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Ring cairn on Askham Fell and four adjacent stones

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ring cairn on Askham Fell and four adjacent stones

List entry Number: 1007359

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Askham

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jul-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22530

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite limited antiquarian investigation at the centre of the monument, the ring cairn on Askham Fell with its associated stones survives well. This investigation located human remains and pottery, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the cairn and upon the old landsurface beneath. The monument lies within an area of open fell rich in prehistoric monuments, and is situated upon an alignment of funerary monuments stretching for over 1.5km along the natural communication route over a col beteen Lowther and Ullswater valleys. It thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and will contribute to the study of the ceremonial function of ring cairns and other spatially associated monuments in the area.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument is a ring cairn located on Askham Fell together with four adjacent stones a short distance to the south east. It includes a turf-covered mound of stones up to 0.7m high and 10m in diameter. Around the edge of the summit of this cairn are ten large, closely spaced, earthfast boulders up to 0.9m high with smaller stones in between, which form a circle 6m in diameter. The centre of the cairn, within the circle of boulders, contains a hollow 0.4m deep. There are four upright stones 8m south east of the cairn, which are up to 0.2m high set in a rectangular configuration measuring 2.5m by 3m. Limited antiquarian investigation at the centre of the ring cairn located an adult cremation and two sherds of pottery deposited in a hollow 0.6m in diameter and 0.6m deep and covered by a layer of sand. Above the sand was a food vessel identified as a Yorkshire Vase and now deposited in the British Museum.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Greenwell, W , British Barrows, (1877), 400-1
Kinnes, I A, Longworth, I H, Catalogue of Excavated Prehistoric and Romano British Material in Greenwell Collection, (1985)
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell, (1992), 7
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 21
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 23-4
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 21
Other
SMR No. 2947, Cumbria SMR, Moor Divock, (1985)

National Grid Reference: NY 49400 21961

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 03:17:10.

End of official listing