2.4 Topography

2.4.1 Regional location

The Late Roman, Anglian and Middle Saxon settlement at West Heslerton lies at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds on the southern side of the Vale of Pickering, half way between the coast at Filey Bay and the Roman military and domestic centres at Malton and Norton to the west. The focus of the settlement appears to lie at the southern edge of the site in an elevated position at c.70m AOD, beyond which the land rises very steeply towards the scarp face of the Wolds less than a kilometre to the south. To the north the ground slopes gently towards the centre of the Vale of Pickering and the Late Iron Age and Roman period 'ladder settlements', 1.5km to the north, which skirted the fen-edge along the 30m contour on both sides of the valley. The project area has been the subject of multi-disciplinary and detailed research for nearly 20 years.

The settlement (Fig. 2.3), which covered an area of c.15ha., lay to either side of a stream, fed from a natural spring at c.55m AOD, which survives in a position towards the northern side of the settlement core. The settlement extended more that 400m to the north and another 100m to the south of the spring. The undulating ground, which incorporated a number of chalk knolls, slopes gently down from more than 70m at the southern edge of activity to c.45m AOD.

Fig. 2.3 West Heslerton: Digital Elevation Model showing the location of the Anglian settlement and cemetery in relation to the Yorkshire Wolds and the location of the Late Iron Age and Roman 'ladder settlement'


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Last updated: Tue Dec 15 1998