Little Meg round cairn
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007627
Date first listed: 27-Oct-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 57688 37477
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.
Despite limited antiquarian investigation, Little Meg round cairn survives reasonably well. This investigation located human remains and pottery, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon the old landsurface beneath. Additionally the monument is a rare example in Cumbria of a site displaying in-situ prehistoric rock art.
The monument is Little Meg round cairn. It is located on flat land and
includes a turf-covered mound of stones and earth up to 0.3m high with maximum
dimensions of 9.5m by 8m. Around the edge of the mound are ten closely spaced
earthfast granite boulders, some upstanding and some recumbent, varying in
height between 0.3m - 1.3m. One of these stones displays prehistoric rock
carving depicting a spiral carefully linked into multiple concentric circles,
the design covering the width of the rock. Limited antiquarian investigation
of the cairn located eight large stones which apparently formed a circle. In
the centre of the mound was an oval cist within which was an urn containing
cremated bone. Two of the stones forming the cist displayed rock carving in
the form of cup and ring marks.
A post and wire fence on the monument's southern side is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath the fence 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: 23659
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Cumbrian Prehistoric Rock Art: Symbols, Monument & Landscapes, (1992), 14-15
'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Proceedings, , Vol. XIII, (1913), 407
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)
SMR No. 979, Cumbria SMR, Little Meg Cairn Circle, (1987)
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