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Prehistoric cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles, field systems and a medieval enclosed field system on Bootle Fell

A Scheduled Monument in Bootle, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2922 / 54°17'31"N

Longitude: -3.3382 / 3°20'17"W

OS Eastings: 312997.079826

OS Northings: 489336.431277

OS Grid: SD129893

Mapcode National: GBR 5L4T.33

Mapcode Global: WH71N.PCLV

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles, field systems and a medieval enclosed field system on Bootle Fell

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1962

Last Amended: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017066

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32833

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Bootle

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Bootle St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of an extensive range
of prehistoric monuments including: 14 cairnfields of various sizes, 21
funerary cairns, six ring cairns, six hut circles and three field systems,
together with a medieval enclosed field system. It is located on a large area
of undulating moorland on the north western slopes of Bootle Fell where
substantial mires, including the extensive Levens Moss, have restricted the
prehistoric and medieval remains to the drier areas.
Kinmont Beck cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13158990 between Levens
Moss to the south and Kinmont Beck to the north. It includes over 170
clearance cairns and a small number of short lengths of stone bank. A
substantial break of slope runs through the cairnfield with cairns on the
higher ground east of this feature being larger than those on the lower ground
to the west, and this phenomenon is interpreted as reflecting different stone
clearance episodes. A stone bank approximately 50m long runs east-west through
the cairnfield indicating the existence of a former boundary, while elsewhere
within the cairnfield a number of alignments of clearance cairns are
interpreted as representing the line of old boundaries in which sporadic
patches of stone clearance were piled against fences or hedges. Within the
cairnfield are four funerary cairns varying between 4.3m-7m long by 3.7m-6.5m
wide and up to 0.5m high. One of these, at SD13218998, has a small sub-
circular enclosure attached to its south west side.
Damkirk Beck cairnfield is centred at approximately SD12658970 on a ridge to
the west of Levens Moss. It includes over 110 clearance cairns and a few short
lengths of stone bank. Within the cairnfield, at SD12758982, is a hut circle
about 12m in diameter with an entrance on its south west side, while at
SD12598990 there is an oval-shaped funerary cairn 9m long by 8.5m wide and
0.5m high.
Oldclose Gill cairnfield is centred at approximately SD12658930 and lies on a
ridge between two stream gullies south west of Levens Moss. It includes over
110 clearance cairns and a number of short lengths of stone bank, one of which
is split into five lengths and runs intermittently for 210m in a north
east-south west alignment and is considered to form part of a medieval field
system to the south west. An alignment of clearance cairns, stone banks and
two funerary cairns define the southern edge of the cairnfield while on the
western side of the cairnfield there is a small prehistoric field system
comprising a single rectangular arable plot measuring approximately 90m by 40m
and is bounded by a combination of stone banks, clearance cairns and three
funerary cairns. The five funerary cairns within this cairnfield measure
between 6.6m-14m long by 5.3m-8.7m wide and up to 0.4m high. Also within the
cairnfield, at SD12758933, there is a ring cairn 11.5m in diameter.
Centred at approximately SD12318907, on a natural spur formed by two stream
gullies, is Old Close medieval enclosed field system. It consists of an
irregularly shaped field measuring approximately 200m by 90m at its widest
points with an entrance on its eastern side. Within the field there is patchy,
narrow ridge and furrow aligned east-west together with a length of headland.
Just outside the field's entrance there is a small enclosure measuring 30m by
13m which is similar to enclosures associated with medieval settlements and
field systems at Great Grassoms about 1km to the south east. Like the Great
Grassoms enclosures this one at Old Close in considered to have been used for
arable cultivation. The enclosure is at the northern end of a stone bank which
runs along the edge of Oldclose Gill for about 150m. Despite the presence of
medieval farming, prehistoric remains still surive at Old Close and include a
ring cairn 9m in diameter situated close to the centre of the medieval field
in an area which remained unploughed, and a small cairnfield consisting of
five clearance cairns to the south of the medieval field at SD12258895.
Immediately to the south of Levens Moss and north of Oldclose Gill are two
small cairnfields of differing character separated by a break of slope. The
western cairnfield comprises three low, ill-defined clearance cairns while the
eastern cairnfield comprises over 30 better defined and more prominent
clearance cairns. Amongst the eastern cairnfield are a group of four
closely spaced ring cairns up to 7.6m in diameter.
On the eastern side of Leven Moss there are two small cairnfields separated by
a prehistoric field system. The southern cairnfield is centred at
approximately SD13218943 and includes over 20 clearance cairns, while the
northern cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13358967 and includes 11
clearance cairns and a few short lengths of stone bank, one of which defines
the northern edge of the cairnfield. The field system comprises a single field
about 90m square with boundaries defined by a combination of stone banks and
cairn alignments.
To the south east of Levens Moss, on a natural terrace either side of a modern
fell track, are two cairnfields, one north of the fell track, the other
largely but not wholly south of the track. The northern cairnfield is centred
at approximately SD13358933 and includes over 20 clearance cairns. It is
separated from the southern cairnfield by an alignment of clearance cairns
which may represent a former boundary. The southern cairnfield is centred at
approximately SD13338900 and includes over 50 clearance cairns and some
lengths of stone bank together with a 70m length of stone wall aligned
north-south. Within this cairnfield there are four hut circles; the eastern at
SD13548903 is 8.5m in diameter with an entrance on its south side and has two
small associated enclosures. A hut circle at SD13398904 measures about 6m in
diameter with an entrance on its northern side. The western of the four hut
circles in this cairnfield is located at SD13258901 and is about 7m in
diameter with an entrance on its south western side. The southern hut circle
is at SD13498879 and measures about 6m in diameter with an entrance on its
northern side. A short distance north west of this latter hut circle is a
small prehistoric field system consisting of a pair of parallel stone banks
which define the edges of an arable plot or field about 30m square. Elsewhere
within this cairnfield are two funerary cairns; one a short distance west of
this field measures about 9.5m in diameter and 0.25m high, the other at
SD13338901 lies on the top of a small hillock and measures 9.5m by 8.5m and
0.5m high.
To the west of this cairnfield and south of Oldclose Gill are a group of three
small cairnfields, two of which lie north of the fell track while one is
predominantly but not wholly north of the track. Two sharp breaks of slope
orientated approximately north-south divide the area into three blocks of
well drained land each of which contains a cairnfield. The eastern cairnfield
is centred at approximately SD13148910 and includes over 20 small, relatively
uniform clearance cairns. The central cairnfield is centred at approximately
SD13008898 and contains over 20 randomly sized clearance cairns. Within this
central cairnfield there are four funerary cairns between 4.1m-15m long by
3.9m-13.1m wide and up to 0.5m high. The western cairnfield is centred at
approximately SD12908914 and includes eight clearance cairns and two short
lengths of stone bank.
Coppycow cairnfield is centred at approximately SD13008865 and lies within an
area of undulating, erratically drained moorland south of the fell track and
north of Crookley Beck. It contains over 30 clearance cairns and a few short
lengths of stone bank. Within the cairnfield are five funerary cairns, three
of which are located on the tops of low hillocks. The funerary cairns vary in
size between 5.5m-13m long by 3.8m-12.5m wide and up to 0.5m high.
The prehistoric remains on Bootle Fell reflect either sporadic or transient
occupation over a long period. The funerary cairns have forms similar to
excavated funerary cairns dated to the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age (about
3000-1500 BC) while the ring cairns are similar in form to one excavated
elsewhere in West Cumbria and dated to about 1700 BC. Sporadic occupation of
Bootle Fell is then attested by the existence of the medieval field system.
The register of the Priory of St Bees dated 1252 and the Millom Courtbook of
1510 both refer to the use of parts of Bootle Fell at these times.
Modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneth these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Cumbrian uplands comprise large areas of remote mountainous terrain, much
of which is largely open fellside. As a result of archaeological surveys
between 1980 and 1990 within the Lake District National Park, these fells have
become one of the best recorded upland areas in England. On the open fells
there is sufficient well preserved and understood evidence over extensive
areas for human exploitation of these uplands from the Neolithic to the post-
medieval period. On the enclosed land and within forestry the archaeological
remains are fragmentary, but they survive sufficiently well to show that human
activity extended beyond the confines of the open fells. Bronze Age activity
accounts for the most extensive use of the area, and evidence for it includes
some of the largest and best preserved field systems and cairn fields in
England, as well as settlement sites, numerous burial monuments, stone circles
and other ceremonial remains. Taken together, their remains can provide a
detailed insight into life in the later prehistoric period. Of additional
importance is the well-preserved and often visible relationship between the
remains of earlier and later periods, since this provides an understanding of
changes in land use through time. Because of their rarity in a national
context, excellent state of preservation and inter-connections, most
prehistoric monuments on the Lake District fells will be identified as
nationally important.

