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Two round cairns, three Romano-British settlements and aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns and quarry

A Scheduled Monument in Ravenstonedale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4556 / 54°27'20"N

Longitude: -2.4316 / 2°25'53"W

OS Eastings: 372115.596546

OS Northings: 506777.559143

OS Grid: NY721067

Mapcode National: GBR CJGX.CK

Mapcode Global: WH93L.M89L

Entry Name: Two round cairns, three Romano-British settlements and aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns and quarry

Scheduled Date: 21 October 1938

Last Amended: 3 September 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021107

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35010

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ravenstonedale

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Stephen with Mallerstang and Crosby Garrett with Soulby

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes two prehistoric round cairns, three Romano-British
settlements and associated regular aggregate field systems at Severals and
Intake, and Smardale Gill lime kilns, quarry and associated inclined plane.
The prehistoric and Romano-British monuments are located on a gently-sloping
enclosed moorland plateau whilst the kilns, quarry and inclined plane are
located to the east on the steeply sloping western side of Scandal Beck. The
Romano-British settlements and field systems are bounded by steeply-sloping
ground on the east side and by a steep limestone outcrop on the south. On the
west and north east sides the field system boundaries are formed by earth
dykes whilst the northern limits of the field system are marked by a
limestone scarp along the top of which runs a modern drystone wall. The
prehistoric and Romano-British parts of the monument are described from south
to north.

At NY72200731 there is an oval-shaped prehistoric round cairn consisting of a
grass-covered stone mound up to 1m high measuring 14m by 12m. The northern
settlement is located at NY72480711 and consists of a square earth and
stone-walled enclosure with two smaller rectangular enclosures on the west
and an irregularly-shaped enclosure on the east. Within the south east corner
of the square enclosure there are traces of a possible two-roomed building
while in the north east corner of the larger western enclosure there are the
remains of a square building. The irregular enclosure contains two hut
circles and a small rectangular enclosure and is crossed by the eastern
boundary of the field system associated with the settlement, suggesting that
this part of the boundary was laid out after the irregular enclosure had gone
out of use. There are faint traces of a rectangular building situated at the
angle where the boundary crosses the irregular enclosure. After crossing this
enclosure the boundary runs north to a limestone outcrop. A second bank runs
from the north east corner of the enclosure to the outcrop thus forming
another enclosure. Running west from the south west angle of the settlement,
along the top of a ridge, is a 230m length of trackway with traces of a wall
on each side. It terminates at the end of the ridge close to the remains of a
rectangular structure of uncertain function measuring 21m by 7.5m. Surface
remains of the field system associated with the northern settlement have been
largely obliterated by later ploughing. The central settlement is located at
NY72320691 and consists of a large irregularly-shaped enclosure with
entrances on the north and south west sides. It is sub-divided into numerous
smaller enclosures, some of which contain remains of hut circles and some of
which are interpreted as stock enclosures. A wall from the south west
entrance of the settlement runs in a westerly direction along the top of a
ridge then descends to join the western boundary of the monument adjacent to
a wide entrance through the boundary bank. The slightly lower ground
immediately south of the central settlement is covered by an extensive field
system consisting of numerous rectangular fields bounded by low turf-covered
banks. At NY72910652 there is a prehistoric round cairn consisting of a
grass-covered stone mound 11.5m in diameter and up to 1.2m high. South of
this cairn, at NY71880643, there is the southern of the three settlements.
Known as Severals, it consists of a large irregularly-shaped enclosure with
numerous smaller sub-rectangular enclosures, some containing hut circles, on
its east side. The large enclosure is itself sub-divided internally into
smaller enclosures, some containing hut circles and others interpreted as
stock pens. Entrances into the settlement are not clear but there is a
well-defined sunken way leading up to the settlement from the south west.
Another trackway, flanked by wall foundations, runs from the west boundary
wall of the settlement westwards to join the western boundary of the monument
where there are traces of a narrow entrance through the boundary bank. In an
enclosure south of the settlement there is a small rectangular structure with
an entrance from an adjacent enclosure to the west. Immediately north of this
structure are traces of a large rectangular building and a short distance to
the east there is a circular enclosure. Radiating from the settlement is a
field system consisting of numerous sub-rectangular fields of varying sizes
bounded by low turf-covered banks. A wall runs from the north east of the
settlement to the boundary wall of Smardale Gill quarry approximately 390m to
the east.

