Southerscales is a small deserted settlement located on the western flank of Ingleborough south of the former post-medieval farmstead now called Souther Scales Cottage and close to the village of Chapel le Dale. The project aims to determine the true date, and to support better management of the site, while compiling the first detailed survey and geophysical plans of the entire settlement.

Why is it special?

It is one of a handful of scheduled settlement sites in the Yorkshire Dales and one of the best preserved. Despite being scheduled in 1964 and thus identified as of national importance there has never been any analytical survey of the settlement and there is considerable uncertainty about its date and full extent. It has been suggested as being Iron Age, Romano British, medieval and late medieval in date.

The settlement contains earthwork remains of six seemingly discrete building nucleations, possibly farmsteads, each of which consists of two or three rectangular structures, showing now as dwarf walls, with associated enclosure or paddock stone banks/wall lines.

How was the project delivered?

Trained volunteers, working alongside professionals, have produced geophysical plans and detailed archaeological surveys. The project was led by local historian Dr David Johnson. David and the volunteers contributed over 200 days of volunteer time.

The results of the fieldwork, research and other interpretation material will be accessible to the wider public. This will ensure that a long-term educational resource is available that can be used to educate the local community and visitors to the area. Educational materials are being prepared and the new archaeological and historical data is now available in the project report. This project also led to the publication of a monograph 'New Light on the "Dark Ages" in North Craven' in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, available via their website.

Preview - New Light on the "Dark Ages"

Preview - Southerscales report

Purchase - Southerscales report


Get in touch

If you’d like more information on this project please contact Hannah Rose, Stories in Stone Administrator.

(please note that there is no public access to the site but it is visible from the nearby footpath)