Settlement excavated by Scarborough Archaeological & Historical Soc. 1957-1978.
At least eight rectilinear enclosures were found, most lined along an earlier dyke. Not all enclosures were excavated internally, but some contained huts. The most likely dating for these enclosures seems to be 1st. century a.d.
One of the enclosures (enclosure D) seemed to be specifically for the purpose of iron working, and contained evidence of three furnaces.
The high iron content of the ores analysed, and especially its magnetic properties, suggest that ore was brought from the west side of Rosedale (8 miles to the west) rather than extracted on Levisham Moor itself. Rosedale is the only known source of magnetic ore in N.E. Yorkshire, and this occasioned a massive mining operation in c19th. a.d.
The Levisham Moor 'furnace house' is the oldest evidence of iron working known in N.E. Yorks. – by about a thousand years!
Apart from the obviously large hole in the ground at Horcum there are also some barrows and dikes along the rim of the crater. Gallows Dike consists of a 3 metre wide and roughly 2 metre deep ditch with eroded 4 metre wide banks on either side that runs roughly north-south over a small raised section of land close to a kink in the A169 road on Saltergate Moor. There are 3 round barrows close by and it is possible that as well as being burial monuments they could also have served as territorial markers - they are probably slightly later in date than the bank and ditches. A word of warning, they are popular with sunbathing adders!
There are also several cross dykes running northwest to southeast further to the southwest beyond the 'Hole' and these also have round barrows nearby or associated with them. A much damaged series of banks and ditches known as Horcum Dikes also run north-south along the east side of the hollow.
This was brigantesnations and I's final stop on our journey of discovery through this part of The North York Moors.
We parked up in the car park of the Hole Of Horcum/ The Devil's Punchbowl.
The hole is a huge glacial feature and is well worth the trip alone.
Our destination was the site marked on the OS map as "Bloomety" .
We walked to the head of the hole crossing the Gallows Dike and then onto Levisham Moor, after we tramped across the moor for ten minutes I remarked as to how featureless the moor was. In my neck of the NY Moors the sky line would have been dotted with barrows. Just as I said this we came across a plaque stating that there were three barrows within the vacinity. We did eventually spot them- not impressed.
I'm sure Brigantesnation will add his description of the habitations and dikes that we came across, he's far better at these earthworky Iron age things.
I was gutted I hadn't seen a stone all day and now wasn't likely too.
This said don't let me put you off, this is a beautiful place with a fairly unique post glacial landscape.