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HOWE ROBIN

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An enclosure suggested to be of possible Neolithic date. The enclosure was surveyed by RCHME June 1996 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. A roughly heart-shaped area of limestone pavement, 250 metres by 220 metres, is situated on Crosby Ravensworth Fell, near Penrith. The outcrop is encircled by an enclosure which partly utilises the natural limestone escarpment. The enclosure survives in the main as a discontinuous scarp, 0.8 metres to 1.5 metres high, linking outcrops of limestone. In places the scarp is topped by an earthen bank, at best 2.2 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. At the foot of the scarp, and separated from it in places by a narrow berm, are a number of irregular shallow depressions cut into the limestone; some are clearly artificially constructed ditch segments, while others may be natural. The best of the ditch segments measures 8.0 metres by 2.9 metres by 0.3 metres deep. See archive report and plan at 1:1000 scale for full details. Dating is clearly problematic. Several findspots of lithic implements and flakes are known from the vicinity, and a quantity of material has come from the enclosure itself. This includes pottery, which has been broadly compared with Neolithic and Early Bronze Age forms. Also in favour of an early date are the utilisation of a rock outcrop, the slightness of the earthworks, and the segmented ditch. However, a later date cannot entirely be ruled out.

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