Neolithic Enclosures

A survey in two halves.

Carrock Fell on  the north east flank of the Cumbrian Fells has a rough crown of rocky ramparts encircling its summit; a prehistoric enclosure overlooking the expanse of the Eden Valley, the Neolithic nexus of North West England.

Nook End 18.03.2015 051

At its foot lies Caldbeck Common, a landscape strewn with glacial debris and the bouldery tumble from its gabbro crags. Miners have disturbed this debris in extracting the lead ore, mounds of glacial gravel have been quarried for road-stone, yet amongst this industrial intrusion into this land still nestle prehistoric enclosures, settling back into the earth, and burial cairns thrown open, stripped of their contents to now resemble ring-cairns.

Nook End 18.03.2015 049

East of the wall; marking the land again.  Only recently here, the gaze has been drawn away from monumental mounds to the more prosaic remains of pastoralists.


The enclosures incorporate megalithic elements, happenstance or planned, boulders in banking; in the centre 5 ton rocks, dragged from the field on sleds by oxen in post-medieval times or part of the original form?


The intake wall bounding the common is built on something older; the embankment that once divided the prehistoric enclosure now reused to form the new intake enclosure of the meadow dividing it from the rough grazing of the common.

Nook End 18.03.2015 058

The lazer shoots from here –


To there –


Bouncing back again…

The approaching cloud –


Colours cluster

Behind embanked boulders –

Backs to the wind

Shelter from the rain.


Notes: This enclosure was found recently along with other features by Tricia and her team in a walkover survey of  Caldbeck Common carried out by the Lake District National park Authority Archaeology Volunteer Network. It’s period is debatable but it is most likely to have its roots in the Iron Age period.The area has much else in the way of prehistoric archaeology to explore in the well named locale of Weasel Hills just to the north. The enclosure on the summit of Carrock Fell, once considered to be of Iron Age date is now considered to be Neolithic; so at least a couple of millenia older than formerly thought and so contemporary other Causewayed Enclosures  such as the Cornish Carn Brea and with that nearby at Green How.

Sense of Here

The knowing and feeling of place

Tom Björklund • Artist and Illustrator

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Because a guy has to keep his chops sharp


Living the dream of a prehistoric human

Archaeology and Heritage Digital Recording

Low cost recording technologies

The Stone Rows of Great Britain

Big, Small, Short, Tall, Have we got 'em all?


studio pottery and ceramic sculpture by Jenny Mackenzie Ross

Duddon Dig

The survey and excavation of three longhouses in the Duddon Valley

Neil's Mountains

Exploring the mountains and wild places of Britain and Ireland

Archaeology Orkney

UHI Archaeology Institute

Neolithic And Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium

Annual Conference for Postgraduate Researchers