Apron Full of Stones cairn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010447

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Feb-1995


Ordnance survey map of Apron Full of Stones cairn
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Thornton in Lonsdale


National Grid Reference: SD 70919 78800


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

Reasons for Designation

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Although disturbed by excavation, this is still an important and well preserved monument containing further archaeological remains.


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


Apron Full of Stones is a cairn built almost completely of grit and sandstone prominently situated on the east side of Kingsdale at the edge of the flood plain. The monument measures 23m-24m in diameter and it seems likely that up to 6m has been eroded by the stream from the north east portion. Though decapitated the cairn stands 3m high above a river terrace of the same height. The cairn is built on a slight west facing gradient with the eastern side at a higher level buried beneath upland peat. The cairn appears to have been constructed during a single phase, the stones having been graded with the small at the top and the large below, covering completely a kerb of large boulders. The monument has been identified as being ditchless. The cairn was partially excavated in 1972 revealing an empty grave, a cremation burial, a pit and a scatter of worked and waste flints.

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: 24496

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Turnbull, P, Apron Full of Stones, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1993)
King, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Apron Full of Stones, A Prehistoric Cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1978), 25-30
King, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal.' in Apron Full of Stones, A Prehistoric Cairn, Thornton in Lonsdale., (1978), 26

End of official listing