Ring cairn on Knipescar Common south of Inscar Plantation
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2021 at 15:15:22.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Eden (District Authority)
- National Park:
- LAKE DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 53221 18923
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 some surface disturbance to the monument's interior, the ring cairn on Knipescar Common south of Inscar Plantation survives reasonably well. It will retain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the enclosure bank and interior which together will facilitate a greater understanding of the nature of the rituals undertaken at such sites.
The monument is a ring cairn located on a limestone shelf on Knipescar Common
20m south of the western corner of Inscar Plantation. It includes a ring bank
of largely turf-covered limestone rubble up to 2.5m wide and 1.3m high on the
downsloping south easterly side and 0.6m high elsewhere. The ring bank
encloses an undulating oval internal area measuring c.13m by 9m that is raised
up to 0.3m above the old landsurface.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Ring Cairns, (1989)
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