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Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, an associated field system and two round cairns 700m south west of Great Carrath

A Scheduled Monument in Murton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5863 / 54°35'10"N

Longitude: -2.3934 / 2°23'36"W

OS Eastings: 374672.41702

OS Northings: 521307.406616

OS Grid: NY746213

Mapcode National: GBR CHQD.MQ

Mapcode Global: WH92V.6ZJF

Entry Name: Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement, an associated field system and two round cairns 700m south west of Great Carrath

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019073

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32821

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, an associated
field system, and two round cairns located on the lower south-facing slopes of
Mell Fell, 700m south west of Great Carrath. The stone hut circle settlement
includes a sub-rectangular stone-walled enclosure measuring approximately 65m
by 50m internally which has a modern drystone wall constructed on its north
eastern corner. Within the settlement enclosure are the remains of two stone
hut circles, one built adjacent to the eastern wall of the enclosure, the
other adjacent to the west wall of the enclosure, each measuring approximately
8.5m by 6m. There appear to be traces of a narrow entrance to the settlement
immediately adjacent to the western hut circle. On the hillslope south and
south east of the settlement there is an extensive associated field system
consisting of rectangular and curvilinear fields or large enclosures bounded
by stone and earth-built banks. Two disturbed round cairns interpreted as
funerary monuments lie approximately 90m to the east and 90m to the west of
the settlement. Both measure about 6m in diameter by 0.5m high.
All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

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.

Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age to the end of the
fifth century AD and comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly
the same direction, with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set out
at right angles to each other. The settlements or farmsteads from which people
utilised the fields are usually situated close to or within the field system.
The majority of regular aggregate field systems are thought to have been used
mainly for crop production although rotation may also have been practiced in a
mixed farming economy. They represent a coherent economic unit often utilised
for long periods and can thus provide important information about developments
in agricultural practices and broader patterns of social, cultural and
environmental change over several centuries.
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 and its associated regular
aggregate field system and two round cairns 700m south west of Great Carrath
survive well and represent a complex and diverse group of prehistoric monument
classes. Together these monuments represent evidence of 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
In SMR No. 6263. AP No. CCC2797,29, Cumbria County Council,
Letter to Cumbria SMR, Gates,T, (1998)
SMR No. 6263, Cumbria County Council, (1998)
SMR no. 6263, Cumbria SMR, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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