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Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary cairns, cemetery and cairnfield, Romano-British farmstead, shieling and lynchets

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.4741 / 54°28'26"N

Longitude: -3.4348 / 3°26'5"W

OS Eastings: 307115.762162

OS Northings: 509692.670181

OS Grid: NY071096

Mapcode National: GBR 4JGP.5Y

Mapcode Global: WH70N.6SMZ

Entry Name: Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary cairns, cemetery and cairnfield, Romano-British farmstead, shieling and lynchets

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1965

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018500

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27822

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ennerdale and Kinniside

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Lamplugh St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of four prehistoric
stone hut circle settlements, associated field systems, funerary cairns, a
cairn cemetery and an extensive cairnfield, a Romano-British farmstead, and a
medieval shieling and associated lynchets. It is located on Tongue How, which
lies at the western end of Town Bank, a large area of unenclosed moorland on
the southern slopes of Lank Rigg, and represents evidence for the prehistoric,
Romano-British and medieval exploitation of this landscape.
Two of the prehistoric stone hut circle settlements lie adjacent to each other
at NY07030981 and NY07100982; the western settlement exhibits a hut circle
measuring approximately 13.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.35m high and an
entrance on its eastern side. A substantial stone wall connects the hut circle
to a sub-circular stock enclosure to the south east. This has an entrance on
its northern side and contains a sunken interior within which are traces of a
later three-sided drystone structure of uncertain function. To the north east
of this enclosure, and joined by a stone wall, is a circular feature
interpreted as a second hut circle. The eastern of these two adjacent stone
hut circle settlements consists of a partly excavated and reconstructed hut
circle measuring 9.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.75m high together with
two associated stock enclosures; an oval one to the west of the hut circle and
an irregularly-shaped one to the north. On the hillslope to the south, west
and east of these hut circle settlements lies an associated field system
defined by a series of parallel stone banks. The fields are generally long
and narrow and vary between 27m and 32m in width. The absence of stone
clearance cairns in some of the fields and the presence of cairns in other
fields suggests different agricultural practices were undertaken here.
The third prehistoric stone hut circle settlement lies approximately 400m WSW
of the two adjacent hut circle settlements. It consists of a hut circle
measuring approximately 9.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.5m high and an
entrance on the western side. To the north lies an oval stock enclosure which
is connected to the hut circle by a stone wall.
Approximately 350m east of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements is a
complex unenclosed stone hut circle settlement consisting of two hut circles
and five artificially levelled terraces upon which huts are considered to have
been constructed. Associated with this group of dwellings are the remains of
at least five enclosures, some of which would have been used for stock control
whilst others display evidence of soil slippage, suggesting they were used for
cultivation. At the southern side of the settlement area there are a series of
four approximately parallel stone banks/cairn alignments forming the field
boundaries of a small associated field system.
A further more extensive but fragmentary field system consisting of field
boundaries formed by cairn alignments and stone banks is centred approximately
400m south west of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements.
A final field system is centred approximately 600m ENE of the two adjacent
stone hut circle settlements; this consists of three field boundaries formed
by a combination of cairn alignments and fragmentary stone banks which appear
to be aligned along three radial lines extending from an unmarked origin a
short distance to the north east. These boundaries form two fields; the
northern one contains a single cairn whilst the southern one contains numerous
clearance cairns and seven larger funerary cairns, indicating that it
functioned as a small prehistoric cairn cemetery containing individual
funerary cairns varying between 3.5m in diameter to a maximum of 14m long by
9m wide and up to 1m high.
By contrast upwards of 300 generally smaller clearance cairns form a
cairnfield which is scattered over the whole of Tongue How. Some of the cairns
are randomly distributed clearance cairns while many others have been used in
the formation of field boundaries as noted above. Amongst these clearance
cairns are an additional six funerary cairns including one situated on the
highest point of Tongue How at NY07370991 and one located close to the two
adjacent hut circle settlements. This latter funerary cairn was excavated
during the 1950s and was found to contain a stone cist and evidence of a
cremation.
The character of these prehistoric field systems on Tongue How is quite
distinct and falls into two basic types; at the eastern end the field system
is associated with randomly distributed clearance cairns and a concentration
of funerary cairns, while at the western end the field systems are associated
with stone hut circle settlements and employ a different approach to stone
clearance. Here the stone has been piled into banks and cairn alignments to
form long, narrow fields of fairly uniform width within which there is a
general absence of clearance cairns. These differences between the field
systems indicate the use of different agricultural practices; random cairns
can obstruct the use of the plough, thus the differences between the field
systems is interpreted as reflecting a change of emphasis from pastoral
towards arable farming. The systems therefore represent different stages of
agricultural development and while it is possible that the two contrasting
farming practices were in contemporary use, it is more likely that
the relative chronology reflects their typological development. The complex
unenclosed stone hut circle settlement with its associated small enclosures
situated approximately 350m east of the two adjacent stone hut circle
settlements is interpreted as representing a transitional type of settlement
between the two field systems.
A short distance north west of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements
is a Romano-British enclosed farmstead at NY06980988 consisting of a circular
stone boundary bank approximately 36m in diameter and with an entrance on the
eastern side. Within the enclosure there is a short length of stone bank which
subdivides part of the interior, and the remains of three hut circles varying
between approximately 5.5m - 10.5m in diameter with walls up to 0.5m high.
Approximately 260m south east of the two adjacent stone hut circle settlements
are the remains of a single-roomed medieval shieling at NY07240962 measuring
7.1m by 5.2m with walls up to 1.2m high and an entrance on the western side.
Associated with the shieling are a series of six agricultural terraces or
lynchets cut into the hillslope and varying between 12m - 63m in length and 2m
- 3.5m in width. A stone bank running down the hillslope marks the western end
of these terraces.
The prehistoric remains on Tongue How 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 unenclosed hut circles are considered by comparison
with dated examples from elsewhere in northern England to span a broad period
from about 1750-450 BC. Sporadic occupation at Tongue How is then attested by
the Romano-British farmstead and the medieval shieling and its associated
lynchets.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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.

