Shooting House Hill, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Settlement:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1711 5110

Getting Here

From the Askwith Moor car-parking spot, walk up the road (north) for 350 yards and go thru’ the gate on the left-side of the road, up along the track onto Askwith Moor.  To get to it, walk on the footpath towards the trig-point on Shooting House Hill from the Askwith Road.  Between 50-100 yards before the trig, walk into the heather to the right.  Just 5-10 yards off the footpath, it’s there!  If the heather’s grown back, don’t even bother looking for the place!

Archaeology & History

Although I add this as the remains of a small Bronze Age or neolithic settlement — which was found on August 3, 2005, in the company of Richard Stroud — subsequent walks up hereabouts in the surrounding heather has shown that, far from being a small independent site, it was part and parcel of a much greater prehistoric landscape all round here: with the remains on High Low Ridge immediately west; the cairnfields of Askwith Moor and Snowden Crags south and east; and numerous cup-and-ring stones scattered all over the place here.  It’s a veritable minefield of archaeological remains, from the mesolithic to the Iron Age all over these moors!

Barely visible remains of walling
Barely visible remains of walling
More of the walling

We came wandering up here looking for another of Eric Cowling’s “lost circle” sites described in 1946, near Shooting House Hill, which Graeme Chappell and I looked for ten years previously without success. But on the August 2005 visit, much of the heather had been burned away.  Instead of the lost circle however (which remains unfound, though something suspiciously like it is close by) we came across a well-defined, though small settlement complex.  The walling of two well-defined near-rectangular structures emerge either side of a reasonably large boulder. Beyond these is further walling and what seems a well-defined hut-circle less than 10 yards away. Like many other sites on these moors, the walling seem to have been pretty much robbed for building grouse-butts. (hence the pictures here looking a bit sparse of stone!)  Subsequent investigation found more neolithic walling which ran into the deeper heather — so it has been difficult to work out the full scale of it all.

The landscape from here stretches way off. To the eastern horizon (not far away) is the legendary Almscliffe Crag, with the rising hills of Rombald’s Moor due south; whilst far to the sunsetting west rises the great contours of Pendle Hill, to which legend relates some of the witches of the Fewston Valley, a mile below…

References:

  1. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Shooting House Hill settlement

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Shooting House Hill settlement 53.955713, -1.740748 Shooting House Hill settlement

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