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

Fieldnotes by matthewpemmott

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Fell End (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

This site occupies a South East facing hill side, just above Ingleton. There are a number of hut circle remains, the scooped out hollows still obvious.

There are also what look like a few enclosures, albeit feinter than the hut sites.

The crown of the hill side is topped with what could be three standing stones. I'm a bit sceptical about this though, as there are a number of other stones probably deposited by glacial action.

The site is described on the PastScape web site as an Iron AgeRomano British settlement consisting of a complex of stone built huts, enclosures and a field system.

Berry Holme (Round Cairn)

Berryholme Round Cairn is situated just off the public right of way leading from Briggs House Farm, to Brigsteer some two miles away.

Initially it looks little more than a grassy mound in the corner of a field, however closer inspection reveals some of the exposed part of the stone core of the cairn. Not a very well preserved site, as there's an old shelter of some sort built into the side of the mound itself....but seeing as it's on a less well known footpath, the damage done will probably not be increased by too many tourists or walkers.

The Fairy Steps (Natural Rock Feature)

The fairy steps are an old funerarycorpse route used to transport the dead from villages in the area to the church at Beetham. The route is, in places, so narrow, for example up the two flights of man made steps, that the coffins had to be hauled up the cliff face using iron rings embedded in the stone. In a few places, these iron rings can still be seen.

Castlehowe Scar (Stone Circle)

The circle is remakably intact, which considering it's right up against a wall, and obviously in a well used field, strikes me as a little suscpicious. The cynic in me thinks that this is merely a collection of stone moved from elsewhere.....but who knows!!

About 10 metres to the North is a flattened stone circle, consisting of about 7 semi buried stones, probably only noticable during winter when the grass is shorter. Not sure if this is another cirlce, another cairn or something altogether different.

Waitby Castle (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Waitby Castle sits on the brow of a hill overlooking the disused railway to the North East, and Waitby and Smardale to the West. The earthworks are hidden from view as you're driving down the road below, and are only visible once you've 'trespassed' through three fields and 'hopped' over a few walls.

Once your there, the 'castle' is an oval hill top enclosure, with the distinct earthwork remains of up to five enclosures within the confines of the ditches and ramparts. I understand that the earthworks are a Romano-British settlement, and as such represent the remains of a medium size encampment. There are good views to be had from the summit of the hill....good defensive qualities!!!

My biggest gripe about this site, is that the farmer seems to have made a habit of driving some sort of vehicle through the middle of the earthworks, thus creating a permanent scar right through the middle. It's a shame that more protection isn't afforded to this type of earthwork!!!

Twistleton Scar (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

These feint enclosures and possible hut circles lay to the West of the road that runs alongside the B6255 between Ingleton and Chapel-le-Dale. The road follows the route of the River Doe. The fells to both the East and the West of the road are dotted with small enclosures and hut circles, and some well defined settlements on the Western flanks of Ingleborough.

These enclosures took a long time to find....there's plenty of lime stone scatter, and the enclosures themselves are loose and weathered....but there none the less.

Yarlsber Camp (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Yarlsber camp sits at the foot of Ingleborough, sandwiched between Easegill force and the B6480 to Clapham.

The site is thought to be an Iron Age defended enclosure. It covers about an acre and a half, and is surrounded by earthworks. At the lower end of the site, the earthworks are worn and low, whilst at the top, they are very well defined and up to a foot high. The defences at the top of the site are also double ditched with shallow ramparts…possibly with the remains of entrances.

The site has been excavated and investigated, but no signs of habitation were found within the earthworks.

It's on private property and also off the footpath that runs parallel to it about a hundred yards away.

Scalford (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

About two miles to the West of Kirkby Lonsdale, and about a quarter of a mile off the A65, lay the remains of a large Romano, British settlement. Easily accessible from the nearby road, the public footpath runs right alongside the remains, affording good views right around the earthworks that survive today.

As you approach the remains from the nearby road, the earthen bank that encircles the settlement can be clearly seen. It consists of a bank that runs nearly the full circumference of the settlement, that is, in some places, around a foot high. At one point, for about ten metres, the bank is topped with limestone boulders, possibly original. In the centre of the remains, more earthen banks can clearly be seen, possibly marking the remains of buildings and further enclosures.

The site is well protected. It sits at the highest point for a few miles around, with flat land to the South. To the East and North, the settlement is protected by natural limestone escarpments, and to the West, the land drops away. It's easy to see why this spot must have been chosen as a place to settle.

All in all a great site to visit, and readily accessible from the nearby road.

Levens Brow Earthworks (Enclosure)

Travelling West on the A590, and taking the turning to Levens onto the A6, will take you right past the intriguing earthworks at Levens Brow.

The remains of this site lay on the left hand side of the road, at the peak of a small hill now crowned with a single hawthorne tree.

There has been some confusion in the past as to whether or not the earthworks were of any archeological value, with some commentators saying that they were nothing more than the remains of recent gravel quarry. However, human remains have been found in the area, along with lithic scatter, the remains of worked flints for example, and it's now thought likely that the site's builders merely took advantage of a naturally occuring glacial deposit mound.

The site is a nicely formed scooped enclosure, comprising of an earthen bank which runs nearly the full circumference of the top of the mound and stands to a height of around a foot in places, and the remains of a possible ditch to the East of the earthworks. There's no doubt that the site has been damaged by recent attention, specifically in its use as a deposit for household waste!

A nearby glacial morain was found to contain a human burial, and field walks done in nearby fields, turned up axe heads and other flint tools. It's therefore quite likely that the whole area, extending right down the lands now occupied by Levens Hall, were active well before the medieval hall was built.

It is nearly impossible to gain access to this site, due to the lack of gates on the East side of the road, and the high hedges growing on high field banks. A little scrambling is therefore required to access this area.......but don't get caught!

Low Moor (Long Barrow)

This site is allegedly a Neolithic Long cairn or Barrow. It is easily accessable just off the A6 about two miles South of Clifton. The site is around a 100 metres long and ranges from around 12 to 25 metres wide. At its highest point, I would say it is nearly 4 metres high at its highest point. The barrow runs parallel with the road to Newtown on a West East axis.

Documentation on the net states that it was first 'noticed' in around 1933, and investigated in 1938, when it was identified as a burial cairn. There seems to be some argument that this is little more than a spoil heap, perhaps from the building of the A6 or the M6.

It's strange to note that a map of 1863 makes no mention of the barrow.

It's quite an impressive site, easily visible in the surrounding landscape....and certainly not alone....there are numerous other sites within easy reach.

Croglam Castle (Hillfort)

Croglam Castle is one of those strange sites....everyone tells you how great it is, how well defined it is....but when you get there, you can't help feel a little disappointed. Whilst the walk to the summit is great, the fort itself hasn't stood the test of time very well, and any earthworks are well worn and built on. Worth a visit if not just for the views.

Castle Stead (Hillfort)

Not readily identifiable as a hill fort, although it's clearly marked as such on many maps. The summit of the fort is slightly scooped and there's a trig point situated up there. Apparently there are small holes in the lime stone at the foot of the earthworks each side of the summit, allegedly to collect rainwater, although these weren't visible at my last visit. It's clear to see why this would have been chosen as the site for a fort. You get good clear views in all directions, with a good water supply about four hundred yards down in the valley.
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