In Cumbria several distinctive types of native settlement dating to the Roman
period have been identified. The majority were small, non-defensive, enclosed
homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although
in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. These
homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the
Roman occupation, their origins lying in settlement forms developed before
the arrival of the latter. They are common throughout the uplands where they
frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. All homestead sites which
survive substantially intact will be normally identified as nationally
important.
Shielings are small seasonally occupied huts which were built to provide
shelter for herdsmen who tended animals grazing summer pasture on upland or
marshland. These huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was
moved in spring from lowland pasture around the permanently occupied farms to
communal upland grazing during the warmer summer months. Settlement patterns
reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age onwards. However, the
construction of herdsman's huts in a form distinctive from the normal dwelling
houses of farms only appears from the early medieval period onwards (from AD
450) to about the end of the 16th century. Shielings have a simple rectangular
or ovoid plan normally defined by drystone walling although turf-built
structures are known. Most examples have a single undivided interior although
two-roomed shielings are known. They are reasonably common in the uplands but
frequently represent the only evidence for medieval settlement and farming
practices here. Those examples which survive well and which help illustrate
the medieval land use of an area are considered to be nationally important.
Tongue How prehistoric stone hut circle settlements, field systems, funerary
cairns, cemetery and cairnfield survive well and form part of a large area
of well-preserved prehistoric settlements which extend over Town Bank and
Stockdale Moor. The monument contains one of the most complex and diverse
groups of prehistoric monument classes to be found on the Lake District fells,
and together these represent evidence of long term management and exploitation
of this area in prehistoric times. Additionally the Romano-British farmstead
survives well and is a good example of this class of monument. It will
facilitate any further study of the Romano-British settlement patterns in the
area. The medieval shieling and associated lynchets also survive well and will
add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and the 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 from prehistoric times to
the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J A, Town Bank Survey Catalogue, (1986)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 40-54

Source: Historic England

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