The surviving field systems here are unusual in being heavily lyncheted,
suggesting repeated use of these enclosures for arable cultivation. The earth
dyke forming the monument's western boundary may have functioned as a barrier
for livestock grazing the wider fell. The stone-walled trackways connect the
settlements with the enclosed pastures of the field systems and provided
protected access to the settlements through the arable-type fields. The
trackways suggest the need to contain the movement of animals and it is
thought that such constraints were related to the existence of arable fields
used as hay meadows in the vicinity of the settlements. Smardale Gill lime
kilns, located at NY72430653, are mid-19th century constructions and
represent a major commercial lime producing operation. The kilns are of two
phases of construction, with the one to the right being the original, and
consist of a large bank of two dressed limestone kilns up to 10m high. Both
kilns have two draw holes set within semi-circular draw arches which are set
about 2m above ground level. Access to the draw holes was by steps cut into
the face of the wall. A railway siding enabled trucks to be shunted into
position and burned lime could then be shovelled directly into the trucks.
The two charge holes above the kilns are largely infilled but the original
one displays evidence of having been lined with firebricks. The kilns are
draw hole type lime kilns which were used to burn limestone. Typically the
limestone was tipped into the kilns from above via the charge holes then
burned using wood, coal or coke as a fuel. The resultant quicklime, also
known as birdlime or slaked lime, was then shovelled out from the draw holes
at the bottom of the kilns. Lime has many uses including spreading on lime
deficient soils to encourage plant growth, the whitewashing of walls and
ceilings of buildings, and concrete and cement production. At Smardale Gill
the fuel was brought to the charge holes in trucks along a tramway or
inclined plane to the south of the kilns. The trucks were hauled by a
stationary engine located in an engine house, the ruins of which still
contain the engine beds located above the kiln adjacent to the charge holes.
To the rear is an extensive quarry containing numerous spoil heaps which is
believed to have been exploited for building stone as well as lime for
burning. Smardale Gill lime kilns are a Listed Building Grade II.

All modern walls, fences, fenceposts, signposts and gateposts 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

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements
dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non-
defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone
construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also
common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures
were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common.
Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the
settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the
enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard
layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of
the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were
pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two
houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the
settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main
enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be
found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form
and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known.
These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives
throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement
forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common
throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved
earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common,
although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography.
All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be
identified as nationally important.

A regular aggregate field system is a group of regularly defined fields,
of Roman date, laid out in a block or blocks which lie approximately at
right angles to each other, usually with a settlement as a focal point.
Their main components are fields, field boundaries and trackways. They
represent the most common form of land division in Roman Britain and
examples are known to have been in use from the 1st to the 5th centuries
AD, with many being a continuation or adaptation of existing pre-Roman
Iron Age field systems. They are scattered throughout England but tend to
survive best in the uplands where they have remained free of later
agricultural degredation. They are an important source of information on
the agricultural techniques and the economy of the Roman period.

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the late
Neolithic/Bronze Age (2400-600 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds
covering single or multiple burials and are a relatively common feature of
the uplands. 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 and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection. Limestone or chalk has been the basic ingredient for lime
mortar from at least Roman times. Since the medieval period, lime has also
been used as an agricultural fertiliser and, since the early 19th century,
widely used in a variety of other industries. The lime industry is defined
as the processes of producing lime by burning and slaking. Lime or chalk,
when burnt at a high temperature, produces `quicklime' which, when mixed
with water, can be turned into a stable powder - lime. Lime burning sites
varied in scale from individual small lime kilns adjacent to a quarry, to
large scale works designed to operate commercially for an extended market
and often associated with long distance water or rail transport. The form
of kilns used for lime burning evolved throughout the history of the
industry, from small intermittent clamp and flare kilns, to large
continuously fired draw kilns that could satisfy increased demand from
urban development, industrial growth and agricultural improvement. From a
highly selective sample made at national level, around 200 lime industry
sites have been defined as being of national importance. These have been
defined to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological
breadth and regional diversity.

Despite some later plough damage to the northern field system, the two
prehistoric round cairns and three Romano-British settlements and
aggregate field systems at Severals and Intake survives well and will
retain significant archaeological deposits associated with their use
during these periods. The monument represents evidence of long term
management and exploitation of the landscape and will add greatly to our
understanding of the changing nature of settlement and economy during the
prehistoric and Romano-British periods. Additionally Smardale Gill lime
kilns, quarry and inclined plane also survives well. It forms a landscape
of stone extraction, burning and transportation and represents a
well-preserved example of mid to late 19th century large scale commercial
lime production. Overall the monument retains evidence of settlement and
exploitation covering a period of over 4000 years.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 88
Lime, Cement, Plaster Industries site assess, , Smardale Lime Kilns, Crosby Garrett, (1996)
Keates, A G, 'Assoc for Industrial Archaeology' in Smardale, (1995)
Keates, A G, 'Assoc for Industrial Archaeology' in Smardale, (1995)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
Smardale Gill lime kilns, Crosby Garrett, Lime, Cement & Plaster Industry site assessment, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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