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Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three cairns, 170m west of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

A Scheduled Monument in Murton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5877 / 54°35'15"N

Longitude: -2.387 / 2°23'13"W

OS Eastings: 375084.723054

OS Northings: 521455.461358

OS Grid: NY750214

Mapcode National: GBR CHSD.07

Mapcode Global: WH92V.9YKD

Entry Name: Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and three cairns, 170m west of confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018831

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27841

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 a prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two
associated enclosures and three round cairns located on a natural hillside
terrace 170m west of the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton Beck. The
stone hut circle settlement includes the turf covered footings of a stone hut
circle measuring approximately 11m by 9m with an entrance on its western side.
Attached to the south side of the hut circle is a small rectangular stone
walled stock pen measuring 10m by 9m externally with an entrance at its north
western corner. Attached to the western side of this is a second, slightly
larger, stock pen with an entrance on its western side. A short distance east
of the hut circle there are two adjoining stone walled enclosures; the larger
measuring 17m by 15m and having an entrance in its western side, the smaller
measuring 12m by 15m. A little to the east of these enclosures there is an
alignment of three round cairns between 4m-6m in diameter and up to 0.6m high.

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

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.
The prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, two associated enclosures and
three round cairns 170m west of the confluence of Swindale Beck and Hilton
Beck survives well. It is one of a number of prehistoric sites located on the
fells of eastern Cumbria and indicates 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. 3951, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1985)
SMR No. 3951, Cumbria County Council, Swindale Brow, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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