Earthworks at Bolton Castle

← Castle Bolton

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To the West

The extensive earthworks to the west of Castle Bolton are largely a remarkable testament to medieval agricultural practices and landscape management.

These earthworks, which now lie beneath a grassy cover, are part of one of the most extensive and best-preserved medieval farming landscapes in Wensleydale. They are associated with the townships of Little Bolton and East Bolton, reflecting a community-based approach to land use. Key features of these earthworks include strip lynchets, which are terraces cut into the slope of the land, used for ploughing and growing crops.

These lynchets helped prevent soil erosion and maximized arable land on sloping terrain. Stackgarths, another feature, are small enclosures that were used for storing sheaves of grain after harvest, a critical component of post-harvest processing in the medieval period. Barn platforms are indicative of the locations where barns once stood, serving as storage and processing areas for the agricultural produce.

Field boundaries, often marked by low banks or ditches, delineate the extents of individual fields, controlling livestock movement and marking property lines. Together, these features provide a window into the past, revealing the meticulous organization and hard work of the medieval farming communities. The preservation of these earthworks allows for ongoing study and appreciation of the historical landscape management techniques that have shaped the countryside we see today.

To the North East

 

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