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Prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn

A Scheduled Monument in Eskdale, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.3835 / 54°23'0"N

Longitude: -3.2442 / 3°14'39"W

OS Eastings: 319289.45995

OS Northings: 499383.687295

OS Grid: SD192993

Mapcode National: GBR 5KSR.FD

Mapcode Global: WH71B.42DV

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system 290m south east of Low Birker Tarn

Scheduled Date: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019617

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32891

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and an
associated field system, located on relatively flat ground 290m south east of
Low Birker Tarn, immediately south of an unnamed stream which drains into Low
Birker Pool. It represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape and
includes one oval-shaped and six circular clearance cairns up to 0.7m high.
The circular cairns measure between 2.4m and 9m in diameter while the
oval-shaped cairn measures 4m long by 2.7m wide. The hut circle settlement is
centred towards the north eastern end of the monument at approximately
SD19339941. It consists of the fragmentary stone walls of a sub-circular
enclosure within which are the remains of two hut circles between 5m and 5.5m
in diameter. One of the huts has an entrance on the western side while the
other has an entrance on its north eastern side. Associated with the
cairnfield and hut circle settlement are fragmentary traces of a small field
system consisting of a curvilinear stone wall or bank which may have formed
part of an enclosure, together with two short lengths of wall. The area
between these features is relatively cairn-free suggesting that the ground was
cleared in preparation for arable cultivation.

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.

The prehistoric cairnfield, hut circle settlement and associated field system
290m south east of Low Birker Tarn 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

Sources

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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