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The Gatehouse website record of

Kirsopfoote (Kershope moat)

a location shown on a 1590 map of the West Marches of Scotland (The Aglionby Platt)

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; Kershopefoot; Kisopfote

In the civil parish of Nicholforest.
In the historic county of Cumberland, England.
Modern Authority of Cumbria, England.
1974 county of Cumbria, England.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY47868254
Latitude 55.13468° Longitude -2.81906°

The given map reference is suggested as the probable location of Kirsopfoote shown on the Aglionby Platt.

There are earthwork remains.

The likely form(s) of this building in 1590 are;

  • Other
    Pele House ('bastle').

A section of the 1590 Aglionby Platt. Image reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A homestead moat situated on level ground in a field of rough pasture. The uneven though featureless interior is 15m square and stands up to 0.7m above the surrounding land. The clear-cut and dry arms average 6.0m wide and 1.3m deep with low external counterscarp banks on all but the northeast side; there is no entrance causeway. Remnants of a feed arm extend from the east angle in the direction of boggy ground. Roughly parallel with the northeast and northwest arms is a probable contemporary outwork comprising a 4.0m wide and 1.0m deep dry ditch with upcast bank on both sides. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 JRL 22-AUG-79)

This is presumed by King to be site of Kershope tower shown on 1590 map as 'Kirsopfoote' and 1607 platt as 'Kisopfote'. This sort of homestead moat is normally excluded from lists of fortified site (including the Gatehouse website). The form of the house within the moat is not known but may have been a form of bastle.
The suggestion is that the 'towers' marked on the crude maps of the late C16, many of which have no visible remains, were, certainly in part, modest sites and the amount of fortification on the border has been exaggerated. However most or all of these sites were the homes of people who had horses and firearms and who were recorded on muster lists, many were also reivers.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
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This record created on 09/05/2015 07:56:04; This record last updated on 17/09/2015 11:30:49

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