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High Close field systems, Grassington

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High Close fields

© YDNPA, 2004,

High Close fields - aerial photo

© YDNPA, 2004, (336/4)

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High Close field systems, Grassington

Historical Environment Record No: MYD4028

Parish: Grassington

OS Grid Reference: SE004652

Dale: Lower Wharfedale

Link to Archaeology Data Service:


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.
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


From Grassington go north up main street to Town Hall. Continue north up Moor Lane for 500 metres. Site can be viewed at a distance over left hand wall just before Spring House Farm. Best time to view, early morning or late evening when shadows are long.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Grassington. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Viewable from roadside, but at a distance.

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