: 389919.710536

OS Northings: 464028.255897

OS Grid: SD899640

Mapcode National: GBR FPDC.40

Mapcode Global: WHB6L.VXR4

Entry Name: Enclosed prehistoric settlement east of Malham Cove

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1964

Last Amended: 21 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010553

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24525

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Malham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkby-in-Malhamdale St Michael the Archangel

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument is situated on the south side of Sheriff Hill beneath a low
limestone outcrop. It includes a subrectangular enclosure 16m by 13m with
walls 1.5m thick. A passageway is built on to the west wall of the enclosure
and abutting the natural outcrop at its northern end. At its southern end this
passageway terminates in a small enclosure measuring 4m by 1.5m, the inner
face of which is built with upright stones. The passageway is 0.7m wide by
0.7m deep and 11m long; its floor is paved with slabby limestone. The
enclosure walls are grass covered and up to 1.5m wide. Adjoining the east side
of the enclosure is a smaller, less well preserved enclosure, the south east
boundary of which consists of isolated large boulders.
A number of similar sites are found in this area; they have been described by
Dr Arthur Raistrick as including `wall passages'. The function of this passage
is not yet fully understood; it may have been a storage place.

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

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of
different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied
in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts
built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites,
sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended
settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops,
others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of
earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate),
others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen
ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber
fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built
round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept
in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed
yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single
family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction
and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through
to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD).
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are
important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during
this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national

The site is well preserved. It is one of a very small group of sites all
located in this area of the Yorkshire Dales which include intramural
passageways. All sites exhibiting this rare construction feature are
considered to be nationally important.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Raistrick, Dr A, 'Field Studies' in Archaeology Of Malham Moor, , Vol. Vol.1, (1962), 14-16

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.