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Woundell Beck medieval settlement, associated field system and cairnfield 890m west of Low Gillerthwaite

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5139 / 54°30'49"N

Longitude: -3.3444 / 3°20'39"W

OS Eastings: 313062.900686

OS Northings: 514004.037591

OS Grid: NY130140

Mapcode National: GBR 5J27.RP

Mapcode Global: WH70H.LSNZ

Entry Name: Woundell Beck medieval settlement, associated field system and cairnfield 890m west of Low Gillerthwaite

Scheduled Date: 5 April 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1408266

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

Woundell Beck medieval settlement, associated field system and cairnfield 890m west of Low Gillerthwaite consisting of two separate scheduled areas.

Source: Historic England

Details

The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Woundell Beck medieval settlement and its associated field system and cairnfield 890m west of Low Gillerthwaite. It is located on the south side of the River Liza, hereabouts known as Char Dub, close to the head of Ennerdale Water, and is divided into two separate areas of protection by a belt of improved pasture which is predominantly archaeologically sterile.

The western area of protection includes a cluster of three rectangular structures and an irregularly-shaped enclosure. The surface remains suggest that this group of structures are the remains of at least one longhouse with two ancillary buildings and a stock enclosure. To the west there lies a large sub-rectangular field with its boundaries defined by cairn alignments, whilst further west a stone bank forms another boundary. There are two narrow gaps in this bank, one of which leads into a circular hollow depression suggestive of a stock enclosure. There is a similar depression adjacent, however, neither display upstanding evidence of an enclosure bank. Scattered seemingly randomly amongst and around the field system are numerous clearance cairns.

The eastern area of protection includes the remains of a structure and associated features, now partly destroyed by an adjacent wall and forestry road. The surface remains suggest that this group of features are the remains of a two-celled longhouse with an attached enclosure of three sub-divisions. There are traces of two possible associated structures adjacent. A short distance to the east are the well-preserved earthworks of a substantial rectilinear stock enclosure with an entrance in its northern wall and an internal subdivision. These structures and stock enclosure lie at the southern edge of this part of the monument. To the north there is a large field system represented by numerous long boundaries formed by parallel alignments of cairns and stone banks. The central two boundaries converge as they approach the entrance to the stock enclosure and are thus indicative of a drove corridor which terminates at a very deliberately constructed funnel where stock could be selected and moved into the stock enclosure or different parts of the field system. Elsewhere within the field system there are the remains of an area of ridge and furrow that is defined on its south west side by one of the central stone-banked boundaries. Throughout the field system there are a large number of seemingly randomly scattered clearance cairns and stone banks which, whilst probably contemporary with the laying out of the field system, may also partly be the product of an earlier episode of stone clearance.

Extent of Scheduling
This includes the upstanding and buried remains of the western and eastern parts of Woundell Beck medieval settlement and its associated field system and cairnfield, together with the archaeologically sensitive ground between all these features in each of the separate areas as surveyed by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit between 1995-1997.

Western area: the boundary runs along modern field boundaries on the monument's south and east sides then projects west to run 10m beyond the outermost clearance cairn on the monument's north side. It then runs along the base of a natural terrace on the monument's north west side prior to completing a circuit of the monument by running 10m west of banks and a cairn on the monument's west side.

A clearance cairn and stone bank to the south west are not included within the scheduling. These two features are divorced from the main area of the monument and a sufficient sample of these features is considered to have been included. All modern field boundaries, gates, gateposts, stiles, signposts, cattle pens and their concrete bases are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

Eastern area: the boundary runs along a modern field boundary on the monument's west side then follows the northern edge of the forestry road on the monument's south side prior to running 10m east of the medieval enclosure's east side. It then completes a circuit of the monument by following field boundaries on the monument's east and north sides.

A small number of clearance cairns located across the forestry road in the field to the west of the monument and a small section of stone banking located immediately south of the River Liza on the monument's north side are not included within the scheduling. These are divorced from the main area of the monument and a sufficient sample of these features is considered to have been included. All modern field boundaries, gates, gateposts, stiles, signposts, cattle pens and their concrete bases are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Woundell Beck medieval settlement, associated field system and cairnfield 890m west 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 settlement, field system and cairnfield increases the likelihood for the survival of artefactual and environmental evidence;
* Group Value: the settlement would appear to be associated with other contemporary medieval settlements in the Ennerdale Valley;
* Documentation: our understanding of the medieval settlement and its associated field system and cairnfield and its contribution to 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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