Askham Fell stone alignment


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Eden (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 49181 22281, NY 49247 22224

Reasons for Designation

Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore considered to have had an important ceremonial function. Traditionally they are regarded as being of Bronze Age date although there is a lack of precise dating evidence. Circumstantial evidence - for example, the fact that most appear on moorland which shows little sign of widespread colonisation until the Late Neolithic, and the fact that some are slighted by Middle-Late Bronze Age structures - suggests that all or most were constructed during the first half of the second millenium BC. As such they provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual practices during this period. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument type, all examples of stone alignments that are not extensively damaged will be considered nationally important. Askham Fell stone alignment survives reasonably well and is a rare example of this class of monument in Cumbria. It 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 between Lowther and Ullswater valleys. It thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument types to be found here. The monument will contribute to the study of the ceremonial function and date of stone alignments and other spatially associated monuments.


The monument is a stone alignment on Askham Fell situated on a line between White Raise round cairn and Askham Fell ring cairn. It is divided into two separate areas by a natural sink hole. The easterly part includes two virtually parallel alignments of irregularly spaced stones 6m-9m apart, orientated approximately north west - south east, and running for a length of 70m. There are fifteen stones in the northern line and seven stones in the southern line. Some of the stones remain upright while others appear to have fallen. The maximum height of the stones is 0.3m. At the south east end there is a slight bank up to 0.1m high and 1m wide that continues the southernmost alignment of the stones for a further 8m. The western part of the monument continues approximately on the same alignment as the northern line of stones for a further 44m and includes seven irregularly spaced stones up to 0.45m high.

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:


Books and journals
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 21-2
Quartermaine, J, Askham Fell Survey Catalogue, (1992), 23-4
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Stone Alignments, (1988)
SMR No. 2946, Cumbria SMR, Moor Divock, (1985)


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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