Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Settlement remains of Blakemoorflat

A Scheduled Monument in Worthen with Shelve, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.6014 / 52°36'5"N

Longitude: -2.925 / 2°55'29"W

OS Eastings: 337450.403608

OS Northings: 300805.383654

OS Grid: SJ374008

Mapcode National: GBR B9.98KK

Mapcode Global: WH8C4.1WF1

Entry Name: Settlement remains of Blakemoorflat

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017766

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21667

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Worthen with Shelve

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Hope

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument is situated towards the northernmost limit of the Stiperstones
ridge and includes the ruins and earthwork remains of a 19th century mining
and crofting settlement and its enclosed fields.

Map evidence indicates that the settlement was established by the early 19th
century and is believed to have had close associations with Snailbeach lead
mine to the north. Mining was always piecemeal, and even at its height, many
of the miners supplemented their income by farming. Blakemoorflat lies within
an area of cleared moorland and is enclosed by a series of boundary wall and
earth banks. Map and documentary records indicate that there was one cottage
at the site, occupied by a Robert Evans, by around 1847 and a further cottage
was erected at a later date in the north eastern part of the site. During the
early to mid-20th century, in response to the economic decline of the lead
mining industry, the cottages at Blakemoorflat were gradually deserted.

Each stone-built cottage and its associated outbuildings, which include a
part-underground root store, are situated within a small enclosed yard, beyond
which is an enclosed field and several small paddocks. Both cottages at
Blakemoorflat are in ruins but retain evidence for their plan and internal
walls. The water supply for the settlement was provided from a well to the
north west of the site and the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows pathways
running between both cottages and the well. The enclosed fields have been
cleared of stone and a large clearance cairn is situated beyond the
settlement's north western boundary. These fields are thought to have been
used for cultivation; traces of ridge and furrow are visible in the southern
field, whilst the moorland was used for livestock grazing.

Approximately 150m to the north east of Blakemoorflat is a second crofting
settlement which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Stiperstones offers a considerable diversity of archaeological remains
which provide direct evidence for the exploitation of this area of upland and
the well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
land boundaries and trackways as well as industrial remains, allows
significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use
through time. Distinctive farming patterns, with cottages and smallholdings,
are especially associated with the Stiperstones, where settlement often
developed as a result of of mining employment during the late 18th and early
19th centuries. This period represents a time in which arable farming
increased in popularity on the moor, resulting in a number of new settlements
being established on previously unenclosed moorland. These settlements survive
as groups of cottages and outbuildings which sit within their own plots and
are generally associated with contemporary field systems, many of which still
remain in use for grazing. Many were abandoned after a relatively short time,
usually in response to changing economic conditions, and thus provide
information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practice
amongst the communities occupying this area of upland. The better surviving
examples are therefore considered worthy of protection.
The settlement remains of Blakemoorflat survive well as both ruins and
earthworks and represent a good example of a deserted mining and crofting
settlement. It retains both structural and artefactual evidence for the
cottages and outbuildings which originally existed here, allowing an insight
into the farming and domestic activities which took place in this area during
the 19th century.

Source: Historic England

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