Four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1007356
Date first listed:
30-Nov-1925
Date of most recent amendment:
16-Aug-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Cumbria
District:
Eden (District Authority)
Parish:
Askham
County:
Cumbria
District:
Eden (District Authority)
Parish:
Barton
National Park:
LAKE DISTRICT
National Grid Reference:
NY 48222 21902

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns located in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns began to be constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3000BC) although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-500BC). The four funerary cairns and surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise survive well. Limited investigation of some of the funerary cairns has located stone cists, and further evidence of interments will exist within these and, possibly, other cairns within the cairnfield. The monument lies within an area of open fell rich in prehistoric monuments and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument types to be found here.

Details

The monument includes four funerary cairns and a surrounding cairnfield on Threepow Raise. The funerary cairn situated on the summit of Threepow Raise includes an oval mound of largely turf-covered stones. This mound measures up to 0.55m high with maximum dimensions of 7.1m by 6.2m and has kerbing around the south western edge and the remains of a stone cist slightly east of centre. Approximately 55m to the ESE is an oval mound of partly turf-covered stones up to 0.2m high with maximum dimensions of 4.7m by 4.3m. This cairn has a central hollow in which remains of a small cist are visible. Approximately 65m SSW of the summit, on a slight rise between two areas of bog, is a flat-topped oval mound of largely turf-covered stones up to 0.5m high with maximum dimensions of 5.3m by 4.7m. Approximately 55m to the south west, on the same slight rise, is an irregularly-shaped mound of largely turf-covered stones. It measures up to 0.3m high with maximum dimensions of 12.2m by 4.4m and has upright stones forming a kerb along its south western edge. The surrounding cairnfield includes 31 cairns and two stone banks. These cairns can be sub-divided into four groups; one group of two small cairns up to 0.2m high with maximum dimensions of 4.2m by 3.8m occupies the same slight rise between two areas of bog as the two funerary cairns described above. A second group of 19 cairns generally c.3m in diameter and up to 0.3m high, together with two stone banks, are scattered around the gently graded slopes of Threepow Raise. A third group of eight generally smaller cairns are located within a gully east of Elder Beck; and a fourth group of two small cairns are located west of Elder Beck. Limited investigation in 1935 of the funerary cairn 55m ESE of the summit of Threepow Raise and two cairns within the cairnfield, coupled with antiquarian investigation of the cairn on the summit of Threepow Raise, indicate that the monument comprises two distinct elements; small clearance cairns around the lower slopes and a number of funerary cairns on the gently-sloped summit.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
22541
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell, (1992), 4-5
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8-12
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 8-9
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 9
Other
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Darvill,T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)
Raymond,F., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Cairnfields, (1987)

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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