Ring cairn on Knipescar Common
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007407
Date first listed: 19-Jan-1965
Date of most recent amendment: 19-Oct-1993
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Apr-2019 at 17:34:52.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
National Park: LAKE DISTRICT
National Grid Reference: NY 52882 19303
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.
The ring cairn on Knipescar Common survives well. It is unexcavated and will retain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the enclosure bank and interior.
The monument is a ring cairn located on a limestone shelf on Knipescar Common.
It includes a ring bank of limestone boulders and rubble up to 2.5m wide and
0.9m high that encloses an oval internal area measuring c.15m by 11m. There is
a limestone block at the centre of the ring cairn and other blocks are
scattered in the south-west and north-west quadrants.
A wooden post that held an information board is excluded from the scheduling
although, the ground beneath it is included.
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: 22510
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Waterhouse, J, The Stones Circles of Cumbria, (1986), 154
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Ring Cairns, (1989)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
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