Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water

A Scheduled Monument in Eskdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3595 / 54°21'34"N

Longitude: -3.2839 / 3°17'2"W

OS Eastings: 316664.022

OS Northings: 496754.427941

OS Grid: SD166967

Mapcode National: GBR 5LH1.V0

Mapcode Global: WH719.JPG9

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system 630m east of the confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019928

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32886

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 prehistoric cairnfield and associated field system
located on the south-facing slopes of The Seat, 630m east of the confluence of
Hall Beck and Devoke Water. It represents Bronze Age exploitation of this
landscape and includes over 30 circular and oval-shaped clearance cairns up to
0.4m high. The circular cairns measure between 1.8m to 5.9m in diameter while
the oval-shaped cairns measure between 3.3m to 8.3m long by 1.6m to 2.7m wide.
Associated with the cairnfield is a field system consisting of two short
lengths of stone wall or banks running downslope on a north west-south east
alignment marking the north eastern and south western limits of the field
system. Another feature of the field system, and one considered to be an
indicator of past arable cultivation, is a lynchet running across the contours
and centred at approximately SD16759675.
A short length of drystone wall on the monument's south west side is excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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

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 and associated field system 630m east of the
confluence of Hall Beck and Devoke Water 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
contemporaneous 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)
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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