Ancient Monuments

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Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure and hollow way

A Scheduled Monument in Quernmore, Lancashire

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Latitude: 54.0553 / 54°3'19"N

Longitude: -2.7237 / 2°43'25"W

OS Eastings: 352723.343148

OS Northings: 462390.657902

OS Grid: SD527623

Mapcode National: GBR 9PFK.41

Mapcode Global: WH848.4B9H

Entry Name: Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure and hollow way

Scheduled Date: 16 October 1980

Last Amended: 8 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011683

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23760

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Quernmore

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire


The monument includes Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure
and associated hollow way. It is located on a small promontory on the western
edge of a spur of high land with a steep declivity to the west and north. The
enclosure has internal measurements of approximately 77m north-south by 70m
east-west and is defended by an external shallow ditch c.11m wide. There are
two entrances into the enclosure; one on the north side, the other on the
south side. On the monument's south west side, and commencing adjacent to the
southern entrance, there is a distinct counterscarp bank approximately 5m wide
which becomes steeper on the western side of the site until it forms a deep
cutting or hollow way up to 14m wide which is interpreted as a trackway. The
hollow way deepens as it moves clockwise from the south west of the site and
is then cut tangentially away from the enclosure and across and down the
hillslope towards Lythe Brow Wood.
All modern field boundaries, a pond situated within the eastern part of the
enclosure and the fencing surrounding the pond are all excluded from the
scheduling, but 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

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

Despite past ploughing which has reduced the defences on the monument's
eastern side, Askew Heights univallate prehistoric defended enclosure survives
reasonably well. It overlooks a tributary of the River Lune and is one of a
number of prehistoric and Romano-British settlements similarly located in
close proximity to the Lune valley. The monument will contribute to any
further study of early settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England


Site owner to Robinson,K.D. MPPAFW, Hughes, Mr , (1994)
SMR No. 2755, Lancs SMR, Near Quernmore Park,

Source: Historic England

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