Pike Stones chambered long cairn
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jul-2019 at 22:08:41.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Chorley (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 62699 17191
Reasons for Designation
Chambered tombs are funerary monuments constructed and used during the Early
and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They comprise linear mounds of
stone covering one or more stone-lined burial chambers. With other types of
long barrow they form the burial places of Britain's early farming communities
and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly within
the present landscape. Where investigated, chambered tombs appear to have been
used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having
been selected for interment. The number of burials placed within the tombs
suggests they were used over a considerable period of time and that they were
important ritual sites for local communities. Some 300 chambered tombs are
recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive
as upstanding monuments, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and
longevity as a monument type, all chambered tombs are considered to be
Despite removal of much of the covering cairn and evidence of modern surface disturbance, Pike Stones chambered long cairn survives reasonably well. It retains an internal burial chamber and other constructional features including evidence for the entrance or forecourt which provided access into the monument. Being the only known chambered long cairn in Lancashire, Pike Stones is an unusual outlier to the main regional groupings of such megalithic monuments; these lying mainly further south, in Wales or the Cotswold-Severn areas, or further north in south western or western Scotland.
The monument includes the Pike Stones Neolithic chambered long cairn. It is
located on a low ridge on a lower extension of the main gritstone mass of
Anglezarke Moor and commands extensive views in all directions except the
north east. It includes a chambered long cairn which has a low elongated mound
of gritstones and glacial erratics up to 0.4m high which is aligned almost
north-south and measures a maximum of 48m long by 19m wide at the northern end
and 14m wide at the southern end, but widens at the centre due to a
combination of disturbance and slippage to approximately 29m. At the wider
northern end the cairn consists of a double wall, the outer of slightly larger
stones than the inner, both curving across the northern end and inwards to
form an entrance or forecourt. This entrance gives access into the cairn's
interior where, towards the northern end, there are remains of an inner burial
chamber slightly out of alignment with the cairn's longer axis. This chamber
is constructed of large gritstone slabs, measures c.4.5m long by 1m wide, and
would originally have been roofed with horizontal slabs and covered by the
gritstone rubble of the cairn. The surviving slabs are five in number and
measure 1.6m-2.7m long by 0.15m-0.45m thick and stand to a maximum height of
1.3m. There are two at the east side, one at the west side, a transverse slab
at the inner end and what is probably a fallen capstone. Around the inner end
of this chamber is a roughly circular area of stones approximately 25m in
diameter and larger than those in the general matrix of the cairn. This
feature suggests the original presence of some form of circular structure
behind the chamber or around part of it similar to that found at chambered
cairns in the Gloucestershire area. In the southern part of the cairn some
regularities in the stones can be seen; some, in lines parallel to the long
axis, are perhaps constructional details, but others, in particular a group
near to the eastern edge, are thought to represent some form of internal
structure which is not presently understood.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Bulock, J D, 'Trans Lancs and Chesh Antiq Soc' in The Pikestones: A Chambered Long Cairn of Neolithic Type, , Vol. 68, (1958), 143-5
Lynch, F, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in , , Vol. XXXII, (1966)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Long Cairns, (1989)
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