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The Hill medieval dispersed settlement and an early post-medieval settlement 400m east of Ashycroft

A Scheduled Monument in Bewcastle, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0859 / 55°5'9"N

Longitude: -2.6733 / 2°40'23"W

OS Eastings: 357116.339765

OS Northings: 577033.122406

OS Grid: NY571770

Mapcode National: GBR 99SM.0N

Mapcode Global: WH7Z7.XF5F

Entry Name: The Hill medieval dispersed settlement and an early post-medieval settlement 400m east of Ashycroft

Scheduled Date: 28 February 1974

Last Amended: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016082

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27775

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Bewcastle

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Bewcastle St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of The Hill medieval
dispersed settlement and an associated corn drying kiln, together with an
early post-medieval settlement which later replaced the abandoned medieval
settlement once the former had been abandoned. It is located on the hillside
approximately 400m east of Ashycroft farm; the medieval settlement includes
the turf-covered remains of a rectangular platform upon which are traces of a
small house, while a short distance to the north west there is a second house
with its western end overlain by a corn drying kiln. The later settlement
includes the remains of two houses, and an enclosure. The turf-covered lower
courses of a stone wall or bank connects the two settlements.
The rectangular platform forming part of the medieval settlement measures
c.21m by 15m and is divided into two halves by a low earth and stone bank; the
north east corner of the platform is largely overlain by a modern sheepfold
whilst traces of the original medieval house measuring approximately 5.5m by
3.6m and up to 0.2m high are located on the south west corner of the platform.
A short distance to the north west of the platform are the earthworks of a
stone-built house measuring c.9m by 6m and up to 0.3m high with its long axis
aligned east-west. The western end of this house is overlain by the remains of
an oval corn drying kiln which survives as a low mound of stones measuring
c.7.5m by 5m and up to 0.5m high with a large central hollow. The kiln, which
must have been constructed and utilised once the adjacent house went out of
use, is approached by a short hollow way bounded by side banks from the west,
and its presence indicates the previous existence of small scale arable
farming at the settlement. A low turf-covered wall or bank runs east then
north east for a distance of approximately 80m from the medieval settlement
and connects with the early post-medieval settlement. This later settlement
includes a sub-rectangular field or enclosure which has maximum dimensions of
c.30m by 25m and is bounded by a low turf and stone wall up to 0.3m high.
Attached to the north side of the enclosure is a two-roomed stone-built house
measuring c.13m by 6m with walls up to 1m wide and 0.5m high. A short distance
to the north there are the remains of a second stone house or outbuilding
measuring c.5m square with a short length of wall foundation running east from
its north east corner. Immediately to the west of this house is a building
platform measuring 6m square which is interpreted as the site of timber
outbuilding or stock pen. This early post-medieval settlement is known to have
been in its present condition in 1854.
A modern sheepfold is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it 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

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
The Borders local region comprises the great slope of land between the high
Cheviots and the Solway, where hamlets and scattered farmsteads predominate,
and where bastles and tower houses recall the social conditions of the Anglo-
Scottish borders before the mid-7th century. The eastern part of the region,
containing the wastes of the Bewcastle Fells and Spadeadam, can be seen as a
separate subdivision; it was occupied by shieling grounds during the Middle
Ages and the Tudor period, and preserves the remains of associated settlement
sites.

The Hill medieval dispersed settlement and the early post-medieval settlement
east of Ashycroft survive well and will retain significant archaeological
deposits. It is a good example in the Border Region of a medieval dispersed
settlement which, despite being relocated a short distance to the east,
continued in use into the early post-medieval period.
The monument will add to our understanding of the wider border settlement and
economy during the medieval and early post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 49,51-2
Ramm, H G , Shielings and Bastles, (1970), 51-2

Source: Historic England

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