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Prehistoric cairnfield and a Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system 1.24 km ESE of Low Gillerthwaite

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5122 / 54°30'43"N

Longitude: -3.313 / 3°18'46"W

OS Eastings: 315087.582519

OS Northings: 513780.44837

OS Grid: NY150137

Mapcode National: GBR 5J98.J8

Mapcode Global: WH70J.2VM8

Entry Name: Prehistoric cairnfield and a Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system 1.24 km ESE of Low Gillerthwaite

Scheduled Date: 5 April 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1408240

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


A prehistoric cairnfield and a Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system located 1.24km ESE of Low Gillerthwaite.

Source: Historic England


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of a small prehistoric cairnfield and a Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system. It is located on a natural river terrace on the south side of the River Liza and is centred 1.24km ESE of Low Gillerthwaite. The monument is bisected by Low Beck, a tributary of the River Liza; the prehistoric cairnfield lies to the east of the beck, the Romano-British farmstead and its associated cairnfield to the west.

The prehistoric cairnfield is centred at NY15241376 and includes over 20 oval-shaped clearance cairns and stone banks situated on two levels of river terracing with the greater proportion of cairns being on the upper level. They survive up to 1.5m high and vary in size between 4m-24m long by 2.5m-6m wide. Although the distribution of the cairns is largely dictated by the natural topography there is an alignment of six cairns towards the south of the cairnfield that suggests a boundary.

The Romano-British farmstead is centred at NY15051385 and includes the southern portion of what is considered to have once been a circular stone-banked enclosure whose northern half has subsequently been swept away by river erosion. The stone bank rises up to 2m above the internal level of the enclosure with the internal side of the bank sloping gently down, whilst by contrast the external side of the bank drops more steeply. Inside the northernmost point of the enclosure are the remains of three sub-rectangular structures surviving up to 0.7m in height that have been constructed against the stone bank. To the south and south west of the farmstead lie the remains of an associated field system represented by a number of clearance cairns and stone banks which define the edge of a sub-rectangular plot or field measuring approximately 140m by 80m that is largely devoid of other cairns. There is another line of stone banks to the east which may have formed a funnel-like entrance into the plot.

Extent of Scheduling
The scheduling includes the upstanding and buried remains of the prehistoric cairnfield, the Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system, together with the archaeologically sensitive ground between all these features as surveyed by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit between 1995-7. The boundary of the scheduling runs 10m beyond the outer edge of the field system's west and south sides then runs east along the northern edge of a forest road along the cairnfield's south side. It then runs along the cairnfield's east side by following the west bank of an unnamed tributary of Low Beck and completes a circuit by running along the south banks of Low Beck and the River Liza.

The bridge over Low Beck and the surface of all forestry roads and public footpaths are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. Low Beck and a tributary of Low Beck running to the east of the beck are also excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The prehistoric cairnfield and Romano-British farmstead and its associated field system 1.24km ESE of Low Gillerthwaite is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: they survive well and contain a diverse range of features:
* Potential: the relatively undisturbed nature of the cairnfield, farmstead and field system increases the likelihood for the survival of artefactual and environmental evidence:
* Group Value: the monument is associated with numerous contemporary and non-contemporary monuments in the Ennerdale Valley:
* Documentation: our understanding of the prehistoric and Romano-British settlement here and its contribution to settlement in Ennerdale is significantly enhanced by the archaeological surveys undertaken between 1995-97.

Source: Historic England


Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, Ennerdale Forest, Cumbria. Archaeological Survey. Final Report, March 1998,
Oxford Archaeology North, Ennerdale, West Cumbria. Historic Landscape Survey, November 2003,

Source: Historic England

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