Ancient Monuments

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Medieval dispersed settlement at Askerton Park 170m WSW of Parkgate Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Askerton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 55.0271 / 55°1'37"N

Longitude: -2.6968 / 2°41'48"W

OS Eastings: 355554.749213

OS Northings: 570502.016477

OS Grid: NY555705

Mapcode National: GBR 9BL9.YR

Mapcode Global: WH7ZF.KX12

Entry Name: Medieval dispersed settlement at Askerton Park 170m WSW of Parkgate Bridge

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016087

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27780

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 the earthworks and buried remains of a medieval
dispersed settlement at Askerton Park, located on level ground 170m WSW of
Parkgate Bridge immediately above the steep declevity to Cam Beck. It includes
the turf-covered remains of a cluster of four sub-rectangular enclosures, one
of which has been interpreted as a dwelling, together with the remains of two
stock enclosures.
The cluster of four enclosures has its long axis aligned north east-south
west and has overall measurements of approximately 42m by 30m with clay and
rubble walls up to 2.5m wide and 1m high. Limited excavation by Hodgson in
1938 found that the north eastern enclosure contained remains of a building
interpreted as the main dwelling of the settlement; medieval pottery dated
from the late 12th to the early 15th century was found on the cobbled floor of
the building together with burnt and unburnt bones, an iron knife and an oven
or hearth. The wall of an outbuilding was found in an adjacent enclosure and
the flagged floor of another outbuilding was found in the westernmost
enclosure. Immediately to the north east of these buildings is a rectangular
stock enclosure measuring c.25m by 17m with walls 2m wide and up to 0.4m high.
The enclosure has entrances on the north and south sides and internal
subdivisions. A second stock enclosure is situated approximately 50m WSW of
the buildings; it is half-moon shaped in plan and has maximum measurements of
c.32m by 24m with earth and rubble walls 2.5m wide and up to 0.5m high. There
are entrances at the north east and south west sides, and adjacent to the
latter there is a circular mound c.9m in diameter by 0.8m high. Limited
excavation of this mound found a patch of flagstones and two channels cut into
the subsoil which were filled with ash and charcoal. An iron object resembling
a large blunt pin was found, leading the excavator to interpret the mound as
the site of a crude forge.
A later field dyke running between the remains of the buildings and the stock
enclosure to the WSW is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it 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

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

Despite limited excavation, the medieval dispersed settlement at Askerton Park
170m WSW of Parkgate Bridge survives in fair condition, and further evidence
of the medieval occupation of the monument will survive. It is a good example
of this class of monument located in the Border Region and will add to our
understanding of the wider border settlement and economy during the medieval

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodgson, K, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Excavations at Askerton Park, 1938, , Vol. XXXIX, (1939), 65-70

Source: Historic England

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