Cairnfield 200m east of Hazelshaw House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008860

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Jun-1994


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield 200m east of Hazelshaw House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Hawnby


National Grid Reference: SE 54886 93321

Reasons for Designation

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

This monument has survived well and significant information about the original formation of the field system and evidence of earlier land use beneath the cairns will be preserved. This monument is associated with similar field systems and other monuments of the prehistoric period on this part of the Hambleton Hills. Similar groups of monuments are also known across the northern and central areas of the North York Moors providing important insight into land use, agricultural practices, social structure and the exploitation of resources during the prehistoric period.


The monument includes a cairnfield on the eastern flank of Ladhill Gill. The cairnfield comprises 25 clearance cairns ranging from 3m to 7m in diameter. The cairns are well preserved stone built mounds, either round or elongated in shape and standing between 0.3m and 0.9m high. They are the result of clearing land for agricultural purposes. There are many similar examples of clearance cairns and field systems on this area of the Hambleton Hills. They provide evidence of territorial organisation marking the division and exploitation of land for agricultural and social purposes.

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: 25527

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)

End of official listing