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Skiddaw Massif NMP

Location of Skiddaw MassifThe Skiddaw Massif Project was undertaken in 2001 as part of English Heritage's National Mapping Programme (NMP). The project area covers a distinct area of upland within the Lake District National Park in Cumbria and parts are designated by English Nature as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The landscape is dominated by industrial mining and quarrying sites, but also has some prehistoric and Roman remains.

The Uldale Fells looking south to Skiddaw (NMR 20974/50). © English Heritage. NMR.

The Uldale Fells photographed on 04-DEC-2009 looking south to Knott and Skiddaw and the main Lake District fells beyond (NMR 20974/50). © English Heritage. NMR

The prehistoric and beyond

Although limited survey work had been carried out on Aughertree Fell, and the scheduling of the Iron Age enclosure group was revised as part of the Monuments Protection Plan (MPP), it was felt that there was a need for better recording and understanding of all the archaeology of the fell. The discovery by the Aerial Survey Team of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Green How, the first in the north of England, further demonstrated the need for survey. The mapping has contributed to the understanding of the relationships between these enclosures and the complex pattern of prehistoric field boundaries, droveways and hollow ways.

The northeastern part of the Skiddaw massif is dominated by Carrock Fell. The summit of this steep-sided hill is crowned by the stone rampart of a hillfort that is unparalleled in the Lake District. The date of this fort remains uncertain but it could be pre-Iron Age.

The stone ramparts of the fort on Carrock Fell can clearly be seen on this photograph (NMR 20974/14). © English Heritage. NMR.

The stone ramparts of the fort on Carrock Fell can clearly be seen on this air photograph taken on 04-DEC-2009. It is thought that the fort could pre-date the Iron Age (NMR 20974/14). © English Heritage. NMR.

As well as prehistoric activity the survey also recovered traces of more recent interventions in the landscape. Extensive evidence of lead and copper mining was recorded, complementing the detailed analytical field survey of the mining remains in Roughton Gill.

On the south side of the massif a series of rectangular mounds were recorded. These are the remains of medieval pillow mounds, (artificial rabbit warrens) and are the first of this site type to be recorded in this area.

Pillow mounds on Scales Fell photographed on 20 July 2000 (NMR 17495/06). © English Heritage. NMR.

The rectangular mounds photographed here on 20-JUL-2000 are the remains of medieval pillow mounds, artificial rabbit warrens, situated close to the edge of enclosed farmland (NMR 17495/06) © English Heritage. NMR.

The images used on this page are copyright English Heritage unless specified otherwise. For further details of any photographs or other images and for copies of these, or the plans and reports related to the project please contact the English Heritage Archive.

For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Aerial Survey team please contact us by email via the link above.


Aerial Investigation and Mapping - York
Heritage Protection Department

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