Ancient Monuments

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Medieval farmstead at Pasture Foot, 510m north west of Bleabeck Force

A Scheduled Monument in Forest and Frith, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6478 / 54°38'52"N

Longitude: -2.2032 / 2°12'11"W

OS Eastings: 386982.547157

OS Northings: 528097.797801

OS Grid: NY869280

Mapcode National: GBR FG1P.TN

Mapcode Global: WHB3W.4F3R

Entry Name: Medieval farmstead at Pasture Foot, 510m north west of Bleabeck Force

Scheduled Date: 24 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017117

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33481

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Forest and Frith

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham


The monument includes a medieval farmstead consisting of the remains of a
sub-rectangular building with an adjacent rubble bank. It is situated on the
south bank of the River Tees, at a bend in the river, about 150m west of the
west edge of Force Garth Quarry.
The building is 19m long and 7m wide and is divided by a rubble bank into two
compartments. The walls of the building are composed of whinstone rubble and
are 2m wide and 0.6m high in the eastern half of the building. The walls of
the west half have been added to in modern times to make a shelter, and are
0.8m high. At the east end of the building is a stony mound 3m in diameter.
The rubble bank associated with the farmstead is `L'-shaped. It runs south
from the building for about 5m before turning west and continuing to the edge
of the river bank. The rubble bank is discernible as a slight rubbly crest 2m
wide, and is interpreted as a wall or hedgebank enclosing a yard or garth
attached to the farmstead.

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
evolved gradually during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Northern Pennines sub-Province of the Northern and
Western Province, an area characterised from the Middle Ages by dispersed
settlements, with some nucleations in more favoured areas. The sub-Province is
formed by discontinuous high moorland landscapes; agricultural settlement has
been episodic, in response to the economic fortunes of adjacent sub-Provinces.
Other settlements have been associated with the extraction of stone and other

In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the
landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an
area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single, or
principal, nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence
instead of small settlment units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across
the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection
with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or
road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously from region to region,
but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include
roads and other minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other
buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In areas
where stone was used for building, the outline of building foundations may
still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlements frequently include
features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed mediaeval
settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the Northern and
Western Province of England. They are found in upland and also some lowland
areas. Where found, their archaeological remains are one of the most important
sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries
following the Norman Conquest.
The farmstead at Pasture Foot survives well and forms part of a pattern of
medieval dispersed settlement in Upper Teesdale.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Coggins, D, 'Upper Teesdale the archaeology of a North Pennine Valley' in Upper Teesdale The Archaeology Of A North Pennine Valley, , Vol. 150, (1986), 112

Source: Historic England

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