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Cautley Iron Age settlement

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Cautley settlement  - view

Robert White, 2004, (3472)

Cautley settlement - reconstruction

YDNPA, 2004. ,

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Cautley Iron Age settlement

Historical Environment Record No: MYD3601

Parish: Sedbergh

OS Grid Reference: SD690972

Dale: Cumbria

Link to Archaeology Data Service:


Archaeologists have discovered the houses and fields of an Iron Age farming community in the valley below Cautley Spout, a spectacular waterfall. These people probably lived by grazing sheep and cattle and growing a few crops in the tiny enclosures close to their simple stone and timber round houses.

What is unusual about this settlement is the fact that a stone-edged trackway leads from it straight toward the base of the falls and then stops. It may be that the falls had some special significance for these people.

In Medieval times, one of many sheepfolds in the area was built over the ruins of the settlement.


Take A683 east from Sedbergh for about 4 miles to Cross Keys Hotel, Cautley. Just beyond hotel, take public bridleway on left hand side of road signed to 'Cautley Spout'. Cross over footbridge and turn left on well-made path alongside river. Continue on a public footpath past turning to another footbridge until reach interpretation panel about the site . Continue toward Cautley Spout on well-made path, crossing a stream, then up rising ground onto hillock where scattered stone and earthwork remains of settlement can be seen. Distance from road, about 3/4 mile.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Cross Keys Temperance Hotel, Cautley. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 874 for Cumbria information.


Steep steps down to footbridge and handgate. Well-made path up to interpretation panel. Stream crossing and rougher going uphill after that.

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