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Prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well

A Scheduled Monument in Millom Without, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2978 / 54°17'52"N

Longitude: -3.269 / 3°16'8"W

OS Eastings: 317511.57591

OS Northings: 489871.970697

OS Grid: SD175898

Mapcode National: GBR 5LMR.24

Mapcode Global: WH71P.R7KL

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well

Scheduled Date: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35013

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Millom Without

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Thwaites St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairnfield, ring cairn, hut circle and
field system on Thwaites Fell 670m east Hodgewife Well. It is located on
the east facing gently-sloping fellside north of a minor road across
Corney Fell and represents Bronze Age exploitation of this landscape. The
cairnfield consists of over 200 round and oval-shaped clearance cairns up
to 0.6m high; the round cairns measuring between 2m-6.6m in diameter, the
oval-shaped cairns measuring between 3.3m-9.5m long by 1.9m-6m wide. At
SD17668972 there is a ring cairn consisting of well-defined circle of
stones 8.25m in diameter and up to 0.3m high surrounding a flattish,
largely stone-free centre. At SD17318993, on the east-facing hillslope and
thus protected from the prevailing westerly winds, there are the remains
of a hut circle measuring approximately 14m in diameter with an entrance
on its northern side. Associated with these features are faint traces of a
field system formed by fragments of enclosures and stone banks or walls.
At SD17448998 there are the southern and eastern walls of a small
enclosure while further south, at SD17548985, there is a discontinuous
stone bank defining the western and northern boundaries of a probable
D-shaped enclosure devoid of cairns. A third, smaller three-sided
enclosure is situated at SD17628975. Three lengths of stone bank or wall
are found close to the southern end of the cairnfield; one about 70m long
marks the southern limit of the cairnfield while another, about 20m long
and well-defined, lies beyond the south western limit of the cairnfield.

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, ring cairn, hut circle and field system on
Thwaites Fell 670m east of Hodgewife Well survives well. It forms part of
a well-preserved prehistoric landscape extending along the fellsides of
south west Cumbria which together represent evidence of long-term
management and exploitation of this area in prehistoric times.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Leech, R H, Thwaites Fell LDNPS Survey Catalogue, (1984)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997)
Quartermaine, J, Leech, R H, Upland Settlement of the Lake District: Result of Recent Surveys, (1997)
Cross, M, 'Trans Cumb And West Antiq And Arch Soc. New Series' in Explorations on Thwaites Fell, South Cumberland, , Vol. XXIX, (1929), 250-8

Source: Historic England

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