Ancient Monuments

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Late prehistoric enclosed settlement with an outlying bank and ditch on Counter Hill, 220m north east of Moorcock Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Silsden, Bradford

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Latitude: 53.9452 / 53°56'42"N

Longitude: -1.9287 / 1°55'43"W

OS Eastings: 404774.4571

OS Northings: 449906.02859

OS Grid: SE047499

Mapcode National: GBR GQZT.7H

Mapcode Global: WHB7H.B3SB

Entry Name: Late prehistoric enclosed settlement with an outlying bank and ditch on Counter Hill, 220m north east of Moorcock Hall

Scheduled Date: 24 June 1965

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018260

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31499

County: Bradford

Civil Parish: Silsden

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Silsden St James

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument, which is in two areas of protection, includes a late prehistoric
enclosed settlement, partly surrounded by an outlying bank and ditch. It is
situated on the south slope of Counter Hill, 220m north east of Moorcock Hall.
The enclosure occupies a small knoll, and is bounded by a ditch with an outer
bank. The bank is approximately 9m wide and up to 0.6m high. The ditch is
about 5m wide and 0.4m deep. There are no discernable internal features. The
outlying earthwork consists of a bank with an outer ditch, partly encircling
the enclosure on its south and west sides.
The condition of the outlying earthwork varies considerably. The bank survives
to a maximum height of approximately 0.3m and a maximum width of about 8m. The
ditch survives to a maximum width of approximately 4m and to a maximum height
of about 0.6m.
The drystone walls which cross the enclosure and the bank and ditch 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 Pennine uplands of northern England contain a wide variety of prehistoric
remains, including cairns, enclosures, carved rocks, settlements and field
systems. These are evidence of the widespread exploitation of these uplands
throughout later prehistory. During the last millennium BC a variety of
different types of enclosed settlements developed. These include hillforts,
which have substantial earthworks and are usually located on hilltops. Other
types of enclosed settlement of this period are less obviously defensive, as
they have less substantial earthworks and are usually in less prominent
positions. In the Pennines a number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements
survive as upstanding monuments. Where upstanding earthworks survive, the
settlements are between 0.4ha and 10ha in area, and are usually located on
ridges or hillside terraces. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight, most
consisting of a ditch with an internal bank, or with an internal and external
bank, but examples with an internal ditch and with no ditch are known. They
are sub-circular, sub-rectangular, or oval in shape. Few of these enclosed
settlements have been subject to systematic excavation, but they are thought
to date from between the Late Bronze Age to the Romano-British period (c.1000
BC-AD 400). Examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of
settlement. Some appear to have developed from earlier palisaded enclosures.
Unexcavated examples occasionally have levelled areas which may have contained
buildings, but a proportion may have functioned primarily as stock enclosures.
Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the
Pennine uplands, and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed
settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time.
Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives
are considered to be nationally important.

The late prehistoric enclosed settlement survives well and is one of two such
enclosed settlements on the slopes of Counter Hill. The survival of the
outlying earthwork is unsual and is an important feature of the site.
Together, they contribute to the understanding of late prehistoric settlement
and land use in northern England.

Source: Historic England

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