Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Stone hut circle and round cairn 800m east of Woodhead

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.059 / 55°3'32"N

Longitude: -2.6511 / 2°39'4"W

OS Eastings: 358504.27329

OS Northings: 574025.737833

OS Grid: NY585740

Mapcode National: GBR 99XY.T9

Mapcode Global: WH90L.73SK

Entry Name: Stone hut circle and round cairn 800m east of Woodhead

Scheduled Date: 28 May 1974

Last Amended: 16 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015729

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27754

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Askerton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Lanercostwith Kirkcambeck St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a prehistoric stone hut circle and an adjacent round
cairn located on the gently sloping hillside 800m east of Woodhead. The hut
circle measures 12m north-south by 11m east-west externally, with a stone wall
measuring up to a maximum of 1m high internally on the northern side where the
hut's floor has been cut into the hillside to form a flat living surface.
There is an entrance on the south west side of the hut. Approximately 10m to
the south of the hut circle there is a round cairn which includes a slightly
oval shaped mound of partly turf covered stones measuring 6m north-south by
5.5m east-west and up to 1m high.
Limited excavation of the hut circle in 1939 found a hearthstone to the right
of the entrance and two shallow holes cut into the floor of the hut. These are
thought to have contained poles supporting a roof of skins. Other finds
included a stone button, a stone ring, and a flint flake.

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

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers, mostly
dating from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) although later examples are known.
The stone-based round houses survive as low walls or banks enclosing a
circular floor area; remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The
huts occur singly or in small or large groups and may occur in the open or be
enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Their longevity and their relationship
with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of
social organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities. They
are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion
of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite limited excavation of the hut circle, the stone hut circle and round
cairn 800m east of Woodhead survive well. They lie close to other prehistoric
monuments on the fells around Bewcastle and thus indicate the importance of
this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be
found here.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodgson, K S, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser' in Some Excavations In The Bewcastle District, , Vol. XL, (1940), 162-6
Spence, J E, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Report of the Committee for Prehistoric Studies, 1939, , Vol. XXXVII, (1937), 98

Source: Historic England

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