Mayburgh henge

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007902

Date first listed: 18-Aug-1882

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jul-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Mayburgh henge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Yanwath and Eamont Bridge

National Grid Reference: NY 51920 28428

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.

Mayburgh henge is a very unusual type of henge; its enclosing bank is much larger and more monumental than is normally the case. Additionally it would not appear to have had an internal ditch. Despite the removal of some of the stones in the centre of the site and limited quarrying of the surrounding bank, this site survives well and remains a visually impressive monument in the landscape. It is also one of a group of three henges near the confluence of the Eamont and Lowther rivers.

History

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

Details

The monument is Mayburgh henge. It is located upon a low knoll of glacial drift a short distance from the confluence of the Rivers Eamont and Lowther, and includes a stone bank enclosing a flat circular area within which there is a large standing stone. The bank is composed of water-worn stones presumably removed from the River Eamont, and varies in size between 33.7m wide and 3.8m high externally on the northern side, to 45m wide and 7.3m high externally on the southern side. There is an entrance 12.5m wide on the eastern side which narrows to 6.2m wide as it approaches the interior. The henge is virtually circular in plan with a comparatively flat internal area measuring 90m from north to south by 87.5m from east to west. Approximately 10m north west of the centre of the monument is an upstanding granite stone measuring 2.79m high by 1.82m maximum width, which is the only survivor of eight similar stones recorded within the henge during the mid 17th century; four of which stood close to the centre and four of which were located in the entrance. An axe-head of brass or bronze was reportedly found during ploughing of the monument's interior in the late 18th century, and about one hundred years later a broken polished stone axe of the Langdale type was found beneath the turf in the entrance. The monument is in the guardianship of the Secretary of State. Garden fences on the western side of the monument are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 23647

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Aubrey, J, Monumenta Britannica, (1981), 113-4
Topping, P, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in The Penrith Henges: A Survey By the RCHME, , Vol. 58, (1992), 249-64
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Henges, (1989)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

End of official listing