Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system at Little Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Threshfield, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0746 / 54°4'28"N

Longitude: -2.0281 / 2°1'40"W

OS Eastings: 398261.228322

OS Northings: 464298.60962

OS Grid: SD982642

Mapcode National: GBR GP8B.Q3

Mapcode Global: WHB6N.TVF6

Entry Name: Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system at Little Wood

Scheduled Date: 27 January 1964

Last Amended: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019935

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31335

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Threshfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a prehistoric
settlement and associated field system. The monument is situated on a set of
level terraces at Little Wood, 600m south west of the River Wharfe.
The settlement lies in the eastern half of the monument and includes at least
six hut circles up to 11m in diameter. They survive as shallow circular
depressions bounded by slight stony banks. In at least two places the banks
survive as roughly coursed rubble walling up to 1m high. Four of the hut
circles are clustered together. Immediately to the south and east of the hut
circles are shallow rubble banks forming small paddocks and enclosures.
The field system lies to the west and south west of the settlement. This
includes a series of irregularly shaped fields formed by substantial rubble
walls up to 4m thick and 0.5m high. The fields vary in size from 20m to 60m
across. At the north of the field system the edge of the terrace has been
built up and revetted with stone. In some places the walls are still in use,
separating modern fields.
Throughout the monument are areas of limestone pavement. Some of this has been
incorporated into the field system. The field system originally extended
further to the west and south but no traces of this now survive.
All fences, gates and signs are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric
farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are
visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were
timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights
used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as
a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can
only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level
stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between
one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the
platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the
contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated
with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or
indicated by groups of clearance cairns.
Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it
is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early
Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed
and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the
same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument
types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation
and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system
at Little Wood survives well and significant evidence of the original form and
function of the different elements will be preserved. The monument offers
important scope for understanding settlement and social organisation in the
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
White, R F, Long Ashes Caravan Park: The Archaeological Potential, (1984)
White, R F, Long Ashes Caravan Park: The Archaeological Potential, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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