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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 427
 Date Entered 12/01/2012
 Updated on 22/08/2012
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Settlement
 Record Type Archaeology
 Site Access Private
 Location Hurst. Schoolmaster Pasture. Rispey Wood.
 Civil Parish Marrick
 Brit. National Grid NZ 06123 04442
 Altitude 320m
 Geology Drift or talus slope below quarried sandstone.
 Record Name Hurst. Schoolmaster Pasture. Rispey Wood. Enclosed Settlement
 Record Description Unsurveyed.This very unusual site is located at Rispey Wood which is today abandoned and uncleared stone walled rough pasture or degraded woodland on the steep rough east facing dale/valley side above Kexwith Beck, see photo 1. This is extremely rough rocky ground in thickest bracken on a steep hillslope below a quarried outcrop of sandstone. There are no paths to this site and it is very difficult to see why such a substantial enclosed structure should have been constructed here. The upper part of the site is crossed by a later, early 18C ruined field wall. The settlement site recorded here consists of a complex group of structures which includes a circular deeply recessed hut with what appears to be an eastern entrance lobby and several adjacent rectangular structures. These structures as a whole may have formed a single substantial multi roomed building within the rectangular walled yard. The enclosing wall is from 1.2- 1.5m thick and stands to a height of 1.5m at the rear and to about 1.0 m at the front. All the walls which form the structures are substantial and well preserved but tumbled under bracken. A contemporary field bank runs from the NE corner of the internal enclosure down to the west bank of Kexwith Beck.
 Dimensions Approximately 75m * 75m overall.Inner rectangular walled enclosure with central structures 30m*30m overall and building complex 30m*30m internally. Unsurveyed
 Additional Notes When first recognised some 30 years ago, I interpreted this settlement as a medieval shieling or summer shepherd's shelter. However, this is more substantial than the usual simple rectangular building characteristic of a shieling. I have now concluded that this compex structure could be associated with Medieval Forest or Deer Management, the residence of the New Forest Warden or Verdurer. To sum up, the site is undated and undateable due to the absence of any finds and depth of the bracken litter which covers and masks the ground surface. It is very well worth a visit although a real strggle to reach, either from below or above.
 Image 1 ID 2044         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Rispey Wood Settlement from the pastures below West House.
 Image 2 ID 2045         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Rispey Wood Settlement from the pastures below West House. Detail
 Image 3 ID 2046         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description The inner enclosure from above, west.
 Image 4 ID 2047         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description The inner enclosure from above, west.
 Image 5 ID 2048         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description SE Corner of the enclosure wall
 Image 6 ID 2049         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description Enclosure wall, south side.
 Image 7 ID 2050         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description The structure, detail.
 Image 8 ID 2053         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description The circular structure.
 Image 9 ID 2051         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description The circular building.
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