Dewbottoms, Arncliffe, North Yorkshire

Settlement:  OS Grid Reference – SD 9132 6950

Getting Here

From Grassington go north up the B6160, turning left to Arncliffe, and parking up by the pub.  Take the footpath past it and onto the rocky ridge to your SW for a mile-and-half.  Dew Bottoms settlement is on the wide ridge between the two decent streams dropping back into the valley road below.  Look round!

Archaeology & History

The remains of this prehistoric settlement first seem to have been described by Arthur Raistrick and Paul Holmes. (1961)  They told that:

“the principal field is approximately 120 feet square, enclosed by a massive boulder and gravel bank, probably the foundation of a substantial stockade.  The field is now mostly bare limestone pavement.  Four smaller fields adjoin it on the north and west.  Circular huts with drystone walls still about 3 freet 6 inches high before excavation, covered by collapsed material suggesting an original height of 5 feet, are placed, two of them in the course of the field wall and two in the junction of three field walls.  The huts are about 10 feet internal diameter, the walls about 3 feet thick.  A very fine quartzite hone was the only find in the huts.  There are two rectangular stone-built enclosures, 20ft by 10ft, and 15ft by 8ft, and several small rectangular enclosures, probably buildings, with walls of boulders and turf, using one wall of a field as a common back wall.  The whole site suggests a compact family farm.”

A few years later the site was visited and later described by Miss D. Charlesworth at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Society in July 1968, and is one of several found on the hills 2-3 miles southwest of Arncliffe village. Miss Charlesworth told:

“This site also faces north and covers an area of about 330 by 280ft, much of it now bare limestone. There are eight rectangular buildings and four circular huts associated with a large enclosure about 120ft square, with five smaller enclosures adjoining it.”


  1. Charlesworth, D., ‘Iron Age Settlements and Field Systems,’ in Proceedings of the Archaeological Journal, 125, 1968.
  2. Raistrick, Arthur & Holmes, Paul F., Archaeology of Malham Moor, Headley Brothers: London 1961.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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