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Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlements, associated field systems and cairnfields 790m ENE and 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5172 / 54°31'1"N

Longitude: -3.3184 / 3°19'6"W

OS Eastings: 314753.609251

OS Northings: 514345.284486

OS Grid: NY147143

Mapcode National: GBR 5J86.CH

Mapcode Global: WH70J.0Q3D

Entry Name: Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlements, associated field systems and cairnfields 790m ENE and 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite

Scheduled Date: 5 April 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1408158

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ennerdale and Kinniside

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Lamplugh St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Summary

Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlements, field systems and prehistoric cairnfields 790m ENE and 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite consisting of two separate scheduled areas.

Source: Historic England

Details

The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlements, enclosures and associated field systems, three small cairnfields and a stock enclosure. It is located north of the River Liza just above the valley floor and extends up the steep lower slopes of Little Dodd and White Pike. The monument is divided into two separate areas of protection; the larger containing the bulk of the settlements, field systems and cairnfields is centred at a point 790m ENE of Low Gillerthwaite, while the smaller contains the remains of a medieval stock enclosure located 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite.

The Dodsgill Beck medieval settlement is centred on the hillside at NY14541458 and includes a scattering of eight longhouses, some with associated enclosures or stock pounds and/or cultivated terraced plots, and appears to reflect a group of small farmsteads. A short distance to the east, centred at NY14771457, there is a small prehistoric cairnfield consisting of up to 13 oval-shaped cairns up to 0.4m high and varying between 2.1m-11.3m long by 1.8m to 4.7m wide.

A short distance lower down the hillside there are the remains of Gillerthwaite medieval settlement. The upper part includes a cultivated field system of artificial terraces and fields with lynchets at the top and bottom, that is associated with a single longhouse largely encircled by an enclosure wall. In the lowest corner of one of the fields, adjacent to an entrance, there is a small sub-circular hut platform. Slightly lower down the hillside there are the remains of a rectangular hut now overlain by a post-medieval stock enclosure. A short distance above the valley-bottom road there is a cluster of three rectilinear structures which are spatially associated with a small cultivation terrace. The surface remains suggest that this group of structures are the remains of at least one longhouse with two ancillary buildings and an attached enclosure. On the south side of the valley-bottom road there are two longhouses both surrounded by banks and ditches located on a natural terrace above the valley bottom. To the east, located on a prominent natural terrace, there is a small cairnfield which extends north across the valley-bottom road. It includes 16 oval-shaped cairns up to 0.7m high varying between 2.8m-10m long by 2.3m-6m wide. Just to the north of these cairns, at NY14721418, there is a circular enclosure with an internal circular terrace that is considered to be a hut platform. Further east, at NY14881413, there are the remains of a rectangular hut structure with a doorway on the south side. Further east again, centred at NY15121409, there is an area of intensive clearance comprising a large stock enclosure, artificial terraces/cultivation plots, and clearance cairns. The cairns are up to 1.5m high and vary between 3m-10m long by 2m-8m wide. In the centre of the cairnfield there is a small field system represented by a rectilinear terraced plot which is edged by linear cairns and has a lynchet break of slope at the top. There are other cairns or banks around it, one of which defines the top of a further lynchet. The cairns appear to be directly associated with the terraces and there is an implication that the waste stone was brought up by the plough. The large stock enclosure is defined by broad stone-revetted banks up to 1.1m high. It is sub-circular in plan with a rectilinear structure, possibly of domestic function, butted onto its east side. The enclosure was a stock pound and contains entrances in each of its four sides and two almost equally-sized internal compartments. The western entrance is adjacent to the central dividing wall which could have facilitated, by the use of gates, the movement of stock into either one of the compartments.

Dodsgill Beck medieval stock enclosure measures approximately 45m by 25m, with some lengths of drystone walling defining its oval shape. It has a large entrance with a funnel-like form and banked boundaries rather than walls. Adjacent to the main enclosure there is a small rectangular structure which may possibly be the scant remains of a longhouse. The size and shape of the site and the diversity of bank and wall form suggest that it was a multi-phased structure. It has latterly been used as a post-medieval sheepfold. The enclosure's design and specifically its entrance is inconsistent with its function as a modern sheepfold. It bears stylistic similarities to the larger medieval stock enclosure a short distance to the east located within the field system associated with Gillerthwaite medieval settlement and is considered to be contemporary.

Extent of Scheduling
The scheduling is divided into two separate areas of protection. The larger includes the upstanding and buried remains of Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlements, field systems and enclosures associated with the medieval settlements, and the clearance cairnfields, together with the archaeologically sensitive ground between all these features as surveyed by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit between 1995-1997. This survey also identified a small group of five prehistoric clearance cairns located to the east of Gillflinter Beck, slightly divorced from the main area of the prehistoric cairnfield. These are relatively poorly preserved and are thus not included in the area of the scheduling because it is felt that an appropriate sample of these features has been included.

The southern boundary of the larger area is formed by the north bank of an unnamed tributary of Dodsgill Beck and the northern edge of the valley-bottom road. On the east side the boundary runs 10m east of Gillerthwaite settlement stock enclosure then follows the southern edge of a track prior to running uphill along the west bank of Gillflinter Beck. On the assessment area's north side the boundary runs 10m north of the outermost archaeological features then follows a modern field boundary prior to running along the southern edge of a track. On the assessment area's western side the boundary follows the east bank of Dodsgill Beck on the higher part of the hillside and the east bank of a tributary of Dodsgill Beck on the lower part of the hillside.

All modern field boundaries, gates, gateposts, stiles, signposts, a small hydro-electric facility and the surface of the valley-bottom road and all forestry roads are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included. Gillflinter Beck and its tributaries are also excluded from the scheduling.

The second, smaller area of protection, includes the upstanding and buried remains of Dodsgill Beck settlement stock enclosure 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite as surveyed by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit between 1995-97. It also includes a 10m boundary around the monument which is considered essential for its support and preservation and thus provides a protected area measuring 65m by 45m.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Gillerthwaite and Dodsgill Beck medieval settlement, field systems and cairnfields 790m ENE and 370m north-east of Low Gillerthwaite are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: they survive particularly well and contain a wide range of features;
* Potential: the relatively undisturbed nature of the settlements, field systems and cairnfields increases the likelihood for the survival of artefactual and environmental evidence;
* Group Value: the monument is associated with other contemporary and non-contemporary monuments in the Ennerdale Valley;
* Documentation: our understanding of the medieval settlements, field systems and prehistoric cairnfields and their contribution to our understanding of settlement in Ennerdale is significantly enhanced by the archaeological surveys undertaken here between 1995-97.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, Ennerdale Forest, Cumbria. Archaeological Survey. Final Report, March 1998,
Oxford Archaeology North, Ennerdale, West Cumbria. Historic Landscape Survey, November 2003,
PRO C134/71/1
PRO C135/41/1,

Source: Historic England

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