Maiden Castle round cairn, Burnmoor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008532

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Maiden Castle round cairn, Burnmoor
© 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: Copeland (District Authority)

Parish: Eskdale

National Park: LAKE DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: NY 18481 05425

Summary

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

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 disturbance to the summit of the mound by the addition of a sheepfold, Maiden Castle round cairn survives reasonably well. It will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mound and upon the old land surface beneath. The cairn lies close to other prehistoric monuments and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument classes to be found here.

History

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

Details

The monument is a round cairn known as Maiden Castle. It is located on a local high point a short distance east of the track linking Eskdale and Wasdale and lies at the northern end of a large area of open moorland known as Burnmoor which contains an abundance of prehistoric remains. The cairn includes a circular turf-covered mound of stones measuring 12m in diameter and up to 0.4m high. It is topped by the tumbled drystone wall of a circular sheepfold measuring approximately 7m in diameter. Local tradition states that the site once functioned as one of a chain of beacons linking Cockermouth and Millom, and small pieces of charcoal possibly associated with beacon fires have been found at the north and centre of the sheepfold.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 23693

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Fair, M C, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Some Notes on the Eskdale Twentyfour Book, , Vol. XXII, (1922), 77-8
Other
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)
SMR No. 1329, Cumbria SMR, Maiden Castle, (1985)

End of official listing