©Dave MacLeod
©Drawn by Abby Hunt

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber

Local Authority: Ryedale

Owner Type: Private

Funding Body: DEFRA (Countryside Stewardship)

Year of Intervention: 2002

Summary: Analytical field survey by English Heritage, requested by the North York Moors National Park Authority, produced new understanding, allowing the earthwork site to be managed and presented to visitors under the DEFRA Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

Description: Griff is located in farmland to the west of Helmsley on the fringe of the North York Moors National Park. It is inaccessible by car, but lies near the route of the Cleveland Way. The site was recorded, and scheduled, as a probable deserted medieval village.
Issue: The Countryside Stewardship Scheme proposed creating a spur off the Cleveland Way to promote easier access to the archaeological remains at Griff. However, management and presentation of the site required a much clearer understanding of what was thought, prior to English Heritage research, to be the site of a medieval village.
Strategy: DEFRA approached the North York Moors National Park Archaeologist for advice. The National Park Archaeologist then commissioned English Heritage to undertake a detailed earthwork survey, supported by documentary research and analysis of aerial photographs, to achieve an improved interpretation of the site.
Outcome: The analytical earthwork survey demonstrated that the majority of the earthwork remains relate to a grange farm (of Rievaulx Abbey), although with some post-medieval activity. No evidence of a medieval village was found and the NMR and SMR have been upgraded to reflect these discoveries. The new English Heritage interpretation is being used to inform the provision of access to the site, on-site interpretation boards and other material under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, with the enthusiastic support of the landowner.

Keywords: Management Plans, Presentation and Interpretation, Social Inclusion & Access

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