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Prehistoric defended enclosure and six adjacent hut circles at Tatham Park

A Scheduled Monument in Tatham, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.1106 / 54°6'37"N

Longitude: -2.5967 / 2°35'48"W

OS Eastings: 361085.733149

OS Northings: 468461.378585

OS Grid: SD610684

Mapcode National: GBR BN9X.M7

Mapcode Global: WH952.2YR5

Entry Name: Prehistoric defended enclosure and six adjacent hut circles at Tatham Park

Scheduled Date: 20 October 1980

Last Amended: 7 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012817

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23764

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Tatham

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric defended enclosure and six hut circles
located on a small hillock, around the base of which a defensive ditch has
been cut on three sides. The site is located above the confluence of the
Rivers Wenning and Hindburn, tributaries of the River Lune. The main hilltop
enclosure measures approximately 70m by 50m and is divided into two parts by a
linear stone and earth bank 2m-3m wide and up to 1.5m high in places. It is
roughly oval in shape with its boundary bank being curvilinear on the northern
side and more angular on the southern side. There are three entrances, one at
the mid-point of the east side giving access directly into the northern part
of the enclosure and through a passageway into the southern part, and two
entrances on the west and south west sides giving access into the southern
part of the enclosure. Internally there is a sub-circular scooped enclosure at
the north eastern side of the northern part and traces of a slightly banked
enclosure at the north western side of the southern part. Externally a low
bank curves from the southern side of the enclosure in a north westerly
direction for approximately 40m. On the hillslope below and outside the
enclosure there are six levelled circular platforms interpreted as hut
circles. Two are located to the west of the main enclosure, one to the north,
and three to the east. Surrounding the base of the hillock on all sides except
the south, and thus enclosing the hut circles and the main enclosure, is a
defensive ditch measuring 4m-14m wide by 0.5m deep. On the southern side,
defence is afforded by a small stream.
A drystone wall crossing the northern part of the site is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath the wall is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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
importance.

The monument survives well. It is a rare example in Lancashire of a
prehistoric defended enclosure with outlying hut circles, the whole of which
is protected by an outer defensive ditch, and illustrates well the diversity
in form of this class of monument. It overlooks the confluence of two
tributaries 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 settlements
patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
FMW Report, Capstick, B., Iran Age or Romano-British settlement, Tatham Park, (1990)
FMW Report, Capstick, B., Iran Age or Romano-British settlement, Tatham Park, (1990)
FMW Report, Capstick, B., Iron Age or Romano-British settlement, Tatham Park, (1990)
FMW Report, Capstick, B., Iron Age or Romano-British settlement, Tatham Park, (1990)
In Lancs SMR Ref. No. 2678, Turner, R C, Tatham Park, (1978)
In Lancs SMR Ref. No. 2678, Turner, R C, Tatham Park, (1978)
In Lancs SMR Ref. No. 2678, Turner, R C, Tatham Park, (1978)
In Lancs SMR Ref. No. 2678, Turner, R C, Tatham Park, (1978)
SMR Ref No. 2678, Lancs SMR, Tatham Hall Farm, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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