High Close field systems, Grassington from the air MYD4028 (c) YDNPA, 2023
Underlying the modern field walls of Grassington’s upland pastures lie the remains of an extensive prehistoric field system covering an area of nearly 300 acres. The best preserved examples lie on High Close and form a series of small square and rectangular banked enclosures centred on an early Bronze Age burial cairn. The small size of the fields (the largest are around 122 metres by 23 metres) indicates that they were probably used for the cultivation of crops rather than for grazing animals. The low earth and stone banks may once have been topped with wooden fences or hedges. Systems of small square fields like this are usually dated to the Iron Age, although the way these examples cluster around the Bronze Age cairn may indicate an earlier date.
High Close field systems, Grassington MYD4028 (c) YDNPA, 2023
White, Robert (2002) The Yorkshire Dales. A Landscape Through Time. Ilkley: Great Northern Books
Manby, T G et al (2003) ‘The Neolithic and Bronze Ages: a Time of Early Agriculture’ in Manby, T G et al (eds) (2003) The Archaeology of Yorkshire: an assessment at the beginning of the 21st century. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 3 pp35-116
Raistrick, A (1937) ‘Prehistoric cultivations at Grassington, West Yorkshire’ Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 33 pp166-174