The Bridestones Neolithic 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 13-Oct-2019 at 21:31:42.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
- Staffordshire Moorlands (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 90589 62190
Reasons for Designation
Stone long cairns were constructed as drystone mounds covering stone-built tombs, often megalithic in character, which served as vaults or chambers in which successive burials or cremations were placed during the Early Neolithic period (3400 - 2400BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated they appear to have been used for the burial of only certain privileged members of the community, often with only partial human remains selected for interment. It is probable, therefore, that these monuments acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long cairns and long barrows, the earthen equivalents of the stone cairns, are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structures to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long cairns are considered to be nationally important. Despite the removal of the covering cairn, the Bridestones long cairn retains important features including its internal burial chambers and the entrance features which provided access into the monument. It is an unusual outlier to the main regional groupings of such megalithic long cairns, these lying mainly further south, in Wales or the Cotswold - Severn areas, or further north, in south-western or western Scotland.
The monument is the Bridestones Neolithic chambered long cairn located on the
western flank of Cloud Hill, a ridge forming a prominent northern extension of
Biddulph Moor, with extensive views across the Cheshire plain to the west. The
monument includes a chambered tomb measuring 6m x 2.7m made of large stone
slabs set on edge and divided into two by a now broken cross slab. South of
the chamber's entrance is a portal stone standing 3m high while north of the
entrance is a re-positioned portal stone 1.2m high. To the east of the chamber
is a forecourt originally surrounded by a complete or partial circle of stones
of which 3 survive. Limited excavation of the forecourt during the 1930's
revealed cobbling which included a charcoal layer containing flint blades and
a flint scraper. The long cairn covering the chamber was recorded in 1764 as
being c.110m long x 11m wide. It was largely carted away for roadmaking that
year. A second chamber in the centre of the mound was recorded as measuring
c.2.2m square x 1m high and a third chamber was noticed in 1766. A plan of the
monument in 1766 shows four portal stones - two north and two south of the
chamber's entrance. The forecourt was surrounded by six stones in
semi-circular form with two conjectural stones completing the circle. Two
stones stood within the circle and two stood outside the circle to the east.
A drystone wall, all fences and information signs are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Dunlop, M, 'Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc' in , , Vol. 53, (1939), 14-24
Malbon, T, 'Antiqua Restuarata' in Antiqua Restuarata, (1766), 319-20
Thompson, FH, 'History of Congleton' in The Archaeology of the Congleton Area, (1970), 3-5
Capstick, B, AM 107, (1985)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (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