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Infell Wood, Ponsonby

In the civil parish of Ponsonby.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY06040613
Latitude 54.44178° Longitude -3.45021°

Infell Wood, Ponsonby has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A rectangular medieval pele-garth 82 yds a x 55yds with the east corner cut off, is situated on the eastern slope of a hill in Infell, Ponsonby, it consists of two parallel earthen banks with interior ditch, and entrances in the east and west angles with what appear to be hollow ways leading off from them. Nearest to the north angle is a circular banked artifical pond of 45' diameter, with a spring at its east side. (PastScape– ref. Parker)

The feature is not a moat; the hill slope precludes this; the section is too weak to be purely defensive and too sharp to suggest great age. Its probable purpose was an enclosure for stock, though the hill-top immediately SW offers slight evidence of underlying foundations. (PastScape– ref. Field Investigators Comments F1 FRH 29-JUN-67)

Scheduled as a medieval moated site. Salter suggests perhaps site of grange of Calder Abbey. Parker did some slight excavation, and found no masonry on site, he concluded this was a defended stock enclosure of medieval date, used to protect stock from cattle raids and points out the presence of drovers routes. A report of finds of clay pipes suggest use into the early modern period. A single find of unglazed grey pottery, identified as Roman, is probably not significant. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of any permanent residential structure (of stone or timber) within the earthwork, nor does Parker seem to suggest such although his use of the term pele-garth seems to have lead to this idea. The unusual strength of this stock enclosure may have something to do with it being defensive and/or may represent it being built for Calder Abbey who, presumably, had more money than the usual tenant farmers.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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