Register of ancient monuments

Reference number 1018235

Late Prehistoric Enclosed Settlement South West Of Goose Clough
Cold Edge Road
Wainstalls
Halifax
Calderdale

DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT

The monument includes a late prehistoric enclosed settlement, partly destroyed by quarrying. It is situated on Hunter Hill, Ovenden, at the south side of a disused quarry.

The surviving part of the interior of the enclosure is triangular, and is bounded on its south west and south east sides by a ditch with an outer bank. The ditch has a maximum width of 5m, and a depth of 0.3m. The bank is very wide and low. It survives best on the south east side, where it is about 6m wide and 0.3m high.

A wall which crosses the monument near its west end is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

ASSESSMENT OF IMPORTANCE

The Pennine uplands of northern England contain a wide variety of prehistoric remains, including cairns, carved rocks, settlements and field systems. These are evidence of the widespread exploitation of these uplands throughout later prehistory. During the last millennium BC a variety of different types of enclosed settlements developed. These include hillforts, which have substantial earthworks and are usually located on hilltops. Other types of enclosed settlement of this period are less obviously defensive, as they have less substantial earthworks and are usually in less prominent positions. In the Pennines a number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements survive as upstanding monuments. Where upstanding earthworks survive, the settlements are between 0.4ha and 10ha in area, and are usually located on ridges or hillside terraces. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight, most consisting of a ditch with an internal bank, or with an internal and external bank, but examples with an internal ditch and with no ditch are known. They are sub-circular, sub-rectangular, or oval in shape. Few of these enclosed settlements have been subject to systematic excavation, but they are thought to date from between the Late bronze Age to the Romano-British period (c1000BC-AD 400). Examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of settlement. Some appear to have developed from earlier palisaded enclosures. Unexcavated examples occasionally have levelled areas which may have contained buildings, but a proportion may have functioned primarily as stock enclosures. Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the Pennine uplands, and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time. Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives are considered to be nationally important.

This section of the enclosed settlement on Hunter Hill survives reasonably well despite loss of the remainder of the site to quarrying and contributes to the understanding of late prehistoric settlement and land use in northern England.

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Last Updated: 07/10/2004