Enclosure / Settlement: OS Grid Reference – SE 02884 64062 — NEW FIND
Follow the same directions to get to the Dumpit Hill A stone circle; but instead when you get to the point where you need to walk off-track and into the heather to get to the circle, keep walking up the dirt-track for about another 200 yards, watching diligently thereby for a reasonable sized, fallen, “standing-stone”-like character just yards into the heather on your right (on your left, there’s a U-shaped dip where the wall is). This is the northern edge of the walled enclosure. From this fallen ‘standing stone’ follow the overgrown walling along carefully into the heather along and down the slight slope. You’re now either on the very edge, or perhaps going into the middle of the enclosure. Look around!
Archaeology & History
There’s no previous written history of this site, discovered for the first time last week on our sojourn to the Dumpit Hill stone circles, by Michala Potts. She didn’t seem too excited by it at the time, but an amble back to what she’d found got me going! (easily done) With the help of the heather being burned away, open and exposed was a distinct line of prehistoric walling — perhaps Bronze Age, perhaps later. It’s hard to tell.
Structurally similar to the enclosure walling at Horse Close and Rough Haw, either side of Skipton, a few miles to the south, here we have about 100 yards of walling seeming to enclose the eastern side of the small hilltop, but running into the heather on its southern edge and the moorland track on its northern side, where it disappears again, leaving no trace of what one would assume would be a consistent western section.
From the grid reference for the site, the line of walling runs northwards for about 20 yards before taking a very slight shift in direction for another 20 yards. Here the walling goes to the left (west) for another 20 yards, before edging slightly northwest and back into the heather. A section of the walling is visible at each end, though we lose any accurate trace of it after a short distance in the long heather. However, at the northwestern point in the enclosure walling, a very distinct long stone about 4 feet high leans at an angle in the ling. It seems apparent that this stone at one point in the not-too-distant past stood upright, making it the tallest stone here.
What may be other features can be seen inside this enclosure section: a possible hut circle and other portions of walling were noted. However, we didn’t spend much time exploring the site in detail, so there is a high probability of other prehistoric remains in and around this enclosure awaiting discovery. The site’s proximity to the stone circles of Dumpit Hill A and Dumpit Hill B should be noted; along with what the North Yorkshire’s Historic Environment Officer, Robert White, said were “three, possibly four small circular enclosures (about 9m in diameter)” a short distance away. A further survey of the site is necessary to enable us a better picture of what we’re looking at here.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian