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Smithy Beck settlement 1.43km north-west of Low Gillerthwaite

A Scheduled Monument in Ennerdale and Kinniside, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5225 / 54°31'21"N

Longitude: -3.3508 / 3°21'2"W

OS Eastings: 312666.517272

OS Northings: 514976.935284

OS Grid: NY126149

Mapcode National: GBR 5J14.CK

Mapcode Global: WH70H.HLM9

Entry Name: Smithy Beck settlement 1.43km north-west of Low Gillerthwaite

Scheduled Date: 5 April 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1413845

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

Smithy Beck settlement 1.43km north-west of Low Gillerthwaite consists of two separate scheduled areas; one containing five medieval or early post-medieval buildings and the archaeologically sensitive ground between them, the other containing a single building of similar date.

Source: Historic England

Details

The monument is divided into two separate areas of protection and includes the upstanding and buried remains of five rectangular buildings forming that part of Smithy Beck settlement centred at NY12651496 together with the archaeologically sensitive ground between the buildings, as well as a single similar rectangular building located at NY12911495. The protected areas are located immediately to the south of Smithy Beck.

Three of the buildings are double-walled, two are set within surrounding enclosures and one may have been set within a surrounding enclosure, much of which is not now visible as a surface feature. The buildings and their surrounding walls and enclosures stand up to 1.1m high and vary in size between 11m-23.7m long by 4m-22.6m wide. Two of the double-walled buildings were partially excavated in 1962/3. One of these revealed a compacted clay floor, a series of post holes between the inner and outer walls suggesting the presence of roof supports, small quantities of slate suggesting slate roofing, and the neck of a wine bottle dated to some time between 1650 and 1740. The other building revealed a circular structure in one corner of the building containing ash and charcoal which is thought to have been an oven or flue. Partial excavation of a similar building in that part of Smithy Beck settlement centred nearby at NY13191493 found pottery dating to late medieval and early post-medieval periods. All the buildings in the Smithy Beck settlements have been tentatively identified as miner's long houses occupied in the late medieval/early post-medieval period and are thought to have been associated with Smithy Beck bloomery and its associated earthworks located a short distance down the hillside. The long house at NY12581495 has latterly been used as a post-medieval sheepfold.

Extent of Scheduling
The scheduling includes the upstanding and buried remains of six medieval/early post-medieval buildings forming that part of Smithy Beck settlement approximately 1.43km north west of Low Gillerthwaite. The monument is divided into two separate areas; one centred at NY12651496 containing five of the buildings together with the archaeologically sensitive ground between the buildings as surveyed by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit between 1995-97, the other centred at NY12911495 containing a single building forming part of the same settlement and surveyed at the same time.

The boundary of the larger western area follows the south bank of Smithy Beck on the monument's north side then completes a circuit of the monument by running 10m beyond the west, south and east sides of outermost buildings. The boundary of the smaller eastern area follows the south bank of Smithy Beck then completes a circuit of the monument by including a 10m boundary on all other sides of the building.

All field boundaries, an information board, a mound of stones identified as the spoil heap from the 1960's excavation, and the surfaces of a footpath and all forestry roads are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Smithy Beck settlement 1.43km north-west of Low Gillerthwaite is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: the buildings comprising the settlement survive well and contain a range of features;
* Potential: despite being located within forestry the relatively undisturbed nature of this monument increases the survival of artefactural evidence. Additionally the settlement has the potential for increasing our understanding of medieval settlement in the Ennerdale Valley;
* Group Value: the settlement appears to be associated with other contemporary medieval monuments within the Ennerdale Valley;
* Documentation: our understanding of this settlement and its contribution to settlement in Ennerdale is significantly enhanced by the archaeological surveys undertaken in 1995-97 and in 2003.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Fletcher, W, Fell, C, 'Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society' in Stone-Based Huts and Other Structures at Smithy Beck, Ennerdale, (1987)
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,

Source: Historic England

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