Ewden Beck ring-cairn.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Ewden Beck ring-cairn.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jul-2019 at 21:57:37.


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

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 23820 96649

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 the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Within the central hollow area may be charcoal- filled pits and sometimes burials, occasionally under small mounds. 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 sites. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are traditionally interpreted as ritual monuments of early and middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but burial and rites in celebration of the dead were undertaken at some examples. Evidence for this activity includes pits, some of which contain burials. Often, however, excavation reveals some of the pits to contain charcoal, sometimes with fragments of pottery and other objects mixed in. Hearths, usually recorded as areas of burning, are fairly common within ring cairns, as too are stone settings comprising lines or arcs of slabs or boulders which appear to have been deliberately arranged as such. White quartz pebbles have also been noted at some ring cairns. The number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known, largely because not all upland areas have been adequately surveyed. However available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 known examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The Ewden Beck ring cairn is well preserved and will retain considerable information relating to its original form and use. Its importance is enhanced by its close proximity to a nationally important barrow cemetery and cross dyke.


The site lies just south of Ewden Beck and c.100m north of Ewden Beck round- barrow cemetery and cross-dyke. It consists of four 0.5m high boulders set within a circular rubble bank measuring c.20m in diameter. Although the site has not been excavated, its overall appearance and its location identify it as a ring-cairn, a form of early and middle Bronze Age ritual monument.

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.

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912), 57


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

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