Ancient Monuments

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Hare Gill prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 715m SSE of Fisher Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Eskdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3752 / 54°22'30"N

Longitude: -3.2943 / 3°17'39"W

OS Eastings: 316020.092649

OS Northings: 498511.052411

OS Grid: SD160985

Mapcode National: GBR 5KFV.LD

Mapcode Global: WH719.C9J8

Entry Name: Hare Gill prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 715m SSE of Fisher Gate

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019556

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32883

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Eskdale

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Eskdale St Catherine

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Hare Gill
prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and an associated field system
located above Hare Gill on the east-facing slopes of Garner Bank, 715m SSE of
Fisher Gate. It represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape and
includes over 30 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns, measuring up to
1.3m high, centred at SD16029850. The circular cairns measure between 1.2m to
4.8m in diameter while the oval-shaped cairns measure between 3m to 8m long by
1.5m to 4.6m wide. Associated with the cairnfield is a field system consisting
of two stone banks or walls, each with an entrance, which form the northern
and south western boundaries of the cairnfield and field system. A line of six
stones also marks the south west limit of the field system. Elsewhere, at
approximately SD16109847, there is a curvilinear stone wall or bank with an
entrance on its south side which may originally have formed part of an
enclosure. Another feature of the field system, and one considered to be an
indicator of past arable cultivation, is a lynchet which runs north west-
south east through a cairn-free area in the northern half of the monument.
Abutting the south east side of the curvilinear enclosure wall, at SD16099845,
is a hut circle settlement. It consists of a rectangular stone-walled
enclosure sub-divided into two smaller rectangular enclosures by a cross wall,
with each enclosure having an entrance on the south east side. The uphill
enclosure is the more level and appears to contain the remains of a hut
circle, while the adjoining lower enclosure appears sunken and is interpreted
as a small stock pen.

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.

Despite bracken infestation, Hare Gill prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle
settlement and associated field system 715m SSE of Fisher Gate survives
reasonably well and forms part of a large area of well-preserved prehistoric
landscape extending along the fellsides of south west Cumbria. In conjunction
with a wide range of other prehistoric remains in the vicinity the monument
represents evidence of long term management and exploitation of this area in
prehistoric times.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Leech, R, Birkby Fell Survey Catalogue, (1982)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997), 60-73

Source: Historic England

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