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Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, two enclosures and three round cairns, 280m south east of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

A Scheduled Monument in Murton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5871 / 54°35'13"N

Longitude: -2.3802 / 2°22'48"W

OS Eastings: 375525.007816

OS Northings: 521383.326255

OS Grid: NY755213

Mapcode National: GBR CHTD.HG

Mapcode Global: WH92V.DYSW

Entry Name: Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, two enclosures and three round cairns, 280m SE of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018830

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27840

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Murton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Appleby St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Swindale Brow
prehistoric hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three round
cairns. It is located on sloping ground on the valley side 280m south east of
the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck. The settlement includes a
circular terrace approximately 5m in diameter cut into the hillslope which is
interpreted as the site of a hut platform. Approximately 20m south east of the
hut platform is a round cairn measuring 7.5m by 5m and up to 0.2m high which
is kerbed with boulders on its upslope northern side but tumbling downslope on
its southern side. A short distance upslope from the hut platform there is an
oval shaped stone walled enclosure measuring 15m by 12.5m within which is a
round cairn approximately 6m in diameter. To the west are traces of a larger
irregularly shaped stone walled enclosure measuring approximately 28m north-
south internally with an entrance on its south eastern side. The wall on
the northern side of this enclosure fades into the hillside but on the
southern side it continues as a low stone bank running north westwards along
the contour for about 15m, suggesting there may have been an entrance on this
side also. A short distance further west lies a substantial round cairn
measuring 9.5m by 8.5m and up to 0.6m high with a disturbed central cist.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of
prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-
based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor
area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The
huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or
be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated
field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by
areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other
enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their
relationship with other monument types provides important information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.

Within the upland landscape of Cumbria there are many discrete plots of land,
or enclosures, enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of
which date to the Bronze Age. They were constructed as stock pens or as
protected areas for crop growing. Their size and form may therefore vary
depending upon their function. Their variation in form, longevity and relation
to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of
social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.
Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age. They
were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These
burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called
cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Their considerable
variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.
Swindale Brow prehistoric hut circle settlement, enclosures and round cairns
survives reasonably well and represents a complex and diverse group of
prehistoric monument classes. Together these represent long term management
and exploitation of the landscape and indicate the importance of this area in
prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SMR No. 16548, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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