Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric enclosure and trackway south of Wolsty Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Holme Low, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.8446 / 54°50'40"N

Longitude: -3.3952 / 3°23'42"W

OS Eastings: 310505.568569

OS Northings: 550865.910068

OS Grid: NY105508

Mapcode National: GBR 4DQF.R4

Mapcode Global: WH6YX.THFF

Entry Name: Prehistoric enclosure and trackway south of Wolsty Hall

Scheduled Date: 28 May 1979

Last Amended: 10 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013505

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27663

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Holme Low

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Silloth Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a prehistoric enclosure and associated trackway located
on a low sandy ridge c.100m south of Wolsty Hall. The site is visible as crop
marks on aerial photographs which highlight features such as infilled ditches.
The aerial photograph shows a semicircular ditched enclosure measuring a
maximum of approximately 90m north-south by 60m east-west and within the
enclosure faint traces of sub-divisions. Also visible on the aerial
photograph is an entrance on the enclosure's western side and a trackway with
side ditches which issues from the entrance and runs in an WSW direction for
approximately 160m. The ditches of this trackway are parallel apart from in
the immediate vicinity of the enclosure where the northern ditch can be seen
on the aerial photograph to be veering off in a north easterly direction.
A post and wire fence on the monument's eastern side is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it 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

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 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
Prehistoric trackways are unmetalled routeways, of varying length, used as a
means of access or communication. They survive in the form of a series of low
earthworks, parallel crop/soil marks, hollow ways, modern footpaths and
hedgerows. Occasionally there are parallel ditches or banks to either side.
Trackways are dated almost entirely by association with the settlements they
served. They were maintained solely by usage and had no rigid boundaries. When
they ceased to be used they were incorporated into the surrounding landscape
with varying degrees of rapidity and surviving examples are rare. Known
examples which partly survive as earthworks are largely confined to marginal
agricultural land which has been given over to pasture or meadowland over many
centuries. In areas which have been more intensively farmed trackways are
recognised principally as crop/soil marks on aerial photographs. Trackways
provide important information on how the wider landscape was used.
The prehistoric enclosure and trackway south of Wolsty Hall survives
reasonably well despite the absence of any upstanding earthworks. Aerial
photographs have identified below ground features such as the infilled
boundary ditch of the enclosure, internal subdivisions within the enclosure,
and infilled ditches flanking the trackway. The monument is one of a number of
similar sites identified by aerial photography in the Solway Plain area in
recent years and it will contribute to any further study of prehistoric
settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England


Ancient Monuments - Record Form, Fairclough, GJ, Iron Age Enclosure S of Wolsty Hall, (1977)
AP , Manchester University,
AP , Manchester University,
AP No. CCC 6053, 350 XPI 2403,13, Cumbria County Council, (1983)
AP No. CCC 6053,350 XPI 2403,13, Cumbria County Council, (1983)
AP No. RB 107,30, Bewler, R.H.,
AP No. RB 107,30, Bewley, RH,
FMW Report, Crow, J, Iron Age Enclosure S of Wolsty Hall, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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