The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Castle, Nr Reeth



I'm not really sure what this is, other than it's more than what it is currently used for - an animal enclosure. I visited this place on the way to the Gayle mines. There are two places locally called Castle - this place and Castle Knoll, at the top of the escarpment. But no obvious castle. Anyway, this enclosure comprises of a very rough circle of orthostats that have been left in situ and used to create an sheep enclosure. in the centre is a stone on top of a stone. From what I know about the region, these orthostatic walls were created at the very beginning of the clearance of the fields, an a guess I'd say that these were placed here during the late bronze age, as man made the transition to a farmer. However, they could be earlier - very little work has been done on these types of walls so far, although I have come across some partially cleared fields with orthostatic walls, associated to Iron Age type dwelling enclosures quite near to here so I'm pretty certain as to my interpretation.

The enclosure looks like it originally opened to go up the hil and a tight double wall of orthostats creates a narrow causeway which drives up the hill side for some way, then widens out in a similar way to what are known as "banjo enclosures" - creating a bottle neck or funnel into enclosure. These have so far been interprested as for animal use, however, my gut feel is that this was not the primary purpose here. About half way up the hill, just as you enter the mining zone the orthostats disappear. They don't appear to have been taken, they just stop.
Posted by BrigantesNation
5th August 2003ce

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