Medieval enclosed field systems comprise fields defined and enclosed by a
physical boundary. These boundaries can take various forms including walls,
hedges, earth and stone banks and ditches. Component features common to most
enclosed field systems include ridge and furrow and lynchets. The development
of enclosed field systems during the medieval period was a response to
population pressure and expansion onto marginal land, and the extent and
morphology of these field systems resulted from the nature of the topography
and social and economic constraints such as the size of the population they
were intended to support. The majority of enclosed field systems are thought
to have been used for pasture but others contained cultivated ground. Some
continued in use throughout the post-medieval period and are a major feature
of the modern landscape. They occur widely throughout England with a tendancy
towards upland areas associated with largely dispersed settlement patterns.
Medieval enclosed field systems offer good opportunities for understanding
medieval rural economy and provide valuable evidence regarding the morphology
of field systems, their extent and distribution.
The prehistoric cairnfields, funerary cairns, ring cairns, hut circles and
field systems on Bootle Fell survive well and form part of a well-preserved
prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. The
monument contains a complex and diverse group of prehistoric monument classes
and together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation
of this area in prehistoric times. Additionally the medieval enclosed field
system survives well and will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding
of settlement and economy during the medieval period. Overall the monument is
a rare example of a landscape within which evidence of human exploitation is
visible through a range of remarkably well-preserved monuments dating to the
prehistoric and medieval periods.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Bootle Fell Survey Catalogue, (1987)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1998), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1999), 2-15
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 2-15

Source: Historic England

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